Nearly one year ago, a concerned father, Bryan Dussault of Chicago, posted a video on YouTube showing the failure of straps on his child’s Dorel car seat to fasten securely. The manufacturer is now recalling 145 different model numbers of Cosco, Maxi-Cosi, and Safety 1st child restraints.
Models include the convertible child restraints Alpha Omega, Alpha Omega Elite, Enspira, Priori, Prospect, and Vantage. Infant models Mico and OnBoard are also included. The dates of the defective child restraints are those manufactured from May 1, 2008 through April 30, 2009. The date of manufacture can be found on the side of the seat itself.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began a preliminary investigation on March 5, 2010, and then upgraded the investigation to an engineering analysis in July testing every model of car seat’s “center front adjuster” manufactured from 2008 – 2009 by Dorel Juvenile Group, who provides the latter companies with that specific part.
In announcing the recall yesterday, NHTSA noted that “the harness locking and release button does not always return to its locked position. A button that is not in the locked position can allow the harness adjustment strap to slip back through the adjuster as a child moves around in the seat and results in a loose harness.”
Dorel Juvenile Group will contact all registered owners and tell them how to get a free repair kit. Consumers are advised that, if the car seat is unregistered, immediately check whether the seat has been recalled by going to http://www.djgusa.com/usa/eng/Safety-Notices or calling 1-866-623-3139.
Dorel says, “Until consumers receive the free repair kit they can continue to use their current car seat as directed by the instruction manual. Please be sure to adjust the harness adjustment strap snugly each time you put your child in the child restraint as described in the instruction manual.”