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Advisory: NHTSA Administrator Dr. Sue Bailey Warns Against Using Carrying Handle On Certain Century Infant Car Seats/Carriers

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Dr. Sue Bailey

Advisory: NHTSA Administrator Dr. Sue Bailey Warns Against Using Carrying Handle On Certain Century Infant Car Seats/Carriers

NHTSA
October 6, 2000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NHTSA 42-00
Friday, October 6, 2000 (Revised 800 Number, 3:45 p.m.)
Contact: Tim Hurd 202-366-9550

Although they are safe for use as rear-facing infant seats in motor vehicles, 4 million Century seats made between January 1991 through July 1997 should not be held by the handle when used as infant carriers, Dr. Sue Bailey, NHTSA administrator, warned today.

"Century will soon be announcing its recall to provide a new handle," Dr. Bailey said. "Until then, parents should avoid using the handle and instead hold the body of the seat securely when carrying an infant outside a motor vehicle. This risk can be avoided until the new parts are available."

Dr. Bailey emphasized that the seats perform properly in protecting children in crashes and should continue to be used for that purpose.

In response to a NHTSA investigation, Century has advised the handles on these seats are defective. The company has received more than 2,700 reports of handle-related problems, including handles breaking, cracking, or possibly not being locked while the seat is being used as a carrier. In addition, Century has also received over 200 reports of injury, including concussions, skull fractures, lacerations, broken bones, bruises and scratches as a result of such handle-related problems.

The problem involves all Century rear-facing infant car seats/carriers manufactured from January 1991 through July 1997 that have a molded, one-piece, one-color plastic handle colored white, gray, or tan. The date of manufacture, written as month, day, year (010191 through 073197), can be found on a label on the side of the seat. A label on the front of the seat reads, "Century."

Century will provide additional information, including information about a remedy, when it announces a recall of these child safety seats. Consumers may call Century at 1-800-865-1419.

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