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2016 Update: Safest Affordable Used Cars for Families and Teens

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Safest Used Cars for Teen Drivers under $10K

Many families put a high priority on safety for their kids.  Unfortunately, for various valid reasons, most are not able to go out and buy a brand new car with the latest safety features.  Perhaps others are buying a car for a teen or college student and want something safe, but don’t want them wrecking a new car!  Last year, the IIHS evaluated hundreds of cars to produce a list of models recommended for teens.

I have somewhat different criteria for my teen drivers.  For example, while I also exclude the smallest sub-compact and “micro” vehicles, I have no issue with my teen driving a compact sedan if it is above 2,750 lbs., as long is it has great crash test results.  While compact cars do give up a little in terms of weight in a frontal crash, they are generally more maneuverable and easier to handle and park.  That’s a big deal for new drivers.  And of course, compact cars are less expensive to buy and maintain.  I am also more concerned about having top results in all the actual crash tests, including the new IIHS small overlap test, and less concerned about certain other results.

Unfortunately, the IIHS excludes compact sedans from their list, even top performing models with many safety features and decent all-around crash test scores, including their own small overlap test.  In fact, some models they recommend do very poorly in this newer crash test.  Also, many of their recommendations are well over $10,000.

My Requirements?

  1. 4-star or better NHTSA overall rating
  2. No “2-star” or “1-star” ratings in any individual NHTSA crash test or rollover rating.
  3. No “Marginal” or “Poor” IIHS crash test results in ANY test, including the newer small overlap test
  4. Around $10,000 or less to buy.
  5. Good visibility and handling.
  6. Stability control and side-curtain airbags.
  7. No minicars, sub-compacts or any model below 2,750lbs.  Weight is a bad thing on roads, I know.  More mass means more kinetic energy and more wasted fuel.  But when the other guy is driving a 5,000 lb. truck, the smallest cars become splatter.

Preferences:

Britax B-Ready Stroller Arm Bar Recall

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Britax USA/Canada B-Ready Arm bar Recall

Britax Child Safety, Inc., in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, is conducting a voluntary recall of select B-Ready stroller and replacement top seat models. This recall involves the foam-padded arm bar on select BReady strollers and replacement top seats manufactured between April 1, 2010 and December 31, 2012. The model numbers included in this recall are identified in the table below.

 

B-Ready Recall

NOTE: No other products are included in this recall. If your Britax product has a different model number than the model numbers listed above or it was made after December 31, 2012 it is NOT included in this recall.

Description of the Defect: Britax has received reports of children biting and ingesting pieces of the non-toxic foam on the arm bar on select B-Ready strollers and replacement top seats manufactured between April 1, 2010 and December 31, 2012. This may pose a choking hazard.

Remedy of the Defect:  Upon request, Britax will send one free black, zippered fabric arm bar cover and a warning label to consumers to apply to their strollers or replacement top seats.

What You Should Do: Determine whether your B-Ready stroller or replacement top seat is included in the recall by inspecting the arm bar on your product. Your product is part of this recall if the foam-padded arm bar on your B-Ready stroller or replacement top seat is exposed and does not have a black, zippered fabric cover. (See images below)

B-Ready Recall 2

If you own recalled product, please follow the steps below:

  1. Visit www.B-ReadyRecall.com to request a kit containing a zippered fabric arm bar cover and warning label.
  2. Remove and discontinue use of the foam-padded arm bar until you receive and apply the zippered fabric cover and warning label. Using the stroller or replacement top seat without the arm bar is safe and permitted. The arm bar is used for child passengers to rest their hands and is not critical for safe use of the stroller or replacement top seat.
  3. Once you receive the kit, please follow the detailed instructions on how to apply the zippered fabric cover and warning label.

If you have questions or concerns, you should contact the Britax Customer Service Department at the dedicated recall line: 1-800-6832045. Customer Service business hours are Monday-Thursday 8:30 am – 5:45 pm (ET) and Friday 8:30 am – 4:45 pm (ET). If you live outside of the US or Canada, you should e-mail Britax.Recall@britax.com.
Britax is committed to the safety of your child and we apologize for any inconvenience this matter may have caused.

