Author Archive

2017 Update: Safest Affordable Used Cars for Families and Teens

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Safest Used Cars Deals under $10K in 2017 for Teen Drivers

Many families put a high priority on safety for their kids.  Unfortunately, for various valid reasons, most are not able to go out and buy a brand new car with the latest safety features.  Perhaps others are buying a car for a teen or college student and want something safe, but don’t want them wrecking a new car!  Earlier this year, the IIHS evaluated hundreds of cars to produce a list of recommended models for teens.  A similar list was created by Consumer Reports.

I have somewhat different criteria for my teen drivers, with more emphasis on crash test results and safety features.  For example, while I also exclude the smallest sub-compact and “micro” vehicles, I have no issue with my teen driving a compact sedan if it is above around 2,750 lbs., but only if it has great crash test results.  While compact cars do give up a little in terms of weight in a frontal crash, they are generally more maneuverable and easier to handle and park.  That’s important for new drivers.  And of course, compact cars are less expensive to buy and maintain.  I am also more concerned about having top results in all the actual crash tests, including the new IIHS small overlap test, and less concerned about certain other results that Consumer Reports and the IIHS factor into their recommendations.

Unfortunately, the IIHS excludes compact sedans from their list, even top performing models with many safety features and decent all-around crash test scores, including their own small overlap test.  In fact, some models they recommend do very poorly in this newer crash test.  Like Consumer Reports, many of their recommendations are well over $10,000.

My Requirements?

  1. 4-star or better NHTSA overall rating
  2. No “2-star” or “1-star” ratings in any individual NHTSA crash test or rollover rating.
  3. No “Marginal” or “Poor” IIHS crash test results in ANY crash test, including the newer small overlap test
  4. Around $10,000 or less to buy.
  5. Good visibility and handling.
  6. Stability control and side-curtain airbags.
  7. No minicars, sub-compacts or any model below 2,750lbs.  Weight is a bad thing on roads, I know.  More mass means more kinetic energy and more wasted fuel.  But when the other guy is driving a 5,000 lb. truck, the smallest cars become splatter.

Preferences:

Britax B-Safe 35 Recall

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

2017 Britax Infant Car Seat Recall: Britax B-Safe 35, Britax B-Safe 35 Elite and BOB B-Safe 35

Britax announced a recall today in cooperation with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and other regulatory authorities. This recall involves the chest clip on certain B-Safe 35, B-Safe 35 Elite and BOB B-Safe 35 infant car seat models manufactured between Nov. 1, 2015 and May 31, 2017, as identified on www.bsafe35clip.com.  Over 200,000 units may be affected.

Britax has determined that the center tab on the chest clip – on certain rear-facing only car seat models – can break presenting a choking hazard to an infant in the car seat. There have been no choking injuries reported.

Users can continue to safely use the affected car seats if they remove the chest clip or monitor the center tab of the chest clip for signs of breakage. The chest clip is not a required safety device: it is added to the harness system to help position the shoulder straps.

Please visit www.bsafe35clip.com where you can follow these steps:

  1. Look for the Date of Manufacture (DOM) label on the back of the infant car seat shell.
  2. Compare the DOM details to the model numbers and date range listed on the site.
  3. If your seat is affected and you registered your seat, you will automatically be sent a free replacement chest clip.
  4. If your seat is affected and you didn’t register your seat, you can order your free kit on www.bsafe35clip.com.
  5. Until you receive your replacement chest clip, you can continue to safely use the car seat as long as you remove your current chest clip or monitor the center tab of the chest clip for signs of breakage.
  6. Before installing the new replacement chest clip, review the printed step-by-step instructions and/or watch the how-to video on the site.
  7. Please do not return product to the retailer.

Model/Serial Numbers Affected

Products Model Numbers Dates of Manufacture

(YYYY/MM/DD)

B-Safe 35 & Travel Systems

 

     

US: E1A183F, E1A185M, E1A185P, E1A186R, E1A203F, E1A205M, E1A205P, E1A206X, E1A206Z, E1A207E, E9LU65V, E9LU66X, E9LU66Z, E9LU67D, E9LU67E, EXA185M

S02063600, S02063700, S03803400, S03803500, S03803700, S03803800, S03803900, S04144400, S04144500, S04144600, S04145000, S04402800, S04884200, S04884300, S04975600, S04978900, S05260200, S06020300, S06020400, S06020500, S06020600, S06020700, S06020800, S06020900, S06147100, S921800

 

CANADA: E1A193F, E1A195M, E1A195P, E1A196X, E1A196Z, E9LV16R, E9LV17D

S04144700, S04144800, S04144900, S04183700, S04183800, S04437700, S04884400, S04884500, S06051400, S06051500, S06051600, S06051700, S06051800

