An increasing number of counterfeit child car seats are being sold to unsuspecting parents in the UK, according to TRL and Good Egg Safety.
Counterfeit seats are often sold online and on auction websites at what appear to be bargain prices.
While these seats may look and feel like genuine products, crash testing performed by TRL has shown that counterfeit seats are often of very poor quality and offer children little protection in a collision.
Hamish McPhillips, from TRL’s Child Safety Centre, said: “It is very difficult to recognise these counterfeits because on initial inspection they can look very similar to the genuine items.
“A recent crash test performed by TRL on what was suspected to be a counterfeit product resulted in the seat coming apart.
“While the seat appeared to have appropriate safety ratings, the instruction manual was in poorly written English, a clear marker that it is counterfeit.
“The instruction manual and markings on the seat should always be available in English and the seat should have an orange Type Approval label to show it meets the requirements of Regulation 44.”
Jan Deans, from Good Egg Safety, added: “This is an alarming issue and we would like to warn all parents and grandparents to take extra care when purchasing a child car seat.
“We strongly advise people not to purchase car seats online unless it is from a reputable retailer, and to always insist the retailer provides local fitting to ensure it is correctly installed.”