Britax Child Safety Inc. has agreed to pay a $2.6 million settlement in a class action lawsuit in California for consumers who purchased certain Frontier ClickTight and Pioneer Harness-2-Booster seats.
The class would include all California residents who bought a new Frontier ClickTight Harness-2-Booster Seat or a Pioneer Harness-2-Booster Seat between August 14, 2016 and August 14, 2020.
Britax will pay $40 for each car seat that was purchased during that time period by class members, which is estimated to include nearly 57,000 people.
The class action was filed by Margaret S., a woman from California who claims that she never would have paid $272 plus tax for her Harness-2-Booster seat if she had known about crash test results.
Problems with the Harness-2-Booster seats were highlighted in a Consumer Reports article from March 2019 in which 5 different car seats broke during testing.
Those 5 car seats were the Britax Frontier ClickTight, Britax Pioneer, Cosco Finale, Graco Atlas 65, and Harmony Defender 360.
For the Britax Frontier ClickTight, the structural damage was so severe that the harness “pulled through” the seat completely, allowing the harness to loosen in one test conducted with a 78-pound dummy.
Children could be seriously injured or killed in real-world crashes, according to Consumer Reports:
“These structural failures would increase the risk that a child’s head could come into contact with some part of the vehicle’s interior, or that the child might even be ejected from the car seat.”
In February 2021, Britax tried to have the class action dismissed, arguing that the testing by Consumer Reports was not approved by federal regulators, and therefore was not enough to prove that the seats were defective.
The class action was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California — Case Number 2:20-cv-07373.