Infants still at risk in Latin American cars shows new test

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PESRI testing uses the Latin NCAP star rating system to evaluate the safety of children and infants in CRS.
PESRI testing uses the Latin NCAP star rating system to evaluate the safety of children and infants in CRS.
While some CRS offered good levels of protection, some manufacturers are still producing models that leave children and infants at risk.
While some CRS offered good levels of protection, some manufacturers are still producing models that leave children and infants at risk.
The test show the star-rating and protection levels of different CRS models in a crash scenario’.
The test show the star-rating and protection levels of different CRS models in a crash scenario’.

Infants and children in Latin America and the Caribbean are still being put at risk by inadequate Child Restraint Systems (CRS) shows new testing data from Latin American Child Restraint Systems Evaluation Programme (PESRI), supported by the FIA Foundation.

One-star child restraint systems are still being manufactured and sold to an unwitting public, says PESRI following new testing of 12 popular CRS models sold across the region. The popular D'bebe Confort model received a one-star rating, as the CRS structure completely collapsed and the test dummy inside was thrown from the vehicle during. CRS must comply with UN regulations as well as either European standard approval labels or self-certification under the US technical standard FMVSS. PESRI identified that the D'bebe Confort is a hybrid product with a combination of certain regulatory requirements from each standard but lacks correct warnings, classifications and instructions. PESRI sought comment from the brand representative who said the model meets international safety standards, a claim which could not be proved by the manufacturer.

The tested CRS are sold widely across the region, including Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Uruguay. The tests include six infant carriers (Britax Baby Safe 2, Chicco Autofix Fast, Cybex Aton Q, Cybex Cloud Q, Maxi Cosi Cabriofix y Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SL), four convertible models for babies or small children (Cybex Sirona S, Bébé Confort Axissfix, Maxi Cosi Axissfix Plus and D´bebe Confort) and five multi-group seats that can be used as Boosters (Cybex Pallas M and M-Fix, Monza Nova IS, Kiddo Adapt and Bebesit Supersport). Overall results are in line with previous years and confirm that multi-group seats can compromise safety, mainly for CRS installed using the adult seatbelt. However, three multi-group CRS (Pallas M-Fix, Kiddo Adapt and Bebesit Supersport) achieved four-star results.

PESRI’s key recommendations include changes in regional vehicle and CRS standards. Shifting the region’s fleet to make ISOFIX anchorages standard to secure CRS, rather than adult seatbelts, would reduce misuse and incorrect installation. Countries still lacking mandatory CRS legislation are strongly recommended to implement the requirement for the use of CRS for children up to 135cm and in compliance with technical vehicle standards as soon as possible.

PESRI provides parents in Latin America and the Caribbean with independent CRS assessment information to raise consumer awareness of the importance of CRS use and provide safety performance ratings. Each CRS is subject to a series of tests, ranging from performance in frontal and side-impact tests, to its ease of use, resulting in a star rating score, from one to five. The testing results allow consumers to make an informed decision when buying a CRS. Partners in the programme include Global NCAP, International Consumers Research & Testing, FIA Foundation, Fundación Gonzalo Rodriguez (Uruguay), ProTeste (Brazil), ODECU (Chile), El Poder del Consumidor (Mexico), and FIA Region IV.

Saul Billingsley, Executive Director of the FIA Foundation, said: “The FIA Foundation is proud to support such an important programme to inform parents as they make choices to protect their children during car journeys. It is outrageous that faulty and dangerous child restraint systems are knowingly being sold - PESRI is shining a light on the worst practices across the Latin America and Caribbean region.”

More information: www.pesri.org