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Breakfast Thursday, 5 June, 2003, 06:44 GMT 07:44 UK
Tougher tests for child seats
Child seat safety
See below for the full list of results
Many children's car seats still don't provide adequate protection in a crash, according to new research.

The AA and the Consumers' Association say they've discovered that many seats which pass our current safety standards do not perform well in crashes at 40mph or faster.

And some of the worst performers are booster seats, which many parents use when their children are between four and 12 years old

Click here for the full list of test results

  • Breakfast's Jules Botfield went to a car seat showroom in Reading

    Safety legislation in Europe requires car seats to pass a crash test at 30mph.

    The Consumers' Association and AA Motoring trust want the test speed increased to 40 mph and made more realistic to take a side impact into account.

    Ninteen seats commonly available in the UK were put to the 40mph test - and four of those performed badly.

    Advice to parents from the AA motoring trust
    Make sure that any seat will properly fit into the specific model of car
    Make sure you take time to fit it even if you're in a hurry
    Keep children in seats with harnesses for as long as possible

    The Chicco Zenith, Meggy Combi, and the Mothercare Dimension and Runner were criticised for their performance in front on crashes and their overall safety and ease of use.

    Chicco claimed the seats sold in the UK do not have the same harness as the one the researchers found fault with.

    Mothercare was initially unable to comment on the criticism of its seats.

    But Meggy said its Combi seat "exceeds the most recent and stringent legal requirement for automotive child restraint systems."

    Another four seats available in the UK only gave the bare minimum protection - they were three models made by Britax and one by Mamas and Papas.

    "The car seat industry has a long way to go," said Helen Parker, editor of Which?

    "We're working together with consumer groups across Europe and car clubs such as the AA to guide people towards the safest seats."

    Andrew Howard, head of road safety at the AA Motoring Trust, said: "These tests were carried out in laboratories with the seats fitted exactly as the instructions demanded, but despite this the results were often poor, and sometimes alarming.

    "But there's no doubt that in real life things would be even worse, as many of the seats proved difficult to fit."

    Car test results

    These are the results of tests carried out at 40 miles per hour by the AA Foundation. All the car seats listed meet current safety standards, but some performed badly in the tougher 40mph test:

    Rear facing baby seats to one year:
    Satisfactory Bebe Confort Elios Safe Side, Brevi Smart Silverline, Britax Rock a Tot Deluxe, Graco Autobaby with base, Mamas and Papas Primo Viaggio (no seats in this category rated poor)

    Forward-facing seats: 1-4 years
    Good Romer Duo Plus
    Satisfactory Britax Eclipse, Britax Renaissance, Maxi Cosi Priori SPS, Maxi Cosi Priori XP
    Poor Chicco Zenith

    Two Way seats: 0-4 years
    Satisfactory Bebe Confort Iseos Safe Side

    Booster seats: children up to 12
    Good Britax Kids.
    Satisfactory Bebe Confort Hipsos Safe Side
    Bare Minimum Britax Cruiser Plus, Britax Ranger, Britax Trio, Mamas and Papas Pasaggio.
    Poor Meggy Combi, Mothercare Runner, Mothercare Dimension

  • A total of 52 European car seats were tested, 19 of which are on sale in this country.The EuroNCAP tests were carried out at 40mph or with side impact. Legally, child car seats need only to withstand a crash at 30 mph
    Car seats
    Breakfast's Jules Botfield talks to Andrew Hammond of the AA and Adrian Portre of Halfords
    Car seats study
    The BBC's transport correspondent Tom Symonds reporting
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