Car seat expiration

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2010
Car seat expiration
5
Fri, 03-16-2012 - 2:15pm
Why do car seats have an expiration date?

MIL has a car seat she bought in 2007 and used for DH's two nieces. Now Ashley needs a convertible car seat and she wants to use that same one. I know they say car seats expire, I'm just not sure why (manufacturers just want more $$?).

MIL will not be driving Ashley frequently and more just likes to have a seat in her car in Case of an emergency while Ashley is in her care. Should we just suck it up and get a new seat?
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-15-2008
Fri, 03-16-2012 - 4:52pm
Good question! I did a quick Google search and came up with these answers:

Technology changes - car seat and car safety technology is always evolving. For example a few years ago the LATCH system did not exist, but now it is common and older car seats may not equipped for this.

Material wear out - plastic stresses and warps over time, straps and fabrics fray and rip, instruction manuals get lost or destroyed, safety labels fade, tear, or fall off.

Manufacturing changes - they might not carry replacement parts for that style anymore.

Some seats are good for just 5 years while others may be good for up to 8 years, but the current recommendation is to retire seats after 6 years from its date of manufacture.

So, your MIL's seat might still be good for a little while longer. Can you check it for an expiration or manufacturing date just to be sure? And make a note of when it would need to be replaced.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2008
Fri, 03-16-2012 - 6:15pm
I remember the expiration requirements starting when I was in high school (I worked in a department store and covered the baby equipment section). The main reason then was due to the degrading of the plastic. Basically if you leave a piece of plastic in a car and hence in a lot sunlight and changing temps and weather conditions then the material is going to become weaker. A car seat is a big hunk of plastic so it was determined safest to implement an expiration system. I believe it is typically six years.
So it is a proceed at your own caution if the seat expires. You would have a little time on that seat but you may want to check your state laws to make sure there is no issue if she ever got pulled over. You could always look into a low cost seat since it is not like she needs anything elaborate in her car.

Cynthia

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-29-2008
Sun, 03-18-2012 - 7:06pm
Walmart sells the cosco scerna for under $40 I'd just one of them for the back up seat.

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Thank you Dedi and Kelly for my
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2010
Mon, 03-19-2012 - 11:28am

Thanks ladies! I did research some cheaper (yet safe) options for her & my mom to get.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2004
Tue, 03-20-2012 - 9:24am
I learned this the hard way, too a few years ago. I had bought a "Seven-Year-Car-Seat" for my 2nd DD. When my DS was born I needed a part replaced and they said the seat expires after 5 years ... Then why call it a Seven-Year seat?