Britax B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite Handle Recall Canada

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Britax Canada B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite Recall

Britax Child Safety, Inc., has decided that a defect exists in certain B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite infant car seat models. In cooperation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Health Canada, and Transport Canada, Britax is conducting a recall. This recall involves a defect within the carry handle on the below listed infant car seats manufactured between October 1, 2014 and July 1, 2015.

B-Safe 35 red

B-Safe Can Recall
NOTE: No other products are included in this recall. If your Britax product has a different model number than the model numbers listed above or it was manufactured after July 1, 2015 it is NOT included in this recall.

Description of the Defect: Britax has received reports of cracks developing in and around the carry handle grip on the above listed infant car seat models. If the cracks lead to the handle breaking, then the seat could be dropped, causing potential injury to the infant.

Remedy of the Defect: Enclosed is a remedy kit containing instructions and a carry handle bracket that will attach to the infant car seat carry handle to reinforce it.

Please Note: This does not affect the safety performance of the seat when used in a motor vehicle. It is safe for consumers to continue to use their car seat when secured in a vehicle or on a stroller. The car seat should not be lifted or carried by the carry handle until the remedy kit has been installed.

B-Safe USA Recall2

What You Should Do:

  1. Do not return product to the retailer.
  2. Continue to safely use the car seat when secured in a vehicle or on a Britax stroller. Do not lift or carry the car seat by the handle until the remedy kit has been installed.
  3. Before installing the remedy kit, review the printed instructions. For a video detailing how to install the kit, please visit www.bsafe35recall.com.

If your carry handle is already cracked or fractured or if you have other questions or concerns, you should contact the Britax Customer Service Department at the dedicated recall line: 1-800-683-2045. Customer Service business hours are Monday-Thursday 8:30 am – 5:45 pm (ET) and Friday 8:30 am – 4:45 pm (ET). If you live outside of the US or Canada, you should e-mail Britax.Recall@britax.com.

Britax B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite Handle Recall USA

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Britax USA B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite Recall

Britax Child Safety, Inc., has decided that a defect exists in certain B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite infant car seat models. In cooperation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Health Canada, and Transport Canada, Britax is conducting a recall. This recall involves a defect within the carry handle on the below listed infant car seats manufactured between October 1, 2014 and July 1, 2015.

Britax B-Safe 35 - Stock redBritax B-Safe 35 Elite - stock cowmoo

B-Safe USA Recall
NOTE: No other products are included in this recall. If your Britax product has a different model number than the model numbers listed above or it was manufactured after July 1, 2015 it is NOT included in this recall.

Description of the Defect: Britax has received reports of cracks developing in and around the carry handle grip on the above listed infant car seat models. If the cracks lead to the handle breaking, then the seat could be dropped, causing potential injury to the infant.

Remedy of the Defect: Enclosed is a remedy kit containing instructions and a carry handle bracket that will attach to the infant car seat carry handle to reinforce it.

Please Note: This does not affect the safety performance of the seat when used in a motor vehicle. It is safe for consumers to continue to use their car seat when secured in a vehicle or on a stroller. The car seat should not be lifted or carried by the carry handle until the remedy kit has been installed.

B-Safe USA Recall2

What You Should Do:

  1. Do not return product to the retailer.
  2. Continue to safely use the car seat when secured in a vehicle or on a Britax stroller. Do not lift or carry the car seat by the handle until the remedy kit has been installed.
  3. Before installing the remedy kit, review the printed instructions. For a video detailing how to install the kit, please visit www.bsafe35recall.com.

If your carry handle is already cracked or fractured or if you have other questions or concerns, you should contact the Britax Customer Service Department at the dedicated recall line: 1-800-683-2045. Customer Service business hours are Monday-Thursday 8:30 am – 5:45 pm (ET) and Friday 8:30 am – 4:45 pm (ET). If you live outside of the US or Canada, you should e-mail Britax.Recall@britax.com.