Why don’t car seat manufacturers recommend third party accessories?

This is a question we are often asked. So let’s take a deeper look at the reason behind it:

The short answer is: to cover themselves (for liability) and why wouldn’t they want to!

Everyone wants to do their own research so they can comment accurately from data and facts. Just as we have done with our products. There is no point claiming something if you can’t back it up with the proper evidence.

We don’t know of many third party accessories that have gone to the extent that we have, in terms of testing and analysis. After all it’s a voluntary standard and testing costs an exorbitant about of money, so in general, it’s safer and easier just not to recommend anything.

However, the industry is evolving and changing. Whilst old views were based on ‘all accessories are an absolute no-no’, Manufacturers are now creating accessories themselves and were also part of the committee that helped form the Australian accessories standard AS/NZS8005: 2013 that came out in 2013.

Naturally Manufacturers may like to test products themselves, however, not all own an in-house crash facility and therefore turn to and work closely with, accredited ones, such as Crashlab and APV Tech Centre, whom Cozy Dozee also use for testing.

The Cozy Dozee has passed all the requirements of crash testing to the accessories standard, including the core issue of not interfering with the performance or protection of the restraint, allowing the child restraint to deliver it’s un-compromised protection. But we weren’t happy with just that, so we went beyond the standards requirements.

Independent testing, at a NATA accredited facility (the same one the manufacturers themselves use, as we mentioned above) tested the Cozy Dozee and measured the impact on a child dummy.Tests were conducted on a range of dummies aged from 9 months through to 6 years and the great news is, the results demonstrate the Cozy Dozee did not introduce any additional injury severity to a child passenger in comparison to control tests.

We also had flammability testing conducted at CSIRO and breath-ability testing (which wasn’t part of the standard, but one we went above and beyond with, as we thought it appropriate to do), which the Cozy Dozee also passed.

So, just because a company doesn’t ‘recommend’ something, doesn’t make it illegal. For products under a mandated standard, approvals are given by companies such as SAI global who audit the product, not the seat manufacturers.

Whilst we can’t speak on behalf of other third party accessories, the Cozy Dozee has been reviewed by a number of government safety agencies and Engineers (specialising in Biomechanics) and the results speak for themselves.

Not recommending third party accessories, is simply that, a general suggestion not to use third party products as they don’t know how they perform in an accident.

…and that’s the long answer.

Edit: Fortunately those that do take the time to review and scrutinize the crash data on the Cozy Dozee are in a better position to advise, like Andrew Baldacchino who was the former Director of Engineering at Britax.  His recommendation can be found on our crash testing page and his comments regarding the blog are in the comments below.

You can find out even more about our testing here on our last blog or on our testing page



Leanne Guglielmi

Hi I’m Leanne, Wife to a car man, who never wanted to be one but is reeeally good at it and Mum to two gorgeous boys, yes I’m biased, but experiencing a Mother’s love is, well, sort of addictive! I feed my soul with travel, dancing and music and going to the Theatre, which usually leads to a lot of singing around the home. When I have time, I love making cards and pondering life’s big questions!

2 thoughts on “Why don’t car seat manufacturers recommend third party accessories?

  1. Andrew Baldacchino says:

    You have hit the nail on the head with your explanation to why car seat manufacturers do not recommend third party accessories.
    From my experience, there are three main reasons.
    1) Aside from the moral responsibility to reduce injury and save lives, they are in the business of doing business. If they are going to recommend an accessory it’s in their best interest to recommend their own technology and not some one else’s; it’s only natural unless there is a strategic advantage to increase sales by their recommendation. For example, it would be advantageous to recommend a Bugaboo pram/stroller to be compatible with a Type A infant carrier in addition to your own pram/stroller because it increases the opportunity to sell more infant carriers.

    2) They have not been part of the third party accessory product development. Therefore, they can not comment without conducting addition R&D to assess with their entire product range. As highlighted in point 1 above, unless there is a lucrative incentive they will not be interested.

    3) The latest CRS standard AS/NZS1753:2013 now requires all accessories to be included in the individual car seat certification. This means the accessory if certified to AS/NZS1754:2013 needs to identify each specific child restraint it is compliant with. This is good news for the car seat manufacturers because they can certify accessories to their seat range with minimal cost impact. However, if a third party accessory manufacturer wants to certify their product with a car seat to AS/NZS1754:3013, they will have to conduct full crash testing for every single car seat they wish to sell the product for; a very costly exercise.

    Your approach is sound. Your product addresses a comfort issue and therefore the involuntary ( ie not compulsory) standard AS/NZS8005:2013 is right choice. Your product meets the requirements of the accessories standard. I congratulate you for taking it further and subjecting your product to the same type of tests conducted as part of the CRS standard AS/NZS1754:2013 to ensure your product is crash worthy. I know this testing was costly, but it allowed you to identify an improvement resulting in the break away clip to ensure injury results are not effected in a negative way.

    Well done!

    • Leanne Guglielmi says:

      Thank you Andrew. We have greatly appreciated your support in picking apart and analysing our crash test data and high speed videos. Your input, backed by your expertise and knowledge is very comforting for parents with concerns about the well-being of their child.

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