 

ISRAEL: E1A233F, E1A235M, E1A235P, E1A236X

November 1, 2015 (2015/11/01) through

May 31, 2017 (2017/05/31)

B-Safe 35 Elite & Travel Systems

 

US: E1A215T, E1A215U, E1A216P, E1A221Q, E1A225C, E1A225U, E1A226L, E9LS51Q, E9LS56C, E9LS56L, E9LS57F, E9LS57G, E9LS57H, EXA216L

S01298600, S02063800, S02063900, S02064000, S04281200, S04281300, S04628500, S06018800, S06020000, S06020200, S06051300, S923700

 

CANADA: E9LV21Q, E9LV26C, E9LV26L, E9LV27F, E9LV27G, E9LV2Q8

S01298700, S04184000

 

ISRAEL: E9LT15U, E9LT16C, E9LT16L

BOB B-Safe 35 by Britax

 

US: E9LT34A, E9LT34C, E9LT35X, EXLT34A

 

CANADA: E9LT54A, E9LT54C, E9LT55X

 

Chest Clip Tab may Break and be a Choking Hazard The broken tab may present a choking hazard to an infant in the car seat, increasing the risk of injury.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 17C002000

Manufacturer Britax Child Safety, Inc.

Components CHILD SEAT

Potential Number of Units Affected 207,037

Summary

Britax Child Safety, Inc. (Britax) is recalling certain B-Safe 35, B-Safe 35 Travel Systems, B-Safe 35 Elite, B-Safe 35 Elite Travel Systems and BOB B-Safe rear-facing infant child safety seats, model numbers E1A183F, E1A185M, E1A185P, E1A186R, E1A203F, E1A205M, E1A205P, E1A206X, E1A206Z, E1A207E, E9LU65V, E9LU66X, E9LU66Z, E9LU67D, E9LU67E, EXA185M, S02063600, S02063700, S03803400, S03803500, S03803700, S03803800, S03803900, S04144400, S04144500, S04144600, S04145000, S04402800, S04884200, S04884300, S04975600, S04978900, S05260200, S06020300, S06020400, S06020500, S06020600, S06020700, S06020800, S06020900, S06147100, S921800, E1A215T, E1A215U, E1A216P, E1A221Q, E1A225C, E1A225U, E1A226L, E9LS51Q, E9LS56C, E9LS56L, E9LS57F, E9LS57G, E9LS57H, EXA216L, S01298600, S02063800, S02063900, S02064000, S04281200, S04281300, S04628500, S06018800, S06020000, S06020200, S923700, E9LT34A, E9LT34C, E9LT35X and EXLT34A. The affected child safety seats have a center tab on the chest clip marked “ABS” that may break.

Remedy

Britax will notify owners and will provide a replacement chest clip marked “PC”, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin June 21, 2017. Owners may contact Britax at 1-833-474-7016 or visit www.bsafe35clip.com.

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.

 

Graco My Ride 65 Recall – May 2017

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Graco Baby is issuing a recall of some MyRide 65 convertible carseats. “In the event of a crash, the child seat webbing may not adequately restrain the child. As such, these car seats fail to conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 213

The recall affects certain seats with model numbers 1871689, 1908152, 1813074, 1872691, 1853478, 1877535, 1813015, and 1794334, but only some manufactured in mid-2014, and that have code 2014/06 on the harness webbing.  Over 25,000 carseats may be affected.

Remedy

Graco will send owners a replacement harness free of charge. The recall isn’t officially scheduled to begin until July 17, so it might be a while to receive the repair kit. If you have registered your seat with Graco, you should automatically receive a notice and the replacement part. If you haven’t (or if you’re not sure) you can call Graco at 1-800-345-4109.

What to do

No injuries have been reported, but this is a safety concern. Until we have more information about this recall, CarseatBlog recommends discontinuing use of a recalled My Ride 65 carseat until you receive the replacement harness from Graco.  If you don’t have a spare seat and need an inexpensive replacement in the meantime, you can check our list of budget seats.

Information from Graco Baby

Graco Baby is notifying customers and providing replacement kits with a new harness and instructions, free of charge.  You may find a complete list of affected model numbers and photos plus a Replacement Form at the Graco Website.  This website provides complete information on how to tell if your My Ride 65 carseat is being recalled and how to contact Graco for a repair kit.

Is your car seat affected?

