Safety Archive

2016 Graco Milestone Label Recall

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Graco is recalling about 6,000 Milestone All-in-One carseats due to missing information on a label. This DOES NOT affect the safety of the carseats, but the information is required by NHTSA. The phrase, “secure this child restraint with the vehicle’s child restraint anchorage system, if available, or with a vehicle belt,” is missing from a large label on the side of the carseat.

Milestone Kline2016 Milestone Recall Label

Graco Milestone carseats affected include models manufactured between July 2015 and October 2015:

Milestone Model #s Manufacture Dates
1910130 07/09/2015 through 10/09/2015
1923980 08/04/2015
1926538 09/12/2015
1926539 08/17/2015

You can find the model number and date of manufacture on the back of the carseat or on the bottom on a label that looks like this:

2016 Milestone sample DOM label

For more information on the recall, visit the Graco Milestone Recall page.

2016 Infant Carseat Safety Ratings from Consumer Reports – 17 new models evaluated

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The Safest Infant Carseats:  Best, Better or Basic?  How do infant seats compare?

Today, Consumer Reports released their second round of infant carseat ratings using their new test methodology for evaluating infant child safety seats. We feel these ratings are likely to be a big step forward and should help parents to compare the crash safety of carseats. In the long term, just like the 5-star rating system from NHTSA and the IIHS Top Safety Pick ratings for automobiles, more rigorous testing often leads to better product designs in the future.

Why did Consumer Reports create their own crash test for child restraints?

Consumer Reports wanted to provide consumers with comparative information on carseats. By developing their own crash test, the goal was to determine which carseats offered an extra margin of safety in certain crash conditions simulated by the new tests. We know all carseats sold in the U.S. should meet federal safety standards but we also know all carseats aren’t the same. The goal here was to determine which seats could hold up well even under tougher crash test conditions that were also more “real world” than the current tests.

How is this test different from the government’s FMVSS 213 crash test?  

The Consumer Reports crash test was developed to be more rigorous than the current federal safety standards. They also designed the test with more real world vehicle conditions in mind. This new test is performed at an independent, outside testing facility. It uses a contemporary vehicle seat with a lap/shoulder seatbelt and a floor below it, unlike the government’s FMVSS 213 crash test which has a 70’s era back seat test bench with lap-only seatbelts and no floor. There is also a “blocker plate” installed in front of the test seat to simulate the interaction that occurs between the carseat and the front seat in a real crash. This is important because in the real world we know children are often injured when they come into contact with the back of the front seat during a crash. Consumer Reports also chose to run their tests at 35 mph; the government’s crash test is 30 mph.

Consumer Reports - test buck

What is the rating scale?

The crash protection ratings will indicate a “BASIC,” “BETTER,” or “BEST” score for crash protection. The rating is based on a combination of injury measures. While we don’t know exactly where they drew the line between best and better, we do know that seats receiving a “best” rating for crash protection performed statistically better than other peer models for crash performance.

A seat can be downgraded to a “basic” rating if there are repeatable structural integrity issues or if the dummy records injury measures that are considerably higher than the other peer models tested. Seats with a “basic” rating are still considered safe to use because they do meet all the safety standards in FMVSS 213. Please try to keep in mind that these are VERY challenging new tests and there will always be some designs that outperform others.

CR also gives each seat a separate overall numeric score which is based on its crash protection rating and other factors like ease of installation with seatbelt or lower LATCH anchors and ease of use. Seats with high overall scores will have a “better” or “best” crash protection rating plus they are considered easy to install properly and easy to use correctly.

Below we have listed the crash protection rating for the infant seats that received either a “Best” or a “Basic” rating for crash protection.  If you want to see the full ratings for all the seats they tested, which include 22 additional models in the “Better” rating category (plus all the overall numeric scores and comments), they are available only to subscribers. An annual online subscription to ConsumerReports.org is $26.

Infant Carseat Ratings

keyfitsurgeNot surprisingly, their top overall performers (combination of crash protection plus ease of installation and ease of use) are the Chicco KeyFit & Chicco KeyFit 30 models, which are also on our list of Recommended Carseats.

NUNA PIPA + BASE WITH LOAD LEGWe note that the Asana 35 DLX (our review of the Asana is coming very soon), Cybex Aton 2, Cybex Aton Q, & Nuna Pipa were all tested using their load leg feature. Thanks to the load leg, these seats were all top performers in crash protection. Unfortunately, a load leg cannot be used on the government’s FMVSS 213 crash test sled, as that sled does not have a floor. 

Below is a table of the infant carseat models which received a “Best” rating for crash protection, as well as those that only received a “Basic” rating. 

Clek Foonf & Fllo Cover Flame-Retardant Notification

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fllo-flamingoClek has issued a notice regarding the covers of certain 2014* model year Foonf and Fllo car seats.  They were described as not containing chlorinated flame retardants, but may contain the chemicals. This is NOT a recall, it is a customer satisfaction campaign.  There is no safety issue involved and these products remain fully appropriate for their intended use in the vehicle.  Clek is alerting impacted consumers that their seats were described incorrectly, and the company will provide replacement covers that do not contain chlorinated chemicals.

This notification is for certain Clek Foonf and Clek Fllo seats. You can check to see if your seat is impacted by first identifying the style of your Clek Foonf or Fllo seat. Styles possibly impacted are:

  • 2014 model year Foonf seats with Flamingo, Snowberry, Tank, Dragonfly, Ink, Blue Moon, Shadow, or Tokidoki (Rebel, All-Over, Travel) colors, and 
  • Fllo model seats with the Flamingo color manufactured in 2014.

