Car Seat Design Flaw Kills, and Yet Nothing has Changed

dangers created by design flaw in car seatCBS Denver recently did a piece on a flaw in the design of front car seats in many cars, and Colorado lawmakers who want to help change this. In the piece you discover how a 16 month old little girl was killed during a car accident when her family’s Honda Odyssey minivan was struck from behind. The seat in front of her broke and collapsed on top of her. She died from her injuries.

According to CBS, crash test shows seats can fail in rear-end collisions. The executive director at Center for Auto Safety stated that about 64 adults a year die or suffer serious injuries from seat collapses, and about 50 children a year die due to seats collapsing. Additionally, a CBS investigation found more than 100 people, most of them children, who had been hurt or killed from car seats collapsing. Apparently, collapsing seats have been scrutinized for decades, and yet experts state that very little has been done to address these concerns.

Federal safety standards and regulations regarding cars, known as the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Regulations, govern car design. A section of these standards covers crashworthiness. Standard No. 207 is in regards to seating systems for passenger cars. It simply states: “This standard establishes requirements for seats, attachment assemblies, and installation, to minimize the possibility of failure as a result of forces acting on the seat in vehicle impact.” Automakers routinely point out that their seats meet this Standard for seat strength. However, safety “watchdogs” claim the standard is antiquated and has not been updated since it was created in the 1970s.

Colorado U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette is now getting involved with this issue, as well as other legislators in the country. Two U.S. Senators planned to send a letter to Honda and 18 other automakers demanding answers regarding this car seat failure.

Hopefully, with the push from state and U.S. legislators we can make a difference. It is truly a shame that there are vehicles out there with a design flaw that can kill passengers. We need to hold these automakers accountable. That includes the citizens of this country, as well as, the government holding auto manufacturers accountable. I’m proud that Colorado is getting involved with this fight. No one should be injured if there is a way to prevent it.

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