New study shows that 80 percent of parents think car seat registration cards are important, but only 42 percent return the card.
Washington, D.C. – In advance of National Child Passenger Safety Week (Sept. 13-19), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind and Safe Kids President and CEO Kate Carr joined safety advocates today at the Department of Transportation for a press conference encouraging parents and caregivers to register car seats with the manufacturer and to take immediate action if the product is a part of a recall.
In 2014, more than six million car seats were recalled for a safety defect – the largest car seat recall in U.S. history. Yet, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fewer than half of those car seats received the necessary repair.
“The safety of children in cars is our biggest priority,” said Administrator Rosekind. “NHTSA is committed to helping parents register their car seats and other child products with manufacturers, which we know is critical if there is a recall. We’re also committed to working with manufacturers to make sure parents receive a quick and thorough solution during a recall so children are protected.”
Safe Kids and NHTSA strongly urge all parents and caregivers to follow these steps to ensure their child is protected in a vehicle.
Register Your Car Seat
Option 1: Register online with your car seat manufacturer or www.safercar.gov/parents. You’ll need the model number and date of manufacture found on the label on your car seat.
Option 2: Fill out and mail in the registration card that came with your car seat. It already includes your car seat’s information. No postage required.
Find Out if your Car Seat is Recalled
Visit NHTSA’s website, and enter your seat’s brand name and model.
“The single best way for parents to learn about a recall is to register their car seat with the manufacturer. Unfortunately, this important first step doesn’t happen nearly enough,” said Carr. “During Child Passenger Safety week, we want to remind all parents to register their car seats and take action when a recall occurs. This is a cost-free remedy the manufacturer provides—and must provide—to protect your child.”
To understand why so few recalled car seats get repaired and to educate parents about the importance of recalls, Safe Kids Worldwide released “Car Seat Recalls: What Every Parent Needs to Know,” a new study which reveals that only 42 percent of parents said they filled out and returned the registration card. That means that on average, six out of 10 parents risk not hearing about a car seat recall in the most timely and dependable manner – directly from the manufacturer. The study, funded through an annual research grant from the General Motors Foundation, surveyed 562 parents of children who use a car seat, and collected responses from 44 parents who participated in an online bulletin board discussion.
“Through our nearly 20 year partnership with Safe Kids, we’ve made it our mission to help keep families safe in vehicles and on the road,” said Greg Martin, executive director of Global Public Policy for General Motors. “Each year, part of our annual grant is dedicated to fund research studies that shines light on ways to better protect children in and around vehicles.”
When a recall occurs, manufacturers use the information provided on that registration card to contact consumers directly and, if needed, provide the information and appropriate equipment to repair the car seat.
"Manufacturers want consumers to provide their information so if there is new or additional safety information about the car seat, they can be contacted,” said Kelly Mariotti, executive director of Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. “Registering the product isn’t difficult, no information from registration cards can be used for marketing purposes, and it’s an additional level of protection when traveling with children.”
During the final day of National Child Passenger Safety Week, recognized as National Seat Check Saturday, Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will show parents and caregivers how to correctly use, install and register their car seats. Safe Kids will host more than 500 child seat inspections across the country. Car seat inspections are a free service, available to parents year round. Visit safekids.org or nhtsa.gov to locate an event in their community at any time.