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It is reported that the ACCC have now formally announced safety concerns for the child car seat, namely, Joie i-Travvel car seat model # C1209BanOR600 or C1209BATBK600 (‘the child car seat’).

The child car seats have been recalled following tests revealed safety concerns.

The safety concerns of the child car seat identified include, “in the event of an accident, the harness anchor point may detach from the frame of the car seat.”

What this means, is that in the event the harness anchor point detaches, the seated child will not necessarily be sufficiently restrained in the seat, which may cause serious injuries or death.

The ACCC have recommended to people who are using the child car seat to immediately stop using it and hand it back in for a refund or store credit.

If you want some contact details, you may contact the supplier, “Bright Children’s Products Co Limited”, or the Joie Baby Au contact hotline (02) 8197 9962 Mon-Sun from 8am to 4pm AEST.

This has raised concerns amongst parents who have expressed concerns on Facebook around the next steps they should take.

The Tell Me Baby Facebook page has said, “It’s the first time a restraint failed to the extent that the dummy was ejected- very worrying news for some parents”.

A concerned parent said, “I have this exact car seat! Bought approx. 7 months ago. What the hell do I do?”.

Another concerned parent said, “This should not happen in Australia- this car seat should be recalled and fully refunded”.

Meanwhile, Joie in a statement have said, “We understand how concerning the recent media reporting must be for you as a parent, and we here at Joie also take it very seriously as consumer safety is our first priority.”

Notwithstanding the reports, the company have maintained that the i-Travvel meets Australia and New Zealand safety standard, “which are amongst the most stringent in the world. Whereas, the recent CREP tests evaluate child restraint seats under conditions outside the AU/NZS 1754 standard.”

“That said, we are deeply troubled by the CREP result and are thoroughly reviewing the results as a matter of urgency to understand fully, as well as working with the ACCC to determine next steps. We will provide an update with details on those steps within the next 1-2 days”.

They have also announced a total refund or store credit if you wish to return the seat.

The crash test involved a crash at 56km/h using a dummy that was seated in the child car seat, causing the dummy to be ejected off the seat and into the air from the crash test.

This occurred while the child car seat was in ISOFIX forward-facing mode. This means that the seat was secured in the car without using a seatbelt.

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Australia’s child restraint laws say:

  1. A child in a booster seat is required to be restrained by a suitable lap and sash type approved seatbelt properly adjusted and fastened, or by a suitable approved child safety harness properly adjusted and fastened.
  2. A child who is 7 years of age but less than 16 who’s too small to be retrained by a seatbelt properly adjusted and fastened are recommended to use an approved booster seat.
  3. A child who’s at least 4 years old, but less than 7 can’t travel in the front seat containing two or more rows except all other back seats have been occupied by children less than the age of 7 in an approved child restraint or booster seat.
  4. A child who is at least 4 years of age but under 7 is required to be secured in a forward-facing approved child restraint containing an in-built harness or an approved booster seat.
  5. A child aged under 4 years of age is not to travel in the front seat with two or more rows generally,
  6. A child who is from 6-months of age but less than 4 is required to be secured in either a forward-facing or rear-facing approved child restraint containing an in-built harness.
  7. A child who is aged up to the age of 6-months are required to be secured in an approved rearward-facing restraint.

The above is also outlined by the Centre for Road Safety by Transport for NSW.

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Child Seat Laws in NSW

While the laws are clear as to children being seated in motor vehicles with the correct child restraints in NSW, it is difficult to decipher the legislation prescribing heavy penalties if not done the legal way under rule 266 Road Rules 2014.

The courts can impose a maximum penalty of $2,200 fine, unless an on-the-spot fine is given by police for breaching any of these rules (which is what commonly occurs).

Breaching these child restrain laws will normally result in an on-the-spot fine (penalty notice) of $344 and 3 demerit points.

The penalty notice fine can be ‘court elected’ if you wish to dispute it or wish to avoid incurring demerit points, even after pleading guilty in court- this outcome can occur if the court imposes a non-conviction penalty/sentence (i.e. section 10 dismissal or CRO non-conviction).

However, paying the on-the-spot fine will put an end to the matter.

These penalties apply to the following:

  1. If a child under 6-months of age is not restrained in a suitable and properly fastened and adjusted rearward facing approved child restraint.
  2. If a child between 6-months of age and less than 4-years of age is not restrained in a suitable and properly fastened and adjusted rearward facing approved child restraint or forward-facing approved child restraint containing an in-built harness to it.
  3. If a child is at least 4-years of age but less than 7 who:
    • Is not restrained in the correct way, namely, in a suitable and properly fastened and adjusted forward facing approved child restraint with an in-built harness to it; or
    • Is not put on a properly positioned approved booster seat, restrained by a suitable lap and sash type approved seatbelt (properly adjusted and fastened) or by a suitable approved child safety harness that’s properly fastened and adjusted.
  4. If a child who is 7-years of age but less than 16 is not:
    • Properly positioned on an approved booster seat; and
    • Restrained by a seatbelt properly adjusted and fastened; or
    • Occupying a seating position fitted with a suitable approved seatbelt worn in a way that is properly adjusted and fastened.

An exception to these rule is if a child is aged up to the age of 7, and

  • A medical certificate is available saying that the child is not to be restrained in that way as required by law due to medical reasons or disability; and

The child is properly restrained in a restraint made for and is suitable for the child’s use, where the driver of the vehicle is otherwise complying with the conditions of the medical certificate.

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