Car Seats

Defective Child Seats

For parents, it’s frightening to think about all the ways you can’t protect your child from life’s perils. At least there are a few things you know you can do to keep your children safe, like securing them safely in a car seat when you’re in a vehicle. Unfortunately, however, products meant for children are just as likely to suffer from defects as other products in the marketplace. In fact, dozens of car seats are recalled each year, including models by such well-known and trusted brands as Graco, Evenflo, Baby Trend, Britax, Chicco, Combi, and Cosco.

Types of Car Seat Failures

In order for a car seat to properly protect a child, the seat must hold the child securely so that in the event of an accident, the child doesn’t hit objects in the vehicle, strike the front car seat, or get flung around in the seat. Some common types of car seat defects and failures include:

  • Buckle failure
  • Shoulder straps that unclip or come loose
  • Harness failure
  • Faulty shell design
  • Separation of the seat from the base
  • Inadequate padding
  • Weakness where the seatbelt attaches to the car seat base

In many defective car seat cases, the car seat doesn't just fail to protect the child―it actually is the source of injury. With a defective car seat, a child can actually be injured during normal driving conditions when a driver brakes suddenly or turns sharply. In other cases, a malfunctioning buckle or harness could make it difficult to remove a child from a car seat in the event of an emergency.

Make Sure Your Child’s Car Seat is Safe

You can put your mind at ease regarding the safety of your child’s car seat by taking a few simple steps:

  • Make sure the expiration date stamped on the plastic has not passed
  • Make sure the seat has never been in a crash
  • Closely follow the instruction booklet to make sure the seat has all of its parts and that you are using it correctly
  • Check for visible damage or defects, such as cracks in the plastic, frayed straps, or stiff buckles or harness adjusters
  • Check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website regularly for possible recalls
  • Visit a car seat safety check event. Each year, there is a day designated in September as National Seat Check Saturday. In 2014, the date is September 20th. Please click here for more information.

Car seat manufacturers are required to fix defects free of charge. If your seat is recalled, be sure to get it fixed right away.

Get Help for a Defective Car Seat

If your child was injured because of an accident involving a defective car seat, contact the experienced car accident attorneys at Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall LLC today to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our legal team. Call (404) 460-0101.

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