Which? is warning parents against using the Recaro SmartClick Base with the Optia (pictured above) after failures in our frontal impact crash tests.
During our latest child car seat crash testing, this seat experienced a failure which would result in its test score being instantly lowered to a Don’t Buy score. Due to the results of the frontal impact tests, we are advising not to buy these seats while the manufacturer investigates.
We’ve been told only a small number of the bases have been sold in the UK at the moment.
Find out those we recommend and have named Best Buy child car seats.
Recaro Smart Click base (with Optia)
We tested the Recaro Smart Click base with the Optia child car seat. This Group 1 car seat is approved for use with children from 9kg to 18kg (that’s around one to four years old). During the frontal impact crash tests, the child car seat broke from the Isofix base. There is a high risk, in a real accident, that if this occurred a child could be seriously injured, as could anyone who was hit by the loose child car seat (see our main picture above).
During our car seat testing last year, we identified a similar issue with the Fix base, to which Recaro responded and replaced the Isofix bases concerned. But the successor to this base, the Recaro SmartClick, appears to have a similar issue. Recaro has been contacted with the results of the crash tests and is investigating the issue.
In a statement, Recaro said: ‘Customer safety is the top priority’ and ‘the reason for this is currently not comprehensible’ but it is taking the findings ‘very seriously’. Recaro also said: ‘In all of our previously performed internal and external tests, which far exceed the regulatory requirements, the described issue never occurred.’ But it, ‘must identify and understand the root cause before being able to communicate further.’
How we test child car seats
Which? is part of the European Test Consortium, consisting of the Worldwide Association of Consumer Organisations (ICRT) and the European car clubs. We’ve been testing car seats together since 2003. Which? has been testing child car seats since 1967.
We work together jointly to crash test child car seats in two specially designed crash scenarios using state-of-the-art crash test dummies and sensors. Our crash tests are severe, and our experts feel they more accurately reflect what happens in real crashes than the legal minimum standards.
Find out more about how we test child car seats.