Which? reveals latest Don’t Buy car seatKids Embrace Friendship Batman Group 1/2/3
25 May 2016
In the latest Which? child car seat crash test results one seat scored poorly enough to be rated as a Don’t Buy.
The Kids Embrace Friendship Batman Group 1/2/3 scored so poorly in our side-impact crash tests in Group 3 mode, where it is turned into a backless booster seat, that its score is downgraded overall to 20%, making it a Don’t Buy.
Kids Embrace Friendship crash test results
The Kids Embrace Friendship car seat is a cheap, multi-group 1/2/3 car seat approved for use from 9kg-36kg, that’s around one to 12 years old.
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 36kg. But in our own, more demanding, crash tests it scored 20% overall for safety. Our crash tests include a side-impact crash test, something which the current R44.04 UK standard lacks.
The Kids Embrace scored very poorly in Group 3 mode. In this mode the seat needs to be converted from a high-backed booster seat to a booster cushion, removing the side impact protection. Side impact results were also poor for Group 2 mode, but results were better in Group 1 mode.
Which? members can get a full explanation of the crash test results, including the results for Group 1 and Group 2 modes, by reading the full review of the Kids Embrace Friendship Group 123 car seat.
Check out our other child car seat Don't Buys.
Which? child car seat testing
Which? tests child car seats in collaboration with other European consumer and motoring organisations.
Our specially designed crash tests are carried out by experts and based on EuroNCAP crash testing, which is based on typical real-life crashes.
Each car seat we test endures two different crash tests: a front crash and a side-impact crash. Our crash tests are severe and our experts believe they reflect what happens in real crashes more than the legal minimum standards.
The crash test data results for this seat indicates that there’s a high injury risk in a side crash when used as booster cushion.
UK law states that children must use a car seat until they are 12 years old or 135cm tall, but our advice is to use a car seat for all children under 150cm tall.
Remember - even a Don't Buy car seat, as long as it is marked as approved to ECE R44/04 or R129, is better than no car seat at all, and will provide some protection in a crash, but we recommend you swap to a Best Buy child car seat as soon as possible.
Which? car seat experts warn against using all backless booster seats as our tests have found they offer much less protection than full-sized, high backed booster child car seats, so the results from the side-impact crash tests are not surprising.