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Britax Announces Recall of Child Restraints

- Strap Replacement Kit to be Provided to All Owners -

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 9 -- Britax Child Safety, Inc. is conducting a recall of four models of child restraints that may not comply with safety regulations. The affected Britax models are all Marathon (E9L06), Husky (E9L30), and Wizard (E9L07) restraints, as well as restraints manufactured by Britax for Snug Seat under the model name Traveller Plus (E9L32). The recall includes the entire production of these models through July 23, 2004. No other model is affected.

Extensive testing has determined that under certain circumstances, the adjuster strap may slip within the metal buckle that controls the tightness of the shoulder harness and may allow the harness to loosen. While occurrence of slippage is extremely rare, if it were to occur, in the event of a crash, the child may move farther forward than allowed under Safety Standard 213. This may increase the risk of injury. No accidents or injuries have been reported to date.

Britax will provide consumers with a kit enabling them to fix the problem by simply replacing the adjuster strap. The kit, containing a replacement strap and instructions, is expected to be available for distribution within two weeks. All owners of these restraints who returned a registration card will automatically receive the kit. The affected seats should not be returned to the Britax retailer.

Until the adjuster strap is replaced, these restraint models are safe to use as long as slippage is not occurring. Consumers are encouraged to test their restraints for slippage:

   * Pull on the shoulder harness without lifting the adjuster release lever
     (located on the front of the restraint under the cover flap).
   * If the harness loosens, use of the restraint should be stopped until
     the adjuster strap is replaced.
   * If the harness does not loosen, the restraint can continue to be used
     until the replacement adjuster strap is received.

Because slippage may develop over time during repeated usage, it is important to check for a secure adjuster strap before each use. Even if the test shows the restraints are operating normally, all owners of these restraints are urged to receive and install the replacement strap.

Owners of these models who did not return a registration card are urged to call Britax Customer Service at 800-683-2045 to provide information so they can also receive the replacement strap and instructions. Non-registered owners will need to provide Britax with the following information: Name, address, daytime telephone number, model name, model number, manufacturing date, and batch. Model and manufacturing information can be obtained from the label affixed to the restraint.

Britax has made manufacturing changes that resolve this issue in restraints manufactured after August 1, 2004. In addition, all unpurchased stock of these four models produced through July 23 are being retrofitted with the new adjuster strap by Britax before being sold by retailers. Restraints that have been retrofitted to comply with safety standards will be clearly identifiable by their packaging.

Consumers with questions should contact Britax at 800-683-2045 or visit the Britax website at http://www.britaxusa.com/ .