Montana residents should be interested to know that Graco Children’s Products, a company that manufactures, among other things, baby car seats has been fined $10 million by the federal government.

The announcement was made by the U.S. Transportation Secretary who indicated that the fine was levied against the company because of the company’s failure to notify its customers in a timely fashion of a defect that it had discovered which affected over four million car seats that the company had sold to consumers all over the U.S.

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-led investigation was the precursor to the recall of the company’s child safety seats and is deemed to be the largest recall of car seats ever in U.S. history. The recall was ordered due to a defect in the seat’s design that caused the buckles to get stuck when the seat was in a latched position, which placed any child in the car seat at risk.

The company has been ordered to pay three million dollars immediately, while the remaining seven million dollars can be paid in the next five years with the caveat that the company will be considered exempt from paying the remaining seven million if it ends up paying an equal amount or more on any measures that it takes to improve its products to prevent such mishaps in the future.

Moving forward, the company has agreed to implement measures that will help it attain certain performance requirements for its products, including target safety metrics. These measures may also include implementing a more efficient and comprehensive product registration database for customers that purchase its car seats. This in turn will help it notify its customers should any harmful defects come to light in the future.

Source: Occupational Health & Safety, “$10 Million Penalty Levied against Graco Children’s Products,” Mar. 28, 2015