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NHTSA Investigates Graco’s Handling of Child Car Seat Recall

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Monday it is investigating whether Graco Children's Products acted quickly enough to report a defect in child car seats. Graco, a division of Newell Rubbermaid Inc., recalled more than 6 million car seats earlier this year, the largest child-seat recall in U.S. history. The defect involved car seat buckles that become stuck, potentially delaying a quick exit from the vehicle in an emergency, NHTSA said. Under law, once a manufacturer becomes aware of a safety-related defect in an item of motor vehicle equipment, it has up to five days to notify the agency. NHTSA said it will investigate whether Graco followed that mandate. If NHTSA finds that Graco did not act in a timely manner, the manufacturer could be fined up to $35 million in civil penalties, the agency said. In a statement to NBC News, Graco said: "We thoroughly analyzed all data related to the buckles and took the required actions to keep our consumers safe. We worked cooperatively with NHTSA throughout its investigation and will continue to do so moving forward.”

In an unrelated move, Graco last month announced it was recalling nearly 5 million strollers to fix a problem that could cause a child’s fingertip to be amputated.

Graco recalls nearly 2 million infant car seats 0:23

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— Reuters and NBC News staff