Friday, September 4, 2009

Orbit Baby vs. Consumer Reports - who is right?

After reading all the information from both sides of the arguement and discussing it with my NHTSA Certified Car Seat Technicians, we are in agreement with Orbit on this one. We feel that Consumer Reports (CR) did not properly test the Orbit Baby Infant Seat.

It appears that CR did not follow their own advise. They suggest the following on their website, when getting ready to install any car seat, "be sure to carefully read your instruction manual and the car-seat installation section of your vehicle owner's manual." They only followed part of the owners manual instructions. They tightened the base so that there was less than 1" of play when installed. They neglected to use Orbit Baby's StrongArm feature when making the installation. #8 in the Orbit Baby Manual , under Installing the Base with vehicle seat belts, states "Turn the StrongArm Knob at the front of the Base clockwise. (Photo X)." (See right) After that is completed then you should do the 1" movement check and not before.

Orbit Baby, upon hearing about the bad rating, immediately retested the Orbit Baby Infant Seat in the same lab CR used. They have also had NHTSA run another test of the seat. Both these retests found that the seat does not have any issues when installed properly.

I am disappointed in CR in that they did not follow proper installation procedures and then claimed there is an issue with a product. as of the time of this post they are still standing buy their initial claim. I thought they would have learned a lesson after their last car seat ratings issue when they discovered the tests were bogus as a 3rd party lab did not properly test the car seats rated in their review. Maybe they like the feeling of egg on their face and wanted some more.

Again, we stand behind Orbit Baby. They are meticulous designers who appear to examine every detail possible when creating their product. How else can you explain a 2 year wait to launch the line back when they began. We are proud to sell Orbit Baby and will continue to do so in the future.

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