If you have one of these seats, remove the fabric from the cushion of the seat and look for the 10-digit code (e.g. 104576D-FMO). If the digit immediately following the dash is a C or D, your cover may have been incorrectly described and may contain chlorinated flame retardants. If the digit is E or F, your seat was properly described and is not impacted.  Please see Clek’s updated notice to see if your 2014 model year Foonf or Fllo is affected.

*Please note that some 2014 model year seats have a manufacturing date in late 2013 and these were most likely to be affected.

You can also visually check the padding sewn to the bottom of the seat pad. Impacted seats (like the one pictured below) have a foam material that is not sewn to the cover at the hole for the crotch buckle.

2013 clek cover

Seats that were properly described (and therefore aren’t impacted) contain a woven fibrous material that feels like cotton batten. This fabric might or might not be sewn to the holes around the crotch buckle holes, depending on when it was manufactured. Seats that are not impacted look like this.

2015 clek cover 2014 clek cover

If you have an impacted seat, you can call or email Clek’s customer service at 1-866-656-2462 or customerservice@clekinc. If you have registered your seat and it is one of the impacted models, Clek will automatically send a replacement cover.

Because this is NOT a safety recall, consumers can continue using their seats as usual.

Remember that all seats need to meet federal flammability standards, and currently that standard can’t be met without the use of flame-retardant chemicals. Some companies have moved away from (or never used) certain types of chemicals, like chlorinated or brominated flame retardants, instead opting for chemicals considered “safer.” Chlorinated flame retardants can be used in car seats, but the issue with these Clek seats is that they were described as not containing the chlorinated chemicals when they may actually contain them.

We have written before about flame-retardant chemicals and why they concern some consumers:

Flame Retardants Got You Hot?

Should You Toss Your Toxic Car Seat?

 

News: Combi Coccoro Convertible Carseat Safety Recall

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Grape CoccoroCombi has issued a recall for all Coccoro convertible car seats whose models numbers begin with 8220 and were manufactured between January 2009 and June 2016. When installed in a forward-facing position with only a lap belt (and not tethered), the seats might transfer too much force to the child occupant’s chest, thereby failing to meet FMVSS 213 standards for Chest Gs. To remedy this problem, Combi will send owners of affected seats a cover to place on the bottom of the seat.

There are potentially 39,395 Coccoro seats affected by this recall. Individual affected model numbers are listed below:

Combi             Coccoro          8220104                      Hazelnut

Combi             Coccoro          8220105                      Licorice

Combi             Coccoro          8220102                      Carrot Cake

Combi             Coccoro          822062                        Keylime

Combi             Coccoro          822099                        Cool Mint

Combi             Coccoro          8220103                      Strawberry Shake

Combi             Coccoro          8220100                      Cherry Pie

Combi             Coccoro          8220101                      Chestnut

Combi             Coccoro          8220105A                   Licorice

Combi             Coccoro          8220102A                   Carrot Cake

Combi             Coccoro          822062A                     Key Lime

Combi             Coccoro          8220100A                   Cherry Pie

Combi             Coccoro          8220101A                   Chestnut

Combi             Coccoro          8220134                      Grape

The model/serial number can be found on a sticker on the bottom of the Coccoro.

combi label

The fix appears to be a rigid cover that owners will screw onto the bottom of the seat. Here are the instructions for the piece, which should be available around August 15, 2016.

combi fix

If you have an affected seat:

The seats failed when tested in the forward-facing position using only a lap belt. If you’re using the seat rear-facing (with a lap belt, lower anchors, or a lap-shoulder belt), you can continue safely using the seat. You can also continue using the seat if it’s forward-facing if it’s installed with a lap-shoulder belt, or with any method (including lap-only belt) if the top tether is used.

If you’re using the seat forward-facing with just a lap belt, attach the top tether (if available) or move the Coccoro to another seating position where a tether anchor or lap-shoulder belt is available. If that’s not possible, we recommend discontinuing use of the seat until you receive the fix kit.

It is not clear whether this recall also applies to seats being used forward-facing with just the lower anchors and no top tether. The top tether should always be used forward-facing, but the reality is that some people don’t attach it. If you’re using this seat (or any seat) forward-facing with the lower anchors, make sure you attach the top tether as well.

Combi’s letter to consumers and replacement instructions can be found here, and owners can register their seats here. If you have already registered your seat with Combi, you should automatically receive notification, but it can’t hurt to register again just in case.

Full text of the recall from NHTSA:

Report Receipt Date: JUL 05, 2016
NHTSA Campaign Number: 16C006000
Component(s): CHILD SEAT
Potential Number of Units Affected: 39,395
Manufacturer: Combi USA, Inc.
SUMMARY:

Combi USA, Inc. (Combi) is recalling certain Coccoro Convertible Child Restraints, model number 8220, manufactured January 1, 2009, to June 29, 2016. When the Coccoro car seat is installed in a forward facing position and only secured with the vehicle’s lap belt, excessive force may be transmitted to the car seat occupant in the event of a crash, increasing their risk of injury. As such, these child seats fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 213, “Child Restraint Systems.”

CONSEQUENCE:

In the event of a crash, the seat occupant is at an increased risk of injury.

REMEDY:

Combi will notify owners, and provide them with a cover to be added to the bottom of the seat, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in July 2016. Owners may contact Combi customer service at 1-888-232-3294, or by going to http://registration.combiusa.com/recall. Combi’s number for this recall is 610. Note: This recall does not affect the use of the Coccoro child restraint when it is installed in a rearward-facing position.

NOTES:

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.