Yesterday the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the recall of 794,247 child safety seats because the harness can loosen, leading to an increased risk of child injury during an accident. According to the report, the Dorel Juvenile Group recalled the seats after they found “the harness locking and release button does not always return to its locked position,” which allows “the harness adjustment strap to slip back through the adjuster as a child moves around in the seat and results in a loose harness.”
The safety release goes on to explain that the company said “the problem involves certain restraint systems manufactured from May 1, 2008, through April 30, 2009, which have a ‘Center Front Adjuster’ (CFA) for the harness.” According to the NHTSA report, “infant, convertible, and booster child restraint systems which were sold both as stand-alone seats or part of a travel system (with a stroller)” are all affected by the faulty harness locking and release button.
According to the release, Dorel “said it intends to provide consumers with a remedy kit consisting of a small tube of non-toxic, food-grade lubricant to be applied to the CFA to prevent sticking and allow it to properly engage the CFA strap.” The NHTSA explains that instructions on the application of the lubricant and a label to indicate the repair has been completed will accompany the remedy kit.
However, the recall says that parents and caregivers can continue to use the harnesses even before the recommended repairs as long as they “make sure the harness is properly adjusted and the lock/release button is fully in the locked position.” The report indicates that after individuals adjust the seat, they should “pull on the shoulder part of the harness to make sure it is secure and does not loosen.”
The release explains that the NHTSA “began a formal investigation of this issue on March 5, 2010, and indicated it would continue to keep the investigation open to further evaluate the adequacy of the recall scope.” The release explains that consumers desiring more information on this recall can directly contact the manufacturer at 1 866-623-3139.
NHTSA Press Release Office. (February 14, 2011) “Consumer Advisory: Dorel Recalling Nearly 800,000 Child Safety Seats For Safety Harness Issue.” Retrieved on February 16, 2011 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.