We love our kids

Child safety seat test 2012

A safety issue with the Kiddy Guardianfix Pro and a simple method to rectify this.

Dear Kiddy Customers,

It has come to our attention that a testing house in Germany, ADAC, has recently had a poor result in one out of sixteen advanced crash tests with the Kiddy Guardianfix Pro.  We would like to clarify that in the other fifteen tests, using a variety of dummy sizes, and the isofix fittings, the seat passed with very good  results.  However when tested with the 3 year old dummy, without the isofix fittings, but using the baby insert cushion folded over, it failed.  This has led to a report  that suggests the seat is unsafe when used specifically with these one-off criteria.

The problem is easily rectified by removing one half of the foam in the baby insert cushion.  This is very simple to do.  We have put a demonstration on youtube  as well as on the website where you will find a video showing how it’s done.

The test in question was repeated by Kiddy, at the same testing house, on the 29th May with the adapted insert cushion in situ.  We are pleased to announce that it passed convincingly.

Therefore, we can say, categorically that the Kiddy Guardianfix Pro has excellent safety standards when used in conjunction with the isofix fittings, and is entirely safe for use without isofix providing the baby insert cushion has been adapted as advised.

We apologise for any concerns that you may have and please be assured that Kiddy take the safety of your children very seriously.  If you have any questions, please post below and include your contact details.

 

37 Responses to “Child safety seat test 2012”

  1. Mervyn Rodrigues says:

    Hi

    I am very concerned to read the latest reviews of the Kiddy Guardianfix Pro.
    I purchased this seat based on the excellent reviews of the Kiddy – Guardian Pro 2 in march this year and believed the ISOFIX version would offer even better safety in the event of an impact.

    I was therefore alarmed by the recent product review by “Which” where the Guardianfix pro was awarded a poor 20% rating and advised as a “Dont Buy”

    Overall review as follows:

    “Even though this seat scores relatively highly in most modes (73-82%), its total test score is limited to 20% because of its performance in our front-crash tests in group 1 belted mode. We’ve given this seat a Don’t Buy rating.

    If you already own one of these seats, urgently think about buying a better seat, but don’t stop using it until you’ve bought a new one – after all, any seat is better than no seat at all”.

    The above review in addition to a the new issue highlighted by ADAC in Germany has left me totally disillusioned with the brand – I am at the point where I am considering buying another seat leaving me out of pocket by £265.

    I am in the process of purchasing a new seat for my 11 mth year old and this how I was alerted to these reviews. Based on this I am reconsidering my options.

    I would appreciate some assurance that the product exceeds safety requirements as my children’s safety is paramount.

    Many thanks

    Regards

    Mervyn R

    • Jackie says:

      Dear Mervyn,

      We appreciate your concerns and are confident that the Kiddy Guardianfix Pro is safe with the minor adjustment of the cushion insert as shown on the website.

      The Kiddy Guardianfix Pro has been designed for use with OR without isofix. It is indeed perfectly safe when used with isofix in any setting, with a seatbelt or the impact shield and seatbelt. The one of 16 tests it did not pass was when a 3 year old dummy was sitting on the baby insert cushion which is removable, and secured using the adult seatbelt, utilising the impact shield but not the isofix fittings. The problem is that the height of the child is unacceptable and so the cushion needs to be altered to prevent the problem occurring. By removing one half of the foam in the baby insert cushion, the car seat then passes the test convincingly. That is why Kiddy has been able to redesign the baby insert cushion for all new Guardianfix Pro car seats. The new cushion is shallower – this is the only difference. There is no change at all to the actual car seat shell or impact shield. When retested at the same crash test house, the car seat was deemed safe and passed the test once the cushion foam had been adapted.

      I hope this puts your mind at rest. Please be assured that Kiddy takes the safety of your child very seriously indeed.

      Best wishes,

      Kiddy

  2. Nancy Harrison says:

    Hi there. Does this mean the insert cushion should be removed immediately or only when my child reaches 3 years old? She is currently only 18 months and we do not have an Isofix.

