Safety alert: replace Babystart Multi-Recline child car seatChild car seat fails our Which? crash testing

23 October 2014

Which? is advising parents who own the Babystart Multi-Recline Group 0/1 child car seat to replace it as soon as possible after this seat scored the lowest possible score in our independent child car seat tests. 

Since we tested it, the seat is no longer widely available, but you may find it for sale on websites such as eBay or Gumtree. If you own this seat, or know anybody who has this seat, we'd advise you to replace it as soon as possible due to a serious failing we uncovered in our car seat crash testing.

Find out more about car seats that have done badly in our tests in our guide to Don't Buy child car seats. And find out which child car seats we do recommend in our guide to Best Buy child car seats

Babystart Multi-Recline Group 0/1

This child car seat has passed the official regulatory tests required by ECE R44/04 to be sold as suitable for children from birth up to 18kg. 

But it scored our lowest test score of 0% overall in our more demanding, independent crash tests, which are conducted at higher speeds and forces than the current UK standards require. We've made this seat a Don't Buy because the shoulder parts of the harness were ripped out of the plastic seat shell as it broke under the force of the crash tests. 

If this were to happen in a real-life crash, a child would collide with the seat in front, with just the lap part of the belt keeping them attached to the car seat.

For a full explanation of the crash test results and car seat failings, head straight to our full test review of the Babystart Multi-Recline Group 0/1 car seat.

Which? child car seat testing

Which? tests child car seats in collaboration with other European consumer and motoring organisations. 

Our tests, carried out by the test lab of the German car club ADAC, are well-respected for their contribution to driving an improvement in the standard of child car seat safety over the last decade.

We test child car seats in front and side impact crash simulations. Both tests are developed from Euro NCAP crash test loads, which are based on typical real-life crashes.

Any child car seat marked as approved to ECE R44/04 is better than no car seat at all and will provide some protection in a crash, but our results indicate that a child using the Babystart Multi-Recline car seat in Group 1 mode, reclined, would be at risk of serious injury in the crashes we simulated. 

Other car seats that we've tested, particularly our Best Buys, do a better job of restraining a child and reducing the forces placed on a child's body in a crash.

Second hand child car seats

Car seat experts do not recommend you buy a car seat secondhand as you cannot tell if it has been damaged or previously been in an accident just by looking at it. Any damage could reduce the effectiveness of the seat in a crash - and you won't know how it has been stored.  

This car seat is also known as the Nania Safety Paris SP outside of the UK, as the approval codes are identical.

More on this...

  • Don't Buy car seats - more car seats that have not impressed in our tough tests
  • Which? child car seat reviews - with crash safety ratings for more than 100 child car seats
  • Buying a child car seat? - all the advice you need