The Good Egg Car Safety Blog

Killer car seats - Do you have one?

Fake child car seats are being sold in the UK via online auction websites


 

It has recently come to light that fabric ‘child car seats’ are being sold on popular selling sites.

Many parents and childminders throughout the UK are being fooled into believing that these child car seats are safe to use for their children.

We had a look through one of these sites and read some of the sales posts - here’s an extract from one description on a seat we found:



dodgy seat

 

“The portable baby safety seat is treated as the savior of baby’s safety in Europe and a new star among the family of baby car seats. The restricted and reasonable design, it is not only as safe as the traditional baby car seats but also to install, carry and wash easily.”

The manufacturers/sellers are claiming that these seats are just as safe as traditional car seats.  Many people believe that if they’re allowed to be sold, then surely they must be just as safe – and surely they must have gone through all the same testing to be able to claim that?

 

The very sad fact is that the manufacturers/sellers of these killer car seats are lying.


 

These seats have been through NO official crash testing to allow them to be used in the UK.  When Surrey County Council's trading standards team put these harnesses through their paces, the results were horrifying... they will bring a tear to any parents’ eye and send a shiver down their spine! (video above)

 

So what tests do seats have to pass to be sold in the UK/EU?


Any child seat sold in the UK must pass at least ECE R44.04, R44.03 or R129 i-Size and carry an approval label to show that it has been through the testing. The approval label will be on the child car seat in the form of an orange, yellow or white label. Below we have included several examples of official approval labels.



ECE BRIAX EXPLAIN

 

Approval R44.04: This part of the label will list what approval standard the seat has been tested to. In the UK and Europe, seats tested to R44.03, R44.04 or R129 i-Size may be used.

Weight Limits: The label will also detail the weight limit of the seat. This seat is a high back booster group 2,3 so the weight limit is 15kg – 36kg.  If the seat is R129 i-Size, a height limit will be detailed.

E–circle: This shows the seat is tested to the European standard. The E stands for European and the number after it refers to the country it was tested in.

Serial Number: This number relates to the seat itself, the first two numbers “04301170” on this seat, refers to the approval the seat has (so an R44.03 seat will have “03____”) This number relates to where everything on the seat was sourced, what batch the harness and buckles came from, what machines and who manufactured it. If there is any requirement to do a recall on the seat or if anything is found to be wrong, this number is used to narrow down exactly what seats are affected. Under R44.04, every 5000th seat must be re-tested to ensure quality – this allows any faults to be picked up quickly and easily.

 

Other examples


ECE LabelOL

ECE Maxi Cosi OL

R44.03 OL

red 44.04OL

Graco 44.03 OL

 

R129 iSize Label



These fabric seats do not carry this label, and they have not been approved to any crash standard for the EU/UK.

That’s not to say that other seats sold online are official either.  The Transport Research Laboratory released footage of counterfeit child car seats sold online, and these fake seats DO carry approval labels – albeit false ones!

 

Check out the fake seats in this episode of Fake Britain

 

Top tips for getting a good quality seat!



    • NEVER buy a second hand car seat that you do not know the full history of or if you are not 100% sure that it will fit into your car.

 

    • Always try and purchase at a retailer who can give you advice and check fitment – many retailers have budget seat options if money is tight.

 

    • If you have to buy online, only buy from a reputable retailer - and always find out what is suitable for your car and child first!

 

    • Check for the ECE label or i-Size label.

 

    • If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

 

    • If you are thinking of buying a seat you haven’t heard of before, go online and look for reviews, visit the manufacturers website and use search engines to find out more on the company.

 

    • Check the instructions – instructions must be written in English (and will have other languages) – ensure the English is good and written correctly.  Mis-spelt words and sentences that don’t make sense can be indicators to a fake seat!



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Comments 10

Guest - Elaine Keeler on Thursday, 25 September 2014 08:47

I emailed one of these sellers, asking what standard this 'car seat' had been tested to. I got a garbled reply that suggested I check the listing - I replied that no testing standards were stated - I was ignored! Clearly they are just after profit with a total disregard to the law or safety.

I emailed one of these sellers, asking what standard this 'car seat' had been tested to. I got a garbled reply that suggested I check the listing - I replied that no testing standards were stated - I was ignored! Clearly they are just after profit with a total disregard to the law or safety.
Guest - Good Egg Safety on Thursday, 25 September 2014 09:13

Hi Elaine, we would be very interested to see their reply to your enquiry. It is absolutely shocking that these types of products can be sold!

Hi Elaine, we would be very interested to see their reply to your enquiry. It is absolutely shocking that these types of products can be sold!

