Congress Investigates Evenflo “Big Kid” Booster Seat
This February, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy began an investigation into Evenflo’s marketing and testing practices relative to its top-selling “Big Kid” Booster Seat. Evenflo is a subsidiary of China-based Goodbaby International Holdings and has been in the business of manufacturing and selling baby and children’s products for decades, including convertible car seats.
Evenflo “Big Kid” Booster Compaints
With regard to the “Big Kid” Booster, there had been a number of consumer complaints about the booster posing significant dangers in auto accidents, and causing significant injuries to children. ProPublica (a non-profit investigative journalism group) began its own investigation, which ultimately led to the Congressional investigation.
The crux of the complaints is that the booster seat is dangerous and does little, if anything, to restrain a child during a side-impact collision. While the seat is marketed by Evenflo as “side-impact” tested, Evenflo created its own performance standards, it performed its own testing, and “passed” its own product. Importantly, there are no federal regulations pertaining to side-impact tests for these seats, so Evenflo was left to its own devices in creating standards. It is alleged that the only way that the booster seat would have received a “failing” grade would have been if the crash-dummy ended up on the floor or if the seat was broken into pieces.
Evenflo Crash Tests
In 2019, during a deposition in a child injury case, Evenflo’s top engineer was shown the side-impact crash tests. During the video, the crash dummy’s body is violently thrown out of its shoulder belt, depicting the head and torso careening far outside the booster. Evenflo’s engineer admitted that if a child’s body moved in the directions depicted in the videotaped crash tests, there would have been a high risk of serious injury to the head, neck, and spine. Of course, this raises
Because the crash tests depict that the booster is unsafe in a side impact, representatives of the subcommittees have asked Evenflo for additional information and they have been given several weeks to respond.
If you or anyone you know has one of these booster seats, it is important to watch the video to understand the risks posed to a child using the seat and to discontinue use immediately to prevent catastrophic injuries.