Evenflo voluntarily recalled more than 1.3 million child safety seat buckles due to the risk that children could not be removed quickly in an emergency.
The recall includes buckles used in a number of children's convertible and booster seat models manufactured between 2011 and 2014. Not all seats made during that time are included. The recall includes some of Evenflo's Momentum, Chase, Maestro, Symphony, Snugli, Titan, SureRide and SecureKid models. The affected seats have model number prefixes of 306, 308, 310, 329, 345, 346, 371 or 385.
The buckle may become stuck in a latched position, making it difficult to remove a child from the seat. This could prove critical to a child's safety in the case of an emergency.
National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration said they are still investigating the safety of one of Evenflo's rear-facing infant seats. Evenflo has declined to recall rear-facing infant seats that use the same buckle, according to a report from Evenflo posted last week on the NHTSA website.
Evenflo’s refusal to recall those seats is similar to a decision made by Graco Children’s Products. In February, Graco recalled about 4.2 million car seats, but it rejected the safety agency’s request that it also recall 1.8 million rear-facing infant seats.
Graco and Evenflo have each told the safety agency that the rear-facing seats do not have to be recalled because the portion of the child seat holding the infant can be detached from the base, which is anchored to the seat of the vehicle. So, it does not matter if the buckle is hard to open. The safety agency disagrees and has asked that the rear-facing seats be recalled, as reported in the New York Times.
In both cases, the recalls came after the safety agency opened investigations based on complaints from parents, some of whom said they had to cut their panicky children free from the seats.
For more information on the Evenflo recall, contact Evenflo at (800) 490-7591 or go to buckle.evenflo.com.