In February 2014, NBC News reported the tragic death of toddler Leiana Ramirez who died in a car fire because her mother could not unlatch the harness buckle of her car seat and get her out of the car. The car accident occurred in Los Angeles, and Leiana's mother and a bystander both tried unsuccessfully to remove Leiana from the burning car. The bystander cut his arms while trying to pull the baby out of the car seat and he required hospitalization.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigated and discovered that the Graco Nautilus car seat had on numerous occasions provided problems for parents who found it difficult or impossible to unlatch the buckle. As a result, Graco recalled close to 3.8 million car seats. CBS News stated the following:
- The recall was voluntary and included 11 of 18 model seats that NHTSA asked the company to recall.
- This was the fourth largest car seat recall to date.
- If Graco complied completely with NHTSA's recall request, it would be the largest recall on record.
- NHTSA's investigation remains open, pending evaluation of the seven models not yet recalled.
The recall applies to Graco harness buckles used on all toddler convertible car seats and harnessed booster seats manufactured between 2009 and 2013. These are the specific models:
When families in Sarasota or Manatee counties experience tragic losses due to a manufacturer's or other party's negligence, an experienced Florida injury attorney can help them seek justice.