Online marketplaces face criticism over “killer car seats”

According to a report by consumer group Which?, a number of online sites have been selling car seats which have been described as “killers”. Trading standards reported that the seats have frequently been online on several sites, including Amazon AliExpress and eBay.

They were being sold for as little as £8. All the sites say that they have now removed the car seats in question from sale. However, Which? said that the products should have been removed sooner. This

They had been described as being suitable for children up to the age of five; but, recent tests conducted on them, using a dummy of a 3-year-old child, found that the straps weren’t secure enough to stop the dummy flying forward in a test crash at 30 miles per hour.

Following this, trading standards called the seats “killer car seats”, and Which? said they weren’t suitable to protect babies and young children whilst traveling. They were removed from sale; however, Which? have pointed out that they are continuing to appear on various online marketplaces.

Alex Neill, from Which?, said: “Parents will be horrified at the thought they could be unwittingly putting their child’s life at risk with one of these ‘killer’ car seats. Online marketplaces cannot continue to turn a blind eye to dangerous and illegal products being sold on their sites.”

An eBay spokesman said: “Our specialist teams work with regulators and Trading Standards to ensure our block filters stay up to date, using sophisticated software that monitors billions of listings a day to remove any prohibited items.”

Amazon said: “All sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who don’t will be subject to action including potential removal of their account. The products in question are no longer available.”

AliExpress said: “After we were told by Which? about these third-party listings, we took prompt action to remove them. We will continue to take action against sellers who violate our terms of use.”

This isn’t the first time online marketplaces have come under fire over the sale of car seats. Last year, similar warnings were issued over car seats being sold on eBay, with concerns being raised about their safety in test crashes.

In order to ensure the safety of car seats bought online, consumers have been advised to check they meet EU standards and are suitable for use in the UK. Car seats that have been approved have orange labels with codes ECE R44-03, ECE R44-04 or ECE R129.

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