Evenflo’s Deceptive Marketing Convinced Many Parents to Buy a Dangerous Car Seat. Were You One of Them?
Many parents are excited for the day they switch their child from a forward-facing car seat with a harness to a booster seat. The convenience of the change, however, comes with a decrease in safety. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommend using car seats until your child is too tall or too heavy to be protected by them. Evenflo’s marketing materials ignored this standard and falsely claimed young children (who should still be harnessed forward-facing car seats) would be safe in their “Big Kid” booster seats which only utilize the adult safety seat belt.
A recent investigation by ProPublica showed that not only are these seats unsafe for the children they were advertised for, but that Evenflo was well aware of the dangers its “Big Kid” seats presented. Parents who used these car seats are now looking for a way to fight back. If your young child was badly injured despite being properly seated in one of Evenflo’s “Big Kid” booster seats, you could be eligible to sue the company.
Ashcraft & Gerel wants to help consumers and their families whose lives were changed by an accident with a dangerous or defective product. Companies like Evenflo, that knowingly sell child safety devices to children they cannot help, must be held accountable for their dishonest actions.
From our offices in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC, we are here to help people like you find justice. Call us now at (866) 709-0505 for a free consultation.
Evenflo Knowingly Targeted the Parents of Children Its Booster Seats Couldn’t Protect
As a major player in the child car seat and booster seat industry, Evenflo must constantly look for ways to stay ahead of its competitors. Its “Big Kid” booster seat is not the only one on the market that has advertised by targeting children who are too small to safely fit in it, but it is a high seller: over 18 million units have been sold since its release.
The first Big Kid released was targeted at parents of children ages 1 and up who weighed more than 30 pounds.This was despite a widespread belief among scientists that toddlers, even if they are large for their age, cannot be properly protected by booster seats. Young children tend to move in ways that displace seatbelts from their recommended position (across the shoulder and thighs).
Since the product’s release, the company has changed the child safety guidelines multiple times. Currently, they recommend the seats only for children above the age of 4 and over 40 lbs., a rating which is at last in line with minimum recommendations by the AAP. However, at no time have they recalled models that were advertised by previous standards.
“Big Kid” Test Claims Are Misleading
Most parents assume booster seats are all held to rigorous safety standards by the government, but this is not the case. Not all products on the shelf are equally protective; by letting parents believe they are, companies like Evenflo can gain an unfair advantage by advertising benefits similar seats do not promise.
In a blog claiming their products underwent a “rigorous test” for side-impact safety, Evenflo grossly misrepresented their process. Car seats have no government-enforced standards for side-impact testing as of February 21, 2020, so manufacturers were allowed to create their own. Evenflo’s assessments did not include the same forces as federal automobile tests, nor did they have strict criteria. As long as the test dummy did not physically fall out of the seat and the seat stayed in one place, the product earned a “pass.”
There are many ways a booster seat can fail to protect an occupant even if they are not expelled from the seat. The top engineer at Evenflo admitted that if a young child were in the place of their test dummies, they could experience catastrophic injuries to their head, neck, or spine that could cause death or paralysis.
If Your Child Was Injured, You Deserve Justice
For many parents who believed Evenflo’s claims and then experienced serious accidents in which their children were not properly protected, feelings of betrayal are intense. Children who are too young or small to safely use booster seats have experienced injuries including:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Paralysis from the neck down
- Internal decapitation
Aside from forever changing both the parents’ and a child’s life, these injuries cause extraordinary emotional hardships for the families they affect. It is likely that most could have been prevented by more scrupulous product tests and marketing that matched safety standards advised by third parties. Evenflo’s failure to protect families in this way must be addressed.
We’re helping the victims of booster seat injury file lawsuits to hold Evenflo accountable and ask for the compensation they need to care for their families. If you think you may have a case, we want to hear your story.
Call us at (866) 709-0505 now to schedule your free consultation. If you can’t come to us, we’ll come to you.