A major manufacturer of child safety products has issued a recall on 71,000 infant car seats due to a problem with their handles. Britax, which has its US headquarters in South Carolina, in coordination with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), announced in late January that some units of the B-Safe 35 and the B-Safe 35 Elite infant car seat have handles that can crack and break during use. The company has received 74 reports of the problem, including one report of an incident in which an infant received a minor injury.
Remedy and Repair Details
The car seats were manufactured between October 2014 and July 2015 and were sold at various stores and online through January 2016. Several model numbers are included and Britax will provide a free repair kit to all affected consumers. Until the products are repaired, it’s recommended that they not be carried by the handle (although they’re still safe for in-car and in-stroller use).
Full details of the recall and the procedure to receive a repair kit are available on the CPSC web site.
Recalls Not Unusual
Recalls of this kind are not unusual. Several infant safety product recalls happen each year. In 2015 there were two stroller or car seat recalls, while 2014 brought four. On the same day that the Britax car seat recall was announced, Britax also recalled a smaller number – 49,000 – of strollers because of a problem with some foam padding that could come loose and become a choking hazard.
When a recall happens, the manufacturer can immediately contact any consumer who has already registered the product. This is why it’s important to register products as soon as possible after purchasing them. If a product hasn’t been registered, the consumer is still eligible for repair through the recall, but has to take extra steps.
You should always immediately take whatever steps are required when a recall notice is issued, especially when it involves safety.
Defective Products Can Cause Harm
Many product recalls are the result of manufacturing defects or design problems that are only discovered after the fact. In some cases, recalls are issued when a problem that was already known to a manufacturer is revealed to the general public. If actual harm occurs to someone who is using the product as intended, whether or not a recall was issued, it may be possible to receive compensation from the manufacturer of the product for the cost of injuries, lost wages, or other considerations.
If you or someone you know has been harmed in some way be a defective product, it’s in your interest to explore the options. If negligence or malicious intent is a factor, you might have grounds for a lawsuit. For example, if someone sells you a product that has already been recalled, they’re breaking the law.