Amazon withdraws several children's car seats from sale after safety concerns

Amazon has removed several children's car seats from sale after safety concerns (Getty)

Amazon has pulled several children's car seats from its site over safety concerns.

The suspect seats were discovered by BBC Panorama as part of a wider ranging documentary, airing this evening, and were found to be similar to seats, deemed unsafe, which were previously found on sale.

As reported by The Telegraph, the design of the seats was said to be similar to fabric-based seats removed from the site in 2013 following an investigation by Trading Standards in Surrey.

With one of the seats costing as little as £3.99, they were also said to have no safety labels on them.

A previous trading standards investigation, from 2013, found that one example would tear apart if involved in a 30mph (48km/h) crash.

Which? also found examples on Amazon, as well as other online retailers, of fabric-based seats that didn’t have the required safety labelling in 2019.

The BBC reported that four obscure brands were being questioned in the latest case, with the Panorama programme purchasing three of the suspect seats.

The documentary-maker informed Surrey Trading Standards of their findings earlier this year and have reportedly started a new investigation with the findings yet to be published.

Read more: What are the UK laws surrounding car seat safety?

According to the BBC Amazon's UK chief said the company were taking vital steps to ensure the products it sold were safe.

“Automated algorithms [survey] over five billion product pages every day and we monitors tens of millions of customer reviews,” Doug Gurr said.

Yahoo UK contacted Amazon for further comment, with the company adding in a statement: “Safety is extremely important to us and we regret that these products were available from third-party sellers using our stores.

“After a thorough investigation, we identified the issue and are removing these products, and we're also contacting each customer who purchased one of these products to explain the situation and issue a refund. 

“We will continue to leverage and improve our tools and technology to ensure only safe and compliant car seats are available worldwide.”

‘Amazon: What They Know About Us’ airs tonight on BBC One 20:30-21:30. 

A wider BBC Panorama documentary has investigated the safety of certain car seats (Getty)

While parents are keen to ensure their children are safe while travelling, car seat safety is something many find confusing.

Previous research conducted by Co-op Insurance indicates that two fifths of parents feel ill-informed on the laws surrounding children‘s car seats.

The biggest confusion concerns the maximum age a child must be before they no longer require a seat with 15% of adults struggling to comprehend the rules.

The study also indicates that 12% of parents don’t know if a child needs to be of a certain age or weight before they no longer need a seat.

While a further 10% do not know whether or not a child requires a car seat in a taxi or on public transport.

Read more: The child seat mistake most parents are making

There’s also some parenting confusion over whether to use a rear or forward facing car seat.

According to the government, height-based car seats (known as i-Size seats) must be rear-facing until your child is over 15 months old. After that time, a child can use a forward-facing child car seat.

The same car seat safety page also explains that for weight-based car seats, babies from 0kg to 13kg should be in a rear-facing baby carrier or baby seat using a harness, while from 9kg to 18kg, children can use a rear or forward-facing baby seat using a harness or safety shield.