Monday, January 6, 2003
|Contact: Ellen Martin
Tel. No. (202) 366-9550
Nine times more child safety seats are now being registered than were a decade ago, but further gains are vitally important for child safety, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Expanded registration of child safety seats makes it easier to notify owners of safety-related recalls, such as faulty handles or harnesses, the NHTSA report indicates. The repair rate on recalled seats is now 21.5 percent, versus 13.8 percent when the agency first approved a regulation that required manufacturers to provide registration cards for seats made after March 1993.
NHTSA research also shows that the indirect cost to consumers of the regulation is just 43 cents for each car seat sold.
“This simple regulation is clearly helping protect our children from defective safety seats without imposing a high cost on consumers. But more child safety seat owners must register their seats to protect their children,” said NHTSA Administrator Jeffrey W. Runge, M.D.
Before 1993 when registration cards were required to be attached to all child safety seats, just one major manufacturer provided warranty-type cards that included registration information which could be used to notify owners of recalls. At that time, only 3 percent of purchasers returned cards. Currently, 27 percent return registration cards.
The NHTSA regulation requires child seat manufacturers to provide postage paid
cards to consumers. However, it does not permit marketing material or questions
to be included on these cards.
Consumers who are unable to locate their child safety seat registration cards may register their seats through NHTSA. They can obtain a registration form by visiting the NHTSA website: www.nhtsa.dot.gov. (First select “Recalls,” and then “Child Safety Seat Recalls.”) Alternatively, a form can be ordered by calling NHTSA’s Auto Safety Hotline: 888-327-4236. Consumers should mail the signed form to NHTSA, which will forward it to the manufacturer for registration.
NHTSA’s report, used to evaluate the impact of the 1993 regulation on child safety seat registration, has been published in the Federal Register and can also be viewed on the NHTSA website at: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/regrev/evaluate/809518.html.
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