33,000 Car-seats Recalled By Manufacturer

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has insisted on the recall of more than 33,000 safety seats. At issue are the restraining straps, which apparently are not strong enough and may snap during a vehicle collision. This renders the car-seat inadequate to the task of protectively restraining a child. Unfortunately, the manufacturer’s denial kept the recall from going forward until this year. Had a child been harmed or even killed due to one of these defective car-seats, it could have been a very serious issue.

In order to block the recall, Combi USA, the car-seat manufacturer, asserted that the federal safety standard in question was not relevant because its own testing proved the straps were safe. Combi USA argued that the issue was”inconsequential to motor vehicle safety,” according to a report in the NY Times (1). 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) did not agree with Combi’s arguments. In November 2013, it ordered the car-seats recalled, but this action came a year or more after the initial finding. As the government’s safety watchdog, the agency tests automotive equipment. It determined that the straps were defective when it did tests in 2012, but the manufacturer’s official denial kept the NHTSA from making the ruling final until January 3, 2014.

The car-seats in question go by the name Corrocco or Zeus. More than 4,900 were sold under the name of Zeus Turn with the model number 8815. Built from July 2007 to March 2009, these are the oldest models involved in the recall. More than 3,900 were sold under the name Zeus 360, model number 8336. The largest recall is for the Corroco, model number 8220. More than 23,000 were sold. Additional information on the recall is found on the NHTSA website (2).

Combi USA has the responsibility of notifying owners. The company is expected to provide replacement harnesses which the owners can use to replace the existing harnesses. It is important for parents to determine if their child’s seat is on the recall list. If parents are not contacted by Combi, they should contact the company or the NHTSA. 

To a caring parent, nothing is more important than a child’s safety. From babies to elementary students, every child needs special protection if there is a collision. This makes it essential that manufacturers be held responsible when car-seat equipment is defective.

Sources:

1)   http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/04/automobiles/nhtsa-issues-recalls-for-car-seats-chevrolet-pickups-and-range-rovers.html?_r=1

2)   http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchResults?searchType=ID&targetCategory=R&searchCriteria.nhtsa_ids=13C002000