Statement from mifold in Response to the ICRT evaluation of the mifold Grab-and-Go Booster seat

Keywords: TCS, ADAC, RACC, Stiftung Warentest, ICRT, mifold, booster

In June 2017, the ‘International Consumer Research and Testing’ consortium (ICRT)* produced their annual report on vehicle child restraint systems.

This report was used by various member organisations as source material for articles evaluating and rating different child restraint systems. These were then published in their local consumer magazines and websites.

The 2017 ICRT report included the mifold® Grab-and-Go Booster seat® that was launched in 2016.  Some of the initial publications included statements and conclusions that were factually incorrect and misleading and which could lead consumers to believe that the mifold booster seat is unsafe.

As the manufacturer of the mifold seat, we engaged with these organisations to discuss the articles they had published and to have them revised. This statement and the information below explains how we worked with them to clarify the situation as it relates to mifold, to correct the incorrect information and to explain how these organisations have helped ensure that accurate information about mifold is now available to consumers.

We would particularly like to thank the professionals at TCS in Switzerland, at ADAC in Germany and at RACC in Spain. By working together, European consumers now have accurate information on the safety, suitability, value and benefits of the mifold® Grab-and-Go Booster seat®.

Learn more about the safety of mifold at www.mifold.com.

Jon Sumroy
CEO

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TCS (The Touring Club of Switzerland)

TCS is the largest motoring organisation in Switzerland and a highly respected consumer organisation. TCS publish an annual review of child restraints. In 2017, they published a misleading review of the mifold seat.

The review compared the mifold seat, which is a backless belt positioning child restraint, with a range of high-back boosters that provide side impact protection in addition to frontal impact protection. As a policy, TCS rates all backless boosters with a zero rating for safety. However, the article did not clarify this and so readers got the impression that mifold was unsafe when compared to all other booster seats available in Switzerland. This is not in fact the case and TCS consider mifold to be equivalent to other backless booster seats. In addition, TCS made inaccurate claims about a submarining risk with mifold (the situation where a child slips under the lap portion of a seat belt) that is not true. Due to the unique design, submarining does not happen with mifold.

TCS agreed to meet with mifold representatives, who presented detailed, independent and scientific data proving the safety of the mifold seat.

Following this productive meeting with TCS, they changed and corrected their reviews and went further, drafting a letter for local retailers and consumers, to ensure that the corrected information was now understood and available for all interested parties to review. To see this letter and an English translation, click on the thumbnail images below.

ADAC (German Automobile Club)

ADAC is the largest motoring organisation in Germany and a highly respected consumer organisation with their own crash test facilities. They publish an annual review of child restraints. In 2017, they also published a misleading review of mifold.

The review compared the mifold seat, which is a backless belt positioning child restraint, with a range of high-back boosters that provide side impact protection in addition to frontal impact protection. As policy, ADAC also rates all backless boosters with a zero rating for safety. However, the article did not clarify this and so the impression was that mifold was again, unsafe, compared to all other booster seats available in Germany. This is not the case and ADAC consider mifold to be equivalent to other backless booster seats. In addition, ADAC also made inaccurate claims about a submarining risk with mifold (the situation where a child slips under the lap portion of a seat belt). Due to the unique design, submarining does not happen with mifold.  Finally, ADAC published a series of misleading photographs that attempted to portray mifold as a booster that performed badly when used. These were not actual crash test photos, or laboratory condition images, but staged photos showing children misusing mifold and installing it incorrectly, not in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

When we engaged with ADAC they immediately took down their online review and agreed to meet with mifold representatives, who presented the full, independent scientific background to the mifold seat.

After a productive meeting with ADAC they drafted a substantially changed and corrected review which is now available on their website. ADAC also removed the staged photos from their reports.  ADAC went even further, to issue a letter to local retailers and consumers, to ensure that the corrected information was now understood and available to the public.

This letter is not published, to receive a copy, please email us at adac-letter@mifold.com.

RACC (The Royal Automobile Club of Catalonia)

RACC is a largest motoring organisation in Spain and a highly respected consumer organisation. RACC publish an annual review of child restraints along with other ICRT members. In 2017, they published a misleading review of mifold.

