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Britax Child Safety, Inc. and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission have announced the voluntary recall of the North Carolina-based company’s popular Chaperone Infant Car Seats because of reports that the chest harnesses could break. According to Britax’s notice to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Nov. 2, more than 60,000 Chaperone seats have been manufactured and as many as 55,455 seats have been sold in the U.S., with an additional 4,822 sold in Canada.  The CPSC’s announcement on Nov. 4 states that approximately 23,000 Chaperone seats were involved in this recall.

The model numbers affected in this recall include E9L69N9 (Moonstone), E9L69P2 (Red Mill), E9L69P3 (Savannah) and E9L69P5 (Cowmooflage), all of which were manufactured between April 2009 and May 2010 and sold for approximately $230. In the Britax report to the NHTSA, the company recognizes that a defect can cause the chest clip to break, which could lead to choking and/or lacerations. According to Britax, four incidents involving this defect have been reported since June:

The three convertible products at issue began production on June 11, 2012. In late July of 2012 Britax received a report that a child bit off a piece of the pad and the parents requested replacement components. Since July 2012, Britax has received a total of three complaints that children have bitten and gagged on a piece of the pads.

In addition to the reports involving the chest harness defect, the CPSC also lists an April 21 complaint report from one concerned mother regarding a different issue with the E9L69P5 Chaperone model. According to the consumer, the seats come with an attachable snack tray that also has the potential to cause lacerations or worse, as a child’s fingers may be subjected to what she referred to as a “finger guillotine”. As such, the complaint claims that the tray could become incredibly dangerous to a child’s hands if not lowered before a child is placed in the seat. Britax responded by stating that her report was unfounded.

In the meantime, Britax is offering consumers a replacement chest clip, free of charge, by contacting (888) 427-4829.