Failing seatbacks are putting kids in danger again.
Auto safety experts are demanding action on what they call a serious safety defect. The move comes days after a Texas jury awarded more than a $124.5 million verdict against one automaker for a problem car companies admit would only cost a couple of dollars to fix (via CBS).
Crash test videos obtained during the course of our CBS News investigation show how when cars are hit from behind, the front driver and passenger seats of many vehicles can collapse backwards, launching the occupants into the backseat area.
For years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has told parents the safest place to put children is in the backseat. Cases of apparent seatback failure reviewed by CBS News show, while drivers can also suffer catastrophic injury, children in the backseat are suffering the worst of the injuries, even death.
It happens in an instant. Watch the clip below.
An 11-year-old is living with the consequences of a seatback failure. He was sitting behind his father in the backseat of his family’s Audi sedan when it was rear-ended in San Antonio, Texas in 2012.
“We’re constantly told to put children in the back seat,” said the boy’s father, “but you just don’t know that this danger is there.” The driver’s seat dad was sitting in broke, launching him head first into his son. Both were taken to the hospital. As the elder was being treated in the emergency room, his wife told him of their son’s condition.
“She said, it’s bad. He’s got a real bad head injury and…he may not make it through the night,” dad said, fighting back tears. “So I started praying, I said, ‘Please God, don’t take my boy.'”
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