Safety Archive

Diono Recalls Certain Radian, Rainier, Olympia & Pacifica Carseat Models

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Diono Radian RXT, Radian R100, Radian R120, Rainier, Pacifica & Olympia Car Seat Recall

Diono is recalling certain Radian R100, Radian R120, Radian RXT, Olympia, Pacifica, and Rainier convertible+booster carseats. Approximately 500,000 seats are affected. When the carseat is secured to the vehicle forward-facing using just a lap belt and without using the top tether, the seat may not adequately protect the child from injury in the event of a crash. As such, these seats do not conform to the specific requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 213. This is a voluntary recall. There are no reported injuries or deaths associated with these seats in these use modes. Owners of affected seats can continue to safely use their Diono carseats until the “recall remedy kits” are mailed out in about 6 weeks.

   

To clarify, only seats made in the date range listed below are recalled and the problem only relates to the installation of these models in the forward-facing position if the seat is installed in an older vehicle with just a lap belt and no top tether. If your Diono convertible was made during the recall period but your seat is installed rear-facing, or if it is installed forward-facing using the tether, you don’t need to be overly concerned but you should make sure your seat is registered with Diono so you can receive your recall remedy kit which will include several items. More on that below.

To determine if your Diono seat is recalled, find the sticker label on the side of the seat which includes the model number and the date of manufacture, then check to see if falls into the date range listed below. If you purchased your Diono convertible seat sometime in the last 4 years, there is a good chance it’s now part of this recall.

Model Name Model Numbers Dates of Manufacture
Diono Radian RXT 16900 or 16000 11/25/2013 – 9/5/2017
Diono Radian R100 16600 or 16000 1/3/2014 – 9/5/2017
Diono Radian R120 16800 or 16000 1/3/2014 – 8/30/2017
Diono Rainier 30300 or 30000 4/12/2014 – 9/5/2017
Diono Pacifica 30400 or 30000 3/5/2014 – 5/24/2016
Diono Olympia 30100 or 30000 4/12/2014 – 3/03/2015

My seat is affected by this recall. Now what?

The recall is expected to begin November 22, 2017. At that time Diono will begin notifying registered owners and will provide a free remedy kit to those who request it. If you know that you never registered your Diono carseat, you can register it online here. If you’re not sure, you can contact Diono customer service at 1-855-215-4951 to confirm the registration and to make sure they have your current mailing address. 

The remedy kits won’t be ready to ship until the end of November.

What will the Remedy Kit contain?

The free remedy kit will contain an updated instruction manual, an energy-absorbing EPP foam insert that goes under the child and a new style of chest clip. These additions are only necessary when installing your Diono carseat forward-facing with a lap-only seatbelt and no top tether. This is an unlikely scenario for most parents unless you drive a vehicle more than 15 years old, or a school bus.

Do I really need the Remedy Kit?

If you are currently using your Diono carseats forward-facing in a seating position with just a lap belt and no top tether, you will want to add the EPP foam insert and new chest clip as soon as possible. Or, better yet, look for a different seating position that may have a tether anchor you can use!

For the vast majority of Diono carseat owners who are either using their seat rear-facing or have it tethered forward-facing, you don’t really need the remedy kit but should probably order it anyway just in case you wind up needing to install your seat in an old vehicle with lap belts and no tether anchors someday.  Or, maybe on a school bus. 🙂

You can pre-order a remedy kit by calling Diono customer service at 1-855-215-4951. Just keep in mind that the remedy kit won’t ship until late November or December.

Additional information from the Diono website:

https://us.diono.com/safety-notice/

Diono is a leading designer and manufacturer of child safety seats and other juvenile products.  We are committed to improving safety for babies and young children traveling in cars.  As a result of our rigorous quality control, and ongoing product testing, we have established that if our convertible child safety seat is installed forward-facing in vehicles with a lap-belt (type 1) only without top tether, it crosses into a technical non-compliance.  If our convertible child safety seat is being used with a lap and shoulder safety belt (type 2) or with our SuperLATCH system, or top tether the child safety seat is unaffected.

Please Note: In September of 2005 a U.S. law passed requiring a three-point belt in every back seat for all cars manufactured after 2007 – most vehicle manufacturers complied well before that date.

It is highly unlikely that you will be affected by this voluntary recall.  To check if you are, please answer the following questions.

