When you come across a good bargain for a baby car seat you would be certainly tempted to go for it. But beware; you will have to look at the expiration date before purchasing cheap car seats. It is important that your car seat is intact with all basic safety features to protect your child during collisions. Generally, car seats are made up of hard plastic which weaken as they age. Many factors contribute for a car seat to deteriorate. However, it is not illegal to use the car seat that is perfect for a long time or sell it to your own family friend. But it is certainly illegal for commercial retailers to sell the expired car seats. Visit https://easymomsguide.com/britax-marathon-vs-boulevard/ which talks briefly about expiration of Britax brand car seats.
The car seat material deteriorates because of exposure to various weather conditions and the ageing plastic also breaks when it turns brittle. Even the rust formation on metal parts of the car seat affects the effectiveness of the seat during collisions. On the other hand, the car seat model which you are using if discontinued by the manufacturer its parts may be no longer available. The car seats undergo continuous wear and tear over the years. Therefore missing of small parts and pieces are highly possible which make them unfit for reuse.
Most of the car seats have the lifespan ranging from 6 to 10 years. Each brand has a different expiration date and it is mentioned on the seat. Either it is mentioned on a label stuck to the sides of the seat or imprinted on the plastic material.
In some states, it is illegal to use the expired seat depending on how the law is interpreted. For example, Virginia has laws that have “proper use” clauses. Using this, one could argue that the expired car seats do not meet the safety standards and anyone found violating the law will be charged a fine. To make sure, you can check the prevailing law in your state.