Macedonia, Ohio Century Products Co. recalled 4 million infant car seats Friday because they have defective handles that can break and cause serious injuries to babies.
The handle can break when the seat is used as a carrier, causing an infant strapped inside to fall to the ground, said Barbara Riggins, a spokeswoman for Century's parent company, Graco Children's Products Inc. in Elverson, Pa.
Century is providing free replacement handles to consumers who call the company's toll-free hot line at (800) 865-1419.
Within the first few hours of the recall Friday, more than 4,000 people called the hot line, Riggins said.
The recalled seats have caused safety problems only when used as a carrier, not when it's in a car. Parents should continue using the carriers as car seats, said Sue Bailey, an administrator with the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
More than 2,700 cases of handle-related problems have been reported to the company, including handles breaking, cracking, or not locking while the seats are used as a carrier.
More than 200 people have reported injuries because of the problem, including concussions, skull fractures, lacerations and broken bones.
The recall covers all Century rear-facing infant car seats/carriers manufactured from January 1991 through July 1997. The defective seats have a molded plastic handle colored white, gray or tan.
Century changed the design after July 1997, a move that was not related to the handle problems, Riggins said. She would not say how long the company has known about the problems.
The seats are labeled Century on the front and the date of manufacture written as month, date, year can be found on a label on the side of the seat.