Child restraint failure a ticking time bomb: RACQ

RACQ has issued a dire warning to parents and caregivers who own a Joie i-Travvel child restraint after it catastrophically failed a safety test by the Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP) and given the lowest possible one-star rating.

The convertible child seat almost completely failed the test in the forward-facing position after the crash test child dummy was catapulted out of the restraint upon impact. 

RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Steve Spalding said the manufacturer was aware of the problems found during testing and had strengthened the device in November 2019, but earlier models had not been removed from sale or recalled.

“Our biggest concern is the safety of young children in this child seat and urgent action must be taken now to alert parents to the ticking time bomb they have in their car,” Mr Spalding said. 

“In its rear-facing mode, the child restraint offers four-star protection but during its forward-facing test, in Isofix mode, the restraint straps sheared away from the casing causing the child dummy to be ejected. This is the first time since CREP began evaluating child restraints in 1992 that this has ever occurred.”

Mr Spalding said the restraint failed the test with deadly consequences and parents should have no faith the restraint will protect their young child in a serious crash. 

“Our advice to anyone who has one of these restraints is to replace it, and if you’re considering purchasing this product, ask the retailer if it has been manufactured after November last year,” he said. 

“While the manufacturer has upgraded the restraint, we urge retailers to check and remove any older stock to avoid parents buying such a poor performing product.”

RACQ is a partner of the Child Restraint Evaluation Program which exists to help consumers make safer child restraint choices.