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Safety experts concerned about car defect putting children in danger
March 11, 2017
You follow all the rules. You buckle your little one properly into their car seat and you pay attention to the road. You have taken every precaution possible to protect your family, but there may be one thing in your car that you cannot protect your child against, and it may surprise you to learn it's the front seat ... the actual seat.
Liz and Andrew Warner, of Littleton, Colorado are parents who followed the rules, unfortunately a defect in their car's driver seat was something they didn't know to protect against. When the family car was rear ended, the accident caused the front seat to collapse and fall backwards. The seat hit Taylor Warner, 17 months, in the face. She died of her injuries a short-time later, Fox 13 reported.
CBS News reports that auto safety experts are furious, and demanding that the automakers fix the problem. Early last month, a Texas jury slapped an automaker with a $124.5 million verdict for failing to fix a problem that would only cost a few dollars to repair.
In that case, a family sued the automaker after the seat slammed backwards into their 7-year-old child causing permanent brain damage. When confronted, an attorney for Audi (the automaker named in the lawsuit) said that the seats were designed to absorb impact and did what they were supposed to do.
This argument seems to contradict years of advisement from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which consistently argues that the safest place for children in in the backseat.
Denver's Fox 13 Problem Solvers discovered that some 100 children have died because of seat failures in the last 15 years. What's more surprising is that the problem could easily be fixed at very little cost, according to Fox 13.
Attorney Jim Gilbert of Arvada, Colorado, told reporters that the problem is outdated safety standards. "These safety standards, almost all of them have been in effect since 1971 ... It's laughable how poor the safety standards are," he said.
So far, no legislation has passed to encourage automakers to make any changes. Parents are urged to keep their children in the backseat, but sit them in the middle seat when possible. If there are two car seats, Fox 13 recommends putting the second seat behind the person who weighs the least.