Today, Combi USA, Inc., at the insistence of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), issued a recall of three models of child car seats manufactured between January of 2009 and December of 2012 because the restraint straps could fail in an accident. The involved models are:
- Combi Coccoro Child Restraint, Model Number: 8220, Manufacture Dates: January 6, 2009 - December 5, 2012
- Combi Zeus Turn Child Restraint, Model Number: 8815, Manufacture Dates: July 15, 2007 - March 25, 2009
- Combi Zeus 360 Child Restraint, Model Number: 8836, Manufacture Dates: February 25, 2009 - May 24, 2012
The recall notice being sent to consumers can be found here. The notice indicates where you can find the model number of your car seat. If you own one of the defective car seats, the manufacturer will send you a free remedy kit, which can soon be ordered by calling 1-844-697-1690. More information can be found about the recall on the manufacturer's website.
The NHTSA establishes minimum standards that manufacturers of products, including child safety seats, are required to comply with. However, because of limited resources, the NHTSA cannot test all products before they are put on the market. Rather, the product manufacturer is required to test its products and make sure they meet the NHTSA's minimum standards. The NHTSA then does spot checks to ensure compliance. In the case of the Combi child car seat recall, the NHTSA conducted a spot check in 2012 and determined that the restraint harness straps do not meet the minimum breaking strength requirements, and requested that Combi issue a recall. In response, Combi filed a petition seeking to be excused from the recall, arguing that the failure to meet the minimum standards was inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, as reported in the Federal Register. In November of 2013, the NHTSA denied Combi's petition and insisted upon the recall.