Britax ClickTight Car Seats May Have Harness Problems: Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports is warning parents about a possible safety problem with two Britax ClickTight car seat models, indicating that the harness strap could come loose in an auto accident. 

According to a report published on November 8, the consumer safety group is issuing the safety risk warning after testing two sample Britax car seats, the Britax Boulevard ClickTight and the Britax Marathon ClickTight convertible car seats.

Inspections of both car seats revealed that one or both sides of the harness strap were not completely secured to the lower anchor hook, which could allow the harness to come loose in a crash, even though it is attached securely at three or four other points.

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Consumer Reports indicates that the problem is easy to fix, but could render the car seat restraint potentially less effective, endangering children strap into the restraint.

The five-point harness design of the Britax ClickTight car seat allows the strap to be repositioned on the anchors to adjust for different sized children. Consumer Reports indicates that if parents or caregivers adjust the harness length they can properly re-secure the harness strap to the car seat if they make sure that the strap is engaged inside the hook.

On the seats with the safety problem, Consumer Reports found that the loop had been pulled over the anchor; but not engaged fully around the hook. If the hook is not engaged, the harness loop could potentially pull completely off the anchor during normal use. This may result in a child not being properly restrained, even though it may not be completely obvious without examing the lower anchor closely.

Consumer Reports is warning parents with the Britax Boulevard or Marathon ClickTight car seats to make sure that the harness straps end with a sewn loop, is fully engaged inside the steel hook.

Both Britax car seats were brand new models, recently introduced by the manufacturer. However Consuimer Reports indicates that at least four complaints have already been submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations (NHTSA), and one other complaint was found listed in an online owner forum. The exact nature of the complaints were not described.

Consumer Reports indicates that it has not crash tested the Britax car seats and could not comment on performance of the car seats with the safety problems if involved in a collision. However, they did note there have been no injury reports related to these specific seats.

Britax ClickTight harness model car seats have been crash tested by Consumer Reports in the past, and the group indicates that they performed well during the tests.

“We were impressed with the performance of the ClickTight feature for securing a harness when we tested it on toddler/booster models,” said Consumer Reports in a statement.

In response to the Consumer Reports findings, Britax issued a statement that also indicates that consumers who have bought the models should ensure that the harness straps are securely connected to the anchors inside the hook before using the seat.

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