Defective Car Seats

Each year, thousands of children are seriously injured or killed in automobile accidents. These accidents are made even more tragic when the discovery of a defective car seat means that the child’s injuries could have been prevented. Car seats are supposed to protect small children who are otherwise helpless in the wake of an accident.

There are several ways that the car seat owner can contribute to making a car seat defective for a child:

  • Wrong Angle of Recline – The car seat’s angle of recline should never leave a child seated horizontally
  • Poorly Placed Chest Clip – A chest clip placed too far down on a child could lead to ejection
  • Poorly Labeled Chest Slots – Chest slots often have poor labeling, causing them to be used improperly and fail to protect a child in the event of an accident
  • Three-Point Harness – This type of harness is generally bad because it gives a child no pelvic support, making the child more susceptible to ejection
  • T-Shield – A t-shield is more likely to cause impact to the top of a child’s throat during an accident
  • Broken Plastic Shell – A broken plastic shell makes the car seat an ineffectual form of protection for the child
  • Booster Seats – A booster seat is often thought of as a car seat bigger children graduate to, but its lack of upper body support often leads to ejection


In other cases, a car seat is made defective by no fault to the driver or adult responsible. Below are a few examples:

  • Manufacturer neglect
  • Failure of manufacturer to meet accident regulations
  • Poor construction materials
  • Construction with flammable materials
  • Harness defect
  • Sudden release of accident latches
  • Carrier separation from base
  • Handle malfunctions
  • Unclear instruction manual that leads to improper installation

When a car seat doesn’t do its job, it can lead to devastating injuries, such as brain trauma, skull fracture, spinal cord injury, internal injuries and others. If the car seat’s manufacturer is at fault for a child’s injury in a vehicle accident, the child’s parent or legal guardian can seek compensation for medical bills, emotional trauma and more.