It’s like Déjà vu. All over again.
As we previously reported on CarseatBlog – Consumer Reports made some wild claims about the Orbit Baby infant carseat back in August. They claimed that the carseat detached from its base during testing and labeled the popular (and pricey) product a “Don’t Buy – Safety Risk”. Orbit Baby fought back and claimed that their own safety compliance testing contradicted the CR test results. They also claimed, and CR acknowledged, that the infant seats were not installed according to the directions. All this led to massive confusion as consumers were left wondering who to trust.
It seems that we finally have an answer thanks to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA, for those of you who may be new to the world of Child Passenger Safety (CPS), is the federal agency responsible for setting performance standards and compliance testing carseats to ensure that they meet the standards. Well… shock of all shocks, NHTSA found nothing to support CR’s claims that the Orbit Baby infant carseat didn’t meet federal standards and was unsafe to use. You can read all about NHTSA’s conclusions and their letter to Consumer Reports on the Orbit Baby issue HERE.
If this was the first time CR had made such a blunder and caused parents unnecessary anxiety and stress then maybe I could forgive them. But this has become a disturbing trend for an organization that claims to be a consumer advocate. I’m still trying to figure out how screwing up repeatedly, refusing to disclose testing methodologies and failing to have extensive peer review done before releasing results to the public helps consumers.
Personally, I’ve had it with Consumer Reports nonsense. I will not be renewing my subscription when it expires. Instead, I’ll spend my $29 on something truly useful like a mini food processor or some new wine glasses. Of course, my canceling a single subscription isn’t going to hurt them. Certainly not in the way that they hurt product manufacturers when they unjustly rate a product as a safety risk. Will CR retract its stance and issue an apology to Orbit Baby? Probably not. Doing so would mean admitting they screwed up – again.