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Aftermarket Devices Unreliable in Detecting Kids Left in Hot Cars

Hot Car Detect Device Recall

According to a warning from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), some popular aftermarket devices that were designed to alert caregivers of children being left behind in hot vehicles may not be as reliable as originally hoped.

Research conducted by the NHTSA and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) found that

“Currently available products are limited in their effectiveness and are unreliable as a standalone preventative measure for addressing child heatstroke tragedies.”

The study included 18 different systems, 11 of which are currently on the market.

A wide range of limitations were found in these devices, according to the research findings, including:

  • Inconsistencies in arming sensitivity
  • Variations in warning signal distance
  • Potential interference with the devices’ notification signals from other electronic devices
  • Susceptibility of the systems of misuse scenarios involving spilled liquid beverages
  • Disarming of the devices due to a slumping or otherwise out-of-position child


With this summer topping the charts as one of the hottest summers in recent years, it is crucial for parents and caregivers to be aware of the dangers of leaving their children in hot vehicles, even if it is only for a few minutes.

Heatstroke has wrongfully claimed the lives of 527 children since 1998, averaging about 38 child fatalities each year.