January 7, 2002
Child Safety Seat Registration Proves
Effective in Notifying Owners of Recalls,
NHTSA Evaluation Report Shows
times more child safety seats are now being registered than were a decade
ago, but further gains are vitally important for child safety, according to
a report by the U.S. Department of Transportation?s National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Expanded registration of child safety seats makes it easier to notify owners
of safety-related recalls, such as faulty handles or harnesses, the NHTSA
report indicates. The repair rate on recalled seats is now 21.5 percent,
versus 13.8 percent when the agency first approved a regulation that
required manufacturers to provide registration cards for seats made after
NHTSA research also shows that the indirect cost to consumers of the
regulation is just 43 cents for each car seat sold.
?This simple regulation is clearly helping protect our children from
defective safety seats without imposing a high cost on consumers. But more
child safety seat owners must register their seats to protect their
children,? said NHTSA Administrator Jeffrey W. Runge, M.D.
Before 1993 when registration cards were required to be attached to all
child safety seats, just one major manufacturer provided warranty-type cards
that included registration information which could be used to notify owners
of recalls. At that time, only 3 percent of purchasers returned cards.
Currently, 27 percent return registration cards.
The NHTSA regulation requires child seat manufacturers to provide postage
paid cards to consumers. However, it does not permit marketing material or
questions to be included on these cards.
Consumers who are unable to locate their child safety seat registration
cards may register their seats through NHTSA. They can obtain a registration
form by visiting the NHTSA website: www.nhtsa.dot.gov. (First select
?Recalls,? and then ?Child Safety Seat Recalls.?) Alternatively, a form can
be ordered by calling NHTSA?s Auto Safety Hotline: 888-327-4236. Consumers
should mail the signed form to NHTSA, which will forward it to the
manufacturer for registration.
NHTSA?s report, used to evaluate the impact of the 1993 regulation on child
safety seat registration, has been published in the Federal Register and can
also be viewed on the NHTSA website at: