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Child Safety Seats Fail Independent Tests

Three popular child safety seats don’t live up to the name, Consumers Union said Wednesday, warning that the seats or their passengers broke loose in 30 mph test crashes.

Manufacturers disputed failing grades given to the Century 590 infant seat when used with its detachable base and the Kolcraft Traveler 700 convertible seat when facing forward.

The third manufacturer decided last month to recall its Evenflo On My Way 206, which failed when attached to its base.

“At the moment of truth, they simply did not do their jobs,” the independent testing organization’s technical director, R. David Pittle, told a news conference.

Pittle urged the voluntary or mandatory recall of the two models still on the market. He also asked federal regulators to impose more stringent testing standards.

All states now require infants and small children to ride in government-approved safety seats, yet about 700 children die and at least 60,000 are injured in car crashes each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates.

Consumers Union tested 25 models and rated 22 of them as safe but will give “not acceptable” ratings to the other three in the September 1995 issue of Consumer Reports.

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