Graco to Pay $10 Million for Seat Buckle Complaint Delays

Graco has agreed to pay a $3 million fine for delayed reporting of consumer complaints about difficulty opening car seat buckles.

As part of the agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Graco will also invest $7 million in child passenger safety programs and education.

Laurel Hurd, president of Graco Children's Products, said in a statement on Friday that the company regretted that it fell short of the NHTSA's expectations for data collection and reporting procedures.

"We accept this fine and the additional funding requested by NHTSA for a joint venture involving child passenger safety initiatives in the future," Hurd said.

The NHTSA announced in December that it was investigating whether Graco took too long to report a safety defect in its child car seats. Graco recalled 6.1 million car seats last year because the buckles could get stuck. That could put a child's life at risk in an emergency. It is the largest child seat recall in U.S. history. Graco has previously said that no injuries had been reported because of the problem.

Federal rules require a manufacturer to report a safety defect within five days of becoming aware of it.

Graco Children's Products Inc. is a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid Inc.

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