NHTSA and Century Announce Recall of Infant Car Seats/Carriers

16 October 2000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NHTSA/CPSC 01-012


CPSC, NHTSA and Century Announce Recall of Infant Car Seats/Carriers

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Century Products (Century) of Macedonia, Ohio, is recalling about 4 million infant car seats/carriers. When the seat is used as an infant carrier, the handle can break. An infant inside the carrier can fall to the ground and suffer serious injuries.

"The break can happen unexpectedly and the seat can drop to the ground,"said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. "Century is providing parents with new handles for their carriers. Installing the new handle will help keep your baby safe and secure.

Century 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 to these reports, 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.

"Riding in a child safety seat on the car's rear seat for every trip is the safest way to transport young children in a motor vehicle," said NHTSA Administrator Dr. Sue Bailey. "The recall announced today is only related to using the seat as a carrier not how the seat performs while in a car. Parents should continue using these carriers as car seats."

The recall involves all Century rear-facing infant car seats/carriers with one-piece handles manufactured from January 1991 through July 1997. The date of manufacture, written as month, day, year (010191 through 073197), can be found on a label on the side of the seat. The recalled car seats/carriers have a molded, one-piece, one-color plastic handle colored white, gray, or tan.

Juvenile product, mass merchandise and major discount stores nationwide sold the car seats/carriers for about $40 when sold alone to about $130 when sold with a stroller.

Century will provide consumers a free easy-to-install replacement handle. Consumers should not carry the seat by the handle until it has been replaced. Consumers can continue to use the product as a car seat. CPSC, NHTSA and Century remind parents and caregivers to always restrain infants according to instructions when in the car seat/carrier. Always be sure the handle is locked in the carry position before picking up the carrier.

To receive a free replacement handle, call Century toll-free at (800) 865-1419 anytime, or visit Century's web site www.centuryproducts.com. Consumers should have the car seat in front of them when they call.

Consumers with questions about this recall campaign should call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or visit CPSC's web site www.cpsc.gov. Information also is available at the NHTSA's toll-free Auto Safety Hotline at (888) DASH-2-DOT (327-4236) or visit NHTSA's web site www.nhtsa.dot.gov. The NHTSA number to call in the Washington, DC area is (202) 366-0123.

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