This recall includes the following Graco My Ride 65 car seats in the table below:

Graco My Ride TM 65 Model Numbers Affected Manufacturing Date Range AND Webbing Tag Code 2014/06
1908152 7/23/2014 through 7/27/2014
1813074 6/20/2014 through 7/27/2014
1872691 5/16/2014 through 8/1/2014
1853478 7/11/2014 through 7/27/2014
1871689 7/5/2014 through 7/24/2014
1877535 5/26/2014 through 7/27/2014
1813015 7/3/2014 through 7/24/2014
1794334 5/20/2014 through 7/15/2014

If you have any questions, please contact our consumer services team at http://www.gracobaby.com/en-US/contactus or at 1-800-345-4109 (Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm ET).

 

NHTSA Campaign Number: 17C001000

Manufacturer Graco Children’s Products Inc.

Components CHILD SEAT

Potential Number of Units Affected 25,494

Summary

Graco Children’s Products Inc. (Graco) is recalling certain Graco My Ride 65 convertible child restraints, models 1871689, 1908152, 1813074, 1872691, 1853478, 1877535, 1813015, and 1794334. In the event of a crash, the child seat webbing may not adequately restrain the child. As such, these car seats fail to conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 213, “Child Restraint Systems.”

Remedy

Graco will notify owners, and dealers will provide consumers with a replacement harness, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin July 17, 2017. Owners may contact Graco customer service at 1-800-345-4109.

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.

Safest Family Sedans for 2017

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Safest 2017 Cars for Families:

In Part I, we awarded the safest 3-row vehicles.  In Part II, we awarded 5-passenger SUVs.  In this part, we will look at sedans that have great overall safety and are also typically less expensive to buy and operate than sport utility vehicles. Like our other safest vehicles lists, you don’t have to click through full page ads or slideshows to see the winners! Unlike lists from websites that don’t have expertise on automobile safety, our criteria to qualify are completely objective and based on safety features and crash test results from BOTH the IIHS and NHTSA.  Plus, we go one step farther and tell you the minimum trim level and cost to get a vehicle that qualifies!  Many auto mags won’t tell you that you some vehicles must be special ordered in the costliest trim level and options packages just to get the necessary safety features for your family!

As with the 5-passenger SUVs, we have similar basic requirements to trim the increasingly long list of very safe vehicles to a select few vehicles that stand out from the pack.  We keep a minimum curb weight requirement, an advantage in head-on frontal crashes.  We also limit qualifiers to midsize or larger vehicles that tend to be wider and offer better compatibility for three children or carseats in the back.  That means a lot of very safe vehicles will just miss the cut!  If your car is not on the list, that doesn’t mean it is unsafe!  Requirements:

200Crash

  • Must be an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ for 2016 or 2017
  • Must have 5-star NHTSA overall/frontal/side ratings for 2017
  • Must be over 3,200 lbs. curb weight (midsize & larger sedans)

The qualifiers below are all among the safest sedans on the road.  Many other very safe models just barely missed the list for one reason or another, or simply lacked a complete set of testing results.  For example, many models dropped out of contention for 2017 because of “Marginal” or “Poor” headlight ratings from the IIHS.  The IIHS made some changes for 2017, requiring a “Good” ratings in all their crash tests and also an “Acceptable” or “Good” headlight rating.  The 2017 finalists for safest family sedan:

  1. 2016-2017 Acura RLX*
  2. 2016 Audi A6*
  3. 2016-2017 Chevrolet Malibu*
  4. 2015-2017 Chrysler 200 2WD*
  5. 2017 Genesis G80
  6. 2016-2017 Hyundai Sonata (built after Oct. 2015)*
  7. 2016_leg_photos_ext_102016-2017 Kia Optima
  8. 2016-2017 Mazda 6
  9. 2016-2017 Nissan Altima
  10. 2016-2017 Nissan Maxima
  11. 2015-2017 Subaru Legacy
  12. 2013-2017 Volvo S60

*We include some models that qualified for a Top Safety Pick+ award in 2016.  They do not meet the IIHS requirements for the 2017 award only due to marginal, poor or untested headlights.

Selecting the winner wasn’t too difficult.  Perfection was the key.  The very safest sedans earn the top “Good” rating in every IIHS crash test, every single sub-category IIHS crash test rating and earned the best “Superior” frontal crash prevention rating by avoiding crashes in both high and low speed testing got 6 points total.  They also earned a 5-star overall rating from the NHTSA and 5-stars in all five individual crash test ratings plus a 5-star rollover rating.  (Note that for 2017, the NHTSA no longer shows results in each individual crash test, so we require 5-star ratings in the frontal and side combined ratings).  This threshold is admittedly very high, so any of our Runners-Up could claim to be just as safe on the road as our winner:

Safest family sedan for 2017: