September 2014

STATEMENT REGARDING WHICH? CHILD CAR SEAT REVIEW OF THE BRITAX DUALFIX

The UK consumer organisation Which? have published their results on the Britax DUALFIX child car seat. The Britax DUALFIX (Group 0+/1) was rated with the overall test score of 20% and given a ‘Don’t Buy’ status. This is as a result of their visual observation concerning the length of the product’s harness that made Which? decide to downgrade an otherwise good overall safety score.

We respectfully disagree with the observational test approach and its impact on the overall safety score for the seat and would like to reassure the concerned parents that we firmly stand by our product DUALFIX, and have developed an informative video:

 

 

How was this result derived?

Overall safety rating: The Britax DUALFIX received a good four-star overall safety rating in Which?’s crash tests.

Rearward-facing mode: The Britax DUALFIX was awarded an impressive five stars for front-impact crashes and a satisfactory three-star rating for side-impact crashes, and an overall score of 68%.

Forward-facing mode: The Britax DUALFIX received a good four-star rating for front-impact crashes and the same satisfactory three-star rating for side-impact crashes, with an overall score, in this format, of 72%.

Further observational review: Experts at Which? state that the harness on this seat cannot be tightened enough around a newborn baby – in their view there is slack in the harness when used with a newborn – and they believe there is a chance a wriggly newborn could free its shoulders from the harness. Therefore Which? decided to downgrade the overall test result for this car seat to 20%, making the Britax DUALFIX, in their opinion, a ‘Don’t Buy’.

Britax’s position on the results

We totally disagree with this assessment by Which?. The assessment and downgraded score are based on visual observations and are without justification. The following facts support our position:

  • The Britax DUALFIX is approved to the European regulation ECE R44/04 (verified by independent external regulatory approval bodies). We have already thoroughly reviewed these tests and videos and stand behind our approvals and results.
  • Specific tests to represent a newborn are part of this legal ECE R44/04 approval process. We are satisfied with the numerous crash tests results with P0 dummies which are the industry standard and ECE R44/04 recognised dummies representing newborns.
  • We have completed our own extensive internal testing (we test well above and beyond legal requirements), which is a combination of dynamic crash test and ergonomic fit, with Group 0 (newborn) and Group 1 dummies with good results. We conduct, as well, multiple steps in our development process where we assess subjective criteria with real children.
  • We have sold tens of thousands of seats since DUALFIX’s introduction in June 2013 and have not had any consumer concern or complaints about harness length or slack in any market across Europe, Middle East & Africa. For reference we have sold this restraint in over 38 countries during that time.
  • We tested this product extensively with our testing partner ADAC Landsberg Germany in December 2013 with good data and results using their test protocol.
  • We have completed additional roll-over static tests under ECE R44/04 Supplement 7 (which came into force in February 2014) using a P0 newborn dummy. This test simulates the displacement/potential ejection of a newborn child in a vehicle roll-over scenario. The Britax DUALFIX passes this objective test and we cannot therefore accept or understand Which?’s claim (based on a visual assessment and not on objective test results or data) that the Britax DUALFIX has any issue with harness length or slack.

At Britax, we have been designing and manufacturing child car seats for over 40 years with unparalleled experience in protecting children on the road. Our products are designed to: provide better performance than legally required and; offer parents excellent protection for their children. We firmly stand by our product DUALFIX and the excellent feedback received from our consumers is a testament to the safety and suitability of this product.