Listen up, parents and caregivers: Did you know that you play an important role in product safety? You have the power to report vehicle problems and potentially save lives. Reporting a problem helps the manufacturer correct their mistake and prevents further injury or death among others who own the same product.
If you spotted a defect in your child’s car seat, you’ve experienced the chilling feeling of barely avoiding danger, especially if you were almost in a crash. Some parents aren’t so lucky and don’t notice the defect before being in an accident. Tragically, defects cause some car seats to fail, resulting in child injury or death.
Help prevent tragic injuries. Keep reading to find out how to report a defective infant car seat.
Reporting to the NHTSA
A branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was established in 1978 in an effort to reduce injuries, deaths, and economic losses from car wrecks.
The NHTSA is responsible for crash-testing cars, putting them through tests to determine how the vehicle is equipped to deal with head-on, side-impact, rollovers, and other types of collisions.
The Department is also in charge of testing and evaluating child restraint systems, including car seats. In fact, last year, the NHTSA announced as part of their child safety program a new crash test dummy that represents the size and weight of an average three-year-old child.
The NHTSA makes strong attempts to keep children out of harm’s way, and they encourage parents or caregivers to report a vehicle safety problem online or over the phone. If you want to report a problem online, simply visit the NHTSA Report a Safety Problem webpage. You’ll have to answer a few questions and provide your email address.
If you’d rather not fill out an online form, you can call the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.
Reporting to the CPSC
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) creates and oversees various safety standards related to children’s car seats and booster seats. For example, manufacturers must ensure that their products have a Children’s Product Certificate (CPC) and have been tested for compliance at an approved third-party laboratory.
Among many other things, the CPSC standard requires children’s car and booster seats to:
- Be free of hazardous sharp points and edges
- Remain fully functional and not tip over backward or sideways during testing
- Include labels and warnings
- Include written instructional literature about using the product safely
Visit the CPSC booster seat webpage to view the manufacturer’s safety requirements. If you suspect that your child’s car seat violates any of the requirements listed on the site, even if you’re not completely sure, alert the CPSC so they may initiate an investigation.
To report a product with the CPSC online, visit SaferProducts.gov. You’ll need to fill out a few details about the product, but the reporting system is quick and easy to use.
You may also call the CPSC toll-free hotline at (800) 638-2772.
Reporting to the U.S. Department of Commerce
Unfortunately, there are criminals everywhere who produce cheap, counterfeit products to make a quick buck, and children’s car seats are no exception. Some people try to surpass strict import regulations, manufacturing laws, and child safety requirements by making counterfeit products that haven’t been tested, designing or marketing them in the exact same method as car seats that have been approved.
Your child’s seat may be counterfeit if you notice any of the following:
- The seat is missing warning labels, or the labels contain grammatical errors
- The package that the seat came in did not include a safety manual and registration card
- The seat is missing a chest clip (federal regulation requires car seats to include this clip)
- You can’t find any information about the seller or they never contact you back
As you can imagine, it’s extremely dangerous to sell any product that hasn’t been properly tested. Especially in the age of online shopping and massive worldwide retailers, parents should be extra vigilant about the safety of their child’s car seat.
Children are injured and killed each year by such products, but the U.S. Department of Commerce seeks to put an end to the practice through its online reporting system, STOPfakes.gov. To report a suspected counterfeit item, visit the STOPfakes website and navigate to Contact Us. You’ll see an area to email the department and they’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Helping Families Nationwide Stay Safe
Because children are one of the most vulnerable populations, any reasonable person would expect manufacturers and retailers to produce and sell only safe, high-quality products. Unfortunately, errors can be made in the manufacturing or design process, or someone may even make a counterfeit car seat that puts your child in danger in the event of a crash.
If you suspect that your child’s car seat was responsible for their injuries, or if your child hasn’t been injured but you suspect a defect, let one of our child seat defect attorneys help you hold the responsible party accountable.
We’ll conduct an investigation and work hard to protect you, your child, and other families who may have the same concern. Call (866) 931-2115 now.