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Monthly Archive:: January 2012

The Consumer Reports Ratings Are In

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

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.

CPS Innovations that Didn’t Quite Make it. Volume 1.

Something lite to start your weekend:

 

Coming Soon to a Turbo near you!

The Graco Turbo backless received a “Check Fit” rating by the IIHS in recent testing.  Graco identifed a simple way to improve the fit of the shoulder belt, resulting in what should be a Best or Good rating once retested.  This fix involves the included shoulder belt guide strap.  Instead of attaching it to the base on the side of the shoulder belt, parents will now attach it in the center using the same method.  This will tend to pull the shoulder belt off the arm, onto the center of the shoulder.  This change will soon be updated in manuals and will likely be retroactive to all Graco Turbo models in backless mode.  In the mean time, it’s something you can easily try to see if it does result in a better fit of the shoulder belt.  I hope you didn’t throw your strap away!