Many shoppers don’t read up on products before purchasing them. They prefer to form their own opinions, rely on trusted family or friends for advice, or go with their gut. But when considering products that could compromise one’s safety or the safety of others, consumers should carefully consider all available information. Take car seats, the failures that could cause children passengers serious harm. If you’re not doing your due diligence, you might pick up a Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 convertible car seat that is currently subject to recall.
The Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 convertible car seat
Manufactured by the Dorel Juvenile Group (Dorel), the Pria 85 convertible car seat certainly seems impressive on paper. Not for newborns, the car seat secures children between 14 and 85 pounds. The Pria 85 is relatively lightweight for a convertible car seat its size. Its harness and headrest are easily adjustable, securing a child over premium, breathable fabrics. And it comes with a machine washable cover, making it easy to clean – a necessity for every parent.
The Pria 85 also uses certain proprietary technologies to ensure a child’s comfort and safety. It uses AirProtect® technology to protect a child’s head in case of a side-impact crash. Dorel also designed the seat using the FlexTech® Energy Management system, which ensures that the seat has optimal rigidity and flexibility to protect a child in the event of a crash. For budget-conscious shoppers, the Pria 85’s 10-year life should be reassuring. And the car seat is FAA-certified for use on aircraft as well as in automobiles.
However, the recall also applies to the premium “Max” version of the Pria 85. Weighing 18.8 pounds, the Max version can secure newborns between 5 and 40 pounds, and up to 40 inches tall when it is in the rear-facing position. It can also secure children ranging from 22 and 85 pounds when it faces the front. The Max version is available in six colors and patterns made of self-wicking seat fabrics. It also boasts three recline settings and a three-position crotch strap. And this version of the Pria 85 comes with an auto-magnetic chest clip, rather than the standard version’s conventional chest clip mechanism.
The Pria 85’s recent recall
Despite its distinct features and options, approximately 83,000 Pria 85 and Pria 85 Max car seats are subject to a voluntary recall. According to Fatherly, the recall stems from a National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) regulatory test. The NHTSA regularly tests car seats using crash test dummies to ensure that a child receives maximum protection in the event of a crash.
The test the Pria 85 underwent was conducted on a bench using a lap belt rather than in the backseat of a car using a three-point seat belt. The top tether strap was also unconnected. After conducting this test, the NHTSA concluded that children 65 pounds or heavier might endure head injuries when in this car seat in the forward-facing position in the event of a crash if the seat is not installed with both the lap belt and top tether. Specifically, the force of the impact might propel a child’s head into the back of the driver’s seat, passenger seat, or some other interior part of the car and result in injuries.
As a result, the Dorel Juvenile Group has issued a recall through a press release and documents filed with the NHTSA. They will also be mailing out letters to affected customers starting October 18, 2021. However, they have not publicized a proposed solution to the issue, as per Consumer Reports.
What to do if you’ve purchased a Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 or Pria 85 Max car seat
If you’ve recently purchased a Pria 85 or Pria 85 Max convertible car seat, ensure that your car seat is currently installed with both the lap belt and the top tether. Installing it using both devices should mitigate the risk of head injuries that the NHTSA identified.
If you’re considering a replacement or other remedy, call Dorel’s customer service number at 877-657-9546. Or check the NHTSA website for more information about the recall. Select “Recalls” from the navigation bar, then “Car Seats.” From here, you can enter the name of the car seat, or you can click on the option to search for the recall using the “NHTSA ID.” If you choose this option, enter “21C003” when prompted. Either way, you’ll be able to get more information about the next steps.
And if you are considering obtaining another model of the car seat as a result of this recall notification, make sure you check the NHTSA website for recall information, along with checking out a review or two from a trusted publication. After all, given the importance of car seats, can you afford not to?