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Defective Infant Car Seats Recalled by EvenFlo

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have recalled 450,000 Evenflo Embrace Infant Car Seats and Carriers because the infant in the seat can unexpectedly fall causing serious injury, according to ConsumerAffairs.com.

According to this article, Evenflo has received 679 reports of the handle on the car seat and carriers unexpectedly releasing, resulting in 160 injuries to children. These injury reports include skull fracture, concussions, cuts, scrapes and bruises. The two agencies said the problem with these defective car seats is that “when used as an infant carrier the handle can unexpectedly release causing the infant seat to rotate forward.”

The recall involves Evenflo Embrace Infant Car Seat/Carriers made before April 8, 2006. The recalled car seat/carriers have model numbers beginning with 317, 320, 397, 398, 540, 548, 549, 550, 556, 597, 598 or 599. The model number and production date information can be found on a white label on the bottom of the carrier and on the top of the convenience base. Models beginning with “5” are units sold with the travel system (compatible stroller). “Evenflo” is on the carrying handle and car seat base. Embrace infant car seat with carriers made on or after April 8, 2006, are not included in this recall.

Stores nationwide sold the car seat and carriers from December 2004 through September 2006 for between $70 and $100 when sold alone and between $140 and $200 when sold with a compatible stroller. The seats are manufactured both in the U.S. and China. NHTSA and CPSC are warning consumers that they not use the handle until the repair kit has been installed, but the product can be used continually as a car seat when secured in a vehicle.

Consumers should contact Evenflo to receive a free repair kit that strengthens the handle latch. The recall notice will be sent to all registered owners of the recalled product. The recalled units should not be returned to the retailer. For additional information, contact Evenflo at (800) 490-7497 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the recall Website.

But here is the interesting and puzzling part of this story. This not the first time Evenflo seats have had this problem. According to CPSC’s Website, in 2001 there was an almost identical, but larger recall of about 3.4 million Evenflo Joyride infant car seats and carriers. The complete report may be viewed on CPSC’s Website. In the case of those defective seats, when the seats were used as an infant carrier, the handle unexpectedly released, causing the seat to flip forward. In 2001, there were reportedly 240 incidents of the handles unexpectedly releasing, resulting in 97 injuries. The type of injuries were also strikingly similar to what we hear about with the current recall – skull fractures, concussions, broken leg, scratches and bruises.

What’s going on with these car seats? A recall is always a good thing because it prevents more injuries and we’re happy that Evenflo recalled these defective car seats that were causing serious injuries to babies. But why are the problems with these seats repeating every few years? And why are they the exact same defects causing identical injuries? This is something the federal safety agencies and the company’s quality control department must delve into. They have a responsibility to society and owe it to their consumers to manufacture a product that adheres to the highest safety standards, especially when it comes to a product that is meant to keep our children safe.

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a defective product, please call Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, at 800-259-6373 for a free consultation.

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