Despite being designed to keep our kids safe, car seats aren’t always everything they appear to be. Clever marketing will help to sell the seats faster, only to have them recalled just as fast. As with any other product recalls, there’s no way of actually knowing when something is going to turn out to be a lemon.
While some consist of minor recalls that don’t require getting a new car seat altogether, others have been made on a large scale, affecting several million infant car seats.
The primary reason for car seat recalls usually centers around safety concerns. Although car seats have to go through rigorous testing to even make it onto the market, to begin with, sometimes these are still recalled afterward due to concerns for the child’s safety if something were to happen. The general trend here really lies within the “if”. Rather than risk facing a bigger issue, most car seat companies prefer to simply recall an entire model of their products.
As inconvenient as it may be, it’s actually a good thing for parents. After all, mom and dad just want their kids to be safe, right? It’s also crucial to know if a specific car seat has been recalled when planning to buy one secondhand. Let’s have a look at 20 car seats that you need to keep a vigilant eye out for and make sure to cross off your list.
20 Harmony Big Boost Deluxe Booster
Whether you have just had a newborn or are shopping for a car seat, you need to know that the Harmony Big Boost Deluxe was recalled as recently as April 2018. As pointed out by VeryWellFamily, "Affected car seats were manufactured between November 1, 2015, and June 24, 2017."
Although most car seat recalls aren’t usually a big deal in the sense that they mainly require a quick switcharoo that customers can do at-home with a repair kit, the solution to this one is still being determined. The issue with this one is due to the pressure that can be applied to the abdomen from the restraint in the event of an accident. If you have this one, then make sure to contact Harmony for information.
19 Diono Convertible and Booster Car Seats
Known for its car seats suitable for taller kids, Diono surprised everyone when they suddenly recalled a bunch of car seats in 2017. The recall affects Diono car seat manufactured between November 25, 2013, and September 5, 2017, which means that even a new car seat bought in 2018 could still be affected, especially if purchases second-hand.
As explained by VeryWellFamily.com, the recall affects “certain Diono Radian R100, Radian R120, Radian RXT, Olympia, Pacifica, and Rainier convertible and booster car seats were recalled due to them [not conforming] to the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 213 when attached to the car with the lap belt but without the top tether.”
A free remedy kit is available to anyone who contacts Diono.
18 Graco My Ride 65
Despite being as huge of a company as they are, Graco has still produced a couple of lemons over the years, namely the Graco My Ride 65 car seat. As pointed out by Very Well Family, this particular car seat was recalled: "because the harness webbing may not adequately restrain a child." A replacement harness has been provided by Graco for all the models affected.
Despite this recall, Graco is still considered one of the best car seat brands out there and in fact, the Graco4Ever All-In-One Convertible Car Seat has been placed into the #1 car seat spot by BabySafetyLab.com as "the best safest convertible car seats 2018."
Even the Graco Extend2Fit has been rated the second best!
17 AngelRide Infant Car Bed
No, the AngelRide infant car bed isn’t a product from the 50s. It’s actually one that was willingly discontinued by the company at the beginning of 2018! While it hasn’t been recalled per se, it’s still worthy of a mention on this list for the parent who might be tempted to buy one secondhand. As they have stated on their official website, one of the primary reasons AngelGuard discontinued its release of car beds is due to the increased production of car seats designed for smaller babies by other major brands. So while you could buy this one secondhand, keep in mind that you might not get the customer service you would with other brands. Plus, how will you ever know of a recall if they aren’t releasing this bed anymore? This one is certainly best skipped.
16 Evenflo Evolve 3-in-1 Combination Booster Seats
Just like Graco, Evenflo has had a number of important recalls over the years. Affecting the Evolve 34411700 that was manufactured from February 26, 2015, to February 9, 2016, and the Evolve 34411741 manufactured from May 27, 2015 to February 9, 2016, this recall was due to the fact that a child could “reach and release the button loosening the seat harness,” as explained by Carseat.org.
If you have ever had a child manage to unbuckle themselves in the middle of a car ride, then you will understand the importance of making sure they can't reach the harness adjuster! Kids are master escape artists though, so the front adjuster components Evenflo has been sending out to remedy this situation likely wouldn't be all that beneficial.
