In 2014, Graco announced a buckle recall that applied to certain styles of rear facing only infant car seats, convertible car seats, and some combination car seats. Caregivers who owned any seats with the affected buckle could receive a free replacement directly from Graco. At this point, all seats impacted by this recall are expired — any combination car seats with a 10 year lifespan in booster mode had a 6 year harness mode lifespan, which has now passed. If you’re here because you’re looking for a replacement buckle, please know that the seat you’re trying to update is now expired.
This buckle recall occurred in two phases, plus a separate recall on some Canadian models. The initial announcement was in the winter of 2014.
Winter 2014. Initial Announcement: Convertible and Combination Car Seats
“As part of our continuous product testing and improvement process, Graco 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. Therefore, we have decided to conduct a voluntary recall on the harness buckles used on all toddler convertible car seats and harnessed booster seats.
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 [email protected].
Specific details on the products impacted are as follows: (updated 3/13/2014)
March 3, 2014. Second Announcement: Canada
On March 3, 2014, the recall was expanded to Canada. Take a closer look at the seats impacted by the Candian phase of the recall here.
July 1, 2014. Third Announcement: Rear Facing Only Car Seats
On July 1, 2014, Graco announced that the buckles on some of their rear facing only car seats have been added to the previous buckle recall. Graco has been replacing these buckles along with the other models but they are now officially part of the recall.
Here is the statement from Graco on this extension of the recall:
“As some of you may know, we’ve been working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to address issues that some consumers were having difficulty opening the harness buckles used on select infant car seats. As a result, we are recalling an older model of harness buckle used on infant car seats manufactured between July 2010 and May 2013. As a solution, Graco will offer a free updated replacement buckle.
In reviewing the matter further with NHTSA, we found that an older buckle design used on select infant car seats was difficult to open. Although they might look the same from the outside, the other buckles used on our infant car seats have been mechanically redesigned to make them easier to open. However, Graco will offer a free replacement buckle to any consumer who has an infant car seat not included in this recall, but would like to update their buckle to Graco’s current buckle design.
The following rear facing only seats are included in this recall.
This image from Graco shows which buckles do not need to be replaced. If your child’s car seat has any of these style of buckles, you won’t need to order the replacement buckle.
Identifying Recalled Buckles
Identifying Affected Car Seat Models
Replacing Your Buckle
Video demonstrating how to replace the recalled buckle in a Graco Nautilus.