Car seats help us protect our most precious cargo. However, car seats aren’t perfect, and unfortunately, car seat recalls can pop up from time to time.
Do you know what to do if your car seat is recalled?
The first thing to consider is whether the car seat is safe to continue using. Go to the manufacturer’s website or read the information they’ve sent out so that you can get a better understanding of the situation. Sometimes, recalls are issued for minor issues that don’t affect the car seat’s efficacy. For example, a label could have a typo on it. In this case, you can continue to use the car seat without any concerns.
In other situations, recalls are issued for major problems. Harness materials or clips and buckles could be compromised, for instance. The information released as part of the recall will instruct you on how to proceed. You may need to ask for a replacement piece or an additional accessory that can allow the car seat to be used safely. In more extreme situations, you may be eligible for a replacement car seat or a refund.
If your car seat is recalled or a safety issue, it is imperative that you replace it immediately. Children are especially vulnerable in a car accident when they are not properly restrained. According to NHTSA there is a car accident every 13 minutes in the US. In 2021, there were 1,700 collisions in Oklahoma City alone.
Why are recalls issued?
When it comes to children’s safety products, a lot of time and resources are spent on development and testing. Many car seats can do their jobs without any kind of issue, as long as they haven’t expired or been involved in accidents. Sometimes, though, car seats can exhibit problems. Manufacturers often issue recalls on their own before the government gets involved. They recall products because they’ve been found to be faulty in some way. Perhaps extensive testing shed more light onto specific problems, or maybe consumers themselves brought up the issue. In any case, once a recall is issued, the company will do its best to reach out to people who are affected, and it will have a remedy for the situation.
How can you be made aware of recalls?
When you purchase a new car seat, you’ll have the opportunity to register it with the manufacturer. Traditionally, a small postcard would be enclosed in the car seat’s box, and you’d just have to fill it out and mail it back to the company to get your seat registered. These days, you can register products online. You’ll need to provide the seat’s serial number and your contact information in order to officially register it. You can even do this well after you’ve purchased your seat.
If you’ve registered your car seat, you’ll be notified by the manufacturer if they’ve issued a recall. This is perhaps the best way to make sure you can stay informed about any potential concerns related to your car seat.
If you have not registered your car seat, you can still find out about recalls. Use the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website to find out about any recalls. Using this website also offers the opportunity to sign up for recall alerts via email.