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Graco Car-Seat Recall the Biggest in Five Years

Graco Children’s Products Inc. will conduct the largest car safety-seat recall in five years, covering 3.7 million units and 11 different models, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

Graco, owned by Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid Inc., isn’t including another seven models the agency requested be covered by the recall, NHTSA said today in an e-mailed statement. A defect investigation into the seat’s buckles remains open, the agency said.

The recalled seats were made for model years 2009 through 2013, NHTSA said. The alleged defect involves difficulty unlatching the harness buckles, which can become stuck and make it difficult to release a child. The buckles present a safety hazard in the event of a crash, fire or other emergency, NHTSA said. It’s the fifth-biggest child-safety seat recall, according to the agency’s data.

The company hasn’t provided regulators with a description of how it will remedy the defect or a timetable for when the products will be fixed, NHTSA said.

Graco will provide replacements for the harness buckles, which can become stuck or difficult to open because of spilled food and liquids, David Doolittle, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail. The recall will have no material effect on Newell Rubbermaid, he said.

In a letter to the company dated today, NHTSA said Graco hasn’t justified not recalling 1.83 million more rear-facing car seats using the same buckles. The agency said it will continue its defect investigation and is planning a public hearing.

Affected models include Cozy Cline, ComfortSport, Classic Ride 50, My Ride 65, My Ride with Safety Surround, My Ride 70, Size 4 Me 70, Smart Seat, Nautilus, Nautilus Elite and Argos 70.

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