The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that car seats be replaced following moderate or severe crashes. They further recommend that car seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash. Minor crashes are those that meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site
  • The vehicle door nearest the safety seat was undamaged
  • There were no injuries to any of the vehicle occupants
  • The air bags did not deploy
  • There is no visible damage to the safety seat

Aside from minor crashes, others reasons to replace a child safety seat:


  • If your child safety seat is over 6 years old
  • If there is a recall of the child safety seat. Click on the link for " NHTSA's Child Safety Seat Recall List" in the Quick Links section on the right-hand side of this webpage to find out more about recalled car seats