NHTSA Recalls 33,000 Combi USA Car Seats

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Combi USA are recalling approximately 33,000 child safety seats over concerns that the restraining straps might break during an auto crash. The recall was announced after the government safety agency turned down the company’s request that there be no recall, claiming that the issue did not impact motor vehicle safety.

Manufacturers are required to meet numerous such standards. Not only do they need to perform their own testing but also they need to certify that the standards have been satisfied. NHTSA then performs its own testing during spot checks.

It was during one of these spot checks in 2012 that the agency identified the strap safety issue, including the straps’ failure to satisfy the strength safety standards. NHTSA told Combi to announce a recall but the company asked that the seats be exempt from such a move, seeing as no one had reported any incidents of the straps failing. Combi also argued that when it tested the straps it found that they actually were strong enough. However, late last year, the agency ordered the recall anyways, including a number of Model 8220 Coccoro seats, Model 8815 Zeus Turn seats, and Model 8336 Zeus 360 seats that were manufactured over certain time periods.

Car Seat Straps: It is important that the car seat straps attaching the safety device to the vehicle are solid and secure enough to withstand the impact of a traffic crash so that a child doesn’t get thrown about or out of the vehicle. The straps attaching the child to the auto should be positioned properly so that they hold its occupant in place. Having the harness at the wrong height (the size & age of the child play a role in determining the proper harness height), whether or not there is enough tension between the straps and the child (not too loose or not too tight), and making sure they are strong enough not to break when encountering a lot of tension are essential to keeping your child safe. It’s also important that there are proper operating instructions accompanying any car seat so that the parent, guardian, or another adult knows how to correctly assemble and install the seat, as well as how to correctly secure its occupant.

Child Safety and Car Crash Deaths and Injuries: With car crashes continuing to be the leading cause of child accident deaths in the US, it is important that kids and babies are properly secured when riding in a vehicle. Unfortunately, according to one study from the CDC, in one year, over 618,000 kids under the age of 13 rode in vehicles without using a car seat, a booster seat, or even a seat belt. These devices significantly reduce the risk of a child fatality happening , which is why it is so important that car seats are properly made, free from defects, and do not malfunction—especially in the event of a collision.

At The Gilbert Law Group®, our car seat lawyers represent the families of children injured because of a defective or malfunctioning child safety seat. We work with clients nationwide and we are extremely knowledgeable and experienced in handling product defect cases involving auto accidents. Contact our auto products liability attorneys today to ask for your free case consultation.


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