NRMA have released the results of a Child Restraint Evaluation Program.



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NRMA and its partners have released the results of the Child Restraint Evaluation Program, which have revealed that three of the 17 have received ratings of below two stars.

No model scored the maximum 5 stars for protection but five of the new models scored 4 stars, nine made 3 stars, one received 2 stars and two got one 1 star.

NRMA Senior Policy Advisor Dimitra Vlahomitros said that while those restraints met the Australian Standard, they fell short against competing products.

“It is disturbing to see two restraints achieving only 1 star in our test program, especially since the testing program has been running for 15 years,” she said.

“The fundamental message to parents from these tests is that safety does not necessarily come at a price and that price is not the guarantor of safety.”

The 1 star products are the Safety 1st Sentinel II and the Maxi-Cosi Mico AP ISOGO, the latter of which was the most expensive child restraint tested in this batch at a recommended retail price of $549.

By comparison, the Mother’s Choice Silver Embrace scored four stars in rear-facing mode but has an RRP of only $169 and the Babylove booster seat also provides a four-star rating for only $70.

The Maxi-Cosi model received the lowest rating despite being equipped with ISOFIX, hailed by some in the industry as a huge step forward for child safety.

Ms Vlahomitros warned that correct fitment of the seat was also a vitally important consideration for parents, and that only one restraint – the Safe-N-Sound Trufix – scored above 3 stars for ease of use.

“A high proportion of restraints are not fitted correctly, which is in itself a major safety concern,” she said.

“Any factor which makes the fitting process less complex is vital.”

“The best booster seat in testing is less than $64.”

“Babies and other young children are vulnerable so it is important parents consider choosing a car seat with the safest ratings possible by visiting childcarseats.com.au.”

“On the site parents will find more than 50 seats with a safety rating of 4 Stars and five seats with a safety rating of 5 stars.”

Find the full results here

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  • This is shocking to me. Shouldnt all car seats for sale be safe?


  • It is definitely disappointing that no model scored 5 stars.


  • Was about to go and buy a new car seat so this is very needed right now


  • I would like to see a photo of the booster seat. I hope it is one of those “white foam” ones. After awhile the heat in motor vehicles perishes them and they suddenly split (taking from experience).


  • I’m so glad I’m past this stage – it’s a landmine out there trying to come to grips with all of the goods on sale.


  • It is so important to have these properly installed. I think the guidelines have improved since my son was old enough to be in all sorts of car seats. It was frustrating and confusing trying to understand the rules and regulations. How old should a child stay in one? Height/weight? I don’t have to worry about this now, but am assuming and hoping there are clear guidelines now.


  • It is best to buy a good car seat as it is a safety prevention when travelling . The first car seat lasted a long time and when my son was born he used the same one as it was still great condition . Never ever buy a second hand one ( unless a trusty person gives one to you – and you know it is safe ) as you don’t know the condition or where it came from . All belts , straps , structure must in great condition and have never been in an accident . This item is not worth being cheap about .


  • Thanks for sharing this important information. Travel safe and sleep safe from Nigh’ Nigh’ Sleepy Head…make bedtime beautiful.


  • Thanks for the article and info and the link too.


  • It is a scary thought that people are spending large sums of money assuming that they are getting quality products but they are not. I hope some of those parents read this NRMA report


  • This shows how important it is to investigate yourself so they can’t sell you something expensive but of bad quality in the in the shop…


  • I can’t believe the most expensive seats are not always the better ones. What are those companies making parents pay for if it’s not going to better the safety of our children?


  • wow!!! i bought the most expensive car seat years ago- and it is the most expensive, un-safe seat!!! woooowwwwwww!!!!!! that really annoys me because you think that you spend more money for your child’s safety but you might as well put away $400 of that money and buy a cheaper seat.


  • This is a great article for soon to be parents.


  • Why are the manufacturers allowed to make seats that aren’t safe?! Aren’t there standards they need to adhere to?!?!?!?!


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