Last night I had the unusual experience of watching myself on the evening news. It was fun to see myself and the kids on TV, and it was also very emotional.
First of all I feel incredibly proud. Because of the article I wrote and my work with 10News in San Diego, Advantage has destroyed all of their old and/or unsafe car seats. They've also instituted a new policy to inspect car seats after every use, to provide product manuals, and have pledged to remove car seats from use after just two years of service (the recommended maximum lifespan of a car seat is five years). What a fantastic response! It remains to be seen whether this is lip service or a real commitment, but if they follow thru, it's a huge improvement and every parent who rents a car seat from them in the future is better off.
Working with the folks (and specifically Felicia Kit) at 10News in San Diego was a joy, they were professional, responsive, and kept me in the loop as the story unfolded. I'll be blogging more about the twists and turns later this week, but during the month since I first started working with them, I woke up every day thinking "I wonder what will happen today." Some days, it was difficult not to shout from the rooftops about all the great progress that was being made on the story, so it feels great to finally be able to talk and blog about it. Their story was engaging, informative, and balanced and a reward to watch. While I'm proud of the story I wrote to start this investigation, I learned a lot watching professional reporters do what they're trained to do.
On the other hand, watching the KOMO story was disappointing, I'm so intimate with all the details that I was upset about some of the factual errors in their story. The broadcast claims that we rented the worst and oldest car seat on the lot (the Fisher Price car seat manufactured in 1990 that was pictured on my blog). We didn't. Somehow, this error was particularly upsetting, I think because it slighted my judgment as a mother to the benefit of building a more sensational story. It took us a long time to shuffle thru all the car seats they had, but we did manage to find two seats that we felt were in good shape before driving off.
I'll be posting more this week on exactly how the news stories happened. I truly hope that more parents will be inspired to take action when they see unsafe practices like this!