No Love for LATCH

Another reason to ditch LATCH? A study recently published in Traffic Injury Prevention concluded that the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) “does not offer equal protection to lap/shoulder belts from head injuries in rear impacts” when used with rear-facing infant safety seats.

The study, conducted by Robson Forensic, Inc., based in Lancaster, PA, tested three popular rear-facing infant child safety seats—the Graco SnugRide, the Britax Chaperone and the Evenflo Tribute –in rear-impact sled tests using three different installations – LATCH, and seat belts with Emergency Locking Retractors (ELR) and Automatic Locking Retractors (ALR). The safety seats were installed in the outboard seating positions of a sled buck representing the backseat of a 2012 Toyota Camry and occupied by a six-month-old CRABI dummy. The researchers were interested in how well LATCH secured the infant seat in comparison to seat-belt installations in a 30-mile-an-hour rear impact, given the physics of such a crash.

The study’s authors describe the kinematics of the RFCRS restrained with LATCH and the vehicle seatbelt in these tests:

The car and subsequently the lower anchors “move out from underneath” the RFCRS and child, forcing the attachment system to act as a fulcrum about which the RFCRS and child system rotates (Feles 1970). The weight of the infant contained within the RFCRS causes the center of mass of the car seat/child system to rotate about the attachment point. Restrained within the car seat with the available five point harness, the infant and the RFCRS have the ability to rotate and contact the seatback of the seat in which the RFCRS is installed. Due to the coupling of the RFCRS and child to the vehicle through the attachment system, whether by the available seatbelt or LATCH system, as the vehicle subsequently decelerates, the RFCRS rebounds off of the seatback while still attached either through the available seatbelt or LATCH system. Rotating and inverting the RFCRS in this manner could expose a properly restrained infant to head/neck accelerations not predicted by the vehicle dynamics alone. Thus, this could result in head contact with the seatback in which the RFCRS is installed, posing an additional risk of head trauma to the otherwise properly restrained infant.

High-speed videos in these rear-facing infant seat tests revealed very different kinematics from forward-facing child and adult restraints, namely the rotation of the seat and the dummy around its attachment axis, allowing the “child’s head to extend beyond the confines of the car seat in many instances, allowing the head to strike the seatback in which the RFCRS was installed. In tests of the Graco SnugRide® without the base it was observed the shell rotated in a manner that caused it to remain rotated in a near vertical orientation after the test was concluded…”

These effects were more pronounced in the LATCH configuration, resulting in an increase in angular momentum and rotation and more severe head strikes. The tests looked at Head Injury Criterion values, even though there are no Federal Motor Vehicle Safety HIC standards for a six-month-old infant. But, what is notable in this study is that the HIC values, which are based on acceleration, are much higher in Britax and Graco seats secured with LATCH — 60 percent higher in the SnugRide and double in the Britax.)

The authors concluded: the results of this study suggest that LATCH does not offer equal protection to lap/shoulder belts from head injuries in rear impacts when used with infant seat type RFCRS.

The Saga of LATCH

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213 required automakers to outfit their vehicles with LATCH by 2002 to address the problems of loose-fitting child safety seats, a common problem when seat belts are used to secure child seats. According to the Final Rule, LATCH would usher in the Golden Age of Rear Restraints:

This final rule will help vehicle and seat belt manufacturers design belts to more effectively perform a dual role. Manufacturers will be able to optimize seat belts to restrain older children, teenagers and adults. Further, the final rule will provide motorists with a means of securing child restraints that is easier and more effective. By requiring an independent child restraint anchorage system, the final rule improves the compatibility of vehicle seats and child restraints and the compatibility of seat belts and child restraints. Installation of the new system will result in more child restraints being correctly installed. The standardized vehicle anchorages and the means of attachment on child restraints are intuitive and easy-to-use. For example, they eliminate the need to route the vehicle belt through or around the child restraint. By making child restraints easier to install, correct use and effectiveness will be increased.

The agency was so sure that LATCH was the answer to the child safety seat mis-installation problem that it rescinded the seat belt lockability requirement beginning in September 2012, under the assumption that everyone would be using LATCH and not seat belts to secure child safety seats.

NHTSA’s enthusiasm was misplaced. First, widespread acceptance by parents and caregivers has been slow to come. The last published survey in 2006, showed that LATCH was frequently misused – when it was used at all. A survey conducted over six months in 2005 showed that significant percentages of parents misused LATCH – if they used it at all. NHTSA collected data on 1,121 children ages 4 and under, at 66 sites such as parking lots, health care centers, and recreation facilities in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Washington. The observational study, Child Restraint Use Survey—LATCH Use and Misuse, revealed that 40 percent of parents continued to rely on seat belts; 13 percent of parents bypassed LATCH because they put their children in the center rear position, where there are no LATCH lower anchors. Of the 60 percent who did use LATCH, nearly half were using the lower anchors only and ignoring the upper tether and 13 percent were using the lower anchors in conjunction with the seat belt.  (These configurations can cause performance problems.)

Second, the agency eliminated LATCH for heavier and older children in 2003 when it significantly lowered the weight limit for the lower anchorages at the suggestion of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which opposed a NHTSA proposal that CRS be tested with a 10-year-old dummy, secured via LATCH. The Alliance argued that when NHTSA adopted the child restraint anchorage rule, the LATCH systems were intended for use by children up to 48 pounds. NHTSA agreed, allowing that when it revised the anchorage requirements in 2003 to accommodate the LATCH system, it had calculated the strength requirements on a combined weight of the child and CRS 65 lbs.

Child safety seat advocates observed that mixed messages to parents, weight limits, and other LATCH design gaps were to blame for its failure to dislodge seatbelts as a means of attaching child safety seats. For example, parents have been cautioned to place their child in the middle position of the rear seat, yet many vehicles do not have lower anchors for the center position. Manufacturers warn consumers against using the inner bars from the two outboard position anchors to secure a child safety seat in the center standard requires the lap belt to be lockable to tightly secure child restraint systems, without the need for locking clips attached to the seat belt webbing.

In 2012 NHTSA was forced to rescind its sunset clause of the lockability requirement.

As for NHTSA’s prediction that automakers, now relieved of their duty to child safety seats, throwing themselves into improving rear seat safety, it, too, has not come to pass — a 2007 study of rear occupant safety in frontal crashes showed that “the real world data suggests that the fatality and serious injury risk in frontal crashes is higher for older occupants in rear seats than for those in front seats.” Other studies showed that in some models “the front seat position is more effective in reducing serious to fatal injuries for adult occupants in frontal crashes than the rear seat.”  

What Does This Study Tell Us?

This study suggests that if caregivers want to use the LATCH system with rear-facing infant seats, they should consider doing so with a tether. Tethers serve a critical purpose in reducing head excursion in a crash and few parents recognize its importance or that it can and should be used in conjunction with lower anchors or seat belts. The study’s authors refer to this type of installation in other countries, but apparently did not use tethers in their tests:

Swedish rear-facing child restraint designs differ from US products, in that they route a tether down and forward to a point on the floor in front of the vehicle seat where the CRS sits. This tethering system limits rotation towards the rear of the vehicle on rebound in frontal impacts or initial impact in rear impacts. The Australian method routes a tether rearward to the standard tether anchorage point used for forward-facing installations. By doing this, the forward rotation of the CRS is limited and allowed the child to “ride down” the collision with the vehicle.

Eight years ago, rear-facing infant seats in the U.S. did not have tethers. Today, a few brands, including Britax and Combi, include tethers in their rear-facing infant seat design.

The data on LATCH use and on rear seat safety is almost a decade old, so it’s difficult to know if LATCH has become more popular, driving automakers to make the rear seat a safer environment for adults. This study could be another indication that LATCH has yet a ways to go to fulfill its promise – or maybe it underscores the fact there are many facets to child safety seat performance – the vehicle seat geometry and seat-back design and the child restraint shell and harness design. One installation method can’t fit all.

And, beyond the vehicle seat-installation-child-safety-seat-system, this study emphasizes the failure of a regulatory system that allows manufacturers to design and sell products intended for every age of occupant, but can’t be used by families with children without special pieces of after-market equipment which caregivers must purchased and installed with no guidance from automakers.

While You Were Out …

We’re all familiar with the Friday afternoon news dump – release something controversial at close of business on the last day of the week. Don’t leave reporters much time for digging or tracking down interview subjects, and hope everyone is too busy livin’ for the weekend to pay attention. The holiday news dump is a variation on this theme and last week, as Americans were preparing to grill hotdogs and wave sparklers, some big news broke out: Graco added 1.9 million infant carriers to an earlier recall of 4.2 million safety seats for harness buckles that were nearly impossible to unlatch, making it the largest child seat recall in U.S. history. NHTSA released some after-the-fact testing and another Special Order related to a dubious customer satisfaction campaign related to rear-impact Jeep fires. GM found yet more vehicles with a bum ignition switch that needed to be recalled and laid out its compensation protocol for past victims of its malfeasance. Head below for the details:

Graco Harness Buckle Recall

Five months after Jennifer Timian of the NHTSA’s Recall Management Division sent Graco a blistering recall acknowledgement letter reaming out the manufacturer for minimizing the safety hazard of harness buckles that do not unlatch, Graco has surrendered. It added 1.9 million infant carriers to an earlier recall of about 4 million convertible and booster seats with a harness buckle that was so difficult to unlatch, that consumers reported the need to cut their children out of the seat.

Graco’s Feb. 7 Part 573 Notice of Defect and Noncompliance did a 180 in tone and substance from its original recall notice in February, in which the child safety seat-maker made it clear that it would rather eat ground glass than concede that harness buckles that become stuck by design or contamination could present a safety hazard in an emergency:

While Graco and NHTSA have not reached an accord over the nature or severity of this  issue, Graco in an abundance of caution has agreed to submit this 573 report and engage in a recall for the Subject Child Restraints.

It reluctantly recalled about 4 million convertible and booster seats, including Cozy Cline, Comfort Sport, Classic Ride 50, My Ride 65, My Ride w/Safety Surround, My Ride 70, Size 4 Me 70, Smartseat, Nautilus, Nautilus Elite, and Argos 70 models. But, Graco declined to recall an additional 1.8 million rear facing infant seats. 


This time, Graco’s phrasing was more careful. While the word “defect” was never whispered, Graco’s memory of the first recall was all soft-focus:

Based on its discussion with NHTSA, Graco determined that a safety recall was warranted with regard to forward-facing toddler and harnessed booster car seats due to the probability that, and in addition to the ergonomic issues noted above, the physical orientation and use patterns of those seats with older children increased the potential for foreign material to interfere with the buckle mechanism over time. This in turn could make extraction of the child occupant more difficult in an emergency situation, thereby increasing the risk of injury.

This is what is alleged to have happened to Leiana Marie Ramirez, who died in a vehicle fire three days before her second birthday, strapped in a Graco Nautilus child safety seat. Her mother  Samika Ramirez was southbound on Arroyo Seco Parkway in South Pasadena, when Samika pulled her Nissan Altima to the side of the divided highway, suspecting that she had a flat tire. Another driver, who hadn’t noticed the stopped Altima, struck it in the rear, touching off a fire. According to the police reports, Samika tried to unbuckle her daughter, but could not release the harness. The flames engulfing her car were too intense, and onlookers pulled Samika Ramirez out of the car. The Ramirez family filed a civil lawsuit against Graco in October 2012, as NHTSA was opening an investigation into the problem. At the time of the recall, Graco had not reported this lawsuit to NHTSA, as it is required to do, under the Early Warning Reporting regulations.

Graco really had no choice but to widen the recall. NHTSA was threatening to go to an Initial Determination if Graco didn’t recall the infant carriers as well. And when the agency is ready to go to the mat, a manufacturer can count on lots of negative news stories about its products and its corporate behavior. That’s perhaps, more costly to the bottom line than a recall.

Chrysler Jeep Wrangler Fires

In other holiday news, the agency has issued a Special Order to Chrysler demanding to know when in the heck it was going to initiate the trailer hitch remedy it grudgingly agreed to implement more than a year ago after former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and former NHTSA administrator David Strickland cut a deal with Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne to avoid a legal struggle. One year after Chrysler filed its Part 573, not one Jeep has been remedied, and at the rate Chrysler is going, it will take it nearly five years to implement it. The agency has taken umbrage:

For many owners, a recall remedy deferred by parts availability easily becomes a defect remedy denied. Moreover, additional delays in implementing this recall will inure to Chrysler’s benefit at the expense of vehicle owner safety. Although NHTSA acknowledges that recall campaigns may have low completion rates for any number of reasons, the agency has no intention of allowing Chrysler, or any other manufacturer, to delay recall completion to the detriment of safety.

Our readers may recall that NHTSA and Chrysler were on a collision course last spring over the unfortunate tendency of older Jeeps with behind-the-axle, rear-mounted fuel tanks to burst into flames when struck from the rear – especially at higher speeds. The Center for Auto Safety had been petitioning NHTSA for a Jeep recall since November 2009, when it formally requested that the agency open an investigation into fuel-fed fires in Jeep Grand Cherokees from the 1992-2008 model years. The advocacy group alleged that the plastic fuel tank’s placement and the lack of adequate shielding – similar in design to the infamous Ford Pinto – made it more vulnerable to rupture or leakage from rear-impacts and in rollovers.

In August 2010, the agency granted the CAS petition and opened a Preliminary Evaluation. In June 2012, ODI bumped up the investigation to an Engineering Analysis Chrysler was pretty adamant that it didn’t see a problem here, and NHTSA was equally insistent that something be done. NHTSA formally requested that Chrysler conduct a recall, and with the deadline for a formal reply looming, LaHood, Marchionne, and Strickland met in Chicago and came to a compromise.

Chrysler agreed to outfit 1.5 million, 1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokees and the 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty SUVs with trailer hitches, installed on vehicles not already so equipped “provided the condition of the vehicle can support proper installation.” Chrysler agreed to inspect vehicles with aftermarket and Chrysler-designed tow hitches “to assess whether the hitch and surrounding areas show evidence of sharp edges or other puncture risks. For those vehicles with after-market hitches, Chrysler will replace it with a Chrysler tow hitch “provided the condition of the vehicle can support proper installation.” In closing the Engineering Analysis, the agency said that it “had no reservations” about the trailer hitch “fix.”  Chrysler described it in its Defect and Non-Compliance Notice as “an incremental improvement” to safety in low-speed rear impact crashes.

These Special Orders, (coming so regularly now, we don’t know if they are that special any more.) are signs that NHTSA is trying mightily to acquire a spine. But this one, in particular, shows why the agency has a long way still to go.

After the Secretary of Transportation cuts the deal, ODI questions the effectiveness of the remedy in a meeting with Chrysler.

The automaker tries to allay these concerns by providing “drawings of the hitches and a limited set of test data.” When ODI questions the sufficiency of those offerings, Chrysler says it won’t do anything else.

NHTSA is then forced to conduct its own tests. And if a report about those crash tests can be believed — eight rear impact crash reconstruction tests conducted from August 2013 to January – at speeds of up to 40 mph, all is well.

When NHTSA shares it glad tidings about the tests with Chrysler, NHTSA finds out that Chrysler had waited until December 2013, to select a hitch supplier and actually placed an order in late January 2014. The first run of hitches wasn’t actually produced until May 14, and Chrysler wouldn’t have all its parts stockpiled until next month.

Basically, Chrysler’s actions might be construed as a chronic middle finger to ODI.  And the Special Order? Pretty wimpy compared to some of the zingers coming out of the Chief Counsel’s office these days.

CAS, which has tirelessly championed this issue, rightly points out that its consumers who are getting the shaft. The tests, while nice, fall short of those the agency did the Ford Pinto of the 1970s, and short of today’s FMVSS 301 fuel tank integrity test, which requires a 50-mph 30 percent offset from a 3015 pound moving barrier with low front end — more severe than the ones NHTSA for the Chrysler tow-hitch “fix.”

In the meantime, CAS reports, four people have died and two have been seriously injured in rear-impact Jeep collisions since Chrysler announced its remedy last June.

Ignition Switch Nightmare Continues

GM celebrated the holiday week, as they do every week since Marietta, Georgia attorney Lance Cooper broke the news that General Motors knew it had a defective ignition switch in the 2005-2007 Cobalt and other models for at least a decade, by announcing an expanded recall. Chrysler also announced that it was adding 696,000 2007-2009 Chrysler Town & Country minivans and Dodge Journey SUVs to its 2011 ignition-switch recall of 196,000 Journeys, Caravans and Town & Country vehicles due to ignition keys that could slip from the “run” to “accessory” position, shutting down the engine, and the power steering and airbags with it.

On Monday of the holiday week, the GM recall ballooned to 8.4 million vehicles globally. This compelled Time journalists, bored with the sheer repetition of ignition recall, after ignition recall, after Congressional hearing, after document dump, after revelation that yet another GM insider warned them about this defect years ago, are forced to come up with ridiculous fun facts about the fiasco, such as: “The recalled vehicles could wrap around the Earth more than four times and The longest time between recalls hasn’t even been longer than the World Cup. Funny stuff! (Remember when Time was relevant?)

GM also announced its compensation plan for owners of ten Chevrolet, Daewoo, Open/Vauxhall, Pontiac and Saturn vehicles with a death or injury claim for a crash that occurred before December 2014. One key case killer: airbag or seat belt pre-tensioner deployment. Any evidence of either in a crash and the claim is ineligible. What technical support does GM have for drawing its bright line in that particular place? Kenneth R. Feinberg, Administrator of the GM Ignition Compensation Claims Resolution Facility, couldn’t answer that question at his holiday week presser.


The Safety Record Special Report: How Consumer’s Union Shocking Child Seat Tests Forced the Recall of the Evenflo Discovery

Editor’s note: The Safety Record spent more than a year seeking the documents related to Recall 08C002 involving Evenflo Discovery child restraint.  The Safety Record undertook this project because the defect was serious, resulting in a recall of more than 1 million seats. Yet, much the public record explaining how this recall came about was missing, and, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was not forthright in its actions or in its public statements in February 2008. The Safety Record is committed to ensuring that the public record is complete and to bringing transparency to NHTSA’s important regulatory and investigative activities in the interest of government accountability. Documents obtained following the successful settlement of Safety Research & Strategies litigation against NHTSA show that the Evenflo recall was the result of secret investigations and behind-the-scenes exchanges between the agency and Evenflo. This Special Report, in part, is based on these records.  

On September 19, 2005, Isaac Neal Eslinger died of his injuries in a rollover crash that occurred the day before. He was seven months old. His mother Debra was at the wheel of the family’s 1996 Isuzu Oasis van, travelling north on Highway 6 towards Mandan, North Dakota. According to the police report of the crash, the last thing Debra Eslinger remembered was glancing back at her daughter, before realizing that she had swerved onto the shoulder of the other side of the road. Debra tried to correct her steering, but lost control of the van. It rolled over and came to rest in a ditch on the east side of the highway.

Debra, who was wearing her seatbelt, and her three-year-old daughter, secured in a child safety seat, survived the crash without any injuries. The Evenflo Discovery infant seat holding Isaac, however, detached from its base in the crash. Isaac, still strapped in the seat, was pitched out of the van. He died of a skull fracture and head injury.

Isaac’s father, Neal Eslinger, a chiropractor in Bismarck, paid tribute to his only son on a blog he writes, called My Living Strength:

“Isaac has a spirit presence that warmed all hearts. He was a “master of smiling” as he displayed his prominent dimples, twinkling eyes and his unique laughs, giggles and squeaks. The mere glimpse of his mother or sound of her voice would bring a smile and a laugh that truly was an honor to witness. …Isaac was a gift from God and he always was and always will be “Our Little Angel.” Words cannot express the blessings he brought into our lives.”

Three weeks after the crash, on Oct. 7, 2005, Isaac Eslinger’s death in an Evenflo Discovery infant seat was reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Fifteen months later, NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation came looking for the crash report.

January 2007 would turn out to be a turning point for the popular infant carrier combination car seat. A controversial Consumer Reports story claimed that sled-tests showed that some models of the Discovery had a tendency to separate from its base under the stress of crash forces. This wasn’t actually news. A spate of infant deaths and injuries linked to base separations had initiated a low-level NHTSA investigation in 2004. But that probe was closed four months later with no defect finding.

NHTSA and Evenflo swiftly dispatched the Consumer Reports story by pointing out that its side-impact sled tests were actually conducted at a much higher rate of speed than the story claimed. Within weeks, Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, printed a retraction, withdrew the story and apologized to its readers. But one year later, NHTSA and Evenflo announced that the juvenile products manufacturing firm was recalling 1.1 million Discovery infant carriers because testing by both parties showed that it could separate from its base in a side impact.

In the three-and-a-half year gap between the closing of the first investigation and the recall of the Discovery infant carrier were two secret NHTSA defects investigations into the infant carrier’s propensity for seat base separations, the discrediting of a consumer advocacy organization that attempted to raise the bar on child restraint safety, and more child injuries and deaths in crashes that resulted in base separations.

The recall was five years ago, but questions about its origins linger. Save a flurry of stories published about CU’s testing mistake and retraction, and fewer when the recall was announced a year later, the record surrounding this child safety defect has remained hidden from public view. Increasingly, this appears to be by design. NHTSA frequently hides the extent of its investigative activities and its negotiations with industry. If no formal Preliminary Evaluation or Engineering Analysis is opened, the public record is never established. This secrecy has been the subject of criticism by safety advocates, who say that it allows the agency to avoid accountability, and by the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General. In an October 2011 audit, the OIG criticized the Office of Defects lack of documentation and transparency:

“Without comprehensive documentation of pre-investigation activities, ODI’s decisions are open to interpretation and questions after the fact, potentially undermining public confidence in its actions.” Noting NHTSA’s failure to document meetings with manufacturers, OIG recommended “a complete and transparent record system with documented support for decisions that significantly affect its investigations.”

In November 2011, Safety Research & Strategies filed a Freedom of Information Request for the communications between NHTSA and Evenflo surrounding February 2008 recall. When NHTSA responded that it had no such documents, SRS appealed – arguing that the simultaneous press releases issued by NHTSA and Evenflo showed that each entity knew about the other’s test results on the Discovery – evidence of communication between the two. In April, after NHTSA did not respond to SRS’s appeal, the company filed a civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court to obtain the documents. In February, SRS and the Department of Transportation settled the lawsuit, after NHTSA released all of the documents it said were in its possession. The Department of Transportation paid SRS’s costs and legal fees of $14,281.  Continue reading

Time to Examine Rear-Facing Infant Seat Safety Improvements?

That an infant seat should be placed in the rear-seat of the car, facing rearwards is an article of faith, preached by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the American Academy of Pediatricians. Manufacturers only make rear-facing infant seats.

On its website, NHTSA advises:

“A rear-facing car seat is the best seat for your young child to use. It has a harness and in a crash, cradles and moves with your child to reduce the stress to the child’s fragile neck and spinal cord. Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat.”

But Transport Canada researcher Suzanne Tylko presented data at the biennial Enhanced Safety of Vehicles conference that questions the certainty of that policy. Transport Canada has been at the forefront of child motor vehicle crash safety research. In particular, the agency’s dynamic testing has yielded important insights. In this three-year study, TC tested 131 child restraints in 85 motor vehicle crash tests. The vast majority were rigid barrier tests on rear-facing infant seats, secured by a three-point belt conducted at speed of 48km/h; 11 were conducted at 56 km/h; and seven were conducted at 40 km/h. TC also tested seats in offset deformable barrier tests, conducted at 40 km/h. (Fourteen tests involved convertible seats installed facing the rear.) Continue reading

Round 437: No One Cares About Kids in Cars – Still

Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board gathered all the government, industry and academic play-ahs in the board room of its headquarters to answer a question that’s been nagging safety advocates: Why doesn’t anyone give a damn about child safety in cars and planes?

The day-long meeting was meant to be a kick-off to the NTSB’s 2011 focus on child safety in airplanes and automobiles, with a special focus on increasing child restraint and seat belt use rates. Note to NTSB: you might want to allocate more time to this project – the lag in child safety regulation and industry practices has been the sad state of affairs for decades. Decades.

First up was the Federal Aviation Administration. The agency defended its practice of allowing children to fly without child safety restraints. Without a hint of irony, the FAA said that such a requirement would result in more people driving rather than flying, putting children at higher risk because the injury and fatality rates for children in motor vehicle crashes far surpasses that those in an airplane. Continue reading

Evenflo Discovery Recalled One Year After Consumers Union Urges Its Removal from Marketplace

VANDALIA, OHIO – One year after Consumer’s Union called for its removal in a controversial article and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defended its safety, the Discovery Infant Car Seat has been voluntarily recalled in advance of a possible defect investigation.

Evenflo announced in early February that it was recalling models 390, 391, 534, 552 – a total of 1 million car seats – based on “recent laboratory tests conducted by Evenflo and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which show that this car seat could potentially become separated from its base in high impact side collisions similar to those in the tests.” Continue reading