December 20, 2019

New York (CNN Business) - The listing on Amazon (AMZN) described it as a "4 in 1 Baby car seat and Stroller" and featured images of a popular brand called Doona, including a photo of the US President's daughter, Ivanka Trump, with hers. Listed for $299, this copycat was $200 cheaper than a real Doona. It was also potentially dangerous for children. 

The car seat broke into pieces in a 30 mph crash test commissioned by CNN, failing to meet the basic standards set by US regulators. Video of the test shows the toddler dummy twisting as the car seat fractures and slides forward, with plastic pieces that have broken off it flying through the air. In an identical crash test scenario, an authentic Doona met federal requirements, with the car seat remaining in one piece and in place around the dummy.

Dr. Alisa Baer, a pediatrician and nationally certified child passenger safety instructor, reviewed the test results and said in a real crash such a car seat failure could put a child in "grave danger," and lead to injuries to a child's chest, neck or head, including a traumatic brain injury. 

CNN bought the copycat Doona and had it crash-tested at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute as part of a months-long investigation into the sale of counterfeit and patent-infringing children's products on Amazon. Seven different business owners told CNN their products were being actively targeted by counterfeiters using Amazon's marketplace for third-party vendors. The businesses said Amazon put the onus on them to report suspicious listings and that this often amounted to a game of "whack-a-mole," in which new listings appeared almost as soon as flagged ones were taken down.  

The complete article can be accessed here.