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Updated News: Cybex Aton and X-Fix

We like the Cybex Aton, as you may have noticed in our review.  In fact, one of our regular contributors, Jennie, is brewing up a baby for us just to test it out in the daily routine!  Sadly, we were informed today that Cybex apparently will not continue to market the Aton in the USA for 2012.  We were told this is entirely a financial decision due to fixed costs associated with the product and an issue with a major retailer.  Cybex will continue to sell their remaining 2011 stock and will continue to provide service and warranty for the Aton as it continues to do business in Germany and Europe.  The Solution X-Fix booster may also be affected, but we are awaiting an official press release for confirmation of the details.

It is always unfortunate to see innovative products from great companies leave the USA market.  In this economy, though, it is a reality that even some very good products don’t sell as well as they should.   We want to thank the great people at Regal Lager and Cybex for their cooperation and support over the last few years and wish them the best in the future!

Update 9/20/2011, I found this in the morning’s email.  It’s from ThinkPR, the public relations firm for Cybex.  We are glad to hear that the earlier decision is being reconsidered!

CYBEX TO CONTINUE SELLING THE ATON AND SOLUTION X-FIX IN THE U.S. MARKET

 New York, NY (September 19, 2011) – Regal Lager, the U.S. distributor for CYBEX, recently announced that they will no longer sell the CYBEX Aton and Solution X-fix within the U.S.; It is important to reiterate CYBEX’s commitment to the U.S., let consumers know that we are currently working with Regal Lager to find a solution which will guarantee the continued sale of CYBEX car seats within the U.S. market. This is not a quality or safety issue nor will it have any impact on the sales and distribution of CYBEX strollers and baby carriers. The CYBEX range of strollers and baby carriers will continue to be sold throughout the U.S.

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ABOUT CYBEX:

CYBEX develops and distributes safe, innovative and lifestyle-led infant and children’s products for parents. Our vision is to achieve the seemingly impossible. This finds expression in the CYBEX S.D.F. Innovation Principle, which aims to provide above-average Safety and quality, coupled with distinctive Design and ingenious Functionality. For more information please visit www.cybex-online.com

Sunset clause on lockabilit​y standard is history!

Translation: All seatbelts in new vehicles will continue to have some way to lock pre-crash (in order to keep a child restraint securely in place), even after September 2012.

Now this might seem like trivial news to those who don’t spend their lives “doing their best work in the backseat,” but I assure you that it is VERY big news for anyone who has a kid in a carseat. You see, for reasons we don’t fully understand, NHTSA was going to allow vehicle manufacturers to go back to seatbelts without pre-crash locking features after September 2012 if the seating position had LATCH anchors. This was referred to as the “sunsetting” of the lockability standard of 1996.  Had it happened, it would have meant no more switchable retractors, no more locking latchplates and a lot more locking clips for parents who didn’t want to, or couldn’t, use LATCH.  And of course, more misuse of child restraints installed with seatbelts as a result.

Fortunately, after many years of lobbying by groups such as Safety Belt Safe USA and Safe Ride News, NHTSA has announced a final ruling on the matter. The verdict is… the lockability standard will continue!  Whew!  Kudos to all the advocates who dedicated significant time and effort during the last 5 or 6 years to ensure this outcome. You know who you are, and we all owe you BIG TIME!!!

Link to the federal register which includes this final ruling announcement.

The Great Babies R Us Trade-In Event

Babies R Us is doing their trade-in event again: turn in old baby gear, including carseats, and you’ll get a 25% off coupon to use in the store that day. It’s a great time to get rid of expired or crashed carseats, or recalled baby items. Items accepted include any used cribs, car seats, bassinets, strollers, travel systems, play yards, high chairs, kids’ beds, swings, walkers, bouncers and entertainers. If you have more than one item to turn in, I suggest going on separate days to turn in the items to take advantage of the coupon.

The event begins Friday, August 26, and runs through Sunday, September 18. There’s a bit more information here: www.toysrusinc.com/press-room/releases/general/2011/toysrus-inc.-helps-parents-keep-kids-safe-with-great-trade-in-event.

So, tell us–what carseat will you be trading in? Or, if you’re using the coupon, what carseat will you be buying? Is there a great story behind the carseat?

Sunshine Kids Becomes Diono: Same Company, New Name for the Radian and Monterey Manufacturer

Starting Thursday, September 1, 2011, Sunshine Kids will officially change its name in the U.S. and Canada to Diono. We first brought it to you on our Facebook page when it was announced at the KIM Conference.

Let’s start with the obvious: Diono is pronounced “Dee-oh-no.” They will be coming out with new carseats as well: the Radian RXT, which is a combination seat based on the Radian XTSL, the Radian R100, which is the RXT without adjustable head wings and is based on the Radian 65SL, and the Radian R120, which is based on the Radian 80SL. The Radian R100 will harness rear-facing from 5-40 lbs., forward-facing from 20-65 lbs. and booster from 50-120 lbs. The R120 and RXT will both harness rear-facing from 5-45 lbs., forward-facing from 20-80 lbs. and booster from 50-120 lbs.

The new Diono website will be www.diono.com. There’s nothing there right now but the logo, but it’ll be up and running soon.

We’ll have a review of the RXT for you coming soon! In the meantime, you can participate in the on-going thread at car-seat.org or leave your comments here. We *love* comments! We also feel the “like” at Facebook ;).