RACE response to the scandal about child safety tests for children (part I)

Months ago we published an article that many of you already know:  The chair scandal with cushion or front shield". Later and in a much more concrete way, we published the following post: Attention: RACE winning car seats are more than 75% likely to cause serious injury" based on :

Scientific research led by Dr. P. Beillas and H.Johannsen as maximum exponents on the abdominal pressure in traffic accidents on which the UNECE regulations and the new R129 known as I-Size

The parameters themselves described in the European Test on Child Safety Chairs made by the ADAC next to Stiftung Warentest and other European partners, disclosed by the RACE, the OCU or the RACC in Spain.

In both posts, and more after the dissemination they had, we asked the test authors for answers about the doubts cast on scientific evidence. We asked for an explanation of whether the winning chairs met the expectations of the parents who decided their SRI trusting the goodness of these tests. ANDIt's obvious that parents expect a test on car seats to really tell us if the winner meets the following requirements:

- Do not raise any doubts about your reliability. A safe chair, by definition, is one that should NEVER fail when it has to act. An airbag can NEVER raise doubts, you always have to act when it is your turn. Even a “less good” airbag should always 'be there' when we need it. We prefer consistency and consistency to the fact that it can be very good many times and others fail. That is what we base security on, to eliminate risk as much as possible. The doubt does not fit.

- We know that when we talk about SRI it is impossible to eliminate all the circumstances, so we cannot expect any of them to protect in the 100% of cases. Assuming a certain percentage of risk each time we take the car, the SRI winner of a test must be the one that reduce the likelihood of irreversible injury.

- We do not want the safest chair among the novelties of the year. That "smells" like a marketing tool. We want the safest chair in absolute terms, forever.

Do the tests published by RACE meet these expectations?

We doubt why? Because we need you to comply with these three parental demands:

RELIABILITY:

Perhaps it is the part that removes my guts the most. After the documentation submitted and 13403971_1613013135655705_5909091556501249909_o (1)Simplified in the infographic, it is obvious that doubts about reliability continue to be seriously questioned and more, based on the studies presented, we can even affirm the exposed headline.

After asking for active and passive a scientific response to the RACE that confirms that the test that it publishes and defends does not generate any doubt, we were extremely disappointed for several reasons:

  1. First, the answer is addressed only to me by private mailAs if the problem was mine. Gentlemen of the RACE, I have already chosen my SRI, I do not need a private answer. They are the more than 100,000 parents who once saw the doubts generated by the system based on the cushion / shield that you gave as the winner. To these we must include thousands of other parents who receive information by prescription from the childcare sector. Under my judgment, they have a moral responsibility for the same power of disclosure that they speak about so many times.
  2. Secondly, the most technical answer? (as you have insinuated several times) is a pdf of 4 pages in which three of them are dedicated to saying how good the RACE is and the good intentions it has when it performs the test. Only one page dedicated to the subject of the cushion and none dedicated to, for example, the ejection problem that arose at the time (link here).  
  3. The technical answer does not have any logic. He describes the measurement process for half a page, 'maybe play clueless?' during the next two paragraphs to affirm that the abdominal pressure measured in harnesses should be different from the abdominal pressure measured in another system. Sorry? Is this really the whole answer? ¿4 pages to affirm such nonsense and now ??? The pressure is the force per cm2 and the damaging potential in the abdomen is indifferent, since the surface denominator already takes into account the surface difference between one system or another. Then eThe cushion / shield system, since it has more surface, should generate more total force on the abdomen in absolute terms, therefore, more damaging potential. Easily, so as not to go too far, in wikipedia you can find the description and formula: P = F / A
  4. On the other hand, the fact that more research is needed (although NO scientific article has been provided to certify the RACE claims), does not eliminate doubt. On the contrary, you confirm that it is harmful but, not knowing to what extent it is harmful, you decide that the claim that the “75% is likely to cause injury” is not true (according to your “technicians” because apparently Dr. P. Beillas and H.Johannsen, among others, are quite clear). An element that must eliminate doubts about its operation and deserving of winning a test as the best SRI, you do not only eliminate them, but you confirm that it is harmful but by the fact of not being able to know to what extent, then nothing, that it wins equally and then we'll see. In fact, the issue goes further, since when we affirm that they have the 75% we speak of "at least", since you do not publish the real value, so the probability and lesivity would increase more brutally (say> 1 , 5 (higher) so it could be 2 bars, or 3 bars, or 5 bars).

