• Kenneth Powell

Is it Illegal to Use an Expired Car Seat? Ask the Powell Law Firm!

Buying car seats is common for parents who want to keep their children safe while they drive. However, although people love buying safe car seats for their children, not many know any car seat can expire after some years of use.


It's not odd to find parents using an expired car seat in their car without knowing that the car seat has expired, and doing that could put their children in danger if there were to be a car crash or any other accident while driving.


When people find out about this, they often start wondering if it's illegal to use expired car seats.


It is, surely, something dangerous, but is it illegal to do it? This page has all the answers, so anyone looking forward to knowing more about car seat expiration dates and car seat laws can read on to learn everything they need to know about the matter.


The Powell Law Firm is also available to help people address their law-related concerns, so clients can call them whenever they need to. This law firm works in St. Louis, Missouri, and can also help victims of car accidents and other personal injury cases.


Do Car Seats Expire?

Do Car Seats Expire?


Car seats always expire after some years of using them, and using an expired car seat is dangerous for the kid using it. These products will expire regardless of the brand clients choose.


The best way to know when car seats expire is to read the car seat expiration date. People can find the expiration date on a sticker on the back of the seat. Nonetheless, that also depends on the car seat brand since some put that sticker underneath the car seat.


This doesn't change when people buy a booster seat since they also expire after a time. Some car seat manufacturers print the car seat expiration date onto the car seats. Others avoid printing the expiration date but print the manufacture date instead.


If someone can't seem to find either of those in a new car seat, the best they can do is check the manufacturer's instructions or website to know when car seats from that brand expire. Knowing the manufacture date helps people know when car seats will expire.


People buying a used car seat can ask the person selling it to them if they know when the car seat will expire. It's better for people looking for this product to look for more car seats before buying one to compare them and check which one is in better condition.


How to Know If a Car Set Expired


One of the issues with having an expired car seat is that it's difficult to know when car seats have expired. Many spend years without knowing their car seats expired a long time ago, and most car seats don't leave any significant signs of deteriorating when they get to the expiration date.


Fortunately, some slight signs can tell people when their car seats expired, so the best they can use is to pay attention to them and replace those car seats. Naturally, people wouldn't notice those signs if they didn't know they were there, but it's almost impossible to not see them once they learn how to do it.


These are some signs that tell people they may need a new car seat:


  • Signs of wear and tear

  • The seat's harness doesn't fit securely around children

  • If there are any missing parts of the seat

  • When it gets to the expiration date

  • When the manufacturers recall the car seat


It's essential to get another car seat when the previous one expires, so no one should hesitate to do it or wait a lot for it.


What Happens When People Use Expired Car Seats?


As it happens with other things when they expire, expiring means they are no longer of use or that it's dangerous to use them since they don't have what made them useful in the first place. The same happens with expired car seats, and that's what makes them dangerous.


Tear and wear is a common sign of car seats expiring, and that means they will start looking worse. That is the least of the owner's problems, though. When car seats expire, the safety harness stops fitting correctly, so it's easier for it to get off and let children unprotected.


Hence, if a car crash happens, the car seat won't be able to protect the kid, and they would get seriously injured or even die. An expired car seat will get loose with just moving a little, so it doesn't protect anyone.


Apart from that, things such as the car seat losing some of its parts or the harness shifting are not uncommon when they get to the expiration date. Thus, no one should use a recalled car seat.


Car seat bases expire, too, so it's not enough to only replace some parts of the product.


Is it Illegal to Use an Expired Car Seat?


Getting to the main question of this page, is it illegal to use an expired car seat? The short answer is "no" since there are not any regulations that say people can't use infant car seats after they expire.


However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) states parents shouldn't ever use a car seat after it expires since the product loses its safety features.


Car seat manufacturers also recommend people buy new infant car seats after their previous ones expire to prevent kids from getting any major injuries after a car crash. However, there are some things to take into account when buying a used car seat.


Buying or selling used infant car seats is not illegal in any state of the U.S, so there's not any issue with people getting them. Nevertheless, it's ideal for sellers to tell their customers the expiration date of the used car seats they are selling.


It is, though, illegal to sell a car seat that has been recalled or that is already expired since it puts in danger other people in case they get into a car accident. The problem with buying used models is that it's odd for someone selling an old car seat to know car seats have an expiration date, so everyone looking forward to purchasing child safety seats should keep an eye on that when getting used ones.


How Long Does It Take for a Car Seat to Expire?


Most car seat bases expire from six to 10 years after the manufacture date unless something makes them last less than that. However, the best way to know when a car seat will expire is to check the car seat's expiration date or look at the car seat's history when buying used children's car seats.


What to Do When a Car Seat Expires

What to Do When a Car Seat Expires


The best someone can do when their general or toddler seat expires is to buy a new one. Unfortunately, many people avoid doing it and think they are better off with the car seat they already have.


Here are some of the reasons why people should check expiration dates and replace expired seats:


New Car Seats Have More Safety Features


Newer car seats or booster seats come with more and better safety features every year. The reason for this is agencies and organizations such as the American Automobile Association test car safety products and state what could help make them safer in the future.


Getting a new car seat may also help clients get one that complies with newer FMVSS standards.


It Protects Children in Case of a Car Accident


As it was mentioned before, using an expired child seat makes car accidents the most dangerous they can be, and getting a new one prevents children from dying or getting serious injuries after one.


It Makes Children More Comfortable


Since car seats start wearing, tearing, and deteriorating after they expire, they become uncomfortable to sit on for some children. Hence, replacing an expired seat makes children feel better while going in a car or any other motor vehicle.


It's Easier to Sell It


No one can sell a car seat once it expires, so sticking with one that has already expired means not only putting children in danger but also losing the chance of selling one in the future. Getting a new product, on the other hand, allows people to sell it as a used product once they don't need it.


Bottom Line


Although not many people pay attention to those things, using a second-hand car seat that has already expired is dangerous to the person using it. No, using an expired car seat is not illegal, but even if it's not, no one should use them if they have the chance of buying a new one.


People having any law-related questions like this one can call an auto accident attorney in St Louis MO from the Powell Law Firm to help them know everything they need to know about the matter. They can help provide legal assistance to clients who have questions like whether or not a train horn for a car is illegal.


This legal office also helps victims of certain personal injury cases, so the best people can do is call it if they ever need someone to file a claim against another person.