A) Is your child safety seat installed forward-facing with the lap and shoulder belt, or with our SuperLATCH system, or using the top tether?  If the answer is yes you are unaffected by this notice.

B) Is your child safety seat installed forward-facing with the lap belt only and top tether. If the answer is yes you are unaffected by this notice.

C) Is your child safety seat installed forward-facing with the lap belt only? If the answer is yes, you might be affected by this notice.

If the answer to C is yes you are only affected if your seat was manufactured after 11/25/13.  You will be able to locate this information on the manufacturer’s label on the product.

The Diono Safety Team is ready to assist any concerns, questions and inquiries from concerned parents, customers or advocates who need our support while we implement this voluntary recall. We have a toll-free number set up for any consumer inquiries 1-855-463-4666.

What Is A Tether?

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Updated September 2017

There are so many confusing things about carseats for parents and tethers rank right up there with “do I use LATCH and the seatbelt together?” (the answer to that one is a wishy-washy no). We have a tether use rate of much less than 50% in the U.S., about the same as it was back in the mid-70s. Yes, you read that correctly! It’s gone up and down, but it’s still right around the same—pathetic. Even after teaching a child passenger safety technician class and going over tethers with them—when to use them, how important they are for safety—I still got the deer-in-headlights look from some of the new techs when I quizzed them about tether usage. So if my trained technicians are hesitant about when to use a top tether (how about all the time forward-facing!), I can only imagine the confusion parents are feeling. Without further ado, let’s get to it and learn about tethers.

Goin’ nowhere fast.

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So, I remember how what seemed like a few weeks ago I was jonesing for summer. It was still spring, and I *needed* to get over that season changeover hump and put myself solidly in flip-flop, beach, and waterpark weather. I am a mere shell of myself when it’s gray and dismal and 30 degrees but throw me in the sun with a blanket of 100% humidity around my shoulders and I’m solid.

Except yesterday I went back to school shopping. And a few minutes ago I was reading through the emails from school about teacher assignments and car rider line. What happened to my summer? It’s buried beneath the bags of pencils and expo markers and tissues and hand sanitizer. Can you feel my tears flowing through my fingers into this post? It’s not that I don’t enjoy structure and occupied kids. It’s just that I enjoy lack of structure and adventure more.

Anyway, back to my emails. Car rider line. I know most schools do this. It makes it a lot easier (supposedly) for drop off and pick up. Morning is always pretty smooth for us. We rush into the line while I simutaneously tell Liam to wipe the breakfast off his face-but not with your sleeve dangit!!!- while trying to avoid eye contact with the perfectly dressed at o-dark-thirty moms and wishing I had put a bra on. We roll right up, I shove, I mean lovingly wave, Liam out the car.

Afternoons are another story. I leave approximately 20 minutes after getting home from dropping him off in order to get a spot in the line that isn’t blocking traffic on the main road. I proceed to sit for 10 hours and overheat my car while my 3 year old cries from having to be woken up early from nap and then tells me he has to pee. Then once school is out we inch forward at about 1 mph for another hour until I reach my kid. Once my door is opened, after all that, I have approximately 0.00004 seconds to get him buckled and drive away.

So how does that work safely? Well, it depends.

Look, I know it stinks to sit. And sit. And sit some more. But I can’t even begin to tell you the sheer number of toddlers and babies I see on mom’s laps in the car line, even when the cars are moving. I see kids hanging out back windows and bopping around the backseat while the driver is browsing her/his phone. But guess what? Not only is that driver on her phone, so is the one behind her. And the one behind him. So what happens when that person is browsing Facebook and forgets they aren’t in park and lets up the brake a little bit when laughing at the meme about car rider lines? They roll into the person in front of them. Guess what happens to that lap baby or front seat monkey toddler? Hopefully just a tumble onto the floor, but you probably would want me to spare you the visual of a small body getting hit point blank with an air bag. Or the 4 year old falling head first onto the pavement from an SUV window when leaning out and mom lets off the brake a bit to inch forward. These aren’t freak accidents. These are situations that could easily happen. It might mean you need more wine later that night or you need to put the Moana soundtrack on repeat. Maybe you need to give into the no snacks in the car rule and bust out the Cheerios. Whatever it takes but PLEASE, keep your children buckled when in the car rider line. This includes your student until you have pulled up to the drop off point and they are ready to get out.

