$10 Million Penalty Levied against Graco Children's Products

The company failed to provide timely notification of a defect in more than 4 million car seats

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced that Graco Children’s Products has been fined $10 million after the company failed to provide timely notification of a defect in more than 4 million car seats, according to a news release. Graco must pay a fine of $3 million immediately and an additional $7 million is due in five years unless they spend at least the same amount on new steps to improve their products.

An investigation by the NHTSA led to the largest ever recall of child seats due to seats that had buckles that could stick or become stuck in a latched position, placing child occupants at risk.

“Parents need to know that the seats they trust to protect their children are safe, and that when there’s a problem, the manufacturer will meet its obligations to fix the defect quickly,” Secretary Foxx said. “Today’s action reinforces that responsibility in a way that will make our kids safer for decades to come.”

Going forward, Graco will create a plan and procedures for addressing certain targeted performance requirements, which may include methods to increase effectiveness of consumer product registration of car seats, which allows parents to be notified of defects, identifying potential safety trends affecting car seats industry wide and launching a child safety awareness campaign.

The company also must provide certification from an independent, third-party that it has met its cost obligations.

“Today’s action uses NHTSA’s enforcement authority to not only hold a manufacturer accountable, but to keep our kids safe,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “It’s another example of our commitment to use every tool available to save lives on our highways, and to use those tools in an innovative and more effective way.”

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