The review compared the mifold seat, which is a backless belt positioning child restraint, with a range of high-back boosters that provide side impact protection in addition to frontal impact protection. RACC did not rate the mifold seat for safety. However, the article did not specify this and so the customer was left with the impression that mifold was unsafe compared to all other booster seats in Spain. This is not in fact the case and TCS consider mifold to be equivalent to other backless booster seats. In addition, RACC made inaccurate claims about a submarining risk with mifold (the situation where a child slips under the lap portion of a seat belt). Due to the unique design, submarining does not happen with mifold.

RACC agreed to meet with mifold representatives, who presented detailed, independent scientific background on the safety of the mifold seat.

Following this productive meeting with RACC, they changed and corrected their reviews and went further, issuing a letter for local retailers and consumers, to ensure that the corrected information was now understood.  To see this letter and an English translation, click on the thumbnail images below.

Stiftung Warentest (German Consumer Organisation)

Stiftung Warentest is a well-known and respected German consumer organisation. Stiftung Warentest coordinate the annual child restraint reviews for the 'International Consumer Research & Testing’ umbrella organisation (ICRT) that includes TCS, ADAC, RACC and more. For the crash tests, ADAC conduct them on behalf of all organisation members, TCS conduct usability tests and other members conduct different tests of their own.

Stiftung Warentest publish an annual review of child restraints. In 2017, they published a misleading review of mifold.

The review compared the mifold seat, which is a backless belt positioning child restraint, with a range of high-back boosters that provide side impact protection in addition to frontal impact protection. As policy, Stiftung Warentest rates all backless boosters with a zero rating for safety. However, the article did not clarify this and so the impression was given that mifold was unsafe compared to all other booster seats, even though this is not the case. In addition, Stiftung Warentest made inaccurate claims about a submarining risk with mifold (the situation where a child slips under the lap portion of a seat belt). Due to the unique design, submarining does not happen with mifold.

Stiftung Warentest refused to talk or meet with us and we were forced to retain German legal counsel to commence legal proceedings against them. Without meeting, Stiftung Warentest corrected inaccurate statements in their review and reedited their video. Under the threat of legal action, Stiftung Warentest also signed a ‘cease and desist’ letter agreeing to never make these statements again and compensated Carfoldio Ltd. for some of the legal costs we incurred.

The unique benefits of the mifold Grab-and-Go booster seat

mifold was invented specifically to be a safe child restraint that can be available all the time, when the main child seat is not available: when carpooling, in taxis, in rental cars, on vacation, etc. We only ever market mifold for this.

The mifold Grab-and-Go booster seat has incredibly good crash test results especially in terms of head and knee excursion measurements. So, it is a good booster seat and not just 'good enough'. This applies even more in view of the primary purpose of mifold which is to act as an occasional seat to be used only when a regular car seat is not available and especially applies when compared to safety data for products in the same booster seat class.

mifold is the first ultra-compact and portable device.  In a world where at least 25% of child journeys still see children traveling completely unprotected; our compact and portable device is making a significant contribution to improving child passenger safety. 

For the first time ever, the problem mifold is solving is what to do when a bulky restraint is not available. However, with mifold there is no longer any excuse, with ultra-compact and portable devices, a child can easily keep one with them all the time and drivers can keep spares, without cluttering up a car and losing cabin or luggage space.

As a company, Carfoldio has a vision: a child restraint for every child, in every car, on every journey, every time.  This led to the creation of the ultra-compact booster seat category.  Today, more than 450,000 mifold Grab-and-Go Booster Seats are being used by hundreds of thousands of children, parents and caregivers every day, worldwide.

The mifold Grab-and-Go booster seat is safe, compact and portable enough to be used in every car, on every journey, every time.

Learn more about the safety of mifold at www.mifold.com.

 

 

[1] International Consumer Research & Testing (ICRT) is a global consortium of more than 35 consumer organisations dedicated to carrying out joint research and testing of consumer products for the benefit of consumers.