Consumer Reports Retract Explosive Infant Car Seat Study


WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) - Consumer Reports magazine backed off Thursday from its recent negative report on infant car seats, saying test crashes were conducted at speeds higher than it had claimed.

The magazine reported Jan. 4 that most of the seats it tested "failed disastrously" in crashes at speeds as low as 35 mph. In one test, it said, a dummy child was hurled 30 feet.

In a statement issued Thursday, Consumer Reports said it had received information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration "concerning the speed at which our side-impact tests were conducted" - supposedly, 38 mph. Consumer Reports spokesman Ken Weine said new information from the federal agency showed that the speeds were higher.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the crash tests were conducted under conditions that would represent being struck at more than 70 mph - twice as fast as the magazine claimed.

"Consumer Reports was right to withdraw its infant car seat test report and I appreciate that they have taken this corrective action," said NHTSA administrator Nicole Nason. "I was troubled by the report because it frightened parents and could have discouraged them from using car seats."