Fake car seats on the rise, MSP warning parents
MID-MICHIGAN (WNEM) - Counterfeit car seats are being found across the country and here in Michigan, and state police are sounding the alarm, trying to ensure children are in safe and legitimate restraints.
“There has been an influx of counterfeit car seats sold in the United States, and we’re seeing a lot of them in Michigan,” said Michigan State Police (MSP) Lt. Kim Vetter.
Vetter said she wants parents to be on the lookout for knockoff car seats like the one shown in this picture next to a real car seat.
“If you’re in the baby market, you pretty much know which manufacturers are reputable in the United States. You want to stick with one that you know, and if it’s a new one that you’re not sure of, make sure you do the research before purchasing,” Vetter said. “Use a reputable purchasing site if you’re going to order it online, or a reputable store.”
Vetter also said some red flags to look out for include the following:
Seats missing mandatory information, including height and weight requirements in English.
Seats missing a statement that says the child restraint system conforms to all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.
Car seats missing a manual and/or a registration recall card.
Car seats that don’t have a five-part harness with a chest clip.
Vetter said she wants to remind parents if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
“A very low price on a product like a car seat might indicate that it is not a legitimate car seat; it could be a counterfeit,” Vetter explained.
Fake car seats could have real consequences.
“We’re seeing some that are coming to parents that have no buckles where there should be buckles, or they are made up of subpar plastic. The reputable manufacturers are ensuring that the plastics and the materials they’re using are strong enough to withstand crash forces, which is the entire purpose of the child passenger seat. So, you want to make sure you’ve got a real car seat and not a counterfeit,” Vetter said.
She said if parents have any concerns about their car seat, they should find a certified child passenger safety technician.
You can find a technician by visiting the National Child Passenger Safety Certification website.
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