Britax Child Car Seats Recalled
By: Cohen, Placitella & Roth @ Mar 31, 2016
When you purchase a product for your infant or toddler, you should be able to expect that the product will work properly and will not cause injuries to your child. Dangerous defects do occur in many consumer products, however, and they can result in severe personal injuries. When a safety defect causes child injuries, the failure of the product can be especially devastating. According to a recent article in The New York Times, Britax Child Safety is “recalling about 71,000 child car seats in the United States because the carrying handle may break, allowing the infant carrier to be dropped.” In other words, children can suffer severe fall-related injuries due to a defect in the car seat.
What should parents do if they own one of these child car seats? And what can this recall teach us about child injuries and product liability claims?
Details of the Britax Recall
When more than 70,000 car seats are implicated in a recall, parents should take notice. In the case of the Britax recall, you should check to see if you own one of the following models that has been subject to the recall:
- B-Safe 35;
- B-Safe 35 Elite; and
- B-Safe 35 Travel System.
All of the recalled car seat models were manufactured between October 2014 and July 2015. According to the recall report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the potentially dangerous car seats were sold at a variety of stores across the country, including but not limited to Babies R Us, buybuy BABY, Target, and Amazon.com. They were sold primarily between November 2014 and January 2016 for anywhere between $210 to $250.
Possible Design Defect in Child Car Seat Handle
As the article in The New York Times suggests, the issue may be a design defect. On June 1, Britax changed the design of the car seat handle to make it “consistent with the standard product development protocol.” What does that mean? At the very least, we know that “one improvement was to make the handle more durable.”
Prior to making that change, however, the company received complaints from the consumers about the handle fracturing, causing the child to drop to the ground. According to the CPSC report, Britax received a total of 74 reports of the handles developing a fracture or crack while in use, and at least one infant sustained a head injury after the car seat carrier fell and hit the ground. As the article notes, when a manufacturer learns about a safety defect issue, it information the CPSC within five business days, or else it can face civil penalties.
What should you do if you own one of these car seats? The article emphasizes that the recalled models remain safe for use as long as they are strapped into a vehicle or a stroller. In other words, the safety issue does not concern the protection provided by the seat in the event of a car accident. Rather, it is not safe to be carried with an infant strapped inside. If you do own a recalled Britax seat, you should contact the company to obtain and “kit and tool to reinforce the existing handle.”
Child injuries often result from defective products. If you or someone in your family sustained injuries, you should speak with an experienced Philadelphia product liability lawyer about your case. Contact Cohen, Placitella, & Roth, PC to discuss your options for seeking compensation.