A popular car seat for toddlers has been revealed to fail crash tests.
Parents should be aware that Mothercare has issued an urgent recall for a model of car seat manufactured by BabyStyle which it sold.
The recall has been prompted after a Which? investigation.
Why are the car seats being recalled?
In April earlier this year, Which? issued a warning for parents to avoid using the BabyStyle Oyster Carapace i-Size baby car seat with DuoFix i-Size base after it recorded failures in their crash tests.
In the tests, which simulated a frontal impact crash, the seat (installed with the DuoFix i-Size base) detached from the base. The seat and crash test dummy were both flung forward.
If this was to occur during a real crash it poses a significant risk to the child in the seat and others also in the car.
At the time this was initially reported by Which? in April, Babystyle responded by saying: “BabyStyle acknowledge the results recorded in the Which? crash tests and are actively investigating the issues reported.”
They added: “Given the recorded results it is our aim to make modifications where necessary to the affected car seat in order that we can pass the test parameters created by Which?.”
But now the product is being officially recalled and those in possession of the car seat are being urged to stop using it and return it immediately.
What does BabyStyle say?
BabyStyle is conducting this recall voluntarily and states that the move is purely for “precaution”.
In their recall notice, BabyStyle said: “We have taken this action for the simple reason that we care very much about every parent and BabyStyle product owner and whilst we know that our Oyster Carapace Infant car seat meets the UK safety standard by passing all official UK safety tests, we also know that your peace of mind at this very precious stage of life is of paramount importance.”
BabyStyle also said: “Any implication that the Oyster Carapace infant carrier is unsafe to use is solely the opinion of Which? and is in direct contradiction to the regulatory and legally binding standards (R129) to which the Oyster Carapace Infant carrier complies with.”
The tests that Which? conducts are designed to be “tougher than the legal minimum requirements”.
Which? said: “Our crash tests are severe, and our experts feel they more accurately reflect what happens in real crashes than legal minimum requirements.
“This is why we see issues with car seats that have passed car seat regulation testing,” they explained.
How do I know if my product has been recalled?
The product being recalled is the Oyster DuoFix i-Size base, but customers who bought the Oyster Carapace Infant car seat can also return the seat.
These products were sold at Mothercare, as well as other independent retailers, between December 2018 and April 2019.
BabyStyle says the base was sold for £100.
What should I do if I have a recalled car seat?
Customers should stop using the car seat immediately in combination with the DuoFix base.
The DuoFix base is to be returned to Mothercare, or wherever you purchased it from, for a refund or an exchange.
BabyStyle said: “The customer may also want to return their Oyster Carapace car seat as well as they may not want to use it without the ISOFIX base.”
For customers who have the car seat, but not the base, BabyStyle said: “The car seat, when used with the seat belt, passed the Which? tests.”
In the notice BabyStyle said: “Fitting the Oyster Carapace Infant in your vehicle using a 3-point seatbelt is perfectly safe, and is an option that has passed the Which? test with a four out of five rating.”
If you bought the car seat without the base, you won’t be eligible for a refund.
Concerned customers are able to contact Mothercare by either emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call 0344 875 5122.
Alternatively, BabyStyle can be contacted directly on 01509 816444.