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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    239

    Consumer's Report E-mail to subscribers.

    I received this today, apparently they've sent it to all CR subscribers.



    Dear Belinda ,

    By now, you've probably heard the news about my decision to withdraw the infant car seat report featured on ConsumerReports.org and in the February issue of Consumer Reports magazine. I took this action when we discovered a mistake in our side-impact crash tests.

    We always strive to be accurate and fair, and I regret this error. Going forward, I want to make sure that our actions are as thorough and transparent as possible so that we preserve your trust as we continue to test, inform, and protect consumers. To that end, I'm writing you and the millions of other Consumers Union members to tell you what I know about the situation and what we're doing about it.

    Here's what I know so far: One of our tests was intended to simulate how infant car seats perform in a side-impact crash at 38 mph. That's the speed at which many new vehicles are tested in side crashes by the government's auto safety agency. But upon reevaluating our data, we believe our tests simulated crashes that were much more severe than that.

    Some of the questions I've heard involve our use of an outside lab to conduct the crash tests. While the vast majority of product testing by Consumers Union occurs in our own labs, we sometimes use outside contractors that have special test equipment or other expertise that we don't. This enables us to inform you about the safety, reliability, and performance of important products that we couldn't otherwise test.

    That said, we expect all our testing to meet the same high standards, and our own staff oversees all projects. The board of directors and I are appointing a panel of experts to review this incident and determine what went wrong.

    We're also retesting the infant car seats featured in our article as thoroughly and quickly as possible, so that we can publish our findings and help parents who are making this important buying decision. I've directed that we suspend the article's Ratings and other recommendations regarding specific car-seat models until this retesting is completed. In any case, I again stress the importance of what we say in the article: Any child car seat is better than no seat at all.

    For 71 years, the staff of Consumers Union has worked hard to earn the trust of members like you and to build the stellar reputation we have enjoyed. We test more than 3,000 products each year, and errors like this one are rare. I apologize on behalf of Consumers Union and I promise you we're working hard to ensure that such an error does not happen again.

    Sincerely,



    Jim Guest
    President




    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please note: This e-mail was sent from an automated address that cannot reply to incoming e-mail, including customer service inquiries. For faster service, simply click on the appropriate help topic.

    © Copyright 2007 Consumers Union of the U.S. 101 Truman Ave., Yonkers, NY 10703

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  3. #2
    CPS Fanatic
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    4,896

    Re: Consumer's Report E-mail to subscribers.

    Quote Originally Posted by cantech View Post
    Going forward, I want to make sure that our actions are as thorough and transparent as possible so that we preserve your trust as we continue to test, inform, and protect consumers.
    if they want to be thourough and transparent, they could start by revealing their testing methods, which they rarely do. i still don't trust them.

    it's obvious they're initiating a major damage control campaign.
    Two girls, 7 and 6. Trek Mountain, Specialized Hotrock, Soma Buena Vista, Bike Friday tandem, and multiple other bikes. Oh, and a Mazda5.

  4. #3
    CPS Fanatic Morganthe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Neither here, nor there.
    Posts
    2,155

    Re: Consumer's Report E-mail to subscribers.

    I got the same email message yesterday.

    While I feel that CU's intentions are in the right place, I believe that they are trying at times to cover too much ground on all products... Jack of all trades, master of none, .... kind of thing.

    They screwed up. It definitely brought an important topic to the attention of the American population. Yeah, it's confusing, but so are trying to find the right car seat for your child. With people writing in to manufacturers and government officials, maybe someone can hammer out something to make it EASIER on us who love our children!

    I'm just amazed and pleased that there WERE carseats who worked in these extreme tests. (the snarky cynic in me wants to know if they were all manufactured to the same standard, why didn't they ALL pass or ALL fail?)

    If I were those successful manufacturers, I'd be crowing and using the tests as publicity ad campaign.
    Last edited by Morganthe; 01-26-2007 at 07:17 PM. Reason: spelling
    My Munchkin -- Nov 2008--5 years, 45.5", 42lbs
    Current Stats: 12 years old /5'5/ 115lbs/ Seatbelt

    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Phillip K. Dick

  5. #4
    Car-Seat.org Ambassador Patriot201's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    9,006

    Re: Consumer's Report E-mail to subscribers.

    I got the same email:

    By now, you've probably heard the news about my decision to withdraw the infant car seat report featured on ConsumerReports.org and in the February issue of Consumer Reports magazine. I took this action when we discovered a mistake in our side-impact crash tests.

    We always strive to be accurate and fair, and I regret this error. Going forward, I want to make sure that our actions are as thorough and transparent as possible so that we preserve your trust as we continue to test, inform, and protect consumers. To that end, I'm writing you and the millions of other Consumers Union members to tell you what I know about the situation and what we're doing about it.

    Here's what I know so far: One of our tests was intended to simulate how infant car seats perform in a side-impact crash at 38 mph. That's the speed at which many new vehicles are tested in side crashes by the government's auto safety agency. But upon reevaluating our data, we believe our tests simulated crashes that were much more severe than that.

    Some of the questions I've heard involve our use of an outside lab to conduct the crash tests. While the vast majority of product testing by Consumers Union occurs in our own labs, we sometimes use outside contractors that have special test equipment or other expertise that we don't. This enables us to inform you about the safety, reliability, and performance of important products that we couldn't otherwise test.

    That said, we expect all our testing to meet the same high standards, and our own staff oversees all projects. The board of directors and I are appointing a panel of experts to review this incident and determine what went wrong.

    We're also retesting the infant car seats featured in our article as thoroughly and quickly as possible, so that we can publish our findings and help parents who are making this important buying decision. I've directed that we suspend the article's Ratings and other recommendations regarding specific car-seat models until this retesting is completed. In any case, I again stress the importance of what we say in the article: Any child car seat is better than no seat at all.

    For 71 years, the staff of Consumers Union has worked hard to earn the trust of members like you and to build the stellar reputation we have enjoyed. We test more than 3,000 products each year, and errors like this one are rare. I apologize on behalf of Consumers Union and I promise you we're working hard to ensure that such an error does not happen again.

    Sincerely,



    Jim Guest
    President

  6. #5
    Senior Community Member Amaris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Western New York
    Posts
    893

    Re: Consumer's Report E-mail to subscribers.

    I don't trust them either. My question is this....if we can't trust them to get the test done right then how can we trust their judgement on passing or failing? Who was deciding if a seat passed or failed? Of course, coming out of the base is failing, but at 70mph it really won't matter.

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