Booster seats help secure young adolescent children in vehicles. When properly designed, the seats can provide added safety measures that secure a child in place. However, improperly tested or poorly designed booster seats can put a child at serious risk of injury or death. This post examines the recall reasons and potential dangers of recalled Evenflo booster seats from 2010 – 2020.
Yes, based on information provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) there have been five recalls affecting fourteen defective products from November 2010 – November 2020. Below we examine the causes of these recalls and the potential dangers that each recalled booster seat can cause.
According to the child seat recall campaign listing from the NHTSA there have been fourteen models across five recalls for Evenflo child booster seat models in the last decade. These booster seat recalls include:
Reason For Recall – The 3-in-1 Seat manufactured by Evenflo has been recalled as a result of a button used to tighten or loosen the harness of the booster seat. The child in the booster seat can loosen the harness without the knowledge of a responsible adult.
Possible Consequence – If the child is able to loosen the booster seat harness, the child may not be properly protected in the event of a car accident. In instances like this, the child can increase their risk of injury in an accident.
Reason for Recall – The manufacturer ordered a recall on booster seats produced between December 18, 2014 through January 29, 2016. The harness can be adjusted by the child making the booster seat too loose in the event of a car accident.
Possible Consequence – In the event of an auto accident, the Evenflo transitions booster seat can increase the child’s risk of injury in a crash.
Reason for Recall – This two-piece, rear facing infant child restraint has been recalled as the seat can make the buckle harness difficult to unlatch over periods of time.
Possible Consequence – In the event of an emergency, the latch may not be easily able to be unlatched, thus making a safe and quick exit away from a damaged vehicle more difficult. If there is a fire in the vehicle, the potential consequences can be catastrophic.
Reason for Recall – These models required a recall notification as a result of difficulty to unlatch the harness buckle of the seat. The buckle can become stuck disallowing an individual from releasing the child when required.
Possible Consequence – If there is an emergency in or around the vehicle where these recalled booster seats exist, a child could be at risk of not being able to be moved to a safe location.
Reason for Recall – The Big Kid models were never intended to be sold at retail outlets, rather these seats were packaged and shipped to Evenflo’s institutional customers. These customers include institutions and entities like hospitals and government organizations. Entities that received the Evenflo Big Kid booster seats then divvied the booster seats out to families at their own discretion. These seats were intended for display only purposes.
Possible Consequence – These seats included language that read “DISPLAY ONLY – NOT INTENDED FOR SALE”, however, families that received these seats from non-retail outlets were not given instructions for assembly and securement of the booster seat. This failure to provide instructions for a booster seat is a violation of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 213
There are several injuries that are possible from a faulty booster seat. Some of the most severe injuries caused by faulty or recalled Evenflo booster seats include:
In the most extreme situations, the injuries sustained by a child in a recalled or unsafe booster seat can cause an internal decapitation leading to a fatal event.
Internal Decapitations are very serious injuries and can cause life-long injuries if the victim survives. These injuries commonly result in paralyzation or wrongful deaths. In fact, internal decapitations are so severe, that 70% of cases result in immediate fatalities.
According to a ProPublica report, Evenflo Booster seats come with side-tested labels, however, there is no federal mandate for booster seat safety. Simply put, Evenflo created their own assessments and awarded themselves passing grades based on the manufacturer’s own criteria.
Per the report, Evenflo would only fail their tests if the crash test dummy was either thrown out of the seat or if the seat physically broke apart. Due to the lack of federal government mandates, along with discrepancies between marketed minimum weights that are safe for children, Evenflo may have contributed to child injuries suffered in auto accidents.
Additionally, children should not transition from a harnessed seat to a booster seat until they reach at least 40 lbs (18 kg). However, Evenflo has marketed some of their booster seats to children as light as 30 lbs (13 kg).
The lack of federal regulation for testing requirements along with marketing these products for children that may be too light can have devastating impacts on a child in the event of a car accident.
If a family member has been injured resulting from an Evenflo booster seat, our attorneys at Lever & Ecker are here to help. Our law firm offers free case evaluations to discuss the circumstances of your unique case.