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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced on October 6, 2017, that Diono, a manufacturer of child safety seats, was recalling their Radian R100 convertible child restraint and booster seat due to problems with the restraints.

According to the report, the recall will affect over 500,000 seats.

Internal Company Testing Reveals Dangers with Diono Car Seats

Diono, formerly known as Sunshine Kids Juvenile, is based in Sumner, Washington, and says that so far, they have received no reports of injuries related to this recall. Instead, they found the problem during their own testing procedures.

According to the company, they tested the product last June to check on production and found that when the seats were secured using a lap belt without the top tether attached, children over 65 pounds were at increased risk of chest injury in a crash. Testing confirmed “excessive chest-g’s” for a 3-year-old dummy when only the lap belt was used.

Additional studies indicated that the same problems existed dating back to 2014, coinciding with the company’s relocation of the Radian seat line to a new factory that used new tooling. Past testing with a 10-year-old dummy over the same time period showed excessive head excursion. (Head excursion is a measurement showing how far an occupant’s head comes out of the car seat in a crash.)

In looking for a solution to the problem, the company found that adding a foam seating pad reduced the pressure on the 3-year-old’s chest. New chest clips for 10-year-olds also seemed to help.

Diono Planning to Send Owners New Pads and Chest Clips

Based on their tests and studies, Diono has stopped production on the affected products. Upon NHTSA approval, they will add a new energy-absorbing seat-bed and a new chest clip to future seats, as well as an updated instruction manual helping parents to understand how to best secure the seats.

Those who have one of the affected Diono seats will receive the new seat pads and chest clips at no cost beginning on November 22, 2018. Customers with questions can call the company at 855-463-4666.

Affected models include:

  • Radian R100
  • Radian R120
  • Radian RXT
  • Olympia
  • Pacifica
  • Rainier

Parents Must Remember to Attach Tether Straps

This recall is a good reminder to parents to always use the tether straps on their child car seats. According to a recent study by the non-profit group Safe Kids Worldwide, over half of parents (64 percent) fail to use the tether on their forward-facing seats. Tethers or “top-straps” should be attached to the vehicle tether anchor to keep the seat from moving forward in a collision.

If the tether is not attached, the seat is secured only at the bottom, which means that it may tilt forward in a collision, increasing the risk that the child will hit his or her head against the back of the front seat.

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