Car Seats Really Do Expire

Bring Your Expired, Damaged, or Unused Car Seats to AAA Minneapolis’ Free Car Seat Recycling Event

Traffic Safety

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (September 18, 2019) – Motor vehicle crashes are still the leading cause of death and injury among children, so it’s important to keep them as safe as possible when in a moving vehicle. To many parents and grandparents, as long as a car seat hasn’t been in a crash it can be used indefinitely for multiple children, but that isn’t always the case as child passenger seats expire.

Proper use and installation of a car seat can reduce the risk of injury by over 71%, assuming the car seat is in top condition. If a car seat has been in a vehicle that has been in a major or even a minor crash, or is older than six years, it needs to be replaced.

“There are very valid reasons why child passenger seats expire in six years or less,” says Chris Claeson, AAA Minneapolis’ Driving Programs Manager. “Car seats are only tested to meet the standard of safety for a very specific lifespan. Over the course of six years, technology improves drastically, and a lot of wear and tear can occur.”

Through repeated use, exposure to smoldering or freezing temperatures, and movement from vehicle to vehicle can cause small fractures or cracks to form in the base of the seat, which could shatter in the event of a crash. Additionally, the belts may stretch out or fray.

To help promote traffic safety in the community, AAA Minneapolis is hosting a car seat recycling event Friday, September 19th from 12:00 – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, September 20th from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Members and non-members alike are welcome to drop off expired, damaged, or simply no-longer-in-use car seats free of charge.

*To check if your car seat’s expiration date, look for the manufacturer label located on the sides or base of the car seat. If you know the manufacture date, add six years to figure out the expiration date.

For more information, visit and