Thursday, January 18, 2007

Red faces at Consumer Reports
on child car seat story

Consumer Reports , a highly trusted and reliable magazine which has a large Canadian circulation and following, has taken a real hit to its credibility. It has had to retract a story published a couple of weeks ago that said about a dozen well-known brands of children's car seats that are sold in Canada were unsafe. According to a story on the CityTV website:
"It turns out the tests were conducted at higher crash speeds than the authors originally claimed. The earlier contention had the seats failing "disastrously" in impacts of 60 kilometres an hour.

"But now Consumer Reports indicates it has since received new information from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the speed of the tests, which may actually have been closer to 110 km/h. Therefore, the publication admits, the tests can't be considered accurate.

"Transport Canada had assured all along that the standards on the seats in this country were different from their U.S. counterparts, and there was nothing for parents to fear. As it turns out, it appears they were the ones who got it right."

Consumer Reports put out a statement on its website that said, in part:
To those who may have seen the report earlier in print, on the web, or in broadcasts, we urge you to remember that use of any child seat is safer than no child seat, but to suspend judgment on the merits of individual products until the new testing has been completed and the report re-published.
Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union, a non-profit, educational organization. The magazine has 4 million paid circulation and a readership of some 16 million in North America.


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