Evenflo, the maker of the Discovery child safety seat, is voluntarily recalling over 1,000,000 car seats. The car seat is a carrier that locks into a base which then is strapped to the rear seat of the vehicle. The manufacturer reports that studies show side impact crashes may cause the carrier to separate from the base allowing the child to fly about the inside of the car. The current recall effects only those seats built from the year 2005 through 2008.
A north Florida family however, says the recall should extend beyond the year 2005. They have filed a lawsuit in Florida that says their child was injured when a seat made in the year 2000 came apart in an accident back in 2002. Their attorney, Doug Gentile from Kansas City, maintains that Evenflo has had consistent problems but fails to report them to the Federal government.
“It’s rather outrageous that they stopped the recall (at 2005 models) when the problem plagues several million more car seats manufactured before that date,” Gentile said.
As reported in the Kansas City Star , in 2004 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) questioned the safety and reliability of the Discovery car seat. But after analyzing 51 incidents of broken seats resulting in 21 injuires and 6 fatilities, NHTSA determined “a safety-related defect has not been indentfiied at this time.”
Gary Whitman, an expert in the Florida case, seems to believe that the problems investigated in 2004 are similar to those defects in the current recall. “Both are related because of the way the carrier engages with the base. The only changes made to the Discovery should have decreased the chance of release, not increased it,” he said.
If parents are currently using one of the recalled Discovery child seats to restrain their child, they should contact Evenflo immediately to obtain an additional dual-hook to ensure the saftey of their child in the event of a side impact crash. They can be reached at 800-356-2229 or they can contact NHTSA at 888-327-4236.