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HKQ Firm News

Is car seat expiration just a marketing ploy? Nope.

Here's why, and how to tell if your car seat is up to par with the latest safety standards.

The Facts About Car Seat Expiration

Question: Can you explain what a car seat expiration date is all about? Do they really expire, or is that a ploy from manufacturers to make more money?

Answer: Car seats expire. They really do. And no, they won't suddenly grow mold like that forgotten tuna sandwich in the fridge or self-destruct like a gadget from an indulgent spy movie.

Ploy or Necessary Safety Precaution?

Car seats expire with good reason.

It isn't just about the manufacturer's bottom dollar, it's about keeping your baby safe. That's a fact to which the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) wholeheartedly agrees, and paying attention to expiration dates are definitely among their top recommendations for car seat use.

There are several valid reasons why you need to stop using the car seat once it passes the expiration date.

  • Technology Improves and Standards Change. An older car seat passed down from friends and family might look like it's in great condition but it may not be utilizing newer lifesaving technologies and safety standards. A good example: In 2002, car seats were not even equipped with Lower Anchor and Tethers for Children (LATCH). Now, however, they are a standard feature in nearly all car seats. Expiration dates ensure that seats being used are current and up to snuff.
  • Materials Wear Down. Car seats were not made to last forever. Over time, the seat base can develop hairline fractures which may shatter in a car crash, and belts can become slightly elastic after years of use. And you likely won't be able to see the breakdown with the naked eye. Crash test videos provide a chilling example of how these materials can fail in a devastating manner
  • Only Tested for a Certain Period. After a certain amount of time, manufacturers do not test seats. So they can't attest to how older seats will perform in an accident.

Where to Find the Expiration Date

Most car seats have the date of expiration stamped on the manufacturer labels located on the sides or the base of the car seat.

Alternatively, it might show the date of manufacture. If that's the case, generally the car seat will expire six years after the date of manufacture. Only a few seats may be good for a few years longer than that. This aspect of car seat expiration is one strong reason not to buy used car seats.

Date of Manufacture vs. Date of Purchase

A tip when buying a car seat, remember that the clock starts ticking from the date of manufacture, not the date of purchase. If you find a great deal on a car seat because it is the previous year's model, understand that it has a shortened life compared to the newest release.

Does Price Matter?

Don't be deceived that a more expensive seat will have a longer lifespan. That's not the case. All seats sold in the U.S. must meet current car seat standards. You can purchase several excellent car seats for less.

Don't forget: Register your car seats and update the manufacturer with your most recent contact information. Curious about car seat laws by state? Alphabetical listings: Alabama - Hawaii | Idaho - Montana | Nebraska - Oregon | Pennsylvania - Wyoming

The above is a reprint from the VeryWell website, originally published on July 23, 2016, written by Jennifer White and reviewed by a board certified physician.

About HKQ Law

Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn is considered one of the top civil litigation and commercial law firms that has had the privilege of representing more families in the courtroom than any other NEPA firm. The attorneys at HKQ Law have been honored as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, Best Law Firms by US News and World Report, and have received the AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbel. HKQ Law was recently recognized for one of the top 20 Verdicts in Pennsylvania.

The firm’s Personal Injury Team, led by Attorney Joe Quinn, Jr., has won some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the region's history. The Personal Injury Team focuses on a wide array of personal injury claims and civil litigation, including medical malpractice, auto and truck accidents, aviation accidents, unsafe vehicles, dangerous or defective products, workplace injuries (worker's compensation), construction site accidents, claim denials by insurance companies, dangerous drugs, defective children's products, nursing home abuse and neglect, and falls due to unsafe conditions (slip and fall).

Attorney Joseph A Quinn, Jr. is one of only 100 attorneys in the United States (and one of only three in Pennsylvania) honored with membership in the Inner Circle of Trial Advocates, and one of only 500 attorneys worldwide chosen to be a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has been a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer every year since the program began and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America every year since the publication was established in 1987. Best Lawyers also named him top personal injury attorney for Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. In addition, Best Lawyers, in conjunction with U.S. News & World Report, has designated HKQ a Tier 1 Best Law Firm across multiple categories in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.

Since the inception of the firm, the Commercial / Corporate Team led by Attorney Allan Kluger has provided comprehensive, integrated legal services to many of Northeastern and Eastern Pennsylvania's largest corporations, businesses, banks, non-profits and institutions, handling matters involving labor and employment, wills, trusts and estate planning, estate administration, elder law, commercial transactions, residential and commercial real estate, zoning, land use and development, telecommunications, mediations and arbitrations, commercial litigation, title insurance, business planning and business succession, corporate/business structuring, employment discrimination law for employers, banking, creditor’s rights, finance, lender liability defense, covenants not to compete, construction law, mergers and acquisitions and other business matters.

Additional information can be found at or by calling (800) 760-1529.



As Hourigan, Kluger and Quinn addresses the concerns raised by COVID-19, the health and safety of our clients, employees and friends of the firm remain our top priority.

These are very difficult and scary times and we hope that you and your loved ones are safe and symptom free. We recognize that so many of you are understandably anxious about your health, the economic impact of this pandemic and all of the consequences of social isolation.

We also recognize that many of you are anxious about how the coronavirus is impacting the Court systems, our firm and your cases. Although all of our offices are closed, our firm has remained fully operational and we have initiated procedures that allow all of our attorneys and staff to work remotely from their homes. Each of us and our staff will respond to any emails and calls about your cases as quickly as possible.

Our Federal and State Courts have instituted significant changes in their calendars as a result of the coronavirus. Although most courthouses are closed to the public, and Hearings and Trials will be delayed for some time, there are matters that can proceed telephonically and by video. Despite these changes in the Court calendars, we are working diligently on your cases and are determined to do whatever we possibly can to assure an early and just recovery for you and your loved ones. Even under these difficult circumstances, we believe that "Nobody will work harder for you than we will."

With regard to new potential clients, we are not in a position to have an in-person new client meeting, but we will be conducting these initial meetings via phone. New potential clients should call us for a free telephone consultation at (570) 287-3000.


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