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Recaro Recalls Certain ProRide and Performance Ride Convertible Seats

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Today Recaro Child Safety announced a recall of convertible seats made between April 9, 2010 and June 9, 2015.  Over 173,000 carseats are affected.  These child restraints do not fully comply with the system integrity requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 213. “When the affected child seats are installed using the top tether, the top portion of the restraint can crack and allow the top tether to separate from the restraint. As such, these seats fail to conform to the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 213, “Child Restraint Systems.” In the event of a crash, the child restraint could fail to protect the child from contacting interior surfaces of the vehicle, increasing the risk of injury.

Recaro submitted a petition for an exemption of non-compliance in July, 2014, and the NHTSA denied Recaro’s petition in July, 2015, after a public comment period in November, 2014.  “NHTSA’S Decision: In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA has decided that the ProRIDE and Performance RIDE’s noncompliance poses a risk to safety and is therefore not inconsequential. Recaro has not met its burden of persuasion that the FMVSS No. 213 noncompliance identified in Recaro’s noncompliance information report is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Accordingly, Recaro’s petition is hereby denied and Recaro is obligated to provide notification of, and a remedy for, that noncompliance under 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120.”  The NHTSA also has recall related information.

 

Recaro ProRIDE convertible

Recaro ProRIDE convertible

Recaro Performance RIDE convertible

Recaro Performance RIDE convertible

What’s the Fix:

The remedy kit consists of a load limiting strap and instructions on how to install it on your carseat.

If you are a ProRIDE or Performance RIDE owner currently using a now-recalled seat, here’s our advice:

  • If you are using your ProRIDE or Performance RIDE convertible in the rear-facing position – you still need to contact Recaro for the recall fix, but the issue with the tether potentially separating from the shell doesn’t apply in your situation because that’s only a concern when the seat is installed forward-facing.
  • If you are using your ProRIDE or Performance RIDE convertible in the forward-facing position – consider whether or not your child could actually use this seat in the rear-facing position until you are able to obtain the recall fix kit. If your child weighs less than the rear-facing weight limit (which is either 35 or 40 lbs., depending on when your seat was made) and your child has a seated height (measure bottom of tush to top of head) of less than 22.5 inches tall – he or she can still use the seat rear-facing and you avoid the potential issue with the tether.
  • If you are using your ProRIDE or Performance RIDE convertible in the forward-facing position and using it rear-facing isn’t an option, please read Recaro’s statement below:

Recaro USA has issued the following statement:

What You Should Do:

During applicable tests conducted by NHTSA, the dynamic test scores that directly affect the child were still within the limits allowed by the FMVSS 213 standard, hence, you should continue to use your RECARO ProRIDE or Performance RIDE as instructed in your manual. You may check the model number and manufacture date on your child restraint to see if it is affected by this notice. You can find the model number and manufacture date on a white label on the left side of your child restraint. If your model is affected please email recarorecall@m-s-s.com or call our customer service team at 1-866-628-4750 to obtain a repair kit. The repair kit will consist of a load limiting strap and instructions on how to install it in a vehicle.

Look for model numbers of 332.01.AK21, 332.01.KAEC, 332.01.KAEG, 332.01.KK91, 332.01.MC11, 332.01.MJ15, 332.01.QA56, 332.01.QA9N, 332.01.QQ11, 332.01.QQ14, 332.01.QQ95, 333.01.CHIL, 333.01.HABB, 333.01.HAZE, 333.01.JEBB, 333.01.JETT, 333.01.KNGT, 333.01.MABB, 333.01.MARI, 333.01.MNGT, 333.01.PLBB, 333.01.PLUM, 333.01.REBB, 333.01.REDD, 333.01.ROBB, 333.01.ROSE, 333.01.SABB, 333.01.SAPH, 333.01.SLBB, 333.01.SLTE, 333.01.VIBB, 333.01.VIBE and manufacturing dates between April 9, 2010 – June 9, 2015.

You can also order a fix kit directly by visiting recaropromotion.com/RIDErecallSept2015. Please be prepared to enter your model number and manufacture date of your child restraint.

Britax B-Safe 35 & B-Safe 35 Elite – Sneak Peek at New Infant Careats from Britax!

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Britax B-Safe 35This week Britax USA has officially unveiled the newest members of their carseat family – the B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite rear-facing child safety seats. We have additional info and pictures from the official Britax launch event in New York City HERE.

B-SAFE 35: Pre-Order at Amazon.com (Release Date February 1, 2015)

B-SAFE 35 Elite:  Coming Soon to Amazon.com

The B-Safe 35 currently retails for $209.99, the B-Safe 35 Elite will retail for $249.99 and extra bases retail for $99.99.

