Britax Marathon child restraint system

TP 2436
Road Safety Leaflet # D2004-05 (E)



Britax Child Safety Inc.
13501 South Ridge Drive
Charlotte, NC 28273



Importer & Distributor:
Britax Child Safety Ltd.
PO Box 7289 RPO Brunswick Square
Saint John, NB E2L 9Z9

Media Contact:
Donna Robinson: 1-704-409-1675

Consumer Contact:
Consumer Service: 1-800-683-2045

Models Affected and Model Numbers:
E9L17_ _ _

Number of Units:

Dates of Manufacture:
October 14, 2003 to July 23, 2004

Geographic Distribution:
All across Canada

It has been found that the 'A Lok' harness strap adjusting device on some Britax Marathon child restraint systems may not lock the harness straps properly and thus allow the harness straps to slip through the device and create looseness in the harness system that restrains the child. (see photograph #2) Should the harness straps be loose on the child, then, in the event of a motor vehicle collision, the Marathon child restraint system (see photograph #1) would not provide the level of protection for which it was designed.

Britax in the US have received 13 consumer reports of the 'A Lok' adjuster allowing slippage of the harness strap on the Marathon E9L17 model. Approximately 300,000 units have been produced for the North American markets. Based on the consumer complaints, Britax conducted an investigation into the 'A Lok' slippage problem. The investigation included examination of units owned by consumers, random inspection testing and crash testing of restraints exhibiting slippage of the 'A Lok' adjuster. When the Marathon child restraint was crash tested with a defective 'A Lok' adjuster, the restraint system did not meet the requirements of the applicable Canadian Safety Standards. The 'A Lok' adjuster was manufactured by IMMI (Indiana Mills & Manufacturing Inc.).

Upon completion of the Britax investigation, the company developed a repair kit and initiated a safety campaign to resolve the problem. Britax is sending out a letter and a repair kit to consumers who have registered their Marathon child restraint system with the company. With respect to consumers who have not registered their restraint system, they are requested to call the consumer service representative at 1-800-683-2045, advise the customer service representative of the model number and date of manufacture of the restraint system, and provide their name and address, so that a repair kit can be mailed free of charge to the consumer. The repair kit and instructions will enable consumers to readily install the replacement adjuster strap, which should take approximately ten minutes. Should the consumer have a problem installing the repair kit then they should go to the Britax Web site, ( where a video of the replacement process can be accessed. In addition, the consumer can contact the Britax customer service representative for direct assistance.

Safety Risk:
To date, there have been no reported motor vehicle collisions involving the Marathon child restraint system with a defective 'A Lok' harness adjuster. In moderate to severe collisions, there is an increased risk of injuries to the child if the 'A Lok' allows the seat belt webbing to slip. As a result, these restraints do not comply with Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213, Child Restraint Systems, and there may be an increased risk of injury in the event of a collision.

Consumer Recourse:
Britax and Transport Canada are encouraging owners of the affected Marathon child restraint systems to contact Britax immediately and obtain the replacement 'A Lok' repair kit. Even if your Marathon 'A Lok' harness adjuster is working properly it should be replaced as constant use can create the problem. The information and repair kit provided by Britax will make it unnecessary for a consumer to return the restraint system to the retailer.


1) Marathon Child Restraint


2) 'A Lok' Harness Adjuster


Transport Canada: 1-800-333-0371

Release Date: August 13, 2004