    • Jackie says:

      Hi Nancy,

      She is fine – the Kiddy Guardianfix Pro passed all crash tests apart from the one with the 3 year old dummy with the insert cushion in place and utilising the impact shield. You may take out the cushion insert now but do ensure that her eyes are at the same level as the thickest part of the two side protecting “wings”.

      Kiddy Team.

  3. R.Bolton says:

    Which has stated that ‘The child and seat are partially ejected from the car’s seat in the rebound after impact.’ Is this to do with the insert? I am very concerned about this and considering trying to get my money back and getting a different seat. My daughter is 16 months and i was not made aware of having to make any adustments to the insert to make it ‘safe’. At this stage from your response above I am mnot clear on when it is safe. Mrs Bolton

    • Jackie says:

      Dear Mrs Bolton,

      The issue with the Kiddy Guardianfix Pro ONLY occurs when crash tests have been carried out with a age 3 year dummy and the insert cushion has not been removed. The dummy is too high in the seat when using the impact shield in group 1 mode. The Kiddy Guardianfix Pro passed all required standard tests and did not pass in only one out of sixteen additional tests. If you are concerned, it is fine to take the insert cushion out now, as shown on the video on the website. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the shell or any other feature of the car seat. Kiddy have retested with the insert cushion removed and using the same dummy size and have had excellent results.

      With best wishes,

      Kiddy UK

      • Mrs Bolton says:

        Please can you tell me the name of the regulating body that is responsible for awarding child seats with a safety rating. I would like to research what they are saying on this issue.

        My daughter is 16 months and not very tall so Iwould be concerned about removing part of the insert as I am not sure when it is ‘safe’ or otherwise. Are you able to send out a re-designed insert for the seat?

        Please respond to all points above. Thank you.

        • Jackie says:

          Dear Mrs Bolton,

          It was tested by ADAC testing laboratories. This was for additional tests to the European Standard R44 test which it has already passed. This was part of an independent test that ADAC performs yearly in order to publsh results for their magazine and website. ADAC is a little like the AA motoring organisation and is very well known in Germany and the rest of Europe. It also carries out tests on behalf of manufacturers when arranged.

          You should remove part of the cushion when your child has turned 2 yrs as per the video shown on the blog. If you use the seat with Isofix connection it’s no problem anyway since the problem has only occurred with the 3 year old dummy, without the isofix fittings.

          As far as new cushions, we don’t have any extra cushions to send to customers since all you have to do is remove one part of the cushion they already have. In the revised Guardianfix pro 2 cushion this part has already been removed.

          Please be reassured that the car seat passed 15 out of 16 tests and when used with the ISOFIX fittings it is completely safe all the time for any age.

          We hope this is helpful

  4. Jane Sherwood says:

    I have seen your video showing removal of the piece of foam in the insert cushion. I currently have by 3 year old sat on the insert cushion but not doubled over and poppered shut … I thought this was as per the instructions for his age and weight. Do I still need to remove the foam and if so wouldn’t I be better just removing the whole insert cushion. Does this problem go away when the child is bigger? Is there anywhere in London UK that will check the seat is set up correctly?

    • Jackie says:

      Dear Jane Sherwood,

      It is best to remove the insert as shown in the video. The problem is only with a 3 year old child, after that the Guardianfix Pro passed all safety tests with excellent results. Please email jackie@emma-pr.com and let us know your location so we can identify someone who can check for you to give you peace of mind. A good start would be the retailer from whom you purchased the seat initially.

  5. Lucy says:

    I’ve now been waiting two days and my questions are still “awaiting moderation” while I don’t know if I can safely take my daughter out in the car. Disappointed.

    • Jackie says:

      Dear Lucy,

      Can you confirm which Kiddy Guardianfix Pro car seat you have – the original one, or one bought in the past few weeks which is called the Guardianfix Pro 2. If it is the latter there is no problem at all – it is safe all the time with or without the cushion, and with or without ISOfix. Assuming you have the earlier version where there was an issue with the cushion, the car seat is completely safe when used with ISOfix fittings. The problem only arises IF you do not use ISOfix and your daughter is sitting on the cushion in it’s ‘double’ or ‘folded’ state and using the impact shield. If your daughter weighs more than 18kg, then you shouldn’t be using the impact shield anymore as she has outgrown the Group 1 part of the car seat’s use. It is VERY UNLIKELY you will still be using the original cushion in it’s double or folded state if she has grown this much, as USUALLY this is only used for very young children who are also using the impact shield, in order for them to reach the correct height in the seat.
      I am sorry you have been confused by this issue. We have done our utmost to make the solution as clear as we can and I am sorry that you have not been able to view the video, which is very helpful. If you can get access to a laptop or computer to view it, I hope you will.
      I hope you are now clear on what is safe for your child. There is no need to purchase another car seat at all. The issue was not to do with the car seat itself, only with the cushion being slightly too high when used with children beyond Group 1.