 

B-Safe 35 Elite

Providing advanced levels of safety, comfort and convenience, the B-Safe 35 Elite is the ideal infant car seat to keep your baby safe and secure on the journey ahead. SafeCell Impact Protection surrounds your baby in safety features that work together to protect beyond the established standards. The Impact Absorbing Base absorbs crash energy and our Impact Stabilizing Steel Frame gives strength where you want it most. Complete Side Impact Protection PLUS offers an advanced layer of protection with an energy-absorbing headrest designed to keep your baby’s head and neck extra secure in the event of a crash.

To ensure the best fit, the Quick-Adjust Harness grows taller with your baby at the push of a button and our SafeCenter LATCH Installation features convenient center-pull straps that make correct installation painless. The B-Safe Elite also features an Easy-Remove Cover that pulls right off for convenient cleaning and Premium Fabrics with Plush Foam Padding for superior comfort.

The B-Safe Elite Infant Car Seat is rear-facing only (for babies 4 to 35 lbs) and has been designed to surround your baby in comfort and best-in-class safety, giving you the peace of mind to travel with confidence.

Safe and Secure

  • SafeCell Impact Protection is an integrated system of safety components that work together to protect your child beyond the established standards.  Including our Impact Absorbing Base, Impact Stabilizing Steel Frame, and Complete Side Impact Protection PLUS, SafeCell means your child is surrounded in best-in-class safety.
  • SafeCell Complete Side Impact Protection PLUS gives your child an advanced layer of protection with an energy-absorbing head restraint designed to keep your baby’s head and neck extra secure.
  • SafeCell Impact Absorbing Base reduces the potential for injury by compressing to absorb crash energy
  • SafeCell Impact Stabilizing Steel Frame gives you peace of mind knowing there is strength where you want it most, at the connection point to the vehicle.
  • Made in the USA with global components

Fit & Comfort

  • Premium Fabrics with Plush Foam Padding surround your child in comfort.
  • Ergonomic Handle makes carrying comfortable for the hand or forearm.
  • Removable Infant Body Pillow ensures newborns are properly positioned and cozy.
  • Extra-Large Canopy provides sun and rain protection.

Smart & Simple

    • Streamlined Design takes up less space in your vehicle while providing best in class comfort and protection.
    • Quick-Adjust Harness grows taller with your child at the push of a button ensuring a proper fit without needing to re-thread the harness straps.
    • Easy-Remove Cover pulls free of the car seat for convenient cleaning without having to remove the harness.
    • SafeCenter LATCH Installation provides simple, convenient LATCH installation through the use of easy center-pull straps that cinch down quickly.
    • Easy-On / Easy-Off LATCH Connectors lock into place with an audible click and are easily released with the push of a button.
    • Built-in Lock-Offs ensures a snug vehicle seat belt installation with minimal effort.
    • Spring-Assisted Recline and Dual Level Indicators make setting the proper installation angle simple and easy.
    • Click & Go System featuring a quick-release handle makes for an easy and secure attachment to the any Britax stroller.
    • Easy-Release Button makes it simple to loosen harness straps.

 

B-Safe 35 Specs & Features:

  • 4-35 lbs., 32″ or less
  • 4 Sets of harness slots: 5″, 7″, 9″, 11″
  • 2 crotch strap/buckle positions: 4″. 6″
  • New lockoffs for installation with seatbelt
  • Deep, protective shell for enhanced SIP
  • Impact-absorbing base with SafeCell Technology
  • Center-pull lower LATCH strap installation
  • Premium push-on lower anchor connectors
  • Easy-to-read level indicators (one on each side of base)
  • Extra large canopy
  • Compact design takes up less space in vehicle
  • Wide beltpath guides for easier install without base
  • Carrier weight: 10 lbs.
  • 3 fashions: Black, Red & Sandstone

Britax B-Safe 35 - Stock red Britax B-Safe 35 - Stock red 2 Britax B-Safe 35 - base 2 Britax B-Safe 35 - base

B-Safe 35 Elite Specs & Features:

  • 4-35 lbs., 32″ or less
  • No rethread harness: 5.5″ – 11″
  • 2 crotch strap/buckle positions: 4″. 6″
  • New lockoffs for installation with seatbelt
  • Complete Side Impact Protection PLUS
  • Impact-absorbing base with SafeCell Technology
  • Center-pull lower LATCH strap installation
  • Premium push-on lower anchor connectors
  • Easy-to-read level indicators (one on each side of base)
  • Extra large canopy
  • Compact design takes up less space in vehicle
  • Wide beltpath guides for easier install without base
  • Carrier weight: 11.5 lbs.
  • 5 fashions: Cowmooflage, Red Pepper, Vibe, Domino, Cactus Green

Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - stock cowmoo Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - stock cow 2Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - cactus green Britax B-Safe Elite B-Agile together Britax B-Safe Elite TS

 

For more info see our follow-up coverage from the official launch event:

Britax B-Safe 35 & B-Safe 35 Elite Infant Seat Preview

 

Consumer Reports on Potential Britax ClickTight Boulevard & Marathon Convertible Carseat Safety Issues

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Britax ClickTight convertiblesSome New Britax ClickTight Convertible Carseats May Have Loose or Detached Harness Straps

Today Consumer Reports published an article detailing safety concerns over the new Britax Boulevard ClickTight and Marathon ClickTight convertible seats. Although not mentioned in the article, it is possible that the Advocate ClickTight models may have the same issues. We want to emphasize that this only applies to the brand new “ClickTight” convertible models. All other Britax convertibles, such as the “G4” models, are NOT affected. Frontier 90 and Pinnacle 90 Combination seats with ClickTight are also NOT affected. 

Link to full CR article:

Two Britax car seats could pose safety risk
Consumer Reports finds potential problem with the Britax Boulevard ClicktTight and the Britax Marathon ClickTight

Fortunately, this should be easy for customers to remedy. In fact, the five-point harness design allows for repositioning the straps on their anchors to adjust for different-sized children. Our car seat installation experts found that if they followed Britax’s online instructions for adjusting the harness length, they were able to properly re-secure the harness strap themselves, paying particular attention to engage the straps inside the hook.

Here at CarseatBlog, we agree completely with the advice to check your Britax CT Convertible models and make a correction if necessary. Once the straps are properly secured to the anchors they should NOT be able to free themselves from the anchor. The thickness of the harness strap webbing combined with the shape/design of the anchor makes it highly unlikely that the strap could free itself from the anchor if it was attached properly in the first place. We’re not in the business of speculation but it seems highly probable that the issue with these seats is an error somewhere in the factory assembly process. 

Britax CT Infographic

 

We’ll keep you posted on this issue as more information becomes available from Britax in the near future. Parents can find basic instructions and video on how to locate and adjust the harness straps at the Britax USA Website. These videos show the basic procedure to attach the harness straps in the shorter or longer length as needed. They also demonstrate how to reattach a loose harness strap if yours is not secured properly:

In the mean time please share this info with your friends and family so we get the word out to as many Britax CT convertible owners as possible. There does not appear to be an immediate need to stop using the carseat, as it only takes a minute or two to re-attach the harness strap if it is found to be loose. In this case the only thing we need to keep children safe is information on what to look for and how to fix it!

Guest Blog: Tether Anchor Weight Advice: Assessing the Risks

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Is it “safer” to teach CPSTs to counsel parents to disconnect a tether at 40 pounds for a child in a high-weight-harness CR when the vehicle manufacturer does not specify a tether anchor weight limit, or to teach that a tether should be used as long as possible following the CR manufacturer’s instructions?

That is the key question that we, Safe Ride News and SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A., have asked the National CPS Board (NCPSB) curriculum-writing team in our joint comments regarding updates to the curriculum.  Without any data to the contrary, it seems to us very risky to tell CPSTs to counsel CR users to disconnect a tether for a heavier or taller child in a harness CR when the CR manufacturer’s own limits are much higher.

The brief curriculum content about anchor weight limits for tethers remains for us as CPS advocates, technicians, and instructors one of the most complicated and frustrating parts of the training course.  Regarding that topic (which we emphasize is specific to tether anchors, not lower anchors), we sent an open letter to the NCPSB that was reprinted as an editorial in the May/June issue of Safe Ride News and is available on the SRN website.  We suggest that anyone interested in this topic take a look and voice their thoughts to me at dstewart@saferidenews.com.

We do want to recognize and appreciate the Herculean task that the curriculum update team has taken on.  The team is composed of the entire NCPSB (www.cpsboard.org).

Deborah Davis Stewart
Publisher, Safe Ride News

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Editor’s note:  CarseatBlog strongly recommends use of top tethers, except where clearly prohibited in writing by a weight limit or other restriction in the child restraint or vehicle owner’s manual. The lack of consensus among manufacturers, regulators, agencies and advocates about tether limits simply confuses parents.  Ultimately, this confusion can result in failure to use top tethers, especially for older kids who would benefit the most from their use.  Lacking significant published evidence, applicable standards or relevant policy statements from agencies like the AAP and NHTSA, we must have clearly stated limits in the owner’s manuals and warnings on labels if there is a real risk in using a top tether.  This allows technicians to limit their liability and most importantly, for parents to keep children as safe as possible in their vehicles.  And that, of course, is our goal.