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‘Killer’ child car seats sold online even though they’re illegal | UK News

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Illegal child seats which offer “almost no protection” in a car crash are still available to buy online, a consumer group has warned. 

The seats, made of fabric, fail to protect children in the event of a car crash and sell for as little as £8 on sites such as eBay, Amazon and AliExpress, Which? found.

The products were dubbed “killer car seats” after a crash test carried out by Surrey Trading Standards and Britax in 2014 found the seats fell to pieces in a 30mph crash.

The crash test dummy of a three-year-old child flew through the windscreen when the straps failed.

Dozens of the seats were removed from sale at the time, but Which? says they have since reappeared on the market.

Websites including Amazon, eBay and AliExpress were found to have listed the products
Image:
Websites including Amazon, eBay and AliExpress were found to have listed the products

The consumer group said the seats lacked adequate support to protect babies and toddlers, even though they were described in listings as suitable for newborns and children up to five years old.

It added that websites should be able to recognise the dangerous car seats and remove them from sale immediately.

Amazon, eBay and AliExpress say they have removed the listings.

Alex Neill, managing director of Which? Home Products, said: “Parents will be horrified at the thought they could be unwittingly putting their child’s life at risk with one of these ‘killer’ car seats.

“Online marketplaces cannot continue to turn a blind eye to dangerous and illegal products being sold on their sites.”

eBay confirmed the seats found by the consumer group were illegal and said it had asked sellers to get in contact with customers to organise returns.

The fabric car seats are not legal to use in the UK
Image:
The fabric car seats are not legal to use in the UK

A spokeswoman for the online marketplace said the safety of customers was “paramount” and teams were monitoring “billions” of listings a day to remove illegal products.

According to EU regulations, only approved child car seats which have been put through safety testing can be used in the UK.

Approved seats should carry a clear orange label with the codes ECE R44-03, ECE R44-04 or ECE R129.

Amazon confirmed the car seats in question were no longer available and that sellers could have their accounts deleted.

AliExpress also said they would “continue to take action against sellers who violate our terms of use”.

Which? recently suggested reforms were needed to improve the monitoring and policing of online marketplaces to ensure the safety of customers.

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