      Kind regards

      Kiddy UK Team

  6. Lucy says:

    Thank you for your response. I would like to email you directly, (I already have done but received no response).

    As I explained my daughter is (now) 20 months old. She is of average weight for her age. I would assume that she is therefore well below 18kg.

    The seat was bought in March or April. I do not have isofix fittings in my car. My daughter has been sitting in the seat exactly as the instructions clearly stated, with the cushion folded (or doubled-up) and utilising the impact shield.

    Which is apparently the exact situation where the dummy was thrown from the seat in the crash test.

    The only difference being that my daughter is not 3.

    So is it safe for her or not?

    Why can you not provide proper, specific WRITTEN safety instructions? I didn’t need a video clip to set up the seat in the first place and I shouldn’t need one now.

    I have removed the thicker cushion insert, and folded the cushion back in half and put it back. But my daughter now seems to slip down behind the impact shield, however tightly I strap her in.

    I am furious that the safety of my child is being compromised by the lack of information provided by you. How can you not have issued a safety recall? This is appalling. How dare you suggest I borrow a computer?! I can’t believe what I’m reading.

    Please respond by return.

  7. Hayley says:

    I am shocked that this information is hidden away in a blog and has not been better publicised. It now appears that the seat I purchased thinking it would be extra safe (at a high cost) is dangerous for my 2 year old son who is regularly driven around in it with the seat insert in place as instructed. I would not have seen this Had I not been searching for another problem I am having with it ( despite fastening the seatbelt as tightly as possible he still sometimes slips down in the seat so that his chin is touching the top of the Impact shied)

    Surely as all children vary in height and size considerably you cannot just say “a three year old” or “from 2” you must do this or that as a large or small child would be an exeption.

    Please coud I

    a) have some guidance about how my child should be sitting in the seat for ideal safety ( ie where should the top of the impact shield be sitting in relation to his chest/head and where should his head be in the head rest.

    B) have a response about what could be causing the slipping down in the seat and the safety impact of this and an opinion about whether removing the insert cushion make this worse.

    C) I also have concerns when he falls sleep in upright mode and his head lolls to the side (ie rests between the impact shield table and side of headrest -it’s impossible to always know if he is going to fall asleep and hard to immediately stop and change to recline when driving. Should I always keep him on recline? Has this been tested?

    I am considering buying a new seat as have serious concerns about my child’s safety and my ability to know if he is fitted correctly ( despite watching the video about removing the cushion it doesn’t show how the “three year old child should be sitting correctly after removing it)) . I am very dissatisfied With the seat and wish that you would recall the seat for parents with young children around 3 who are affected by this uncertainty and offer refunds.

    • Jackie says:

      Thank you for your comments. We are very alarmed that you are still concerned with travelling with your 2 year old son in his Kiddy Guardianfix Pro following the issues we highlighted earlier this year. At this point we also highlighted the issue on the front page of our website, sent out a press release and advised the retailers, to make sure all our customers were aware.

      This issue only applies to the Kiddy Guardianfix Pro which is no longer available on the market. The updated Kiddy Guardianfix Pro 2 model (which has the same shell but a slightly adjusted insert cushion) has, in fact, just been awarded top marks in the standard group I / II / III – 9 to 36 kg in a child seat safety test 11/2012 by Stiftung Warentest and ADAC in Germany and will undergo the same tests with Which? shortly.

      The only issue with the initial Guardianfix Pro was in crash tests utilising a 3 year old dummy, with the car seat in non isofix mode and using the impact shield. In this situation, the child’s body was too high in the seat.

