The Great Car Seat Scam

Author: , on July 17, 2007

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:


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.


Previous Comments


    December 23, 2011

    Of course having a special seat for a child in the case of a collision is preferred. But having Federal Laws mandating compliance is lunacy. Critical analysis shows that whenever the political class attempt a power grab to empty your wallets, the standard excuse is: "SAFETY"! The common practice of basing decisions on emotionalism rather than common sense has bankrupted the working class. When the pet project of a political opportunist doesn't pass the smell test...Just follow the money.

  • Old Heather

    February 01, 2009

    I have a 19 year old and a one year old and have thought this for a long time. Thank you for having the courage to say what would get me flamed off of parenting forums even faster than the unpopular opinions I DO voice. ;)

    I own a 1989 Honda Accord and a Britax Marathon that sends my one year old into hysterics, so I walk everywhere i can and carry my groceries home from the store.

    I did not own a car when my 19 year old was an infant, but i did own a used carseat ($15 from the thrift store) which was easy to strap in my friends'cars--we would have laughed if anyone had referred to this as "installing". She loved car rides and they were a sure cure for colicky nights.

    Is this because of different kids or just vastly different cultural norms for different eras?


  • katie

    January 30, 2009

    We have three carseats in the back of our car; it's never been a problem. We have the Radians a former poster mentioned, and before that two Sceneras and an infant carrier. (Our car was a Suzuki Aerio - NOT a big car). I think you're looking in all the wrong places.

  • 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.

  • Heather

    January 29, 2009

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

  • 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.

  • lj

    January 29, 2009

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

  • 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. has them for about $200-220.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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