I spoke with a representative from Consumer Reports today, Doug Love.
Here are the questions I had for Consumer Reports and the communications department's answers:
1) Can you give me the background on who tested the car seats for your 1/4/07 report?
2) Were the tests conducted by consumer reports internal team or an outside organization?
Consumer reports does not have a crash test facility, generally Consumer Reports does not reveal the location of its third party testing sites. In this case, the tester has been revealed in the public, the company that provided the tests was Calspan http://www.calspan.com/.
3) At what speeds were the tests conducted?
The tests were simulated at the NH speeds. But as questions have been raised about the report the speeds are under review.
4) Did you ever release any of your original data to manufacturers who had requested the test results? And specifically had Britax been in contact with you, and had you released any data to that company?
Consumer Reports gave test results to two manufacturers; the manufacturers were required to visit the consumer reports facility to review the results.
I've since sent along these follow up questions: For clarification, what information did you provide to those manufacturers? Could that information have been given in electronic format?
5) Is Consumer reports going to issue an apology for the poor test results?
The whole testing procedure is under review, Consumer Reports has a whole fact-checking department, and the organization prides itself on its ability to conduct fair and accurate tests. Once we know more about the test results we will be able to address any concerns in the community.
6) What plans does the organization have in place, or putting in place, to ensure this sort of thing does not happen again?
See answer to question 5
7) What has been the reaction from consumers to the withdrawal? What have consumers been saying to you? Maybe give me some stats on the number of emails you have received on this issue, and telephone calls?
There have been a number of calls from consumers, but the communications department has been dealing with the responses from the media. The department will get back to me with a response once they have had a chance to speak with the customer service department.
8) Are you going to be doing revised tests on convertible seats and if so when?
The department will get back to me with answers to these questions.