Bill on Car Seat Replacement Becomes Law

Gov. Gray Davis signed into law a measure that compels insurance companies to replace children's car safety seats after any accident, even if a seat shows no sign of damage. The law is the first of its kind in the nation. In part, the law was designed to raise parents' awareness about the hidden hazards of used car seats, said Sen. Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont), who wrote the measure. Just 2% of parents are aware that car seats can lose their structural integrity in minor collisions, even if they appear fine, federal safety surveys show. The new law won approval over objections from the insurance industry, which argued that automatic replacement went too far. Car-seat manufacturers should set a threshold for determining which accidents are severe enough to warrant new seats, insurance company lobbyists argued.

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