[…] For more information please visit the Good Egg Safety website – Killer car seats (opens in new window) […]

[…] For more information please visit the Good Egg Safety website – Killer car seats (opens in new window) […]
Guest - Reagan on Thursday, 19 February 2015 13:01

I have just received my son's new high back booster seat from amazon . My son got too tall for his mama and papas high back booster. I chose his new one little tykes because it longer wider and stated it had side protection .. on delivery not happy it is just a plastic shell unlike my mama and papas one that has a shell covered in a good quality polystyrene side impact protection ... I'm worried it's a fake ! The head read struggles to lock into place .. how do I know for sure it's safe ? Thanks

I have just received my son's new high back booster seat from amazon . My son got too tall for his mama and papas high back booster. I chose his new one little tykes because it longer wider and stated it had side protection .. on delivery not happy it is just a plastic shell unlike my mama and papas one that has a shell covered in a good quality polystyrene side impact protection ... I'm worried it's a fake ! The head read struggles to lock into place .. how do I know for sure it's safe ? Thanks
Guest - Good Egg Safety on Saturday, 21 February 2015 14:47

Hi,

Thank you for your comment!

It is very difficult to tell if your child's car seat is fake, although one sign is if the instruction booklet is written in poor English. We recommend that you contact Little Tykes, as they may be able to help you ascertain if your seat is genuine.

Kind Regards,
The Good Egg Team

Hi, Thank you for your comment! It is very difficult to tell if your child's car seat is fake, although one sign is if the instruction booklet is written in poor English. We recommend that you contact Little Tykes, as they may be able to help you ascertain if your seat is genuine. Kind Regards, The Good Egg Team
Guest - Marie on Saturday, 22 August 2015 23:17

Thank you very helpful, had no clue what I was looking for hah. xox

Thank you very helpful, had no clue what I was looking for hah. xox
Guest - Sharon on Friday, 08 April 2016 22:22

Hi, I have just bought an Isafe group 1 2 3 seat. I got it through amazon, however now through further looking into it I cannot find any further information about Isafe on the net and it seems that the only retailer is baby-travel.uk.com either directly or through Amazon or eBay. How do I find out if the sticker stating it has had the relevant EU safety checks is genuine? Am I right to be concerned? Thanks

Hi, I have just bought an Isafe group 1 2 3 seat. I got it through amazon, however now through further looking into it I cannot find any further information about Isafe on the net and it seems that the only retailer is baby-travel.uk.com either directly or through Amazon or eBay. How do I find out if the sticker stating it has had the relevant EU safety checks is genuine? Am I right to be concerned? Thanks
Guest - Good Egg Safety on Tuesday, 12 April 2016 12:21

Hi Sharon,

This is a tricky situation for you - normally we would advise that you go to the company if you have any concerns, as they would be able to check the seat has been tested through an approved test house, and that the serial number is correct.

It is very difficult to know if a seat is genuine or not, some clues can be poor workmanship on the materials and plastics, poor English used on the instructions, and regulation labels being applied with poor quality or incorrectly - for example, airbag warning labels and ECER44 stickers.

The ECE label can be orange, red, yellow or white - although it can be any colour. It should state that it is approved to ECER44.04, and have a circle with an E in it and a number. It should also state the weight limits for the car seat, and have a serial number. This serial number should start with what stage of R44 the seat has been approved to. In the case of the iSafe seat, it is approved to R44.04, so the serial number will begin with 04. The label should also be well attached to the seat, and clear to read.

Kind Regards,
The Good Egg Team

Hi Sharon, This is a tricky situation for you - normally we would advise that you go to the company if you have any concerns, as they would be able to check the seat has been tested through an approved test house, and that the serial number is correct. It is very difficult to know if a seat is genuine or not, some clues can be poor workmanship on the materials and plastics, poor English used on the instructions, and regulation labels being applied with poor quality or incorrectly - for example, airbag warning labels and ECER44 stickers. The ECE label can be orange, red, yellow or white - although it can be any colour. It should state that it is approved to ECER44.04, and have a circle with an E in it and a number. It should also state the weight limits for the car seat, and have a serial number. This serial number should start with what stage of R44 the seat has been approved to. In the case of the iSafe seat, it is approved to R44.04, so the serial number will begin with 04. The label should also be well attached to the seat, and clear to read. Kind Regards, The Good Egg Team
Guest - Elaine Keeler on Monday, 29 September 2014 11:04

Let me know where I can forward my eBay messages on to and they are all yours!

Let me know where I can forward my eBay messages on to and they are all yours!
Guest - Good Egg Safety on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 09:56

That's great, thanks Elaine

enquiries@goodeggsafety.com

That's great, thanks Elaine :) enquiries@goodeggsafety.com
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