Caring and Competent Representation Across New Mexico

Report: Kids’ car seats sold despite testing that showed dangers in side-impact collisions

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2020 | Personal Injury

Booster seats and car seats are important aspects of life for parents and their children, and child seats should always be manufactured so they are safe for kids.

With that in mind, parents in New Mexico should be aware of recent developments involving Evenflo, which is a well-known manufacturer of car seats and booster seats. The company sells millions every year. However, a recent report indicates that Evenflo ignored warnings and continued to sell a potentially dangerous product.

A Sound Suggestion Roundly Rejected

A safety engineer with the company suggested significant alterations for the company’s “Big Kid” booster seats. Following extensive research, he discovered that children occupying the seats who weighed less than 40 pounds should have harnesses. The addition would be an improvement that other countries have already implemented, not to mention that the recommendation aligned more with the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations.

The safety engineer added that during the manufacturing process to add harnesses, Evenflo should temporarily cease sales for the kids facing the most risk, meaning children under 40 pounds. That proposal was met with a marketing executive’s disapproval.

Whether the decision was based on a miscalculation or an effort to gain an edge in a competitive market, Big Kid stayed on the shelves. Its own promotional material revealed that the booster seats received vigorous testing. The claim was at best misleading. Examinations that led to a purported “passing grade” actually revealed a significant risk of serious injury or death in a side-impact collision, with multiple crash test dummies knocked completely from their seats.

Surprisingly, Evenflo does not appear to be breaking any law. While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration introduced rules to improve car seat and booster seat safety in an effort to minimize injuries, the rules were focused was on head-on crashes. Side-impact crashes were not part of that equation and tragically still lack any testing standards.