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Which? suspends Best Buy award for Britax child car seat

Baby-Safe Plus II SHR could suffer handle failure

Which? has suspended its Best Buy recommendation on the Britax Baby-Safe Plus II SHR infant carrier following reports of handle failure from parents. 

Some handle mechanisms fail in service

We’ve had reports of single-hand-release handle failures

Britax aware of the problem

After this issue was flagged to us, we approached Britax and found it was already aware of the issue. Despite consumers also reporting that the seat has been recalled (and that Mothercare and Halfords were asked to remove seats from shelves), Britax says this is not the case and no recall has been made to date.

Modified handle design for Baby-Safe Plus II SHR

However, Britax considers this a serious enough problem for its designers to have made a modification. It tells us the modified version of the Baby-Safe Plus II SHR includes an additional label on the handle to help users avoid the failure.

But Britax has so far declined to tell us how many seats of the old design are currently in circulation, or still available for sale, without asking us to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

David Evans, Which? child car seat expert said:

‘As things stand, we can’t confidently advise consumers to buy the Baby-Safe Plus II SHR, as it could lead to them owning a seat that may exhibit this problem. We have therefore decided to suspend Britax’s Best Buy recommendation for this seat until we are happy that Britax has fully investigated the issue and is protecting the interests of consumers who have already bought one.’ 

If you own one of these seats and you experience the problem, our advice is to return the seat to the retailer and ask for a replacement seat (of the modified design) or a refund.

No handle failures like those reported occurred to any of the seats we tested earlier in 2011. Apart from the issues raised by consumers, the Baby-Safe Plus II SHR is still an excellent seat in terms of crash protection and ease of use.

We’ll keep you informed of progress in our discussions with Britax.

More on this…

  • Learn more about having your baby at Which? Birth Choice
  • Check out our free in-depth buyer’s advice .
  • See full Which? test results and crash videos for Britax,  Bebe Confort, Chicco, Concord, Cybex, Graco, Jane, Kiddy, Maxi Cosi, and Recaro seats plus many more.
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