      If your son is only 2 years old and weighs less than 18kg. We would suggest you keep the seat insert in to raise him higher in his car seat. His eyes should be level with the thickest part of the protective side “wings” of the car seat. Please do send us photo’s of him in his seat (jackie@emma-pr.com) so that we can check he is in the right position and we will get back to you with our recommendations as soon as we can.

      If you are securing the Impact Shield correctly, your son should not be slipping in his seat. You should place him in the seat and ensure that his buttocks press against the backrest.
      Push the impact shield into the guide slots on the seat section and slide the impact shield back so that it rests right on your child’s tummy. Then pull your vehicle’s three-point restraint out far enough so that it goes around your son and can be directly fastened in your vehicle’s own
      seatbelt lock . Make sure that the seatbelt tongue locks securely in place with a noticeable
      “click.” Next, feed the lap belt through the red belt guides on the impact shield, and then tighten the belt. The impact shield must rest firmly on your child’s tummy. Next, feed the shoulder belt through the impact shield belt guides. Make sure that all belts lie flat and are not twisted over each other.Then tighten the shoulder belt

      The reclining position may only be used for children of the age group I (9 – 18 kg) together with the impact shield. This makes sleeping more comfortable for the child but if the seat is not reclined it does not compromise the safety of the seat. Never ease or loosen the belts. The side rests as well as the padded inserts and the ergonomic headrest are sufficient to keep your child’s head in a proper position. Never adjust to reclining position whilst the car is in motion.

      I hope this helps? Failing that, we can only suggest that you visit your nearest retailer to check the fitting and ensure your total peace of mind.

      Best wishes, from Kiddy UK Marketing

  8. Hayley says:

    Ps I think this information should be clearly marked and prioritised on the front page of your site permanently and the guardian pro product description.

    • Jackie says:

      This information was indeed prioritised on the front page of our website earlier this year. The Kiddy Guardianfix Pro is no longer on the market and this issue has never applied to either the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 (non isofix version) or the updated Kiddy Guardianfix Pro 2.

  9. Rachel says:

    I am looking at buying a new car seat and was very interested in your Kiddy Guardianfix Pro 2, but do have concerns reading the above – I understand you have modified the cushion insert, BUT it still is not clear in any of your advice given to the questions being asked (and one person above HAS specifically asked this same question but it has not been answered properly) – we understand the weight for use of the Impact Shield is 18kg, BUT what is the suggested maximum height of the child when the Impact Shield should stop being used? The concern is the height of the child affected the safety test result, BUT we don’t know what height it should be used until?? Even though the cushion has been modified, if the child is very tall before they reach 18kg, they could have outgrown the Impact Shield in height for best safety results. Please advise asap for our choice in purchasing and the reassurance and guidance of the people who already are using this seat. Many thanks.

  10. Rachel says:

    An reply asap would be very much appreciated, as I am looking at options for purchasing a car seat today if possible, Many thanks.

    • Jackie says:

      Thank you for your request for further information. There is absolutely no issue at all with the Kiddy Guardianfix Pro 2. However, with the Kiddy Guardianfix Pro the maximum height before the cushion insert should be amended is 98cm. Please visit http://www.facebook.com/kiddyuk to find out more about the latest award that the new Kiddy Guardianfix Pro 2 has been awarded. Please do speak with your retailer for absolute piece of mind and for any further information. Best wishes from Kiddy UK Marketing.

      • Rachel says:

        Many thanks for your reply, just to clarify for sure – the maximum weight with the Impact Shield in use is 18kg – what is the maximum child height for use (eg child could be 6 years old before they are 18kg, but well over a metre tall, would this be okay to still use the Impact Sheild? Many thanks for your help.

        • Jackie says:

          We would recommend that the impact shield can be removed any time after the child is 15kg and at least 98cm in height. When seated, your child’s eyes should be level with the thickest part of the protective side “wings” of the car seat. Please do check with your retailer if you have any concerns. Best wishes Kiddy UK Marketing

          • Rachel says:

            Thank you for this information – I have checked with suppliers, but they do not have the information/knowledge of your Company. So…I would like to double check one thing – if it is safer to use the impact shield, then I would rather use it for as long as it enhances safety – so up to 18kg rather than from 15kg, but only for as long as the safety of the impact shield is effective – ie if it would be safer to use without the impact shield when the child is over 15kg if they are of a certain height. What is the ‘maximum’ height of the child that should be using the impact shield? Is it recommended that over 98cm the child should not use the impact shield as it would be safer just using the adult seatbelt? Or does the safety benefit of the impact shield continue to have safety benefits for a taller child than 98cm (who of course is less than 18kg?).

  11. Wendra says:

    I own a Kiddy Guardian Pro – bought in France last year. Is this the same model as the Guardianfix Pro? I am concerned it may have the same safety issue. Thanks for your help.

    • Jackie says:

      The Kiddy Guardian Pro has absolutely no safety issues. The original Kiddy Guardianfix Pro had a height issue when used with the folded cushion insert that the child sits on (this is not the same as the impact shield). The Kiddy Guardianfix Pro has now been updated to the Kiddy Guardianfix Pro 2 which has just been awarded the prestigious Which? Best Buy Award. Best wishes from the Kiddy Marketing team.

  12. Elayne says:

    I have just bought the Guardian pro 2 for my 15kg 4 yr old daughter. The last post, unanswered, asks about the maximum user height with the impact cushion? Is this only ok to use while the seat back is in its lowest position? I have concerns that she may be too tall. She is about 105cm, but slight build. Recently become too tall for her stage 1 seat and I was concerned about moving her to a 2/3 seat for use with the cars seatbelt.

    • Jackie says:

      Hi, There are no safety issues at all with the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2. We would recommend that the impact shield can be removed any time after the child is 15kg and at least 98cm in height. When seated, your child’s eyes should be level with the thickest part of the protective side “wings” of the car seat. It sounds like your daughter does not need to use the impact shield but please do check with your retailer if you have any concerns. Best wishes Kiddy UK Marketing

  13. Elayne says:

    Thankyou for the response. While I understand that there are no safety issues with the seat itself, I bought it because I understood the impact cushion provides better cervical spine protection in frontal impacts and hoped to use this as a preferred method of fixing my daughter into her car seat. While I understand it can be removed after 15kg I would like to use it longer but can not find a clear answer as to a maximum user height as naturally as the child grows, the cushion is going to sit lower and more upper body will be exposed. I have had to raise the headrest so that my daughter is correctly positioned as you describe above. Is it still ok to use the shield and will it be more effective than the car seatbelt alone or would it be safer to secure through the red guides without impact shield, she is only just 15kg and very slight.

    • Jackie says:

      There is no height limit but there is a maximum weight limit of 18kg. In addition you must ensure that the child head is in the right position according to the head rest as per the diagram at the front of the user manual. I hope that helps? Kiddy UK Marketing

  14. Louise says:

    Hello,

    We purchased the guardianfix pro (revised version) for my son when he was 11 months old. I wasn’t sure if I was fitting him in it correctly so made a fitting appointment with the retailer we bought it from (John Lewis). They said, after ringing kiddy, that he was still too small for the seat and suggested we used his rear-facing seat for a bit longer if we wanted to keep the guardianfix pro seat (John Lewis were excellent and did offer a full refund or exchange) Our son is big for his age – he had reached the minimum weight of 9kgs by 7 months of age, so we found it strange that he was deemed too small for a seat that can supposedly fit a 9 month old, when he was 11 months old. The fitting issue we had with him was the position of his head. With the head guard at its lowest point, we felt his head was correctly placed between the side guards but the base of these guards were very close to his shoulders, whereas the manual indicates this gap should be ~5cm. On the phone, kiddy informed the staff member that this gap must be 5cm and he was therefore too small for the seat. Given how our son was positioned in the seat, I find it hard to believe that any baby can meet both requirements for head positioning. He is now 14 months old and getting too big for his rear facing seat so we have just tried him again in the guardianfix pro and when his eyes are in line with the widest part of the side guards, the gap to his shoulders is between 3.5 and 4cm. Is this ok given that the diagram in the manual says ~5cm? Thanks in advance.

