Canadian regulations for car seat replacement post accident


New member
We were rear-ended today. Our car is drivable, the damage is only to the back bumper. No apparent injuries, but I know the whiplash may still appear. However, the other car was not drivable (smashed the radiator), so is that an indication of "severity"? We were stopped when they hit us (they were braking, so I'm not sure how fast they were going).

Is there a regulation in Canada that the car seats need to be replaced, regardless of the severity of the accident? Since today is a holiday, we only got the call centre at our insurance company, so I'm not sure how that is all going to go.

It seems a shame to toss the seats after a minor accident, but at the same time, I don't want to compromise the safety of my children.

The car seats in question are a Graco SafeSeat (spring of 2006) and a Britax Marathon (fall of 2007). The ironic thing is that we were on our way to the mall to look at getting my DD a new carseat b/c my DS is almost out of his SafeSeat!!


Lisa =)


Moderator - CPST Instructor
There isn't a law to stipulate a carseat in a collision must be replaced. However, to err on the cautious side because damages are not always detectable by the 'naked' eye, we say to replace carseats post collision.

In addition, I often tell parents to double check by contacting the manufacturers themselves for recommendations/policies in writing if possible, just in case the insurance companies might give them some hassle about to replace/reimburse or not.

Btw, glad nobydy got hurt.


New member
Are you in BC? Because I'm dealing with ICBC on a similar issue. If there is no structural damage to the vehicle and it is considered "cosmetic", then they won't replace the seats. I showed them the Britax criteria (b/c I'm injured and no injuries is one of their criteria) and they didn't care.


Moderator - CPST Instructor
I've heard some ICBC horror stories this past few weeks, with regards to carseat replacement. Did you try asking them for a letter accepting full responsibility for any future failure of the seats?



Well-known member
My FIL had no problems with MPI. Someone backed into his truck in a parking lot. He had a Clek Olli sitting on the passenger seat (not LATCHed and not occupied). He didn't say anything about the booster, but MPI asked him if he was going to replace it. He wasn't going to, but I convinced him to.


New member
No, I'm not in BC. I'm in Calgary. There is plenty of damage to our car, so hopefully it won't be an issue. The other car was undrivable (radiator spewed it's contents immediately).

I'll definitely be keeping the Marathon cover!!

Lisa =)


New member
You shouldn't have a problem at all.

I'm in Edmonton and had no problems at all replacing our britax's last month. We were in a relatively minor accident - both vehicles were driveable (we actually had to drive home from Calgary with only have our bumper skin on) - and when I said to the insurance guy that my seats needed to be replaced he didn't hesitate at.all. Told me to go buy them, submit the reciept and he'd cut me a cheque.


New member
We had a minor accident in Calgary ad had no problem what so ever replacing our 3 seats. Just told the guy that Transport Canada recommends replacing all seats no matter how minor the accident. He was great. Replaced a Frontier and 2 Eddie Baurer booster/carseats with 3 Graco Nautilus. Got just enough to cover the 3 new seats so it was perfect. I didn't have any of the receipts from the old seats so the guy told me to print out 3 to 5 online Canadian ads for the same or similar seats and bring them in with the seats. That was a bit irritating when I started looking as I know we paid $200 for the Eddie Baurer seats 3 years ago and they are so much cheaper now, but it was easy with the Britax. He also said he could do the research for me, but I knew what I was looking for and where to look so I was fine with it.


FYI for those still wondering this is a letter I received from Transport Canada

The Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Act prescribes the requirements for new restraint systems and not the restraining devices used in a car after a collision.


Not all crashes lead to the deterioration of a child restraint system. However, no one wants to be responsible for assessing the severity of a collision and examining the child restraint system to determine if it is safe enough to continue to be used (largely for reasons of liability).  An expert in the field would have to examine the vehicle and the child restraint system, make a decision and be prepared to document it, especially in cases where there was another collision.


A child restraint system in a car during a minor collision may not need to be replaced.  However, replacing a child restraint system with a new device eliminates the possibility of a damaged seat that does not work well in the event of another collision.


Transport Canada is aware that the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a position regarding the re-use of child restraint systems and booster seats following a minor collision.


It should be noted, however, that Transport Canada still recommends replacing a child restraint system or booster seat, whether occupied or not, if installed in a car that was involved in a collision.


Transport Canada continues to recommend the replacement of child restraint systems and booster seats, even after a minor collision, for two main reasons.  First, we believe that our recommendation leaves less room for subjectivity.  Secondly, we also feel it is important that our recommendation corresponds to that of the manufacturers.  Please note that the vast majority of manufacturers indicate in the instruction manuals of their products that child restraint systems and booster seats must be replaced after any collision.  In doing so, these manufacturers will not be liable for any future defects.



Thank you,


Information Centre/Centre d'information
Transport(s) Canada
Motor Vehicle Safety/Sécurité des véhicules automobiles
1-800-333-0371 or (613) 998-8616

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