News Archive

With Love (& Pictures) from Lifesavers Orlando!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

I arrived in hot and muggy Florida today. Woohoo!  Just a quick update on some of the things I learned and saw today. More updates to follow tomorrow.

 

Britax G3 Convertibles: New belly pad holds the buckle forward for loading and unloading. New HUGS pads have energy absorbing properties.  HUGS are attached via a piece of thin webbing to back of shell so they maintain proper positioning. HUGS are still optional for RF children. New chest clip. Due to new HUGS attachment system you need to grab the harness at the chest clip and pull to loosen harness straps.

Cool new Britax vehicle seat protector mat is made of an awesome thin flexible rubber material. I love it! I want one to put under my slob of a teenage son in our vehicle. Lol.

        

 

Evenflo Updates:

New mini push-on LATCH connectors (same as new connectors being used by Graco) will be available on Embrace 35 soon and eventually on the Secure Kid 300 too.

Boosters now have 110 lbs wt max and a 4 year age minimum

New Titan 65/Sure Ride convertible: Price will vary from $79 – $99 depending on fashion and trim level. I forget when it’s going to be available but will find out tomorrow and post more details. 6 sets of harness slots. Bottom slots measured around 6.5″  with bottom insert cushion. Top harness slots (without insert) measured around 19″. EPS foam.

New HBB with activity lights coming soon (available exclusively at Walmart) – based on Amp.

Discovery has a new handle coming soon! Goodbye Z handle! Hello normal handle with forward handle position. It’s not enough to make me actually like the Discovery but it’s still progress and I’ll take it! :)

                  

 

Combi: Nothing new to report ATM. I pleaded for some new fashions for Coccoro but nothing coming anytime soon. Oh, I almost forgot. Kobuk HBB is now rated to 125 lbs.

 

Clek: Snowberry Foonf and Saddle Oobr are here but there is no “new” news to report.

 

Bubble Bum: Best laugh of the day! Meet “Mr. BubbleBum”. He’s totally far out and groovy!

 

Day 2 updates and photos are posted HERE.

Upcoming Midsize 3-row SUVs from the Chicago Auto Show

facebooktwittergoogle_plusmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

 

We’ve reviewed a number of 3-row crossover SUVs in the last year or so.  Coming soon we will also be reviewing the Mazda CX-9 and, hopefully, the Ford Explorer with inflatable seatbelts as well as the Dodge Durango.  Those models are already on showroom floors, but there are a couple more that should appear later in 2012.  The refreshed 2013 Ford Flex and the all-new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder.

The Flex gets some new styling, new power rear seating options and an active collision avoidance system in top trim levels.

 

The Pathfinder switches from a truck-based chassis to a unibody crossover SUV.  It touts more interior space than its predecessor and a tilt-forward second row seat that allows access to the third row without uninstalling a child safety seat.

We hope to review both of these new models later this year!

In other news, the GMC Acadia Denali gets a refresh this fall for 2013.  Said to be included is a front seat middle airbag that deploys between the driver and front seat passenger.

 

Finally, according to Ford reps at the auto show, the 3-row Ford C-Max Grand will not be coming to the USA in the near future.  Instead, I was told that only the 5-passenger C-Max Energi hybrid line will debut this fall.  Sad news for those looking for an alternative to the fuel-efficient Mazda5.  Also, in minivan news, it sounds like there will not be a new Kia Sedona for 2013 as some had expected.  All the other minivans are recently refreshed or re-designed, so don’t expect much on the minivan front for 2013!

The Consumer Reports Ratings Are In

facebooktwittergoogle_plusmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

The ratings on convertible carseats are in and . . . Consumer Reports agrees with the Blog! No, it’s really not *that* cold yet, but it is nice to have the publication that many parents trust agree with you on what the best convertible seat may be (see our Recommended Carseats page). Before I get to the CR top rated picks, let’s talk about what the “best” convertible carseat is. We say this all the time as techs, but it really does ring true, hence why it’s repeated so often. The best carseat is the one that fits your vehicle (the best), your child (the best), and your wallet. A carseat that, when installed, seems like it’s made for your vehicle AND your child, is the one that is the best carseat for you. It may not be what your neighbor or best friend uses and that’s important. A loosely installed carseat or one where you can’t easily adjust the harness to be snug on your child is not safe. Ultimately what the carseat does is contain your child in a crash. By being coupled to the vehicle, it allows the vehicle to crush and lengthens the ride down time, reducing your child’s chance for injury. Sure, we’d like to imagine that all that EPS foam/EPP foam/air pads really do reduce injury–it certainly does in bike helmets–but we don’t know for sure because the government hasn’t specified a way to measure its effectiveness in carseats. So this all points back to having a correctly fitting carseat.

Britax recalls 14,220 Chaperone Infant Carseats for potential harness adjuster defects

facebooktwittergoogle_plusmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

On Friday, January 27, 2012, Britax announced a voluntary recall of all Chaperone infant carseats manufactured between September 1, 2010 and April 30, 2011.  The model numbers included in the recall are E9L692J, E9L692K, E9L692L and E9L692M.  All Chaperone infant seats made before 9/1/2010 or after 4/30/2011 are not affected by this potential issue.  However, I recommend that if you own any Chaperone model, that you check the rivet in question regardless of when it was made.  And I don’t say that because I have any info suggesting a larger problem but only because it makes good sense to check once you’re aware of a potential issue.  Also, it should be noted that there was a previous, unrelated recall on certain Chaperone models made from April 2009 through May 2010.  If you have an older Chaperone model – please check to see if it may be included in the previous recall.  Click HERE for more details on the previous recall issue.

 

 Regarding the current recall:

The rivet used to attach the harness adjuster to the shell may have been improperly
installed. As a result, the harness adjuster may detach from the shell. Should the harness adjuster detach from the infant car seat shell the harness straps will not properly secure the child resulting in increased risk of injury in a vehicle crash.

IF the harness adjuster on your Chaperone Infant Car Seat detaches, please discontinue use of the product immediately and contact our Customer Service Department at 1-888-427-4829.

To address this issue, BRITAX is providing a remedy kit including a harness adjuster clip and instructions for properly installing it. All Chaperone Infant Car Seat owners should confirm whether their child restraint is affected by verifying the date of manufacture and model number.
No later than February 6, 2012, remedy kits and instructions for using them, will begin shipping to all registered Chaperone Infant Car Seat owners with affected seats.

 

The white sticker label with the model number and DOM (Date of Manufacturer) is located on the underside of the seat.