Walmart offered the following comment after being contacted by Top Ten Reviews:
"The item is offered by a third-party seller and is not sold by Walmart. We have clear guidelines for what can be sold on Walmart’s marketplace; this item does not comply with our Prohibited Products policy and we are taking action to remove it.
Third-party sellers on Walmart’s Marketplace are required to ensure the products they sell comply with all applicable laws, regulations, legal requirements, and generally accepted industry standards. Sellers must comply with our Prohibited Products policy around any products that may not be legal or compliant to sell. If we are made aware of a noncompliant item, it will promptly be removed from the platform."
Although at first Walmart only removed the car seat in the color blue from its site, it has since taken down the car seat in the other colors available; namely red, pink and grey, following further communication with Top Ten Reviews.
Walmart also offered no guidance for those who have already purchased the potentially dangerous car seat for their children, despite former reviews left on the site deeming it "not safe".
***ORIGINAL STORY BELOW***
A BBC investigation (opens in new tab) has found that Amazon has sold illegal, and potentially unsafe, child car seats on its UK store. The seats have now been removed from the site, but similar models are still available in the US on sites such as AliExpress and Walmart Marketplace.
The car seat, which is made of fabric and sponge, is listed as a "portable children's chair for car" on Walmart and described as suitable for an "infant baby" between "20-66lb". However, according to EU regulations, these seats "lack the kind of support needed to protect young babies and toddlers in the event of a collision" which has lead to critics (opens in new tab) calling the seats "potentially deadly".
It's important to note that seats deemed illegal by European standards are not necessarily prohibited by US law, and are therefore legal to sell in America. The best baby car seats will keep your infant safe no matter what country you use them in, and you should think very carefully before purchasing one.
This is not the first time the sale of unsafe car seats has been condemned after a trading standards investigation found that, in one case, the seat would tear apart if involved in a 30mph crash. Despite claims on the Walmart site that this particular seat would "ensure child's safety", an alarming video from Which? reveals how these seats could work in the event of a crash.
Although sites such as Maternity Miracles and Hotdeals4kids claim that this car seat meets "all the safety road and transport standards" or having "3C and ECE Certified" and "External Testing Certification: ISO9001" we can find no evidence that this is the case.
The Walmart Marketplace listing does not say that this car seat is NHTSA approved, or have any certification at all for that matter. Following recent warnings (opens in new tab) from the NHTSA that car seats which do not "meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and may pose significant risk to an infant... in the event of a crash" are reported to be on sale across the US, we would highly advise people to thoroughly check car seats before buying.
How can you tell if a car seat is unsafe?
The NHTSA lists several indicators that a child's car seat does not meet federal standards. These include:
- Seats without lower anchor attachments
- Seats without proper labeling
- Seats lacking a chest clip, or only secured by a seat belt crossed over the seat
- Seats not correctly installed
If you are concerned about your car seat, the NHTSA allows you to register your car seat (opens in new tab) for safety updates.
Walmart states on the product page that it has not verified the listing, and comes "Sold & shipped" by a third party seller. It also links to a disclaimer which advises customers to "always read labels, warnings, and directions and other information provided with the product before using or consuming a product." We have contacted Walmart, Hotdeals4kids and Maternity Miracles for comment.