15 Evenflo Transitions 3-in-1
Up there with the Evenflo Evolve, you also need to stay on the lookout for the Evenflo Transitions 3-in-1 car seat. As pointed out by VeryWellFamily.com, Transitions car seats were affected by the same exact issue as the Evolve as "a child can reach the center front harness adjuster and loosen the harness. This could allow a child to be improperly restrained [in the event of an accident.]"
Overall, Evenflo has often had issues with the harness as even their renown SureRide car seat was recalled from 2011-2015 as a result of a loose screw. The Evenflo Embrace 35 before that was recalled due to the harness buckle being difficult to release. Will they ever get the harness right?
14 4moms Self-Installing Car Seat
If you have never heard of the 4Moms self-installing car seat, then don’t worry, you’re not the only one.
“About 1,600 4Moms infant car seats are recalled because a coupling hook may not properly engage around a coupling pin, preventing the car seat from securely attaching to the base,” explains VeryWellFamily.com about the recall that happened on January 10, 2017.
Given that the recall happened just one year before 2018, it’s still just as important to keep in mind, especially if buying a car seat second-hand. Fortunately, the base wasn’t affected and free replacement safety seats are available to those who contact 4Moms.
13 Baby Trend Hybrid LX 3-in-1 Centennial Booster Seat
Also in January 2017, Baby Trend announced the recall of some of their Hybrid LX 3-in-1 booster seats. As explained by Car Seats for the Littles, “The affected car seats have a center adjuster rivet that may pull through or break if the harness is being used with a child [of] more than 40 pounds.”
Fortunately, just a few models were affected but again, it’s very important to check any car seat being bought second-hand as the original owners may not have been aware: “model number FB58181, manufactured on July 23, 2016, and Hybrid LX 3-in-1 Kiwi booster seats, model number FB48417, manufactured on July 14, 2016.”
12 Combi Shuttle Travel System
Getting a travel system is always a convenient thing to do, especially for first-time parents feeling inundated with all the different car seat options out there. However, you need to know that the Combi stroller and car seat travel system was recalled in 2017. As Consumer Reports stated, “the car seat can disengage from the stroller.”
Fortunately, no accidents have been reported but it sheds light on an important practice all parents should be implementing when deciding on a stroller and car seat combo. Consumer Reports went on to explain the routine test they perform on each product: “We slowly tip over each travel system three different ways—to the front, to the back, and to one side—to verify that the car seat stays securely in place.”
That’s a very good thing to start doing indeed!
11 Britax B-Safe 35 Rear-Facing Infant Car Seat
Just like Graco, Britax is another one of those companies with which you simply can't go wrong. Fortunately for the recall on the Britax B-Safe 35, it doesn’t actually have anything to do with an accident on the road. “Britax has received reports of cracks developing around the carry handle on some infant car seats. This could allow the handle to break,” explains Very Well Family. "Affected infant seats were manufactured between October 1, 2014, and July 1, 2015."
Despite the recall on the Britax B-Safe 35, the Britax Marathon is actually considered one of the best and safest car seats for 2018, as per BabySafetyLab.com. The same goes for the Britax Advocate Clicktight.
10 Baby Jogger City GO Infant Car Seats/Mini Infant/Vue Lite Infant Car Seats
It’s not often that a car seat company recalls and offers a free brand new replacement car seat and yet that’s exactly what happened with the Baby Jogger City GO. According to Car Seat for the Littles, several models were recalled in 2016, which is especially important to note if you’re buying this car seat secondhand. Previous owners may simply not have been aware of the recall, which could score you a brand new car seat!
Interestingly, the recall was based on the fact that “information on the labels, instruction manual and registration card that is either the wrong size, has an incorrect background color, or is in the incorrect order or is missing” and yet Baby Jogger still decided to simply issue a brand new car seat. If only all companies would do that!
9 Kiddy World Plus
Back in 2016, up to 1,500 Kiddy World Plus combination car seats were pulled because as Very Well Family explains, “the buckle may only partially engage, and may not adequately protect a child” in the event that something were to happen on the road.
Although registered owners were notified, this situation highlights the importance of always registering your car seats to make sure to stay up-to-date on all the latest recalls and information. Any car owner has to stay on top of all the recalls on their vehicles and the same goes for owners of car seats without exceptions!
8 Graco ComfortSport, Ready Ride, Classic Ride
We have already covered the Graco My Ride 65 but it’s also important to keep in mind that the Graco ComfortSport was recalled in 2014 over a faulty buckle. Again, the most important issue with this one is if you’re buying this car seat second-hand. If you are, make sure to check with the seller that they got the buckle replaced.
