Manufacturers Misled People About the Safety of the Booster Car Seat

Parents throughout America buy booster seats and other protective car seat solutions to keep their children safe. However, a subcommittee of the House of Representatives recently found that numerous companies have been misleading consumers about the safety and efficiency of their products, namely, the booster car seat.

Dummy doll in a car seat with fastened belt
Endangering Millions of Toddlers

ProPublica, a non-profit investigative newsroom, shared a shocking report of a popular car seat manufacturer that promoted their booster seat to the public as safe for children who didn’t meet the weight, age, or height criteria to be properly protected by their seats in case of a collision. The newsroom reported that the marketing strategies that were employed, such as claiming that the seats were safe for children as light as 30 pounds, were against the AAP regulations and recommendations which state that a booster seat should only be used once the child has outgrown the harnessed seats.

Although the newsroom that made this report in February couldn’t determine if other companies were using misleading marketing strategies, the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy and the Committee on Oversight and Reform have concluded that this was so.

Simulated side car crash
Improper Car Seat Crash-Testing

The manufacturer claimed that their seats were “side-impact tested” – a test that the company invented on its own. According to the crash-test videos obtained by ProPublica, it’s clearly visible how the testing dummies were flung sideways out of the bounds of the booster seat. Such an occurrence would have likely caused serious or fatal injuries to the spine, neck, and head, meaning that the “side-crash tests” were failed.

Testing video from ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative newsroomThe fact that so many companies could use this test that doesn’t mimic true car crash scenarios in order to promote unsafe products was due to the fact that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not put widespread testing standards into place. The subcommittee is now putting pressure on the aforementioned safety administration to implement tougher testing standards.