using GN after a *VERY* minor bump

henrietta

New member
Mostly to CPST's

I know what the instruction manual says...but would you be comfortable using a Graco Nautilus that had been latched in, no child in it, when the car was hit barely...twice.

My sister in law was bumped in a parking lot, not enough to really rock the car...5-10 mph...and again got hit in the side...when someone turned into her. It ripped off her side mirror. These were when her car at a stand-still, she drove it away, she wasn't injured, no airbags, no frame damage, etc...the seat shows no damage whatsoever...

My thoughts are that I have probably dropped a car-seat harder than she got bumped. Would you be comfortable using that seat?

Thanks!
 
ADS

bethng

New member
I would...but would probably switch to seat belt install. But its a parental choice of course. I think car seats can stand up to more light "bumping" then we give them credit for. Not saying that we can treat our seats roughly....just that they are built strong.
 

wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
Has she contacted insurance at all? If so, especially since there's damage to the car after the second, I would replace the seat. The first bump, meh. If it's more noise than an actual collision then no. I'm using Laine's True Fit after a "bump" where if Piper hadn't confirmed she had heard it happen I wouldn't have thought it actually did. No rocking, no damage, not even a scratch. But if my mirror had been hit off by someone turning into me, yes, I would replace.

A seatbelt install will not change the fact that the belt path has had some stress. A lot? I don't know. But two small ones when the manual says replace after any? I'd replace. I wouldn't consider the money spent a waste in the least. Better safe than sorry, right?

Wendy
 

henrietta

New member
My sister in law bought a new booster seat for her son, b/c she doesn't want to use the GN as a high back booster any more and she doesn't like it as a no back booster.

So, I salvaged the seat to give the buckles and chest clip (harness tie) to my friend who lost her buckles and needs to convert her seat back to a harnessed seat for her youngest. The latch strap will be tossed. (All this after I ordered a new bottom seat pad for my nephew! LOL But that's okay. I know he's riding safe in his new Harmony backless!)

But then I got to thinking....is the rest of the seat really no good? Those "crashes", if you can even call them that, were so minor. From what I understand, the person who hit my sister in law and ripped the mirror off wasn't going fast at all, she just got too close when she was turning and the mirrors got caught. My sister in law was just sitting there, waiting to turn. There's no scratches or dents on the side of the van at all. If it's safe to use it, I can order a brand new set of buckles for myself and use the seat as a spare. I wouldn't pass it on to someone else, just for liability sake, but I would use it myself. I think I'll question my sil a little more deeply before committing to using the seat. If the bumps were worse than I thought, I'll destroy the seat shell and salvage what is useable.

And we can't do the insurance thing--Both bumps were well over a year ago, maybe even 2 yrs, I encouraged her both times to talk to insurance and consider replacing the seat, but she didn't. I don't even know if they called the police or if the other drivers even had insurance. I know my sil has great insurance, USAA, but I doubt they even called it in. It wasn't her fault and it wasn't a lot of damage.

I guess I need a little more info from her and then I'll decide. I know the harness wasn't ever washed-she showed me how she's cleaned the seat. Never even got the harness wet. ;)

Thanks!!!
 

henrietta

New member
Good thing I asked her again!

The second time the car was hit, the seat was NOT in that car (it was in the rental car that they hadn't returned yet).

BUT I had the first hit all wrong...my sil *hit the other car* when they turned in front of her. Not sure how this worked out exactly. It wasn't really a rear-ender. The other car pulled out in front of my sil and she must have swerved or the other car pulled out *into* her. The damage was to her front right panel and her mirror. At 25 mph. I'm not so sure it should be reused, but at the same time, I really have a hard time understanding how if it passes NTSHA's criteria, which it does, why Graco says replace after any crash. It's a pretty darn sturdy seat. Britax rules are different, and I don't really think that this Graco is any less sturdy than any Britax.

I really want to understand this well, b/c friends and folks at checks ask this all the time. Many people do NOT believe that it should be replaced. My sil and my good friend have both continued to use seats (both GN's) after being in minor crashes. Many folks do, w/no second thoughts. I'm sure I know others as well and don't even realize it.

Thanks for your thoughts and insight!!
 

wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
Different companies use different plastics, which can take different stresses.

Also, the sled tests are done at 30 mph. They're considered severe. If she got hit at 25 mph, that's pretty bad.

Wendy
 

henrietta

New member
Different companies use different plastics, which can take different stresses.

Also, the sled tests are done at 30 mph. They're considered severe. If she got hit at 25 mph, that's pretty bad.

Wendy

Yes, I consider 25 mph pretty bad.

The next *argument* (not that I'm arguing, just that someone will ask me this), is that no one was in the seat, so the only place it was "stressed" was at the belt path, which happens to also have a metal bar running thru it.

But technically, that's the same thing...if it fails somewhere, it fails somewhere, and could injure the child.

It gets tough on the finer points sometimes. If I did this every day as my job, the answers would come more readily. I'm just glad I got the seat from her before she passed it on to someone else who would think it's okay to use.

This one's going to the Trade In! (naked, of course!).

Thanks!
 

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