So what about the rush after you pick them up? I don’t know about your school but the pressure IS ON after Liam’s feet hit the floorboards. He’s in a booster this year and can get buckled quickly. Earlier this year I had to get out and run (all the more reason to wear a bra!) over to his side to buckle him. Fortunately his school supports “no one moves till everyone is buckled” but it doesn’t mean it’s not stressful, especially if you have more than one kid to buckle up. But I think we can all agree that we love each others’ kids and want whats best for all of them, even if that means waiting an extra minute for the mom in front of us to buckle her twins. Solidarity ya’ll. It’ll get us through.

So please buckle those kids. Even when it’s annoying and inconvenient. You’ll feel frazzled but I promise you will feel grateful if you’re on the receiving end of a Facebook meme fender bender. That booger and Cheerio covered little face will be peering back at you in your rear view mirror, right where it’s supposed to be.

Now here’s to a few more weeks of summer. May they go quick for you all who are longing for school, and may they be filled with last minute adventures for the summer lovers. Stay safe in all you do!

Everything We Thought We Knew About Rear-Facing Is Being Questioned

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Has the time come to reverse our stance on extended rear-facing and turn children forward-facing at age 1 like we used to in the olden days?

The simple answer, for the moment is, NO.

What’s going on?

Dorel Juvenile Group, the parent company of Safety 1st, Maxi-Cosi, Cosco and other juvenile brands recently issued a position statement on their website explaining why they’ve stepped away from their recent age 2 minimum mandate for forward-facing in their convertible carseats. The short story is that they hired a statistician, Jeya Padmanaban, to replicate the original 2007 study upon which all our assumptions of rear-facing (RF) safety statistics in the USA are based. Not only was Padmanaban unable to replicate the results using the same data set as the original authors of the study, her conclusions actually led to opposite findings. She presented her findings to NHTSA and to the journal Injury Prevention. This prompted some of the original authors of the 2007 study to re-examine their analyses. When their attempts to replicate the analysis also fell short, it became apparent that there were real flaws in the study. Recently, the journal Injury Prevention issued an “Expression of Concern” regarding the original study. From the statement: “Specifically, they believe that survey weights were improperly handled in the initial analysis, which caused the apparent sample size to be larger than the actual sample size. This resulted in inflated statistical significance.” We are currently waiting for the revised study analysis and results to be reviewed and released. We will update this article when that information becomes available.

What do we know at this point?

The anatomy of the developing pediatric cervical spine predisposes children to injury of the upper cervical spine. In general, the younger the child, the more likely an upper cervical spine injury will occur. The neural arches in the pediatric cervical spine fuse posteriorly by 2–3 years of age. Until that time, the vertebrae are made of cartilage and bone and held in place by ligaments; it’s all very pliable and elastic. Traveling in the rear-facing position is inherently safe and is critical for babies less than 1 year old. (Please also read Why Rear-Facing Is Better: Your RF Link Guide, an evidence-based justification for rear-facing.)

Even though the statistics from the 2007 study are being disputed, there is agreement that rear-facing carseats cradle the head, neck, and spine to protect them in frontal and side impact crashes. We know it’s safe from basic physics, an understanding of crash dynamics and results from other countries, like Sweden.

What’s in question?

Since 2007 when the Henary, Sherwood, Crandall, et. al. study was first published, child passenger safety advocates have been told that rear-facing is 500% (or 5 times) safer than forward-facing for children under age 2. Now that statistic appears not to be true, at least not based on the data used in this one study which analyzed injuries to fewer than 300 kids between 1988-2003. Having such a small sample size makes drawing broad conclusions very difficult. Large sample sizes generally result in more accurate and reliable conclusions. We have had our own concerns about the original study and how the “5x safer” figure is presented to parents. We still don’t know exactly how rear-facing compares quantitatively to forward-facing in most situations.

There are other methods, but it can also be difficult to draw broad conclusions from specific case studies or proprietary crash testing done by manufacturers. All of this underscores the need for a more modern crash test sled and better studies on the subject. Modern vehicles simply don’t have a back seat that’s a flat bench seat of a ’70s Chevy Impala with lap-only seat belts and no floor like the standard crash test bench does. Modern vehicles have very different back seat cushions, front seats that crowd the back seat, lap/shoulder seatbelts, and they all have floors too!

What are the risks to a rear-facing child?