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11 Feb 2022

Safety alerts added to four child car seats last year - which ones are they?

We crash test each car seat we review and every Don't Buy car seat has a free safety alert to warn parents about any issues we uncover
Woman putting baby into a car seat

Which? has been at the forefront of independent safety testing of child car seats for more than fifty years. Our tests are respected for being extremely thorough and tougher than the legal minimum regulations.

In the last few years, we took the decision to add safety alert banners to all Don't Buy car seat reviews to flag to parents that our testing uncovered safety issues that we think they should know about.

These banners can be seen above the paywall - that means you don't have to be a member of Which? to see them - as we feel it's important that all parents are made aware of potential safety problems.

We added four safety alert banners to car seat reviews in 2021. Read on to find out which models these are, or head straight to our car seat reviews for information on all tested models, including our Best Buy car seat reviews.

Which car seats had safety alert banners added in 2021?

All of the car seats below have passed the regulatory tests required by ECE R44.04 or R129/i-Size to be sold as suitable for babies or children for that age group.

But in our own tests, which are conducted at higher speeds and stronger forces than the standard requires, our lab experts spotted issues.

Nuna Tres lx

Nuna Tres LX car seat

This i-Size R129-compliant car seat is approved for use from when your child measures 40cm to 145cm, which is from birth to approximately 10 years old.

You install it into the car in the rearward-facing mode using the vehicle seatbelt, but with your child restrained using the integrated harness. Once your child hits 100cm in height, you then turn the seat forward facing, clicking it into the Isofix connectors and restraining your child using the car seatbelt.

Despite passing the regulatory tests for R129 car seats, our lab experts spotted issues when crash testing this car seat in a front impact, which means that it's a Don't Buy.

Read our review of the Nuna Tres lx for more information on the safety alert.

Chicco Seat4Fix, £269

Chicco Seat4Fix car seat

The Chicco Seat4Fix is a group 0+/1/2/3 car seat that's approved for use from birth to 36kg, which is approximately 12 years old.

You can keep your child rearward facing until they weigh 18kg, which is what we would recommend as it's the safest way for a child to travel.

In our tests, which are conducted at higher speeds and stronger forces than the standard requires, this car seat gets a poor safety rating. Our lab experts spotted issues during the front impact crash test which caused the dummy to twist too much to the side.

Find out what happened during the front impact tests by reading the full review of the Chicco Seat4Fix.

Chicco Seat4Fix Air, £229

Chicco Seat4Fix Air car seat

The Chicco Seat4Fix Air is almost identical to the Chicco Seat4Fix, except it has different fabrics and a slightly different newborn inlay.

Our lab experts spotted the same issues seen in the Chicco Seat4Fix, so both car seats get the same score and safety rating.

Read our review of the Chicco Seat4Fix Air for more information.

Lettas Murphy 916, £148

Lettas Murphy 916 car seat

The Lettas Murphy 916 is a multi-group car seat that's approved to R44 regulations. It's a group 0+1/2/3 car seat which means you can use it with children from birth until 12 years old, so effectively the whole time your child will need to sit in a car seat.

The main issues with this car seat are when used for older children as a group 2/3 seat. Our lab experts noticed there were safety issues during the side-impact crash tests. The lab also highlighted problems that could lead to incorrect installation.

Find out more about the problems we encountered by reading the full review of the Lettas Murphy 916 car seat.

Which? car seat testing

Our car seat reviews are different to many other UK parenting websites. We crash-test every child car seat we review, carry out fitting checks with both experts and parents and their children, and assess the comfort and ergonomics of each seat.

Our crash tests go beyond the minimum requirements for the current car seat regulations (R44.04 and R129), and they're derived from tests by Euro NCAP, the organisation that carries out crash tests on cars.

We feel our tests more accurately reflect what could happen in a real crash.

Safety makes up 60% of the total test score, which means the most important element of the product - whether it will protect your child in a crash - is reflected in the score. The best car seats are Best Buys, while ones where we've highlighted safety issues will be made a Don't Buy with a safety alert.

Remember, you can sign up to the Pregnancy, Baby & Child newsletter to receive alerts for a range of safety stories including car seat recalls.

However, you should always take the time to register your new car seat with the manufacturer, so the company has your details and you can be automatically alerted if there is a recall on the seat.

For more information on what goes into Which? car seat testing, read our guide on How we test baby and child car seats.