Graco, known for producing a variety of children products, might be in trouble as they are forced to recall millions of their faulty car seats. Graco was notified that their child safety seats were difficult to unfasten, making it extremely dangerous in emergencies. For a company specializing in child safety products, such a discovery could have devastating effects on the company’s reputation.
Safety is the number one priority while maneuvering a vehicle. This includes driver safety and passenger safety. Emphasis is always given to children if they are present in the car. If a child is below a certain age then they are required by law to be placed in specially designed car seat. Placing them in a normal seat under normal constraints might prove dangerous and even fatal during an accident. An effective safety seat not only secures a child in one position but can also be easily removed in case of emergency. For this very reason the effectiveness of seats produced by Graco was called into question.
Graco was first founded in 1942. The name is a mixture of owners Russell Gray and Robert Cone. Graco has been known for developing innovative children products over the years such as the first automatic swing for children. The company, however, became the reason for public concern as several of their products turned out to be defective. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently reported that they received over 80 complaints against the company. Parents reported that it was extremely difficult to remove the harness and extreme force has to be used to remove a child from the seat. Some parents even had to resort to extreme methods, such as cutting the straps, when all else failed. As a result approximately 3.8 million products have been recalled for improvements. Graco might end up being in serious trouble if their child safety products continue to create further complications.
Graco quickly took notice of the situation and even publicly addressed it. Representatives of the company blamed the defect on seats being clogged by food particles. According to them, food or drinks entering the car seats might have caused the straps to malfunction. Investigators quickly dismissed the claims, stating that such a situation was completely foreseeable and that it should have been anticipated.
Eleven models were recalled which included Classic Ride, Cozy Cline, and Comfort Sport. To retain customer satisfaction, Graco made the necessary changes and has provided the revised products free of cost. While the company claims that they are not aware of any deaths resulting from their products, NHTSA informed them that they were defendants in a lawsuit filed against them for the apparent death of 2-year-old Leiana Ramirez.
How well a company does depends on their sales and their sales depend on their customers. In short, a company is completely dependent on how their customers see them and their products. Customers are often reluctant to purchase products that become part of such controversies. Graco’s safety products might eventually lose value among customers if immediate effective measures are not taken, a definitely troubling outcome for the company.
Editorial by Hammad Ali