A recall can mean many things. Sometimes a notice will be released from the manufacturer that there’s a problem with a carseat. It can mean anything from a fix for an annoyance, such as the cover having a defect, to something as major as a harness failing in crash tests. If there is a recognized problem with a seat, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the manufacturer will issue the recall. If the seat is also used as a household item, such as rear-facing only infant seat, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may get involved.

Please register your carseat with the manufacturer or NHTSA. This may be the only way you receive notification of a recall. Don’t forget to update your information with the manufacturer should you change addresses.

If your seat has a defect, please notify the manufacturer, even if it’s after the warranty period. The manufacturer may not know there’s an issue and will work with you to resolve it. They may also ask for the carseat to be returned for study. Also, file a defect report with NHTSA. You may not be the only one with the same problem and the more reports NHTSA receives, the more likely it is to start an investigation that may lead to a recall.

What Should You Do If Your Carseat Is Recalled?

First, don’t panic. Recalls happen all the time and they are a way to ensure your child is riding safely in the car. Check your date of manufacture label on the side or back of your carseat for the date of manufacture and model number. Both of those items must match up with the recall. For example, if your carseat was manufactured on 12/26/2016 and the recall date range is for seats manufactured between 03/02/2016 and 08/05/2016, your carseat isn’t recalled, even if the model numbers match.

 
Best Carseat Recall Lists

SafetyBeltSafe USA

The SafetyBeltSafe recall list is unique in that after each manufacturer listing, it shows which seats don’t have any recalls.

UNC Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC)

The UNC recall list has a handy manufacturer index at the beginning to make it easier to find recalled seats.

NHTSA

The NHTSA is the most difficult list to read, but NHTSA also includes recall information for vehicles and tires here.