Experts warn of counterfeit car seats


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Experts say parents should be on the lookout for counterfeit car seats.

“Counterfeit car seats is something that is new on the market. Unfortunately, it’s something that is out there that people need to start being aware of,” said Shannon Depatto, a trauma prevention coordinator for Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

Health and transportation officials say some car seats sold under brand names online are actually knockoffs. Companies like Amazon and WalMart have since removed questionable car seats from their websites. However, experts say you should still be on the lookout for phonies.

“The thing with these counterfeit seats is even though they might be cheaper and a good deal, if that crash happens, they are not going to hold up in a crash,” said Depatto.

Depatto is a certified child passenger safety technician. She says the lack of labeling is one of the biggest indicators of a counterfeit.

“If you have a counterfeit car seat, you will not see these labels,” said Depatto. “They go on every single car seat that is sold on the market that is not a counterfeit seat.”

Depatto says bogus car seats will also come without key information like a manual or recall slip, and important safety features will be plastic instead of metal. 

“For example, these are the buckles that you are going to actually use, that will go into your crotch buckle. These need to be metal and not plastic. That’s what you’ll see on counterfeit seats,” said Depatto.

The Trauma Prevention Team conducts weekly car seats. To make an appointment, call 717-531-SAFE (7233).

Pennsylvania State Police has car seat checks once a month in every county. Click here for more information.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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