Destroying car seat to get a replacement - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 19 Old 01-03-2013, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have a Safety 1st Apex 65 car seat that was manufactured in 2008 and is safe to use through 2014. It has a frayed strap under the seat - the one that you pull between the child's legs to tighten the harness. I called today to request a replacement strap - and they don't make this seat anymore (which I knew) and don't have a replacement strap to offer. So instead they're going to email me a list of replacement seats to send me, and we'll need to show proof that we've destroyed our seat.

Questions:
1) Has anyone else done this before? Is it usually at no charge?

2) Does it seem wasteful to have to destroy a seat this way? My sister has the same seat that her daughter is using in booster mode, so the straps are spare. Would it be ok to use her strap? Though of course a replacement seat would give us a seat that was new and would last for years longer (a bonus with DD who could eventually use it as well). Just seems sad for it to go in the garbage when it doesn't 'need' to...

3) Does the Dorel group (Safety 1st, Eddie Bauer, Cosco) make any seats like this anymore that are forward facing only, harness to 65 lbs and booster to 100? Or are they all convertibles that rear-face as well?

Thanks in advance.

Karen



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#2 of 19 Old 01-03-2013, 05:32 PM
 
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1.  Generally, when manufacturers replace seats, there is no cost to the consumer.

 

2.  Yes, it is somewhat wasteful.  However, the company is replacing the seat because you claim it is unusable.  They don't want you to have your original seat plus a free seat.  It is between you and your conscience (I write that with absolutely no snark) whether you can live with the wastefulness.  If your sister has the exact same seat and her straps have been well-cared for (not washed and dried in the machine, for instance), it would probably be safe to use.

 

3.  Dorel does make a combination seat that's really pretty not-great.  Post what they offer you, and we can discuss the pros and cons of each seat.  I would be tempted to get a convertible for the new baby from the Dorel offer and then buy a booster seat for your son.


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#3 of 19 Old 01-03-2013, 06:26 PM
 
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It shouldn't cost you anything to get a replacement, but you could always double-check with the manufacturer before sending anything. You may have to at least pay the shipping costs for whatever proof they ask you to send in.

I read this 3 times before I understood what you were asking about the strap. I suppose if your sister has a spare strap for the exact same seat, you could use it, but I probably wouldn't... I'd worry that if your strap frayed that hers might too, so it might not be a safe. Was this seat recalled? How did your strap get frayed, was it through normal use or did something happen to it?

If you can't safely use the seat as is, then I would go for the replacement, even if it means destroying the seat... Are you saying you could still use this seat as a booster, just not harnessed? Do you need a booster right now? If your sister is using the same seat boostered and doesn't need that strap, could you swap seats with her?

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#4 of 19 Old 01-04-2013, 03:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies. Yes - we could trade seats with my sister and use hers with her straps safely, and let her take the straps off ours. DS is 5.5 but only 38 lbs and I'm happy to keep him harnessed for a while longer, so we're not ready for booster mode yet.

I don't know if the frayed strap is unsafe (only a small amount of the width of the strap is coming loose) but it's very hard to tighten/ loosen as this frayed part needs to travel through the clasp at the front. So it makes it very unpleasant to use, and while we haven't needed a 3rd seat for our sitter's van (since DS went to school in sept) it's been used only sparingly in my sister's car.

So I guess the choice is ours... We have a way to get a new seat or to use our current seat instead (in hopes that her straps don't fray eventually either). I'll probably get a new one if there is an option that seems equivalent to what we have, or better.

To be honest, I was partly requesting the replacement strap so I could sell this seat - because it's big and bulky and so hard to use. Granted, it should get better with a new strap, but our other Apex 65 is hard to tighten as well. I was hoping to convince DH to let me sell the Apex and buy a new seat for DS (maybe another Maestro - that was our spare seat but it's now in regular use and we love it). Decisions, decisions. I'll send along the options we get from Dorel when the email comes through. I at least appreciate their customer service, as we spent around $300 (?) for each of these seats and as much as we don't love them, we expected to be able to use them right until they expired.

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#5 of 19 Old 01-04-2013, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I got an email from Dorel group this morning, and it looks like we need to ship them a signed form plus two pieces of the harness straps - so at least that shipping shouldn't cost too much.

I was given code #s for 3 replacement seats, but can only find a match for one of them online. They are 22265 CA0Q, 22265 CBJC and 22265 CTRB (Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite 65). Maybe these are different colours of the same seat? I need to call them back on this (I don't think they answer reply emails).

Any thoughts on the Alpha Omega Elite 65 (3-in-1)?

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#6 of 19 Old 01-04-2013, 10:02 AM
 
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I hated my AO. Just my 2 cents...  :)


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#7 of 19 Old 01-04-2013, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Heard back from them again - the Alpha Omega is the only replacement option - just in 3 different colours. We haven't loved our Apex 65 so maybe they'll be about the same?

