Safety Archive

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.

Happy Child Passenger Safety Week, 2015

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RibbonSeptember 13-19 is National Child Passenger Safety Week. Once again, CarseatBlog would like to thank technicians, car seat manufacturers, safety advocates, and parents for everything they do to keep kids safe in the car.

If you need your car seat checked, many organizations are holding events on Seat Check Saturday (September 19) or throughout the week. This is also a good time to share safety information with friends and family.

Key points to remember:

  • Keep children rear-facing until at least 2 years old.
  • Keep children in a harnessed seat until they fit properly in a booster seat and are mature enough to sit properly in the belt (usually a minimum of 5 years old).
  • Keep children in booster seats until they fit properly in an adult seatbelt. The seatbelt should sit low on the hips, touching the thighs. The shoulder belt should cross the middle of the shoulder, and the child’s knees should bend at the edge of the seat when s/he is sitting all the way back.
  • Children should ride in the back seat until at least 13 years old.
  • Wear your seatbelt, and put down the phone while driving. Kids learn from the adults around them.

Resources to find a local event or fitting station:

Safe Kids USA

NHTSA

Visit us on Facebook and feel free to use our Child Passenger Safety “ribbon” as your profile picture for the week (or longer!)

NHTSA Be Informed graphic

“Bin the Booster” Campaign

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parkway knightThe “Bin the Booster” campaign is British Britax’s gift to the internet, much like Graco’s buckle recall—it keeps popping up in people’s feeds causing unnecessary panic and bewilderment on this side of the pond. In a simple crash test video, Britax compares a backless booster (portable booster cushion as they call them over there) to a high-back booster. In this video, the child dummy sitting on the backless booster rotates around the shoulder belt while the child dummy sitting in the high-back booster remains properly positioned.

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 12.19.49 AM

It’s a marketing tool. Britax only makes high-back boosters in Europe (the backs can be removed in the U.S.). There’s nothing abnormal about the way either dummy reacts in this crash test. Crash tests are very scary to watch—the video slows things down to a speed to which we can comprehend what’s happening. If we were to watch it at full speed, at the end, we’d likely think, “OK, great,” and move on to the next thing. Slow motion gives great impact, doesn’t it? Probably the most important thing to notice, however, is that there are 2 different types of dummies used, and this can greatly affect motion in a crash test. Simply placing the stiffer dummy in the high-back booster makes it seem more appealing because it will have less movement around the seat belt. (As much as I’d like to take credit for noticing that, I am not a Euro dummy specialist. Car-seat.org member _juune pointed it out in one of our threads on this topic.) Once you’re aware of this tidbit, you can see the dummies are shaped differently.

There are some schools of thought that high-back boosters provide better protection, especially in side impacts. It makes sense, right? By having head wings filled with EPS or EPP foam surrounding your child’s head and torso in a crash, there’s something to take the impact and spread the force instead of having their head hit the door or window or side pillar. On the other hand, having that back on the seat puts the child several inches forward on the vehicle seat, closer to the front seat and side pillar. In a crash, the child could much more easily hit the front seat or pillar, especially in a small vehicle. Are we starting to overthink things here? Maybe I can help settle your thoughts with this quote from a study done by researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (bolding mine):

This study reconfirms previous reports that BPB seats reduce the risk for injury in children 4 through 8 years of age by studying a greater percentage of children aged 6 to 8 years than previous studies. After adjustment for potential confounders, children who were aged 4 to 8 and using BPB seats were 45% less likely to sustain injuries than similarly aged children who were using the vehicle seat belt. Among children who were restrained in BPB seats, there was no evidence of a difference in the performance of backless versus high-back boosters.

Let’s also add side curtain airbags into the equation. Side curtain airbags are fabulous safety devices for all members of the family, including kids in carseats. These airbags deploy straight down the roofline of the vehicle to the bottom of the windowsill, protecting the head area of passengers. A child sitting on a backless booster will be boosted up to have the protection of the side curtain airbags. Of course, so will a child in a high-back booster. This is assuming your vehicle has side curtain airbags, which not all vehicles on the road do.

LX460airbags

So what can I do to make my kid safer in a booster?

  • Use your child’s harnessed seat until they outgrow it, which is when their shoulders reach the top harness slots, the weight limit is reached, or the tops of their ears are over the top of the carseat. If that happens before age 5, consider buying another harnessed seat with higher limits.
  • Use a booster seat. All the cool kids are doing it! Your child simply won’t fit safely in a seat belt made to fit an adult until they are adult-sized. Period. Boosters raise kids up so that seat belts fit them over their sturdy bones and are more comfortable.
  • Use a high-back booster in the beginning. New booster riders like the feeling of being in a carseat yet having more freedom, plus they have a place to rest their heads when they sleep.
  • Switch to a backless booster when they outgrow the high-back booster. Yep, kids grow and they grow fast. That high-back booster, even the tallest one on the market, will be outgrown by height before your child outgrows the need for a booster. So switch to using a backless until they can pass the 5-step test:

1. Can sit with bum all the way back.
2. Knees bend at the vehicle seat edge.
3. Shoulder belt centered over the shoulder.
4. Lap belt touches the thighs.
5. Can stay this way the entire ride.

2015 Britax ClickTight Convertible Carseat Recall

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RECALL: Britax Marathon ClickTight, Boulevard ClickTight, and Advocate ClickTight Convertible Carseats

Britax is recalling all Marathon Clicktight (CT), Boulevard CT, and Advocate CT convertible carseat model numbers manufactured between August 1, 2014 and July 29, 2015 (see list below). There is a defect with the harness release button that can cause the harness release button to stick in the down position and not lock the harness system. This will allow the harness to loosen during use. No injuries have been reported and roughly 200,000 seats are affected.

NHTSA Recall Information

 

Britax CT Recall

You have a ClickTight model if the seating panel opens to reveal the belt path like this:

adv-ct-tahoe-fl-open-300rgb

You can find your date of manufacture label on the ClickTight panel, under your child’s left leg:

Marathon CT DOM label

 

Here’s where the harness release button is:

Marathon CT  Harness Release Button clicktight

Britax issued this recall after confirming consumer complaints. We were told that NHTSA did not previously have an active investigation of this issue and did not initiate the recall. The fix kit will be sent automatically to owners who have registered their carseat within 7-10 days. It will include a food-grade dry lubricant that will not attract dirt and should not otherwise degrade over time. A label will also be included to indicate if the seat has had the remedy applied.

What Should I Do?

  • Consumers not having a button sticking issue should confirm that the harness release button presses and releases as expected and may continue using the seat.
  • If your carseat is affected because the harness release button becomes stuck, then discontinue using the seat IMMEDIATELY and use a different carseat until your fix kit arrives and you apply the fix as instructed.
  • For more information on this recall, go to http://britaxclicktightconvertiblerecall.com/.
  • If you haven’t yet registered your carseat, do so NOW: https://us.britax.com/service-support/product-registration/ .

This recall does NOT affect Frontier 90 ClickTight or Pinnacle 90 ClickTight combination carseats. It also does NOT affect Britax “G4.1”, G4, G3 or older convertible carseats.

We are told this issue is related to a manufacturing tolerance issue on a part from a supplier on a relatively small percentage of parts. Due to the nature of the part, we are advised that seats that have been used regularly for some time and have not previously exhibited this issue previously are extremely unlikely to develop this issue over time.  These seats that have not exhibited any problems in regular use would be safe to continue to use if you are able to tighten the harness and the straps remain locked and the button does not get stuck.

Also, in an emergency, it is possible to free a stuck harness adjustment button. This can be done by opening the ClickTight panel and pushing the plunger of the button mechanism out from underneath. Once it has been unstuck, the harness can be tightened and will lock for the duration of the trip. You must then discontinue use of an affected carseat as per Britax instructions below.

We are also told that there was a production change and retailers will be stocking updated models very soon.  A recall also applies to Canada: Transport Canada Recall Information.

From Britax: 

Dear Britax Consumer:

Britax Child Safety, Inc., in cooperation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Transport Canada, is conducting a recall of certain Advocate ClickTight, Boulevard ClickTight, and Marathon ClickTight model convertible car seats.  Britax has decided that these  models manufactured between August 1, 2014 and July 29, 2015 contain a defect with the harness adjuster button (red), which may pose a safety hazard.

Affected Model Numbers and Names:

Advocate ClickTight:

  • E9LT95Q ADVOCATE CT US, CIRCA
  • E9LT95Z ADVOCATE CT US, LIMELIGHT
  • E9LT95N ADVOCATE CT US, TAHOE
  • E1A025Q ADVOCATE CT XE CIRCA

Boulevard ClickTight:

 

  • E1A015Q BOULEVARD CT XE CIRCA
  • E1A016A BOULEVARD CT XE KALEIDOSCOPE
  • E1A016H BOULEVARD CT XE METRO
  • E1A135Q BOULEVARD CT US UCS, CIRCA
  • E9LT85Q BOULEVARD CT US, CIRCA
  • E9LT85S BOULEVARD CT US, SPLASH
  • E9LT86A BOULEVARD CT US, KALEIDOSCOPE
  • E9LT86F BOULEVARD CT US UCS, BLAKENEY
  • E9LT86G BOULEVARD CT US UCS, WESTIN
  • E9LT86H BOULEVARD CT US, METRO

Marathon ClickTight:

  • E1A005R MARATHON CT XE VERVE
  • E1A006B MARATHON CT XE TWILIGHT
  • E1A116L MARATHON CT TARGET, VIBE
  • E9LT71Q MARATHON CT US, COWMOOFLAGE
  • E9LT75R MARATHON CT US, VERVE
  • E9LT76B MARATHON CT US, TWILIGHT
  • E9LT76L MARATHON CT US, VIBE
  • E9LT76N MARATHON CT US, RIO
  • E9LT76P MARATHON CT US UCS, PRESCOTT
  • EXA116L MARATHON CT US, VIBE

 

ONLY THE SEATS WITH THIS CLICKTIGHT DIAL ARE INCLUDED IN THE RECALL

clicktight

NOTE: No other ClickTight products are included in this recall.  If your Britax product has a different model number than the model numbers listed above, it is NOT included in this recall.

Description of the Defect: