When parents are expecting one of their major purchases is a child safety seat, sometimes called a car seat. The seats are designed to protect children from harm in automobile accidents but that is not always the case. Unlike other consumer products, children’s safety seats are not regulated by the Consumer Products Safety Commission. The regulation instead falls to National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration which is considered to be ill equipped to monitor child safety seats.
Unfortunately Stewart J. Eisenberg knows that “companies do only the minimal testing required” and miss defects that “should have been caught and repaired before they posed any threat to children.” Stewart has tried cases against child safety seat manufacturers and represented families who have lost their children due to design flaws. Companies are not required to tell NHTSA if they find a defect that poses a dangerous threat if it doesn’t fall within the thin requirements of NHTSA testing. To make matters worse recalls are usually voluntary and not mandated by NHTSA if a defect is discovered.
Consumers must take their own steps to ensure their children are safe when traveling in their vehicle. Research child safety seats before purchasing one, know how to properly install the safety seat, register your seat with the company and scan recalls periodically for your child’s seat. Taking these steps will ensure that your child will be safe while traveling in your vehicle.