Important Harness Buckle Safety Information

At Graco, we’re always looking out for the safety of your children. That means, even after a product has launched, we’re constantly testing and finding ways to improve our products to meet the needs of our customers. As a result, we’ve noticed that dried liquids and food particles left in harness buckles in some Graco car seats can cause those buckles to become progressively more difficult to open over time or even become stuck in the latched position. In keeping with our commitment to child safety, we are conducting a voluntary recall on the harness buckles used on all of our toddler convertible car seats and harnessed booster seats manufactured from 2009 to July 2013.

Consumers who are affected by this recall can contact us for a new and improved replacement harness buckle at no cost. We want to reassure parents that this does not in any way affect the performance of the car seat or the effectiveness of the buckle to restrain your child. We encourage all consumers who are experiencing difficulty with their harness buckles to contact our customer service team at 800-345-4109 or consumerservices@gracobaby.com.

For more information, including a list of affected models and photos of the original and new harness buckles, please go to http://www.gracobaby.com/safetyandrecall/pages/safetyandrecallarticle.aspx?recallID=41&page=SafetyAndRecall, and read the following Q&A for details on exactly which seats are affected. Additionally, this Q&A should help to address any immediate questions you may have.

Q.  Can you tell me more about this recall?

Graco has decided to conduct a voluntary recall on the harness buckles used on all toddler convertible car seats and harnessed booster seats manufactured from 2009 to July 2013. As part of our continuous product testing and improvement process, we identified that food and dried liquids can make some harness buckles progressively more difficult to open over time or become stuck in the latched position.

As a solution, Graco offers a new and improved replacement harness buckle to affected consumers at no cost. Graco would like to stress this does not in any way affect the performance of the car seat or the effectiveness of the buckle to restrain the child. We encourage all consumers who are experiencing difficulty with their harness buckles to contact our customer service team at 800-345-4109 or consumerservices@gracobaby.com.

Q. Is my Graco car seat affected by the recall?

If you own a Graco SnugRide infant car seat, you are not impacted. The products impacted by this recall are: Cozy Cline, Comfort Sport, Classic Ride 50, My Ride 65, My Ride 70, My Ride 65 with Safety Surround, Size4Me 70, My Size 70, Head Wise 70, Smart Seat, Nautilus 3-in-1, Nautilus Elite and Argos.

For more information, please contact our customer service team at 800-345-4109 or consumerservices@gracobaby.com.

Q: What Graco car seats are eligible to receive the replacement harness buckle?

Graco currently offers replacement harness buckles for all car seats affected by the recall, including our convertible car seats (Cozy Cline, Comfort Sport, Classic Ride 50, My Ride 65, My Ride 70, My Ride 65 with Safety Surround, Size4Me 70, My Size 70, Head Wise 70, Smart Seat) and harnessed booster seats (Nautilus 3-in-1, Nautilus Elite and Argos) manufactured between 2009 and 2013.

Q: When will I be able to receive a replacement harness buckle?

Please contact our Graco customer service team at 800-345-4109 or consumerservices@gracobaby.com and they will be more than happy to send you a new and improved replacement harness buckle at no cost. It’s important to note that this does not, in any way, affect the performance of the car seat or the effectiveness of the buckle to restrain your child. The current buckles are safe and you can continue to use them with confidence. For more information on this recall, including a list of affected models and photos of the original and new harness buckles, please go to http://www.gracobaby.com/safetyandrecall/pages/safetyandrecallarticle.aspx?recallID=41&page=SafetyAndRecall.

Q: How do I install the replacement harness buckle?

Our Graco customer service team will provide instructions when sending your replacement buckle, you can also find videos here to help.

Q.  Is it safe to use my car seat while I wait for a replacement buckle?

Yes, the safest way to transport a child is always in a car seat and this recall does not impact the performance of your seat or its effectiveness in restraining your child. In the meantime, we recommend these tips to properly clean your buckle while waiting for the replacement.

  • To clean your buckle, turn the restraint over and push the retainer through the harness strap slot. Place the buckle in a cup of warm water and gently agitate the buckle, pressing the red button several times while it is in the water.
  • Do not submerge the harness webbing and do not use soaps or lubricants, only rinse the harness buckle with warm water.
  • Shake out the excess water and allow the harness buckle to air dry.
  • Reattach the harness buckle into the same slot and re-check harness for correct installation according to the car seat manual before use.

For more information and tips, visit: http://blog.gracobaby.com/2013/02/25/tips-opening-and-cleaning-your-harness-buckles/

Q.  How did this happen?

As part of our continuous product testing and improvement process, we identified that, over time, food and dried liquids can make some harness buckles progressively more difficult to open or become stuck in the latched position.

Q: Why did it take so long for Graco to issue replacement harness buckles?

As parents ourselves, Graco takes great pride in the quality, usability and safety of all our products. Graco took the necessary time required to complete extensive testing and consumer usability assessments, while monitoring and incorporating the valuable input received from the families who use our products, in order to research the alternative harness buckle option.

Q.  Have there been any injuries as a result of the harness buckles?

No. There have been no injuries as a result of the harness buckles used on Graco car seats. Graco would like to stress this does not in any way affect the performance of the car seat or the effectiveness of the buckle to restrain the child. The new harness buckles help solve the issue related to the contamination by food and dried liquids that can make some harness buckles progressively more difficult to open over time or become stuck in the latched position.

Q.  Why are Graco’s infant car seats excluded from this recall?

Graco SnugRide infant car seats are excluded from this recall because they are uniquely designed to detach from their base for quick release if needed.

However, if you are experiencing difficulty we can provide you with a replacement buckle.  Please contact our Graco customer service team at 800-345-4109 or consumerservices@gracobaby.com.

Q.  What has Graco been doing to inform customers?

Graco has included detailed information on blog.gracobaby.com while also working with NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) to address their concerns. We are committed to being transparent with our customers and working with those affected to ensure they receive replacement harness buckles.

Q: How many units are affected by this recall?

At this time, we believe there are over 3.7 million toddler convertible car seats and harnessed booster seats that are affected. Graco is taking this issue very seriously and we are taking the necessary proactive measures to address this as quickly as possible. In fact, Graco has been providing parents with a solution to replace the harness buckles since June 2013 and we hope to do so for other parents as a result of the recall. For more information, parents can visit blog.gracobaby.com.

Q: I already have the replacement harness buckle, is my car seat safe?

All Graco car seats can continue to be used with confidence. Graco would like to stress this does not in any way affect the performance of the car seat or the effectiveness of the buckle to restrain the child.

If you already received a replacement harness buckle, you do not need to order a new harness buckle unless you are experiencing difficulty.  If that’s the case, please contact our Graco customer service team at 800-345-4109 or consumerservices@gracobaby.com

Ashley Mowrey

Ashley is the PR and Consumer Engagement Manager at Graco. She loves catching up with friends on Facebook, relaxing at the beach and playing baseball with her three boys, Evan, Chase & Connor.

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37 Responses to “Important Harness Buckle Safety Information”

  1. Nancy February 11, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

    I hope Graco follows suit with other manufacturers who have consumer recalls and puts up an online order form ASAP. You now have potentially thousands of irate customers who have been hung up on by your automatic response system for the 800 number. Please stop directing customers to a dead end! Emailing the company does me no good if I’m not 100% sure what information you need. An online form would be a quick and efficient way to handle this.

  2. Erica February 11, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

    Nancy, that is a good idea–an online form would be a great way to speed up the process to get a replacement harness. However, given that you can’t even load Graco’s website, I don’t know how an online form would be obtained :( I did email the company with my information (model # and manufactured date), but not sure if that will even be processed.

  3. Jordan February 11, 2014 at 10:59 pm #

    trying to load the website and it wont and have been hung up on twice trying to call the 800 number ! need to figure out a better way to do this quickly !

  4. wendy February 11, 2014 at 11:07 pm #

    I have tried to click on the link to look at the seats that have the recall and it say’s its not found.

  5. momof3 February 12, 2014 at 3:40 am #

    I bought 2 of these car seats in 2012 and the buckle was hard to undo from the day I bought them. Saying it is food & liquid that is the problem is them trying to cover their butts!

  6. ysguy February 12, 2014 at 4:43 am #

    We have the same problem here in Canada and there’s no recall for it!

    Thanks Graco!

  7. Ash February 12, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

    While I am happy the company is finally addressing this problem, I am still somewhat irritated that the company is saying its food and beverages causing this problem over time. We have had a car seat in my husbands truck for a couple of years now. It is not the primary driving vehicle and therefore our kids only use the vehicle for short trips. This also means little to no food is ever eaten in our graco car seat. My husband is a strong man and he can barely get the buckle open. I know it’s dirty with food particles. Graco, I wish you would just admit you designed a crappy buckle and leave it at that instead of trying to find blame to lay somewhere. The buckle sucked from day one and it’s only gotten worse (oh, and it has made me recommend many other different seats of a different company to parents).

  8. Ash February 12, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    Meant to say not dirty with food particles!

  9. Theresa February 12, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

    I have a myride 65. Had trouble with the buckle since we got it ….. So the dried food thing is not correct. Also contacted them like 2 months ago because the material part of this seat always pops off and seems unsafe. They sent me a new cover…. Same problem!

  10. Sarah L February 12, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    When I try to call I get a busy signal so thought maybe logging in to see if I had registered both seats would be a good idea…except each time I log in it shows random other peoples info…names, email, Addresses! Phone numbers! I hope I can get through soon, we’ve had this problem from day one too.