    • Jackie says:

      Sorry for the delay in responding. If your child’s eyes are level with the widest part of the “wings” – we are sure he is fine. Best wishes Kiddy UK

  15. Mark says:

    Hi there
    I have some points for you
    1. I bought the guardian fix pro from a shop (i.e. not online) about 5 months ago and the retailer did not mention this issue, nor would I have known about it had I not stumbled across the issue. The retailer should have raised it, or you should have emailed me when I registered the product, or both.

    2. I’m not sure how it makes any difference to the height of the child in the seat that the isofix is being used or not, since you say that the height is the issue.

    3. My seat is mainly used in a car with isofix, but occasionally in one without. I am concerned that removing the seat insert will be forgotten about. Is it safe to remove the insert in the way you prescribe here, regardless of whether the isofix is being used or not?

    4. Your instructions here and in the video are at odds with your manual. Can you not simply issue a revised manual at least online with consistent instructions and a diagram showing the height which the child should be in the seat. Specifically, your instructions here and in the video are not consistent with the section of the manual I’ve pasted below, which says that the seat cushion would not be folded by the time the child is 3 years old anyway.

    Do we still need to remove the insert if the cushion is being used unfolded?

    “The kiddy guardianfix pro is fitted with a seat cushion (K) that ensures the size adjustment between the approximately 9-month-old child and the approximately 4-year-old (9-18kg) by changing the seat height.
    The seat cushion’s (K) two-way adjustment to the size of your child offers considerably improved seating comfort for smaller children.
    Adjust the seat cushion for your child as follows:
    Level A: 9-13kg (approx. 9-18 months); seat cushion folded (Fig. 2+3)
    Level B: 13-18kg (approx. 18 months – 4 years); seat cushion unfolded (Fig. 4+5)”

    • Jackie says:

      Hi,

      Thanks for your comments. All retailers were advised about this issue and I am surprised that you were able to buy a Kiddy Guardianfix Pro with this issue in November 2012. By this time, all product had been rectified by the retailers. It may be that you have the updated Kiddy Guardianfix Pro 2 which was awarded a Which? Best Buy award in November 2012. You can tell which model you have by looking at the label on the front of the seat – a number “2” is sewn into the updated model. With regard to your questions:-

      1. Please check which model you have – answered above
      2. The height was an issue in that with the cushion insert doubled up and when the isofix fittings were NOT used, and in the case of a 3 year old dummy, the torso was too high in relation to the impact shield.
      3. It is safe to remove the cushion insert regardless of whether the isofix is being used or not. There was never a safety issue when used with isofix fittings anyway.
      4. It is true that the cushion insert should not be folded by the time the child is 3 years anyway – however, in the case when the instructions are not correctly followed, then there was a safety issue. You do not need to remove the cushion if it is being used unfolded and you do not need the cushion at all after the child is over 18kg.

      I hope this puts your mind at rest?

      With best wishes,

      Kiddy UK Marketing

      • Mark says:

        Hello Jackie
        I didn’t realise you’d replied until now. I do not see a “2” sewed into the seat anwhere. I went back to the retailer to discuss with them around the same time as I posted above, and they were not very helpful. They denied that they had failed to inform me of this issue, and refused to entertain a replacement or refund under any circumstances. What’s more, they are still selling the original version of the seat. It is in the same display stand it was when I bought it there. I can let you know where I purchased the seat if you wish. You need to make it clear to them that they should be communicating this issue to their customers. I am not happy with you or the retailer. I would not have bought the seat had I known there was an issue. I would simply have chosen another seat. And I suspect this is the reason they did not mention this issue to me. If I had the time or energy I would pursue this further. I will simply replace the seat.

        • Jackie says:

          Dear Mark,

          Sorry for not replying earlier – your comments got lost in a plethora of competition answers. it might be better if you communicate with me via email. j.stainer@kiddy.de. Can you let me know which retailer this is and whether you have now rectified the problem with the cushion. Please be reassured that the shell of the initial Kiddy Guardianfix Pro is exactly the same as the Which? award winning Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 and that the only problem was with the cushion insert for three year old children still using the impact shield.

          Best wishes,

          Jackie

  16. Judith says:

    Can you tell me the difference between the kiddy guardian and kiddy guardian 2
    Many thanks
    Judith

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