Parents will go to great lengths to protect their kids. Unfortunately, not everyone has this same dedication to the safety and well-being of children.
For instance, some retailers and manufacturers are putting untested, knockoff car seats on the market. These seats are reportedly flimsy and lacking vital safety elements, and they put children in very real danger of suffering catastrophic or fatal injuries in the event of a crash. To minimize these risks, parents should know how they can spot knockoffs and what they can do about defective seats.
Spotting a knockoff
Determining whether you are buying (or have bought) a legitimate, tested car seat can be somewhat tricky. Consumers often purchase items through online retailers who may be misleading or unregulated, and fraudsters can make convincing copies that look very real.
That said, there are ways consumers can identify a knockoff car seat.
- Look for a registration card that you send back to the manufacturer, which should come with every approved car seat.
- Compare pictures of your seat with pictures from the official car seat company’s website.
- Look for safety labels that must appear on approved seats.
- Carefully examine the strength and material of padding, straps and buckles.
- Make sure the stamped brand matches the brand name.
- Purchase your car seat in person or directly through a trusted vendor.
Listening to your gut
People sometimes feel that something is off with a defective product. It might seem odd that it costs a fraction of the price of other seats; you might pick it up and note that it is far heavier or lighter than other car seats; it could look unsafe; it could be unreasonably complicated to buckle, install or figure out.
If you have a feeling that you are not looking at a legitimate product, trust your gut and contact the manufacturer or seller. If they are unwilling to help or cannot alleviate your concerns, consider getting a different car seat.
Knowing your legal options
Hopefully, any discovery of a dangerous or defective car seat will happen before it endangers a child’s life. If it doesn’t, the consequences can be devastating.
In either case, consumers have rights when it comes to buying safe, legitimate products, as well as legal options if a seller, distributor or manufacturer is negligent, which you can discuss with an attorney at the Quinn Law Firm at 814-833-2222.