A high-end baby car seat has scored an unprecedented “0” rating in an Australian safety test. The National Roads and Motorists Association (NRMA) released troubling results on Wednesday for six car seats, including the Joie company’s i-Travvel seat. According to the NRMA, none of the seats tested scored a full five stars. Reportedly, only two seats reached a four-star rating.
The i-Travvel seat, which retails at about $629 according to the Daily Mail, showed particularly disastrous results. Test footage shows the baby seat’s restraints failing, fully ejecting a child-sized dummy. As a result, the NRMA overhauled its rating system to allow for its first-ever “0” rating.
Troubling Test Results
The Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP) evaluated Joie’s car seat in forward-facing mode, which the company recommends for children between 6 months and 4 years old. Customers can secure the seat with a seatbelt or with an “ISOfix” system that hooks directly to connecting points in the seat.
In a test of the forward-facing ISOfix mode, impact launched the child dummy from the i-Travvel. According to CREP, it was the first time in the group’s 28-year history that a dummy was fully ejected from a seat in a safety test.
“A child restraint that doesn’t restrain a dummy just doesn’t cut it,” said NRMA road safety expert Dimitra Vlahomitros, per the Daily Mail. “These tests demonstrate once again that not all car seats are created equal and the manufacturer needs to lift its game.”
Testing in the forward-facing seat belt mode yielded slightly better results. According to the Daily Mail, the dummy remained in the seat during this test. Still, the results earned a score of just 1 out of 5.
Cracking Down on Car Seat Safety
In a statement, the NRMA said it is “putting all manufacturers on notice” in light of the test results. “A new protocol is now in place to ensure that manufacturers that under-deliver in future tests to the standards the NRMA expects for it Members will get called out – we do not want restraints shooting dummies out of the seat.”
Meanwhile, Joie has responded by pointing to differences between national and CREP safety standards. “It is important to note that the i-Travvel meets Australia and New Zealand safety standards which are among the most stringent in the world,” a post on the company’s website reads. “Whereas, the recent CREP tests evaluate child restraint seats under conditions outside the AU/NZS 1754 standard.”
Despite this, the company issued a recall today for the i-Travvel seat. “Joie advises that consumers should immediately stop using the product and return it to its place of purchase for an exchange, credit or refund,” the company told the Daily Mail.
Joie Car Seat Safety Test — Sources
The Daily Mail
Joie – “SAFETY NOTICE: Joie i-Travvel Car Seat”
National Roads and Motorists Association – “Shock results means child restraint manufacturer must lift its game”