Charlotte-based Combi USA has recalled more than 33,000 of its car seats made prior to January 2013. The straps on these seats are not strong enough to meet current federal safety standards.
The recall comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rejected Combi’s request that it be “excused from the recall” because the failure to meet the federal safety standard was “inconsequential to motor vehicle safety.” Included in this recall are Model 8220 Coccoro seats manufactured from January 2009 to December 2012; Model 8815 Zeus Turn seats built from July 2007 to March 2009 and Model 8336 Zeus 360 seats built from February 2009 to May 2012.
If involved in a crash, a child may not be adequately secured. The harness webbing material does not meet today’s minimum breaking strength.
According to the company, seats are safe to use until a replacement kit is installed. Combi will notify registered owners and provide free harness kits along with repair instructions. The recall is expected to begin by February 6, 2014.
Children and Car Accidents
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that during 2010, about 171,000 children under the age of 14 were injured in car crashes while more than 1,200 died. Studies have found that child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers.
Defective Child Safety Seats
Best practices dictate the use of safety seats for children. Any safety seat is better than no safety seat at all. In the event of damages, manufacturers of defective child safety seats can be held liable. Injured victims and their families can file a product liability claim against the manufacturer including medical expenses, hospital costs, permanent injuries and pain and suffering.