October 6, 2000NHTSA Administrator Warns
Against Using Carrying Handle On Certain Century Infant Car Seats/Carriers
(SafetyAlerts) - Although they are
safe for use as rear-facing infant seats in motor vehicles, 4 million Century seats made
between January 1991 through July 1997 should not be held by the handle when used as
infant carriers, according to a warning issued by Dr. Sue Bailey, NHTSA administrator.
"Century will soon be announcing its recall to provide a new handle," Dr. Bailey
said. "Until then, parents should avoid using the handle and instead hold the body of
the seat securely when carrying an infant outside a motor vehicle. This risk can be
avoided until the new parts are available."
Dr. Bailey emphasized that the seats perform properly in protecting children in crashes
and should continue to be used for that purpose.
In response to a NHTSA investigation, Century has advised the handles on these seats are
defective. The company has received more than 2,700 reports of handle-related problems,
including handles breaking, cracking, or possibly not being locked while the seat is being
used as a carrier. In addition, Century has also received over 200 reports of injury,
including concussions, skull fractures, lacerations, broken bones, bruises and scratches
as a result of such handle-related problems.
The problem involves all Century rear-facing infant car seats/carriers manufactured from
January 1991 through July 1997 that have a molded, one-piece, one-color plastic handle
colored white, gray, or tan. The date of manufacture, written as month, day, year (010191
through 073197), can be found on a label on the side of the seat. A label on the front of
the seat reads, "Century."
Century will provide additional information, including information about a remedy, when it
announces a recall of these child safety seats. Consumers may call Century at
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