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Potentially lethal flaw with new Britax car seats.

(17 Posts)
preggyleggy Mon 14-Sep-09 21:41:31

My family and I have been avid users and supporters of Britax Car seats over the last few years, between parents and grandparents have seven different models, and with the guidance of such review sites found them to be excellent in every respect. However following the purchase of our most recent Evolva 1-2-3 I feel compelled to share a recent experience which has left me speechless. On a recent journey with our 2 ½ year old daughter we discovered that she was unclipped and free in the back of our car (terrifying when only the car seat door has a child lock on). Thinking I must have been distracted and forgotten to clip the belt correctly at the beginning of our journey I immediately stopped and proceed to clip her back into the car seat. As we moved off my husband turned to speak to my daughter only to catch her unclipping the belts herself. This has never happened on any other car seat and is directly attributable to the redesign of the clipping mechanism. Instead of the clip being at the front or sides, where an infant is unable to apply any great force, they have moved all of there recent clips to the top. This position provides an infant with the ideal maximum leverage (they simply need to lean against it) and clearly allows a 2 ½ girl to unclip herself at will. Of even greater concern is my experience with the Britax customer care, who told me that any clip mechanism cannot be 100% childproof (agreed, but this is a new seat that my daughter has learnt to unclip in a matter of days) and that the location of the mechanism is unrelated (wrong, they cannot physically unclip front or side clips at this age). They even went so far as to say that I should consider providing ‘better entertainment’ for my daughter so as to distract her from unclipping the belt. This is simply unacceptable and, if like all parents, you care for the safety of your children, I would suggest you consider very carefully before selecting a new Britax on historic reputation, as the latest designs have a potentially lethal flaw.

thisisyesterday Mon 14-Sep-09 21:46:47

i rather suspect that a child who wants to get out of their seat will undo any seat you put them in.

don't thin kthis is britax's fault, sorry

thisisyesterday Mon 14-Sep-09 21:49:54

i am not sure what you mean about the clips being at the top.
have just been on the britax site and the clip is just at the front where you would expect it to be...

my daughter, if she wants - can undo the 5 point harness buckle on her maxi cosi tobi - so whilst thank you for your concern, I think it is up to the child, not the seat. My daughter is nearly 3...

Umlellala Tue 15-Sep-09 22:03:06

shock Wow, am seriously impressed by your strong and clever kids. I can only just undo dd's Maxi Cosi Tobi harness with a lot of swearing and I am considerably older than 3!

FairMidden Tue 15-Sep-09 22:09:18

I think by the time a child becomes physically able to do this, it's quite likely they are able to understand that they must not play with or undo the fastening. DS is just over 2 and can't undo the buckle on our Evolva but I have no doubt that he could grasp the concept of not touching it. Same as he knows not to touch the oven, hair straighteners, go near the dogs when they are eating etc.

I can see why you raised this point but it's the responsibility of the parent to ensure the child is restrained, not the manufacturer.

DogAgain Tue 15-Sep-09 22:13:39

Message withdrawn

navyeyelasH Tue 15-Sep-09 22:26:50

not to be a judgey arsehole, but the Britax evola is generally considered to be not great in terms of safety regardless of the harness.

Can you take it back to the store?

Fizzylemonade Tue 15-Sep-09 23:05:16

navy - I think the evolva 123 was rated as one of the top ones by Which in their own crash tests which is why we bought one.

We have always bought car seats based on their tests.

Ds2 is 3 and can also unclip the belt but does it at the end of a journey luckily. He can undo his maclaren pram belt too, I think once they get the knack of it they just do it because they can. It is not something I have ever encouraged.

MrCSWS Tue 15-Sep-09 23:21:49

The which site doesn't have the Evolva 1-2-3 on its site anymore but IIRC it was not a best buy mainly because it was difficult to fit. We looked at it in the past and rejected it for this reason. you may have confused it with the Evolva 2-3 which was a best buy but a different seat, this has been replaced by the KID series which are also best buys.

FairMidden Wed 16-Sep-09 08:30:48

navy, I'd be interested to know what you base the statement "the Britax evola is generally considered to be not great in terms of safety" on.

We bought it based partly on test ratings too.

PrincessToadstool Wed 16-Sep-09 08:34:28

How on earth is this the fault of Britax?

LIZS Wed 16-Sep-09 08:56:55

It really isn't a problem exclusive to this seat as you'll find many similar examples on MN. dd has had that same seat, admittedly from a fair bit older (4/5ish), and never undid the buckle. At 2 1/2 she should be able to understand that it should stay done up until you have stopped. Distract, reward not undoing it , refuse to move if she undoes it, bribe whatever it takes.

As to its safety , Which ? rarely rate multi stage seats well regardless as they tend to not fulfil their high criteria for each type or they don't always test them in every stage. The Evolva 123 is a pita to fit(a key Which? criteria) as a Stage 1 but very secure once done. iirc it rated about 60% but the 23 model was higher and a best buy at one time.

ruddynorah Wed 16-Sep-09 09:05:49

it's upto you to teach her not to undo it while you're on the move. dd is 3, she sits in the next stage seat with an adult seat belt. she undoes it at the end of the journey.

navyeyelasH Wed 16-Sep-09 20:15:34

sorry only just came back to this. My statement is based on the fact that car seats that go through each "stage" generally are not as safe as car seats that are designed to fit each stage individually.

I also personally feel it has limitied protection in a side impact collision; but I am no expert I just have used loads of car seats as am a nanny. Also to my knowledge the 1-2-3 has never been in which?

Cutsey Thu 17-Sep-09 10:51:53

Hi Preggyleggy, you need to get a Kiddy seat for your daughter. They don't use harness and buckles for the group 1 age group 9 mths to 4 years, and their infinity pro seat has come top in two which reports on safety etc. Have a look at www.kiddy.de

hotmamalovespavlova Thu 17-Sep-09 11:01:50

OP- MY daughter has been able to unclip her Britax Duo Plus car seat buckle from the age of 18months and was doing so every time the car came to a stop or slowed down.
This does not happen in our other Britax seat as the button for that one is in the middle of the buckle.
I contacted Britax for advice and was told "Tell her not to do it".
Not exactly what I needed to hear.

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