Five Mamas & Papas Mercury car seats sold by Argos have been urgently recalled after safety fears that the seats may crack during a crash. If you have one of these seats, you’ll need to check the serial numbers too (these should be on the back of the seat):
The five recalled models with the following serial numbers are:
- Mamas & Papas Mercury Group 1 Black - Serial Number 297/7526
- Mamas & Papas Mercury Group 1 Grey - Serial Number 411/9100
- Mamas & Papas Mercury Group 1, 2, 3 Grey - Serial Number 397/9530
- Mamas & Papas Mercury Group 1-2-3 Black - Serial Number 305/6037
- Mamas & Papas Mercury Group 2-3 Black and Grey - Serial Number 245/4829
A mum is now (August 2016) taking legal proceedings against Argos, suing for £20 million pounds worth of damages as she claims her son's car seat (one of the recalled) was "unsafe" and put his "life at risk."
Despite not having suffered any actual loss, damage or personal injury, mother-of-one Rochelle Natty is suing Argos because it "failed to recognise the seriousness of the risk they placed my child in."
According to the Daily Mail, which is quoting the high court writ, Rochelle is claiming the child safety seats are "not fit for purpose" and she also says she was not informed the seat could be potentially dangerous until a year and half later.
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"I was sold a car seat that was unsafe and Argos (took) one year and a half to inform me about it, whilst my son was being driven around in a car seat that was not fit for purpose.
"They put my child's life at risk.
"On 11 May 2016 I received an email from Argos stating urgent safety concerns.
"I read through it, then called Argos up and asked, why did it take them a year and a half to tell me this whilst driving around with my child in an unsafe car seat. Argos then went on to blame Mamas & Papas."
When Argos first issued the recall in April, it warned parents to stop using the car seats immediately and urged anyone who purchased one to return them to their nearest Argos store, to get a full refund.
“We have identified a potential safety concern,” said Argos in a statement. “In the event of an accident, the car seat shell may crack and therefore not provide the intended level of protection to the user.”
“If you have purchased any of the above seats, you should immediately stop using the product and return the car seat to your local Argos store for a full refund."
A barrister for Argos writes in the company's defence, that the retailer 'admits' it sold the car seats and issued the recall notice.
But he also says that manufacturer - Mamas & Papas - not Argos, are responsible because they are 'the producer and importer of all such items for the purposes of the Consumer Protection Act 1987."
Rochelle is also suing Mamas & Papas as second defendants on the writ.
MadeForMums contacted Argos for a statement and the retailer confirmed it is being sued:
"We can confirm that we are currently defending a legal action taken against Argos and Mamas & Papas by a customer who purchased a Mamas & Papas car seat from us which was recalled earlier this year.
As soon as we discovered the issue, we acted quickly to contact as many customers as possible and ensure that products were returned to us urgently. We are not aware of any injuries related to this concern.
We apologise unreservedly for any anxiety caused to our customers by the need to recall these products. As this is a live legal matter, we cannot comment further."
Safety concerns on the seats were first raised earlier in the year by a user of shopping deals site PlayPennies. She explained that she had complained after her son’s car seat cracked when she lent on it.
Another couple of users shared their experiences of the car seat breaking through general use, such as pulling the seat belt tight.
If you have one of these car seats, go straight to Argos...
Argos is acting promptly and mums are already on Facebook talking about the return process. Many have had positive experiences.
“They changed my car seat with no receipt in Argos,” wrote one. “They gave me the full price for it, helped me pick a new seat and it was £10 more. They took the £10 off too.”
“I didn't have a receipt for mine when I took it back today,” said another. “They asked if I wanted to exchange it which I did. I asked what the value of the car seat was and they said £99.99. I chose a Britax one that was on offer at £79.99 and got a £20 voucher for the difference plus a £5 voucher for the purchase.”
So will I get a refund even if I don’t have a receipt?
Yes. Argos has confirmed that you will still receive a full refund even if you don’t still have your receipt
What if the car seat isn’t in great condition?
That’s fine. Argos will not dispute a refund even if your car seat is well-used or you’ve removed the back of a 2/3 seat to convert it into a booster cushion. Even if it’s missing parts, you’ll still get a refund.
How will I get my money back?
You’ll get your refund according to the way you originally paid for it – so if you’ve paid by card, your card will be refunded. If you’ve paid by cash, you’ll receive a cash refund. If you don’t have a receipt, you may receive a cash refund or voucher.
Is there a hotline to call?
Yes, if you’re concerned, you can contact the Argos Customer Service Team on 0345 600 5388 or ring 1800535091 in Ireland.
Why is it just Argos issuing the recall?
These are Mamas & Papas car seats that are currently sold exclusively through Argos. They’re not available on the Mamas & Papas website but it’s possible they may have been sold by other retailers in the past. If you have one of these car seats, the advice is to return it to Argos.
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