Child seats have poor track record, report says

The Associated Press

DETROIT Three out of every four child safety seat models sold in the United States have been recalled in the past five years many for failing crash tests, USA Today said yesterday.

The newspaper said half of the recalls since 1990 have involved serious safety problems such as failing latches and buckles. It said two of the biggest seat makers, Fisher-Price and Kolcraft, had the most recalls in the period, 10 apiece. Fisher-Price no longer makes car seats.

The newspaper reviewed National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents on the recalls. It said Kolcraft has had to recall nearly every model it has made in the past five years and has been given civil penalties five times in the period.

The newspaper said another seat maker, Century, has had nine recalls since 1990 and Evenflo has had six. It said Evenflo paid a $115,000 fine as well, the largest imposed on any child-seat maker.

Gary Christman, a spokesman for Evenflo, said that company's seats are tested to ensure they are safe, even if used improperly.

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