Child Restraint Recalls
HSRC Recall List Last Updated: November 6, 2012
It is very important to pay attention to recall notices and for parents to check if their seats are safe to use or if they need to be repaired or replaced. Recalls can be issued for any failure to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213 established and enforced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Many of the recalls issued are due to reasons related to the crashworthiness of the child restraint. Some recalls are for deviations from the standards relating to labeling requirements, flammability of the upholstery or padding, or for parts that may come loose and pose a choking hazard.
Child restraints are required to have a label indicating the seat's manufacturer, model information, and date of manufacture. If the label is missing on your seat, contact the manufacturer to see if the seat can be identified through other information. Models manufactured before 1981 were not required to be crash tested and should definitely be destroyed. Seats should not be used if the model name, number, and date of manufacture cannot be determined. In addition, most child passenger safety advocates recommend that seats older than ten years old should be replaced by a new one.
In cases where the manufacturer has gone out of business or discontinued replacement programs, you are advised to destroy the seat and use another one. Do not throw unsafe seats in the trash where they can be picked up and used by others. Discarded seats should be destroyed by having them crushed. At the least, they should be taken apart and stripped of upholstery, padding and straps to prevent others from using them.
To report any suspected child restraint or vehicle safety defects, call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236.
Registering Child Restraints for Recalls
Child restraint manufacturers have supplied registration cards with each new seat since 1993. It is important for the user to complete the registration card and send it to the manufacturer for quick notification in the event of a recall or safety notification. If the card for your seat has been lost, you can register it by contacting the manufacturer through the phone numbers provided in the instructions and on the label on the seat.
Information on registering child restraints, including information needed to register a child restraint and links to manufacturers' registration websites is available on the NHTSA Register Your Child Restraint website. A "Child Restraint Registration Form" (.pdf) is also available on the NHTSA website if a manufacturer is not listed or if the owner would like NHTSA to provide the child restraint registration information to the manufacturer.
Recall Lists Available on the Web
The UNC Highway Safety Research Center maintains a recall list covering child restraints manufactured after January 1981 (when federal standards first required crash testing). Remember that some of the recall notices are related to problems that do not make the seats unsafe in a crash, but all problems should be corrected. Phone numbers are provided on the recall list when a corrective action can be taken. The manufacturer should advise you whether to continue using a current seat or to obtain another one until the problem can be corrected.
The HSRC recall list is formatted in a relatively compact format without much detail, but does serve to indicate if a particular model has been recalled. Use of the pdf document listed below is recommended for printing this list.
The HSRC PDF Child Restraint Recall List can be viewed and printed using versions 5 or higher of the free Adobe Reader software.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The pdf version of the HSRC recall list is formatted so that recalls for models of child restraints 10 years old or older appear at the end of the recall list with their own index. The listing of older models with recalls will only be updated as "newer" models get to be old enough to be moved to the older models list. Programs or agencies who make multiple copies of this list will only need to make copies of the older models list when it changes.
More detailed information about recent recalls can be found at "Most Recent Child Restraint Recall Announcements and Notices"
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) publishes a list of seats that have been recalled since 1988. This list is available through the NHTSA Child Passenger Safety page. For additional information, parents can call the NHTSA Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236.
SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. maintains a recall list covering child car seats manufactured after January 1981. One feature of this list is that it contains voluntary customer safety notification campaigns in addition to official recalls.
The Washington State Safety Restraint Coalition Child Passenger Safety Program produces a recall list that also contains recall information about products manufactured since 1981.
For more research related to this topic, please visit our Research Library.
- View the HSRC HTML recall list
- View and print the PDF version of the HSRC recall list
- Most Recent Child Restraint Recall Announcements and Notices
- Sign up for automatic email notification of updates to the HSRC recall list
The HSRC Child Restraint Recall List is made possible through funding from the NC Governor's Highway Safety Program