Britax Child Safety has issued a product defect recall for 14,220 child safety seats because of defective shoulder harnesses that may not hold the child in place in the event of a crash. According to a news report in The New York Times, the recall comes nine months after the company made a change in its manufacturing process to correct the defect. Product manufacturers are required under the law to notify federal safety authorities within five business days of its plan for a recall. Failing to do so can result in civil penalties. Britax sent the letter to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) only on January 26, 2012. Company officials tell the Times that they did not delay notifying the agency.
Britax started to receive complaints about the restraint failure on the Chaperone infant car seats since March. These defective seats were made between September 2010 and May 2011. The model numbers of the affected seats are E9L692J, E9L692K, E9L692L, and E9L692M. Britax traced the problem to a faulty aluminum rivet that is supposed to secure the harness strap adjuster to the seat. If the rivet breaks, the harness adjuster can detach, leaving the child unprotected in the event of a crash. Britax received 57 complaints related to the defect, but has no record of injuries or fatalities.
Product manufacturers have a legal obligation to consumers to manufacture safe products. They also have a duty to inform the appropriate agency as soon as they find out that a product is defective so that consumers can be alerted about those safety issues, especially in this case where infants are involved. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product that was poorly manufactured or defectively designed, the experienced dangerous products attorneys in Oklahoma at the Maples Law Firm can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Please contact us at 1(888) 226-6159 to find out how we can help you.