COHERENCE:

You affirm in the answer, that you lead the disclosure in security and that in 2012 you were already talking about the best thing to do is go back to the march as long as possible. We understand that it is the best way to reduce the chance of serious injury. So, Why since the year you publish it, being knowledgeable and aware of it, are they not the winning chairs of the tests (in greater numbers)? It's illogical!! Afterwards, the parents will freely decide the level of risk they want to take, but the test has to be correlated with reality and common sense. Something doesn't add up. Until the incorporation of the saddle analysis under R129 this year, no anti-gait seats for babies between 9 and 18kg (between 1 and 4 years) have passed the test. Can it be said, then, that the winning chair is the safest, the least likely to cause serious injury in the event of an accident?

TIME SAFETY:

A parent doesn't want the winning chair of the year, if not the safest in absolute terms. So the selection criterion is wrong. The "novelties" or best-selling chairs or any similar criteria, is not scientific, it is commercial. If we want to find the fastest athlete in history in the 100-meter dash, the selection criteria to compete must be based on meritocracy and not the one that is most attractive to the audience on television. This would be valid if you did not change the rules every 3 or 4 years. Comparing is fine, why not ?, but being consistent. The fact that good chairs are not analyzed again when the parameters are changed, makes me think that everything ends up being a declaration of good intentions.

Concluding this first part:

Mom's Lab has never insulted. I have always tried to control my emotions and what the subject makes me think and believe. 

Mom's Laboratory has not claimed that the test is tampered with. On the other hand, it has affirmed that it is badly done (and it is reaffirmed once again) because it does not meet the expectations of parents who need an SRI that reduces the chances of fatal injuries in their children in the event of an accident.

Mom's Laboratory has not stated anything about RACE's intentions, basically, because although he has his opinion, he does not belong to the management team that is in charge of establishing the strategy of said organization. Likewise, it is not a problem of intentions, but of results. Nor is it a problem of other RACE products, if not of a very specific section of which it is a collaborator: the SRI tests on the winning chairs.

The answer was expected by many people, not only me in private.. Am I to understand that you don't want a "public trial" and that you try to make as little noise as possible?

The answer is not up to the documentation provided. You do not certify any claim, apart from being technically scarce and erroneous. You still do not confirm that the winning chairs deserve this award. Therefore we continue with the same doubts and even, you confirm them. 

You still do not publish the actual data (which are worse, I imagine) than the 1.5 bars that we associate with the 75% of probabilities of serious injuries. That doesn't help demonstrate your good intentions about transparency.

And, as you all guessed, next week we will publish the second part. We believe that it is very important, dense information and therefore we prefer that everything be understood perfectly.

In that second part we will include the RACE response and so we will comment, we will respond, part by part, to be rigorous and that we all have the same information to judge. 

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8 Comments

  1. Fabulous. Impeccable. Admirable. How different the history of road safety in Spain would have been written if these gentlemen had limited themselves to doing their job (sending cranes) and had remained on the sidelines of a subject that they do not know so much and that is so serious.

    Spain had acm chairs in the 90s. In fact, ALL THE CHAIRS THAT WERE SOLD IN SPAIN in those years admitted the acm position until 3 or 4 years (and its use was recommended).

    It is true that the RACE began publishing its rankings in 2004. And to say the string of nonsense they said, they could have saved it. What works are love and not good reasons ... if you don't know what are you talking about?

    Here I leave the link to the FIRST RANKING of these gentlemen. Note in the last sheet of warnings and recommendations the importance they gave to the need to keep the child as long as possible (irony-on mode)

    http://www.maternum.com/Biblioteca/SRI%202004.pdf

  2. Good afternoon, I have a seat of this type and the truth that I thought was the safest ... my mistake for having trusted me and not having looked for more, but the truth was that I had little information about what to look for and in stores they assured me that was one of the best.
    My question is, my girl is going to be 4 years old in a few months and weighs almost 16kg, could I use this same chair without a cushion and would it be safer than with a cushion?
    He was holding her with the cushion on because he thought that the longer he wore it, the safer it would be but seeing what was seen….

    1. Indeed Amanda, as Alitf says, the ideal solution would be to opt for an acm chair and if you think about it, we will be happy to help you in the choice. However, answering your question, yes. Removing the shield the girl will be much more protected, although the most ideal, I repeat, would be the acm chair option.

      a greeting

  3. I have to change the car seat. My daughter weighs 10kg and I have an isofit (I don't know if it is spelled correctly).
    What chair and where can I buy it
    Thank you!!!!

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