BMW: Infant car seat base negligence

PhillJones

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 20, 2004
Messages
472
My wife has gone down to Texas with our son ahead of me for christmas. I got a panicked phone call from her yesterday from the airport parking lot where her mother had gone to collect her and little one. My mother-in-law had taken the car seat base to be fitted in her car to the BMW dealer that she got the car from. They'd installed it so poorly as for it to be unsafe.

According to my mother-in-law, she'd questioned them at the time and they assured her it was correct and that they'd installed lots of them. For us, it's not a problem, I did the reseacrh ahead of time and told my wife what to check for to see if it's safe. If it wasn't for that though, the car seat would be installed sub-regulation. What's worrying me now is that there must be lots of families driving round Dallas with unsafe infant car seats.

Does anybody know who's responsible for enforcing infant car seat fitting regulations? Do they need a licence to fit one? Who should we report them to?

The morale of the story is take your infant car seat to the DPS to get it fitted, not your car dealer.

BTW, they couldn't install it themselves at the airport, it takes a significant ammount of physical strength to install it properly and you really need two guys to do it easily.
 

Steve Schaffer

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When I worked on cars for a living I often had to remove child safety seats in order to gain access to parts of the car that needed repair. I've never seen one that could not be easily installed in the car even by the dumbest owner/parent. If this seat required professional installation you made the wrong choice in the first place.

I never re-installed the seat after removing it leaving that up to the car owner for fear that if the brat were injured in a subsequent accident I or my place of employment would be sued.

IMHO idiot parents yakking on cellphones and playing with Nav systems in top-heavy SUVs with underinflated tires are killing more kids than poorly installed child safety seats.
 

Dennis*G

Supporting Actor
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Oct 7, 2003
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524
Most people seem to have problems putting in car seats, hence the reason LATCH is standard now. If this is a LATCH system, I'm not sure how you/they could goof that up. Although it does not take two people to install, it does make it easier (one to sit in the seat to put as much weight as possible on the seat and the other to tighten it down. As for who to call to report them, not sure you really can. It's not a regulated business, so always make sure you and your wife know how to do it.
 

Todd Hochard

Senior HTF Member
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Jan 24, 1999
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2,312
The notion of not being able to install my own car seat seems quite odd to me. I don't get it???

1. Put car seat on seat.
2. Route belt according to instructions with seat.
3. Pull. Hard. Sometimes it helps to put some of your own weight in the car seat while tightening the belt.

All done. If you can't use the LATCH feature of newer cars, the old seat belt still works nice.

Sounds like a great opportunity for your extended family to get trained on installing a car seat. Most fire depts and police depts can help out in this regard. It's not rocket science.
 

Steve Ridges

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jul 26, 2000
Messages
180
I agree with the other post. I've never heard of having to go to a dealer or anyone else for that matter to install a child seat.
 

PhillJones

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 20, 2004
Messages
472
Thanks for the replys guys.

The thing is, 82% of infant car seat installations fail when inspected. The base is not supposed to be able to move by 1/2 an inch in either direction at the end furthest from the seat crease. This takes quite a bit of strength. I can install it on my own but my wife certainly can't.

If you think it's easy to install an infant car seat, then you need yours inspected if you have one.

http://www.edmunds.com/apps/vdpconta...1/pageNumber=1

In the end, I managed to talk them through getting it in to spec but not after they'd taken it to the children's hosptital where it was installed again so poorly that the latch came off the tether.

Just for info, here's where you can find out about inspection stations.

http://www.seatcheck.org/
 

Todd Hochard

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 24, 1999
Messages
2,312
Regarding seat movement, your link says-
- one inch along the belt path is a whole lot different than 1/2 inch at the unbelted end.

Personally, I think having an infant seat 100% affixed to the frame of the car may do more harm to a baby than good.

I'd like to see well-scrubbed data on the increase in infant death rates due to marginally (according to your posted standard) installed car seats. I'd bet it's much ado about nothing.
 

PhillJones

Second Unit
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Jan 20, 2004
Messages
472

I thought it was at the unbelted end, my mistake but it's still pretty tricky to do. I knew it was an inch total play, or half an inch in either direction.

The seats are never 100% afixed to the frame of the car, they're designed to tip up and enoclose the child between the back seat and the hard shell of the bottom of the car seat.

I don't know where the data is but those recomendations come from crash tests. Like the ones that say that seat belts are a good idea but some people still insist that they kill more people than they save.

Besides in this case, it wasn't that the belt was a little loose it was that it was so loose that the fulcrum of the foot of the base was not constrained into the seat crease. This would mean that in the event of an accident, the seat might not tip up and contain the child as the seat is designed to do, thereby exposing the child to whatever is flying about the car.
 

Lucia Duran

Screenwriter
Joined
Sep 30, 2005
Messages
1,089
Right now there are no laws requiring people take their car seats to be fitted properly, but I would suggest it. I do know fire stations and police stations will fit your seat for free if you ask them. They are suppose to be "certified" to do it properly.
 

grantclooney

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Jul 2, 2009
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The Britax car seats are one of the best brand of car seats available in the market. These car seats are provided with extra harness and safety straps. These seat straps are for the safety of the kids which help the children in not getting hurt at the time of the accident.
 

grantclooney

Auditioning
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Jul 2, 2009
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grantclooney
The Britax car seats are one of the best brand of car seats available in the market. These car seats are provided with extra harness and safety straps. These seat straps are for the safety of the kids which help the children in not getting hurt at the time of the accident.
 

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