The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced Tuesday that Graco is voluntarily recalling 11 of 18 child car seat models – 3.7 million car seats – over a buckle issue. Graco is contesting a government request to recall seven other models, nearly 1.8 million more seats.
This is the fourth largest car-seat recall ever, according to NHTSA. In a statement, Graco said the voluntary recall affects “harness buckles used on all toddler convertible car seats and harnessed booster seats manufactured from 2009 to July 2013,” CNN reports.
The issue is the red release button in the center of the harness, which NHTSA said could become difficult to unlatch or could become stuck, making it difficult or impossible to remove the child quickly in an emergency, according to CNN. Graco explains that “food and dried liquids can make some harness buckles progressively more difficult to open over time or become stuck in the latched position.”
Graco’s web site lists the recalled models: Cozy Cline, Comfort Sport, Classic Ride 50, My Ride 65, My Ride 65 with Safety Surround, My Ride 70, Size4Me 70, My Size 70, Head Wise 70, and Smart Seat. The harnessed booster seats being recalled are the Nautilus 3-in-1, Nautilus Elite, and Argos.
Graco is offering a “new and improved replacement harness buckle to affected customers at no cost.” Graco seat owners can obtain the buckle by calling 1.800.345.4109 or contacting the company by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The company said it would provide a free replacement buckle for any seat, even the seven models not included in the recall.
Although Graco said parents could continue to use the seats while waiting for the replacement buckle, NHTSA advises using an alternative seat until the Graco seat is fixed, according to CNN.