Unsafe products that don’t meet FMVSS 213 are a problem today. These products are being sold to caregivers in the U.S., often through online vendors. CPSTs must learn how to determine whether a car seat is legitimate and teach caregivers how to shop safely. When suspicious products are spotted, they should be reported so that authorities know a problem exists and can respond. The following resources can be used to help.
Report unsafe car seats and related products:
Have you seen a non-compliant product? Report it to these governmental agencies. They need to hear from caregivers and CPSTs to know what’s going on in the field.
- NHTSA—Tell NHTSA anytime you see an unsafe/defective/non-compliant car seat or related product by using this form: https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint or Toll-Free: 1-888-327-4236 / Hearing Impaired (TTY): 1-800-424-9153 (FYI, the form has been updated to allow people to complete a complaint, even if the car seat is from an unknown or unestablished brand. Just enter/select “unknown” for car seat brand.)
- Consumer Product Safety Commission—Alert this agency, as well, if a RF-only car seat’s required carrier labels are missing: www.SaferProducts.gov, or call CPSC’s toll-free Hotline at (800) 638-2772
- U.S. Department of Commerce— If a counterfeit car seat is spotted, contact this agency. Do this in addition to reporting to NHTSA (above). At the following website, under Contact Us you can send an email to describe the problem. Be sure to collect as much information as possible (including photos, purchasing info, packing slips, etc.). An agent will follow up by getting in touch with you: www.stopfakes.gov
Share these flyers with the public, CPSTs:
Maryland Kids in Safety Seats
Maryland KISS has developed a one-page sheet describing red flags that can alert people when a car seat is unsafe for use in the U.S. They’ve graciously made this one-page sheet available in two versions: one with their contact information and one that can be customized for your agency. You may choose either format of this flyer to share with techs or caregivers.
SBS USA offers a free, 2-page flyer titled “Warning: Fake and Unsafe Products” in both English and Spanish. Find it at www.carseat.org (sheet #680). Also related is Sheet #606, which describes the risks of belt-positioning devices.
Read information for CPSTs:
Manufacturers Alliance for CPS
Safe Ride News
SRN article titled “Calling Out Fakes, Knock Offs, and Imposters!”:
Read the article
SRN article titled “Warning: Aftermarket LATCH=Fake LATCH!”:
Read the article
Watch this webinar to learn more:
At www.cpsboard.org (under Recertification), a webinar titled “How to Know if a Car Seat Is Legit—or Not!” covers the topic of fake car seats in more depth. Presenters include Denise Donaldson (SRN), Sarah Haverstick (Goodbaby), Jennifer Rubin (SK Greater Sacramento), and Dr. Beth Woolfe (NHTSA). Note: By first logging into your CPS Board account (or creating an account, if necessary), a quiz can be taken after this webinar to earn 1.5 CEUs toward CPST recertification.
Watch it here