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5 Jun 2019

Babystyle recalls Oyster Duo-Fix i-Size car seat base

Recall follows car seat detaching from the base and being hurled forward in recent Which? crash tests

Babystyle has issued a voluntary recall of its Oyster Duo-Fix i-Size base following failures in our crash tests.

BabyStyle has advised customers to stop using the Oyster Carapace i-Size baby car seat in combination with the base.

If you bought the the Duo-Fix base from Mothercare or other independent retailers between December 2018 and April 2019, you can return it for a full refund or exchange.

The Oyster Carapace infant carrier is still safe to use when installed using the car's adult seatbelt.

If you bought the Oyster Carapace infant carrier without the Duo-Fix base, you're not eligible for a refund.

Read our review of the Babystyle Oyster Carapace i-Size + Duo-Fix base review to find out more.

Video: see what happened in our crash test

What happened in our tests

During our latest child car seat crash tests, this car seat detached from the base and was hurled forward with the crash test dummy in our frontal impact crash tests.

This happened when this seat was installed via the Duofix i-Size Base.

If this occurs in a real accident, there's a risk a child could be seriously injured and someone could be hit by the loose child car seat.

When the baby car seat is installed correctly using the car's adult seatbelt, its overall safety score is good, with four stars, and it's safe to use.

Statement from BabyStyle

When we first informed Babystyle of our crash test results, a spokesperson told us:

'BabyStyle acknowledges the results recorded in the WHICH? crash tests and is actively investigating the issues reported.

'Given the recorded results, it is our aim to make modifications where necessary to the affected car seat in order that we can pass the test parameters created by WHICH?.'

Any implication that the Oyster Carapace infant carrier is unsafe to use is solely the opinion of WHICH? and is in direct contradiction to the regulatory and legally binding standards (R129) to which the Oyster Carapace Infant carrier complies with.'

It has now issued a statement alongside details of the recall saying: 'Since being alerted of the test results, we have been actively pursuing the reported issues and are working hard to find a solution.

'In the meantime, there are a series of options available to customers who have been affected by this incident.

'If you are an existing Oyster Carapace customer or have an order and are awaiting delivery, please visit mothercare.com where you can find more details on your options. Alternatively, you can contact us directly by calling 01509 816444 or visiting babystyle.co.uk/contact-us.

'We have taken this action for the simple reason that we care very much about every parent and BabyStyle product owner and whilst we know that our Oyster Carapace Infant car seat meets the UK safety standard by passing all official UK safety tests, we also know that your peace of mind at this very precious stage of life is of paramount importance.'

How the Babystyle Oyster Carapace car seat failed our tests

The Duo-fix Isofix base on the BabyStyle Oyster Carapace i-Size baby car seat has four catches which lock around two metal bars when the baby car seat is placed on top of the base.

While both metal bars remained locked onto the base in the crash test, they broke away from the car seat, causing the car seat to detach from the base during the test.

This baby car seat has passed the regulatory tests required by ECE R129/i-Size to be sold as suitable for children from 40cm-83 cm, which is from birth to 15 months of age. However, our frontal and side-impact crash tests are designed to be tougher than the legal minimum requirements.

The BabyStyle Oyster Carapace i-Size baby car is perfectly safe to use with a 3-point seatbelt.

Always read the instructions, which for this car seat are fairly easy to understand, so there's a low risk of installing it incorrectly.

Remember, it's illegal not to use a child car seat when transporting your children in a car.

Which? car seat testing

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 legal minimum requirements.

This is why we see issues with car seats that have passed car seat regulation testing.