Statement From National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator Nicole Nason Regarding Consumer Reports’ Withdrawal of its Infant Car Seat Test Report
Topics: Nicole R. Nason
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
January 18, 2007
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Contact: Heather Hopkins
Telephone: (202) 366-9550
Consumer Reports was right to withdraw its infant car seat test report and I appreciate that they have taken this corrective action. We are always eager to work with Consumer Reports and other organizations to improve child safety and ensure that consumers continue to have access to accurate and credible data. I was troubled by the report because it frightened parents and could have discouraged them from using car seats. It is absolutely essential for every parent to understand that the safest place in an automobile for an infant is in a car seat. Simply put, car seats are the best defense for a child in a crash.
“Our initial review of the Consumer Reports testing procedures showed a significant error in the manner in which it conducted and reported on its side-impact tests. The organization’s data show its side-impact tests were actually conducted under conditions that would represent being struck in excess of 70 mph, twice as fast as the group claimed. When NHTSA tested the same child seats in conditions representing the 38.5 mph conditions claimed by Consumer Reports, the seats stayed in their bases as they should, instead of failing dramatically.”
Video footage of NHTSA’s side-impact tests can be found here (Windows Media format).
A high-resolution version in MP2 format of the Compass safety seat can be downloaded from NHTSA's FTP server here.
A high-resolution version in MP2 format of the Evenflo Discovery safety seat can be downloaded from NHTSA's FTP server here.
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