- Baby seat fails during testing, ejecting baby dummy
- First-ever ejection during testing
- Joie seats being voluntarily recalled
A $600 child car restraint that met Australian and New Zealand safety standards has been recalled after recording a catastrophic failure that resulted in a dummy child being ejected from the baby seat.
It’s the first time a crash-test dummy has actually been ejected from a child seat during independent testing carried out by the Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP).
The seat’s manufacturer Joie has issued a voluntary recall of the i-Travvel car seat, urging owners to “immediately stop using the product and return it to its place of purchase for an exchange, credit or refund”.
The Joie i-Travvel convertible baby seat for babies up to 2.5 years was tested in both seatbelt and ISOFIX mode, with the latter resulting in the dummy being ejected when the seat was facing forward.
The seat scored one star from a maximum of five, but the result has led to an overhaul of the test protocol so that a zero rating can be given.
CREP has contacted the ACCC and Standards Australia to notify it of the result.
The recall covers i-Travvel car seat with model numbers ranging from C1209BANOR-600 and C1209BATBK600 and purchased since February 2019.
In its recall notice, Joie Baby Australia said the seat complies with Consumer Protection Notice No. 3 of 2014 and Australian Standard AS/NZS 1754 Child Restraint Systems for Use in Motor Vehicles, "however recent tests under extreme conditions revealed product performance concerns".
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“Safety is our number one priority. While our product meets all Australian standards, we were shocked and saddened by the performance of our product under CREP testing conditions. After reviewing the video footage and the test results, we are announcing a voluntary recall of the i-Travvel car seat,” said the company's chief marketing officer Jerry Ingraham.
“We apologise for any inconvenience to customers, but can assure them we are learning from the results and plan to produce a car seat that will stand up to the more rigorous testing undertaken by CREP.”
Consumers can contact their place of purchase or contact the Joie Baby Consumer Helpline on 02 8197 9962.
The i-Travvel, which scored a more credible four stars in rear-facing mode, was one of six child restraints tested this month. Not one scored five stars; while only two finished with four stars.
The seats tested included: the Safe-N-Sound Cabrini II which scored three-stars for rear-facing and two stars for forward facing; the Infa Secure Quattro Astra, which scored four stars for both rear and forward facing, and the Babylove Easy Grow forward-facing seat (two stars).
The other two products were booster seats; the Baby Love Easy Move (three stars) and the Safe-N-Sound Tourer (four stars).
Research before you buy
The alarming test results have led the NRMA, which partially funds CREP, to urge parents to do their research and shop around when buying a car seat for their child.
“These tests demonstrate once again that not all car seats are created equal and the manufacturer needs to lift its game,” the NRMA’s Road Safety Expert, Dimitra Vlahomitros said.
“This is the first time a restraint failed to the extent that the dummy was ejected. Choosing the correct child seat could be a lifesaving decision, so it is critical parents make their purchase based on performance and ease of use rather than price or aesthetics.”
CREP is a not-for-profit consortium of government agencies and motorist organisations including Transport for NSW, NRMA, RACV, RACQ, Transport Accident Commission (TAC), VicRoads, and KidSafe Australia, which aims to provide consumers with independent information to help choose and use safe child car seats. It also applies commercial and public consumer pressure on car seat manufacturers to only market seats that perform well beyond the requirements of the Australian Standard.