As a parent, one of my prime worries is whether or not my son is safe in his car seat. My partner and I did our due diligence before we bought our toddler's current seat, but what if something was missed during safety testing? It's a reasonable fear; earlier this month, a U.K.-based publication released a car seat review that showed chilling crash test results. The shocking video led the manufacturer, Recaro Child Safety to cease sales of its product. So which Recaro baby car seats are being recalled and replaced? The item in question is the Optia child car seat with Recaro Smart Click base.
According to The Sun, Recaro launched a voluntary replacement program on Thursday after a frontal impact crash test conducted by Which magazine revealed serious malfunctions with the Optia seat. The Which review, originally published on July 17, showed that the car seat broke from the Isofix base during its crash test. Although the base stood in place, the child seat flung forward, which could result in serious injury in a real-life accident.
Which, a product and service review publication, listed the Optia seat as a "Don't Buy" because it failed "to provide adequate protection." Romper reached out to Recaro for comment and has yet to hear back.
A spokesperson for Recaro told The Mirror that, although the company was unable to replicate the results of the crash test video "under more strenuous test conditions," it will replace all Recaro Optia seats. The spokesperson said,
Recaro Child Safety takes this test result very seriously. ... The safety of its customers is the highest priority for Recaro Child Safety. For this reason, the company has decided to stop delivery of the Recaro Optia seat and to no longer permit its sale.
To check whether or not your Recaro Optia car seat has been recalled, enter the seat's serial number at Recaro's website. The serial number can be found on a label on the back of the Optia seat. You can register for the replacement program directly if it turns out your seat is among the products recalled.
This is not the first time Recaro faced issues with its car seats breaking free from its base. According to the New York Times, the European manufacturer recalled about 173,000 child seats in 2015, after dragging its feet for 18 months. As with the current case of the Optia seat, the malfunction was discovered by a third-party: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which ran routine crash tests in late 2013 and early 2014 on Recaro's products, the Times reported.