Graco Children's Products is recalling its popular Graco Harmony High Chairs after receiving nearly 500 reports of them tipping over. At least two dozen injuries to children have been reported, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said.
About 1.2 million of the high chairs were sold nationwide since November 2003 for $70-$120. The company has stopped making them. Every Harmony High Chair that has been made is subject to the recall.
The U.S.-made high chairs should not be used until they are repaired.Two problems are believed to cause the tip-overs. Screws used to hold in the the high chairs' front legs can come loose and fall out and a bracket on the rear legs can crack -- leading the chair to lose stability and unexpected topple.
The nation's product safety system is predicated on companies informing the government when a problem with a product poses a safety hazard. Many recalls are conducted before any incidents or injuries are reported because the defect was discovered and the company made the decision to deal with it before anyone got hurt.
This recall was issued after 464 different incidents were reported. And, typically, only a fraction of all problems are reported to company -- some have estimated that figure at one in 10.
"All manufacturers and distributors, especially those involved with children's products. must report to CPSC immediately if the safety of consumers is at risk," CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson told WalletPop.com. The majority of products that are recalled do not have any incidents or injuries. The quicker companies report to CPSC when children are hurt using their product, the quicker we can get the word out and prevent other injuries."
Companies can face stiff penalties if the agency determines the company knew about the defect and continued to sell the product without reporting the problem.
In a statement sent to WalletPop, a Graco spokeswoman said the company complied with federal law and immediately reported the incidents to the CPSC.
"We are voluntarily working closely with the CPSC on this issue and are in compliance with all of our reporting obligations," the spokeswoman said.
The company also addressed the problems with the high chair in general.
"We take great pride in the quality and safety of our products, and as such, we are disappointed with the performance of the Harmony High Chair," the statement read. "We have taken significant steps to assess and enhance our internal product design review processes and we are continually committed to developing safe products."
To get a free repair kit, call Graco toll-free at (877) 842-3206 or go to the company's recall site. For more information, call Graco between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time weekdays at (800) 345-4109.
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