Why the expiry date on a child car safety seat? After all, it isn’t made of ground beef! It’s not going to suddenly start smelling bad, like spoiled meat (then again. . .). The answer is simple: it’s a question of safety. Here are the six main reasons why it’s important to get rid of a child car safety seat past its expiry date and bring it to CAA-Quebec.

1.    It could be turned into a bench. . . for a park!

Until very recently, tens of thousands of car seats went straight to landfill after their expiry dates (generally, six to 12 years after their date of manufacture). Lately, though, the Centre de recherche et d’éducation à l’environnement régional (CRÉER) has found ways of recycling them. For example, plastic components are recycled by Produits Re-plast, near Drummondville, for conversion into street furniture, like park benches and picnic tables. And straps and yokes are transformed into pet accessories like leashes and harnesses by P’tit Paw, based in Saint-Hubert.


CAA-Quebec found these ideas so innovative that it decided to help out by opening two collection depots. Members of the public can drop off expired child car safety seats at either of the following locations between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.:


  • 2380 Notre-Dame Street West, Montreal
  • 8000 Armand-Viau Street, suite 500 (Entrepôt et Courrier) Quebec City

2.    Reselling it might be illegal, plain and simple!

This is true of seats manufactured before January 1, 2012, because they no longer comply with Health Canada’s minimum standards. Lending, selling or giving away these seats, even to a charity or at a garage sale, is strictly forbidden.

3.    The plastic weakens over time

In the summertime, a car interior is like an oven, so a child safety seat is basically cooking. Meanwhile, in winter, it’s freezing. After a few years’ exposure to sunlight and temperature extremes, the plastic components take a fair beating, which could compromise seat safety in the event of an impact.

4.    The fabric has been through a lot

Think of all the food matter, drinks, cleansers and other liquids that the fabric has absorbed. It’s easy to see how the straps can deteriorate over time.

5.    Labels come off, manuals get lost, etc.

When a seat is resold, it can be hard to trace its history: the safety labels are often illegible, you can’t know whether the seat has been in an accident, and the instruction manual may have been lost. Considering that half of all child car seats are incorrectly installed, the instruction manual is especially important to have. Incidentally, anyone can have an expert check whether their child’s seat has been properly installed, free of charge, at a child car seat verification centre.

6.    Evolving technology has its benefits

Standards and technologies evolve, and seats are increasingly safer as a result. That also means, of course, that an older seat will lack those more recent features. For example, newer seats have devices designed to progressively slow impact force, side impact protectors, systems that redirect the force of impact downward instead of forward, etc. Soon, some will even be equipped with air bags!

Lastly, a reminder: a child car safety seat in good condition, properly installed, lowers the risk of death or serious injury in a traffic accident by up to 70%.

Our Automotive Advisory Services representatives are experts on the topic and aware of all the latest technologies. Don’t hesitate to contact them! 1 888 471-2424.