Feature Article  


What You Should Know About Defective Child Car Seats 

defective car seats, defective child seats, dangerous child seats

Over the past several years, the number of child car seats that have been recalled has attracted a great deal of attention.  The reason for the recalls range from crash test failure to unsafe buckles.  The exact number of unsafe child car seats in use is unknown; however, some have suggested that it may be in the millions.  Therefore, it is vitally important that parents ascertain whether or not the car seats that they are using are the subject of safety recall notices in an effort to determine whether or not they may be safe to use or should be repaired or replaced.  

The exact number of unsafe child car seats in use is unknown; however, some have suggested that it may be in the millions.

As a starting point, all safety seats manufactured before 1981 were not required to be crash tested and therefore should be destroyed.  Today, all child safety seats are required to carry labeling indicating the seat's manufacturer, model information, and date of manufacturer.  If this information is missing, you should immediately contact the manufacturer, if known, to determine if the seat may be otherwise identified to determine if it is safe.  Since 1993, safety seat manufacturers have supplied registration cards that are to be filled out by the purchaser and returned to the manufacturer so that prompt notification may be made in the event of a recall or safety notification.  If you have a seat that was made before 1993, or have lost the registration card, you may register your child safety seat by contacting the manufacturer listed on the label or by filling out a registration form available through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  If the manufacturer of your child safety seat is no longer in business, you should destroy the seat immediately and obtain another one.  

Click here for a list of safety recalls by the NHTSA for independent child and booster seat manufacturers,  as well as safety recalls for motor vehicles with integrated child seats.

If you have any concerns about a child safety seat, or would like to report a suspected defect, you may call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 1-888-327-4236.





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