  11. Sara February 12, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    Has there been anyone who has been successful in getting their replacement buckles? I’ve emailed the address but (as one poster already mentioned) I have no idea what to tell them. I’ve called the 800 number and that’s a dead end as well.

    Also – does anyone know if we’re eligible to receive replacement buckles if our seats aren’t registered?

  12. Mike February 12, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

    I have repeatedly tried to reach Graco’s customer service several different times during the day with no success. I did actually get through once to receive the message that my call would be answered in the order it was received. After sitting on hold and hearing that message about 3 times, I heard the message about heavy call volume and my call was terminated. To say I’m unhappy with this replacement part process would be a huge understatement. I don’t know why Graco has not increased their call capability to meet the obviously foreseen demand. As suggested in a previous post, an online form option would reduce call volume, relieve frustration, and would probably also reduce personnel costs.

  13. Victor February 12, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

    This isn’t a fun situation but take the time to think clearly about how to mitigate some of these issues. Send in an email with the model number off of the car seat at the very least. In addition a receipt might help as well.

    I agree an online form would definitely be the easiest solution to all this madness….

  14. Carrie February 12, 2014 at 7:21 pm #

    I have been hung up on multiple times today I have 2 kids and 4 of these carseats, the buckles have been difficult from day 1.

    I am VERY irriated with the hang ups. You know how valuable my time is huh Graco? How about this, it’s not more valuable than my children, I’d wait on hold all day to get the replacement. If we are in an accident and I need to get them out, what then?! Not cool, not cool at all… this has nothing to do with food/beverage spills, this is a design issue.

    I love how the number is a dead end.

  15. Samantha February 12, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

    I was on hold for 1 hour and 7 minutes yesterday and then it hung up on me. I know that there are millions of people trying to get through so you would think that they would get more people to answer phones. We just purchased the my size 70 two weeks ago and my son has ridden in it twice. The buckle is awful. It’s not food and drink causing this as he hasn’t had any in the two times he’s ridden in it and the buckle is still stuck new out of the box! The harness is also too hard to tighten despite all of the “tricks” to try to tighten it. I just want a car seat that works right. I love the buckle on our Graco Snugride 35. It has a little down arrow that you just push down and it opens right away. It’s so much easier. I don’t know why they stopped making them that way. I’m thinking about just taking this seat back and getting another brand because this is too much work.

  16. Tyler February 12, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

    Dear Graco Baby,
    Your customers deserve better service. Please work on this issue as soon as possible. We would like to be able to continue to recommend your products to new parents. However great your products are this also requires customer support that shows us we made the right purchase.
    Sincerely,
    Tyler

  17. Vanessa Guerrero February 12, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

    This is pathetic I have a two month old and since day one had ptoblems with the buckle.I own a snugride 35 and this is not registered in the e recall list. Not to mention my husband purchase it because they guarantee him it was the safetest one. This is 180.00 thrown to the trash if my baby is not safe incase of an accident.

  18. Cheryl February 13, 2014 at 4:14 am #

    I have a Gracious carseat also. It’s buckle has been hard to open since the day we got it and it hasn’t gotten any easier the longer we have it. It looks like I will wait a while to call the 800 number by what everyone else is saying.

  19. Stephanie February 13, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

    I have a My Ride 65 for my son, bought in December 2013. It was difficult to unbuckle sporadically at first but got worse with time. A few weeks ago my husband and myself were unable to get the buckle undone. Due to subzero temps and how frantic our son became we cut the straps to get him out. Other than the buckle I love the car seat. I just want replacement straps and buckle and I’ll be happy. But, I can’t get thru on the number!!! I’ve been trying for two days!!! Anyone know what info they would need if I send an email? My other problem with that is how will we know if they receive the email????

  20. paul February 13, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

    Been calling graco all morning because my car seat not on recall list but doing the same thing. Thrre recording basically tells u call later or on another day , that how important our kids are to them , I demand a refund , AND WILL BE BOYCOTTING GRACO .

  21. Ashley Mowrey February 13, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

    Hi Paul. We apologize for your customer service experience. If you have registered your car seat with Graco, we will automatically send you a replacement harness buckle. If you haven’t registered, you can now order your replacement harness buckle online at: http://bit.ly/MdBg4T.

  22. Ashley Mowrey February 13, 2014 at 11:07 pm #

    Hi Stephanie. We apologize you’re having a hard time contacting our customer service team. If you have registered your car seat with Graco, we will automatically send you a replacement harness buckle. If you haven’t registered, you can now order your replacement harness buckle online at: http://bit.ly/MdBg4T. I hope this helps.

  23. Ashley Mowrey February 13, 2014 at 11:09 pm #

    Yes, Cheryl. Our customer service team is experiencing high call volumes, so we apologize about the wait. If you have registered your car seat with Graco, we will automatically send you a replacement harness buckle. If you haven’t registered, you can now order your replacement harness buckle online at: http://bit.ly/MdBg4T. Hopefully this will be easier for you!

  24. Ashley Mowrey February 13, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

    Hi Vanessa. Although your SnugRide infant car seat is not included on the recall list, we will be more than happy to send you a replacement buckle if you are experiencing difficulty with your current buckle. And, you can now order your replacement harness buckle online at: http://bit.ly/MdBg4T. Thanks.

  25. Ashley Mowrey February 13, 2014 at 11:51 pm #

    Hi Tyler. We apologize for your customer service experience. Based on the consumer demand, we are now offering consumers another way to order their replacement harness buckles. If you have registered your car seat with Graco, we will automatically send you a replacement harness buckle. If you haven’t registered, you can now order your replacement harness buckle online at: http://bit.ly/MdBg4T.

  26. Ashley Mowrey February 13, 2014 at 11:52 pm #

    Hi Samantha. We apologize you’re having a hard time contacting our customer service team. If you have registered your car seat with Graco, we will automatically send you a replacement harness buckle. If you haven’t registered, you can now order your replacement harness buckle online at: http://bit.ly/MdBg4T. It’s really quick and easy to do.

  27. Ashley Mowrey February 13, 2014 at 11:55 pm #

    Hi Carrie. We apologize about your customer service experience. We understand your time as a mother is precious. A couple of things that might help … If you have registered your car seat with Graco, we will automatically send you a replacement harness buckle. If you haven’t registered, you can now order your replacement harness buckle online at: http://bit.ly/MdBg4T.

  28. Ashley Mowrey February 13, 2014 at 11:57 pm #

    Hi Victor. We’ve listened to consumers like you and created an online order form. Here are the details … If you have registered your car seat with Graco, we will automatically send you a replacement harness buckle. If you haven’t registered, you can now order your replacement harness buckle online at: http://bit.ly/MdBg4T. Hope this helps.

  29. Ashley Mowrey February 13, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

    Hi Mike. Thanks for your feedback. We now have an online order form. Keep in mind, if you have registered your car seat with Graco, we will automatically send you a replacement harness buckle. If you haven’t registered, you can now order your replacement harness buckle online at: http://bit.ly/MdBg4T. It’s really quick and easy to do. Hope this helps.

  30. Ashley Mowrey February 14, 2014 at 12:02 am #

    Great questions, Sara. Yes, you are eligable to receive a replacement harness buckle if you haven’t registered your car seat with Graco. And, we are happy to let you know that you can now order your replacement harness buckle online at: http://bit.ly/MdBg4T. It’s really quick and easy to do. Hope this helps.

  31. Maria Popoca February 14, 2014 at 3:47 am #

    Funny I have a Snugride 30 and I was wondering why it was so difficult to unlock. I have only had it for three months and that buckle is a pain. My poor baby usually cries before I can get him unbuckled when we get home. They are hard to buckle and unbuckle, but we are not affected. Will not be buying more Gracos after this one.

  32. Stefanie Rieck February 14, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

    I was starting to have this problem 3 months ago. I tried to get a new latch sent out. Customer service said I needed a receipt for them to help me. I told them I got the seat as a baby shower gift. That’s when they decided I couldn’t be helped anymore.
    The only way to get my daughter out of the seat is with a screwdriver. I can’t believe it took this long for them to fix this problem.
    Not only was I treated badly then, Now I can’t even get thru to customer service.
    Nothing is more important than my daughters safety and I need a new buckle w/ installation instructions ASAP.

  33. Brenda February 16, 2014 at 4:52 am #

    Graco,
    You have stated that there have not been any injuries as a result of the harness buckles used on Graco car seats. But what about Leiana Ramirez? Please explain.

  34. TN February 16, 2014 at 6:05 am #

    Graco, your online form, http://bit.ly/MdBg4T sends customer information unencrypted, which is posing us a great security and privacy risk. Your IT tech should be notified and correct this immediately. It’s not even on gracobaby.com. how do I know if it is not some phishing site? I need to order a replacement harness asap but I don’t want to enter my address there.

  35. Jeff March 10, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

    What is the time frame of getting the replacement buckles. Ordered our on 2/13 and still have not received them. Has anyone received them yet that has ordered them? Thanks.

  36. ur customer service sucks March 13, 2014 at 2:43 am #

    I ordered 2 for our seats early February and still haven’t gotten ours yet either.

  37. Shane Hayward March 24, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

    I ordered two buckles in early February and still haven’t gotten them. What’s the point in having the recall and making us worry and then when we order the replacements they never come. It’s been a month and a half!!! That’s not cool