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#8 of 19 Old 01-04-2013, 04:48 PM
 
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Get the alpha, sell it (you can sell as brand new in box even) and buy the seat you really want.


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#9 of 19 Old 01-04-2013, 06:57 PM
 
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The Alpha Omega Elite is a decent convertible and a terrible booster.  It also doesn't fit newborns well.  I think I agree that  I'd Craigslist it as new in box (it's not a cheap seat), and purchase a convertible for the new baby and a good combination harness-to-booster seat for the older child.  Let us know if you'd like suggestions. :)


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#10 of 19 Old 01-04-2013, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks - I'd love some suggestions. I have a Graco MyRide 65 coming from amazon.ca (I'm in Canada) for our DD to use when she outgrows her SafeSeat (at 30 lbs). Looked for something narrow-ish - hoping to fit her rf and DS ff in a harness to booster seat with enough room for a passenger in our 08 Santa Fe, if possible.

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#11 of 19 Old 01-04-2013, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Also interested to know what makes the Alpha Omega a terrible booster? (Trying to learn all I can in this process). We would only need it for my DD from age 15m+ or so, so fit for an infant doesn't bother me.

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#12 of 19 Old 01-05-2013, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry, me again smile.gif

Two things:

1) I like the idea of selling the seat, new in box but do I feel any need to warn buyer about less-appealing features of the seat? Or is it just buyer beware?

2) I am thinking of calling Dorel back first thing Monday to see if we can get a Safety 1st Complete air instead? It doesn't go to a booster, but if it harnesses to 65 lbs (with my lightweight kids) that would go to age 6+ anyway I'd be happy with that amount of use. Assuming this is a better seat for DD to use for the next 5 yrs or so over Alpha omega?

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#13 of 19 Old 01-05-2013, 09:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsHin2002 View Post

1) I like the idea of selling the seat, new in box but do I feel any need to warn buyer about less-appealing features of the seat? Or is it just buyer beware?
No, especially not if it's new in box. Does Babies R Us warn their buyers about the drawbacks of the different seats available? wink1.gif You don't need to either. The only time I'd warn the buyer is if you are selling it used and there is something they should know about it (a hole in the cover or an offensive odor or a sticky buckle or something).

Can't really answer your other question, I don't have experience with those seats.

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#14 of 19 Old 01-05-2013, 11:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MrsHin2002 View Post

Also interested to know what makes the Alpha Omega a terrible booster?

 

It's very short:  kids will outgrow it before they are ready to ride in the adult seatbelt.   More importantly, the belt guides do not position the belt well.  I have done lots of carseat checks and seen lots of AOEs and clones, and I have *never* seen a decent booster belt fit on any size or shape kid.


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#15 of 19 Old 01-06-2013, 12:24 AM
 
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The complete air is great.  My long torsoed ds still (barely) fit in it at 6.  I was shocked!  Plus it's a no rethread harness!


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#16 of 19 Old 01-06-2013, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm going to call first thing in the morning to ask for the Complete Air instead of Alpha Omega and if they won't go for that I could always ask for $$ towards a seat from someone else? Though I know I could just sell the Alpha Omega they are willing to send us.

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#17 of 19 Old 01-06-2013, 08:36 PM
 
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Ask for the CA instead.  If they say no, ask if they'll sell it to you at a discount.  If not, get the AO and sell it...


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#18 of 19 Old 01-07-2013, 07:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yay! Safety 1st just agreed to send us a Complete Air instead of the Alpha Omega. DS will fit in it but will likely try with DD rear-facing first. Will give us a chance to try it rear-racing for her, to help decide if we'll get another for DH's car when she outgrows her SafeSeat. Thanks for all the help!

Interesting though that the rep said that the negative reviews were all down to a tester using the wrong sized child/ dummy to test the booster mode... Which of course I don't believe for a minute!

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#19 of 19 Old 01-07-2013, 02:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsHin2002 View Post
Interesting though that the rep said that the negative reviews were all down to a tester using the wrong sized child/ dummy to test the booster mode... Which of course I don't believe for a minute!

 

What a crock of hooey!

 

So, every single freaking kid who ever comes through a car seat check using that seat as a booster on two continents is the "wrong sized" child? I don't think so. 

 

That's probably their "excuse" for why their seat is the only booster that the IIHS in the US rated last year which essentially "failed" (i.e. got the "not recommended" rating). All the other manufacturers who used to get that rating have changed their designs and moved up in the rankings. But even if they're right about the poor rating from the IIHS, it doesn't explain why all the techs hate that seat's booster function so much. 

 

I could go on and on about this issue, but suffice it to say I'm glad they're sending you a complete air instead. wink1.gif


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