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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Consumer Alert On Car Seats Overstated

Remember last week, when Consumer Reports released the results of their crash tests on infant car seats? And said results reportedly contained alarming data regarding the low safety ratings that most American infant car seats received? Well, never mind.
Consumer Reports was forced on Thursday to retract a damning report on infant car seats after the federal government said test crashes on the seats were conducted at drastically higher speeds than the magazine had claimed.

The revelation amounts to an embarrasment for the trusted consumer guide, and a relief to parents who were frightened about their babies' safety after the original report came out.
Nice. Jewish Blogmeister tells us here that he actually got rid of his car seat after he saw the poor ratings it had received in the Consumer Reports study. I would venture a guess that he isn't the only scared parent of an infant to have done so in the wake of the Consumer Reports article, only to find out the results were grossly misstated.

(via)

23 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

according to the news the car seat testing was outsourced by CR to a different firm.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

according to the news the car seat testing was outsourced by CR to a different firm.

So much for CR's honesty

10:09 PM  
Anonymous halfnutcase said...

well I suppose that tells us that the two outstanding seats they tested should really be held in high esteem.

10:16 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

CR is investigating and retesting the seats. However they still say that they stand by their call to recall the Evenflo seat. Should we take this claim seriously?

10:07 AM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

Unfortunately, Consumer Reports is just about the only source of independent product testing, and it lacks resources to really do things properly. The government's Consumer Product Safety Commision does some testing, but its leaders are political appointees who can't make too many waves. The auto insurance industry releases some statistics on auto safety, but those are biased by the fact that a lot of the differences across brands are due to the driver, not the engineering. The one class of products that do get real testing are phamaceuticals and medical devices, because the government requires it.

The only real incentives for makers of consumer products to do a good job are (1) pride in a good product, (2) fear of bad publicity, and (3) fear of ambulance chasers. CR has done much good over the years in identifying bad products, and I hope this error does not damage them permanently.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CR is usually on the Monay, and when they are wrong they will usually admit it. If the messed up they will correct it. Lets watch and see.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Jewish Blogmeister said...

Thanks for the link!

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Tzipporah said...

I was pretty surprised by this retraction, because the report itself was so inflammatory. You would think on such an important issue, affecting so many families directly, they would have re-checked the outsourced tests - at least one or two - before publishing. As a parent of an infant, I found the report fairly horrifying. Unfortunately, I think a retest won't show much better results.

3:31 PM  
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Anonymous frumpter said...

Grossly mistated?? Come on! You know the people who forced the retraction were people whose stood to lose financially by that article being published.

I think the article was a GOOD THING, and it is pitiful when people yield to the big money telling them what to do. They shouldn't have retracted that article. The reasons they gave (if you look into it) were bogus.

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