The Great Car Seat Scam

Car seats, those devices that protect our children are at the heart of a scam which robs our wallets and saps our nation's energy independence. Think I'm kidding?

Has anyone else noticed how car-seats seem to be getting bigger and bigger? And that if you have more than three children, there is no way of getting these seats into a normal sized car.

I have three kids and went on a hunt last month to find car seats that would fit into the back-seat of my Camry. When my first son was born we had purchased a relatively narrow car seat and three of these would have fit. The problem is that I only have one of these seats. The second one that I bought it much larger and no combination of small with large, large is going to fit.

I searched for weeks to find a narrower seat and couldn't find one. The only ones available were these wide, fat bodies seats that looked like they were made for elephant babies. I mean, come on, do little kids really need a seat that an adult passenger could fit in?

I finally bumped into my neighbor and mentioned my problem. She said she had an older, smaller car seat and brought it up. Sure enough it looked like the right size. The only problem was that written in big red letters were the words:

WARNING - DO NOT RE-USE CAR SEAT.

Say what? I thought it had to be a joke. The car seat companies won't allow you to reuse the seats.

So, here's the conspiracy in my mind. The car companies tell the seat manufacturers to design extra-large car seats. This forces all of us to have to buy higher margin mini-vans and SUVs. And then they warn us now to hand the seats down or give them to others to prevent older seats from being used and to boost profits for everyone.

I'm telling you, simply reducing the size of these seats to normal would go a long way to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and improving the nations's fuel efficiency standards.

Think about it.

Sol Nasisi
Sol Nasisi: Sol Nasisi is the co-founder and a past president of BestCashCow, an online resource for comprehensive bank rate information. In this capacity, he closely followed rate trends for all savings-related and loan products and the impact of rate fluctuations on the economy. He specifically focused on how rates impact consumers' ability to borrow and save. He also has authored a wee

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Comments

  • Anonymous

    July 17, 2007

    I hadn't thought about it but suppose you're right. I don't know anyone in this country that has more than two kids and isn't in a van or suv. I wonder how it is in Europe?

  • Anonymous

    July 17, 2007

    The US car industry is probably behind this. They have failed in any measured way to compete so they are trying anything you can. The more important question is whether these things really work, and of that I am skeptical.

  • Anonymous

    July 17, 2007

    I am not sure that the only reason is to get us into vans and SUVs. There must be some reason why the seats are becoming wider - maybe they are safer.

  • Anonymous

    July 17, 2007

    @soczie I doubt they are safer. I doubt the safety of car seats in the first place. Unless properly installed (which 80% aren't) they are actually more dangerous than a regular seat.

  • Matt

    January 05, 2009

    Wow...maybe carseats were developed wider because not all car collisions are head-on or from behind. They also probably tell you not to reuse them because they are trying to avoid liability.

    Think about it.

    In my opinion I would sacrifice convenience for safety. It's the reason I put my seatbelt on.

  • Wendie

    January 29, 2009

    Look into a car seat made by Sunshine Kids called the Radian. It has a slim body, very high safety rating and you can fit 3 across in almost any car. Plus they can be used rear facing or forward facing from 5 to 65 or 80 lbs, depending on the model you get. And they aren't too much $, especially if you can find them on sale. albebaby.com has them for about $200-220.

  • lj

    January 29, 2009

    I fit 3 car seats into my 07 Spectra and 09 Corolla just fine.

  • Anon

    January 29, 2009

    Yeah, let's have seats go back to whatever "normal" was decades ago. That sounds like a great idea! It's not like having triple the amount of drivers and huge vehicles (I'm not talking family vans, but monster F150s) has made traveling with a small child any less safer... Riight!

    Some people prefer their liefstyle to grow with them. It's why people buy a larger house when they expand their family.

  • Heather

    January 29, 2009

    The cosco scenera is $40 and narrow enough to fit 3 across in our little dodge neon.

  • Steve

    January 29, 2009

    You must be really stupid if you think making smaller car seats will have an impact on the non-existent global warming. By the way, earth is flat too.

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