In fact, this recall was part of the largest recall in five years. As The New York Times explained, federal safety regulators expanded the recall to include an additional 1.8 million seats after recalling almost 3.8 million car seats “because they use the same buckles.”
7 Britax Click Tight Convertible Car Seats
In August 2015, “Some Britax Advocate, Boulevard, and Marathon convertible car seats with the ClickTight feature [were] recalled because the ClickTight button may remain down in the release position after the harness is tightened. Affected car seats were manufactured between August 1, 2014, and July 29, 2015,” explains Very Well Family.
As the recall included a large number of models, the best course of action is to check with the Britax website. It’s never too late to get a product fixed, especially if you’re trying to save money by getting a secondhand car seat. All it takes is a quick repair kit!
6 Recaro ProSport Combination Car Seats
Although no accidents were reported, Recaro recalled “more than 173,000 car seats in the U.S. because the top tether can detach from the seat in a crash,” as reported by CNBC. “The recall affects ProRide and Performance Ride seats made before June 9, 2015.”
As it turns out, the seat shell could crack or come loose in the event that something were to go wrong on the road. The last thing we want is for the car seat to not actually do their jobs properly but fortunately, in Recaro’s case, it was still considered safe to install the car seat with a seat belt and lower anchors for a child under 40lbs.
5 Graco Infant Car Seats: SnugRide & Aprica A30
We have already covered Graco a couple of times but as much as this company has some of the safest and best car seats out there, it’s important to keep in mind they do have quite a few lemons as well. Rather than trusting the Graco brand as a whole, it’s also worth checking the latest recalls on specific models as it’s always best to go with the tried and trusted companies and models when it comes to car seats!
With the Graco SnugRide and Aprica A30, the issue came down to once again being with the buckle. Be especially wary of anyone selling a second-hand Graco car seat because they may not have been aware of this issue.
4 Combi Coccoro Car Seat
Back in 2016, Combi recalled 39,000 of its Coccoro car seats on account that they could "transmit too much force to a child's chest" in event that something were to happen on the road, as per Fox32. This risk also only applied to car forward-facing car seats with a lap-only belt.
Fortunately, the solution to this one has been an easy one as Combi had agreed to send owners of this car seat a cover for the bottom of the seat. However, it isn't the first time that the Coccoro was recalled as models manufactured from 2009-2012 were also recalled and free harness replacement kits were provided, as outlined in Carseat.org.
3 Combi Zeus 360 Car Seat
Right on the heels of the Coccoro, the Combi Zeus 360 was also recalled back in 2014.
According to WalkUpLawOffice.com, "A company spokeswoman told ABC News that she believes the seats are still safe to use because the harness as a whole meets safety standards. One part of the seat harnesses has a plastic button that [didn't pass] official strength tests. Models of Combi child seats manufactured after January 2013 do not have this design flaw."
Look like her "belief" turned out to be correct. The thing with this recall is that although it happened a few years ago, it's still important to keep in mind if you're buying the car seat second-hand, especially since expiration dates tend to range anywhere from six to ten years.
2 Canada Chicco Keyfit 30 (Canada Only)
According to Business Insider, the Chicco KeyFit 30 is considered "the best infant car seat" due to its "extreme ease of use."
However, those in Canada need to be aware that Chicco issued a recall for this one in August 2018 on the grounds that "the infant seat did not meet the dynamic requirements for chest acceleration of the Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Seats Safety Regulations," according to Car Seats For The Littles.
Fortunately, the solution isn't to just throw our this car if you have one. Instead, simply contact Chicco for a repair kit, only if the specific model is affected, which includes manufacturing dates from 2013 all the way to 2018.
1 Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat (Canada Only)
Speaking of a Canada-only recall, it’s important for moms in Canada to note that the Clek Foonf convertible car seat was recalled at the beginning of 2017. Fortunately, the recall wasn’t too big of a deal but anyone with this seat needs to make sure to not use the Recline position 1 “when installing this car seat with a vehicle lap belt and top tether only,” as detailed by Car Seats for the Littles. “This Notice does not apply to UAS or lap/shoulder belt installations.”
All in all, this recall isn’t enough of a reason to avoid this car seat altogether as it actually has stellar reviews as a whole.