MACEDONIA, Ohio (AP) _ Century Products Co. recalled 4 million infant car seats Friday because they have defective handles that can break and cause serious injuried 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 1-800-865-1419.

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.

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.

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On the Net:

Century Products: http://www.centuryproducts.com

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov