Child car seats are a crucial addition to any car for parents of young children. However, not all car seats are as safe as they could be. In fact, consumer charity Which? has discovered that one child seat still on sale at a major UK retailer could be lethal, after scoring no points at all in the organisation’s safety testing.
Following this abysmal safety showing, Which? is advising parents who own the child car seat to replace it immediately, after it scored “the lowest possible score” in independent safety testing.
The poor performing seat – the Babystart Multi-Recline Group 0/1 seat – is still on sale at Argos, which won’t issue a product recall on safety grounds, reports the Daily Mail. The seat is no longer widely available but may still be found on sale on websites including eBay and Gumtree.
In our tests, the shoulder parts of the harness were ripped out of the plastic seat shell as it broke. If this were to happen in a real-life crash, a child would collide with the seat in front.
Accounting for its atrocious showing, the seat performed very poorly in the frontal impact test when installed facing forward and secured with the adult seat belt. The shoulder parts of the harness were also ripped out of the plastic shell during testing, when fitted in the reclined position – despite passing the official regulatory tests needed to sell a child seat. What this means in reality is that a child in one of these seats could end up colliding with the seat in front in a crash.
One child seat that definitely doesn’t skimp on safety, however, is the £900 limited edition Britax, which we wrote about earlier this week. While you don’t have to spend even a tenth of this figure for a good child seat, this Britax offers high-tech safety features and a feeling of quality to match that of a luxury car.