Around 110,000 child seat tether kits in Australia have been recalled for a defect that could see the anchor point break in a crash and risk injury to the child.
The fitting was sold under the brand names Tomy, Chico, IGC and Hemco in a range of national chain stores – including Big W, Toys’R’Us, Target, David Jones, Supercheap, Autobarn, Dimmeys and independent retailers around the country.
The kit is used to anchor the child seat largely to older vehicles which don’t yet have the factory-installed anchor points that are in most – but not all – current models. In a crash the defective kits may fail and the child seat become loose. Faulty units have been on the market since April, and are marked with the batch numbers 022 or 023 stamped on the bracket.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says it’s possible the bracket has been fitted to both new and used brands of child seats not already cited in the recalls. The ACCC is urging the public to check any child seat, capsule or bracket, either new or secondhand – or any secondhand vehicle with an anchor kit already installed – bought since April.
Replacement brackets and kits will be supplied by the vendors, who can be contacted on the numbers below. If people find they have one of the defective brackets but don’t know where it was purchased, they will be replaced by Hemco Industries, the original supplier of the parts which were manufactured under their license.
It’s not yet known why the two batches of brackets were defective, Hemco’s general manager Graeme Holt said. “At this stage we don’t know the exact cause, but both looking into it,” Mr Holt said. “They are made by our subcontractor National Industries, in Melbourne. We own the tool and they own the press. They have been making them for us since 2001 without any problem.
“We have ongoing inwards goods testing and they passed all that so we thought there was nothing wrong with them. “But in the child restraint standard there’s a test where they pull it at a different angle – 90 degrees to the mounting point – and that revealed a fault in testing by IGC, so we have recalled all the kits.”
Mr Holt said around 100,000 or the kits were supplied to the named manufacturers, while up to another 10,000 went to market under the Hemco brand.
Hemco Industries 1800 065 057 email@example.com
IGC Dorel 1300 809 526 firstname.lastname@example.org
Chicco 02 8543 5570 email@example.com
Tomy 1800 492 236 firstname.lastname@example.org