When a product you are relying on doesn't function as it is supposed to, it can be frustrating at best. However, if the malfunction of that item affects your safety, the consequences can be far more severe. Manufacturers are responsible for the safety standards of their wares and can be held accountable for a defective product. Residents of New York should be prepared to take action if they find an item they have purchased to be sub-standard.
One company, a car seat manufacturer, has recently had to recall more than 1 million child restraints. Similarly, a second company is in the process of recalling three times that amount of restraints for the same reason. However, the recall decisions of these companies, Evenflo and Graco respectively, have only extended to some of their car seats. Both companies have refused to recall any of their rear-facing child seats despite requests from a national safety agency.
The problem with the child restraints lies with their buckles. These buckles are difficult to open, potentially hindering parents if they need to release their child in a life-threatening situation. Graco even faced a wrongful death suit after the death of a child when her mother struggled to get her out of her seat following a crash.
However, the two companies claim that the seats in question do not need a recall because they have detachable bases. This means the part of the seat in which the child sits could be removed, even if the buckle or clasp wouldn't open. Evenflo has further stated that it will send replacement buckles to owners of these seats. Despite this, the national safety agency stands by its request that the car seats be recalled.
If New York residents find they have been injured while using a defective product such as this, it is important for them to act. Unsuitable products can cause damage, and you have the right to seek compensation if you are harmed. A lawyer who handles product liability cases can help you prepare your case so you have the best chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.
Source: The New York Times, "2nd Car Seat Maker Cites Buckle Flaw in a Recall," Christopher Jensen, April 4, 2014