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Old 07-05-2007, 12:08 PM   #1
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anchors in vehicles- need LATCH manual consult

I have several questions about using outboard anchors for a center install-
first, an office mate just had her FPSVD installed at the fire station, and they installed it rear facing center, using the outboard anchors on each side (no anchors in the middle). Looking at the car manual, 2003 toyota 4runner, it shows seats installed in the outboard positions but none in the middle. Is it even permitted to install in the middle since it's not addressed in the manual?

Second, for me- I have a 2001 pontiac aztek. I'd like to install my regent in the middle, but haven't been able to make it work with the lap belt. I know some vehicles allow the anchors from either side, but ran into the same thing with the aztek manual as with the toyota above- it didn't say you couldn't but didn't show it, and didn't address it.

third, my father has a ford explorer pickup, with the four doors (small pickup). I think it's a 2004 or 2005. He has my son's seat installed in the center with the outboard anchors. I have heard that this is permissable in some escapes and taurus's, so am wondering if it's also permitted in the explorer (in which case, I will have to apologize to him).
thanks
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Old 07-05-2007, 01:01 PM   #2
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Re: anchors in vehicles- need LATCH manual consult

No, Toyota does not permit center use of outboard anchors, except the 04-06 Tundra double-cab. Did the tech check the owner's manual?

Pontiac does not permit center use of outboard anchors, either.

The Explorer is not one of the Ford models that permits center use of outboard anchors.

Also, even if the vehicle allows center use of outboard anchors, only a few carseats allow it. It must be allowed by both carseat and vehicle manufacturers.
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Old 07-05-2007, 01:08 PM   #3
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Re: anchors in vehicles- need LATCH manual consult

Goody, another chance to look up stuff in my LATCH manual.

Toyota does not allow borrowing of outboard lower LATCH anchors for a center install at all in any of their models according to the 2007 LATCH manual. It's perfectly fine to install the carseat in the center using the seatbelt, as long as a proper installation with less than 1" of movement at the belt path is achievable. Or install outboard using LATCH or the seatbelt, whichever provides a proper installation.

For the Pontiac Aztek, the LATCH manual says, "GM advises consumers to follow child-restraint instructions in all cases, including whether the inboard lower anchors can be used to secure a child restraint in the center position." Since you have a Regent, the LATCH manual also says in regard to Britax seats and center position LATCH installations: "Inner bars of outboard lower anchors can be used with models with flexible attachments if spacing between inner bars is between 11 and 20 inches and the vehicle manufacturer does not prohibit use of wider-spaced bars." So I think it comes down to the spacing between the outboard anchors in the Aztek, and whether or not it's possible to get a tight installation borrowing them if they're between 11 and 20 inches apart.

According to the LATCH manual, the '01 Aztek also has a recall on models with second row bucket or 50/50 bench seats because the diameter of the LATCH anchors are too large. The dealership will repair per the LATCH manual. Maybe you knew of the recall already, but wanted to be sure to mention it just in case.

The LATCH manual's Ford section says, "Use of inboard bars for center installation is possible in some models if CR instructions allow; see specific listings." However, the specific listing for the '03-'07 Ford Explorer SportTrac does not say it's allowed, while other Ford models that do allow it specifically say so in their listing in the LATCH manual. So I don't think a carseat can be installed with borrowed outboard LATCH anchors in the center in the SportTrac. Like in the Toyota, a seatbelt installation in the center would be fine if it can be done with less than 1" of movement at the belt path.
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Old 07-05-2007, 01:11 PM   #4
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Re: anchors in vehicles- need LATCH manual consult

Ah, Jean--glad you found the info about the Aztek--I was looking on page 125, at the Quick Reference List, "Center Installation Allowed", and Pontiac wasn't listed. I should have looked up the exact model in the Vehicle Information category.
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Old 07-05-2007, 01:14 PM   #5
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Re: anchors in vehicles- need LATCH manual consult

No problem, I almost didn't check the specific Aztek model info. either but stopped at the Pontiac page on the way between Ford and Toyota sections.
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Old 07-05-2007, 01:27 PM   #6
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Re: anchors in vehicles- need LATCH manual consult

wow, thanks for the great (and fast!) info. I did not know about the recall on the latch anchors for the aztek, and will look into that. ALso will measure distance between them, it would be great to be able to have it in the middle, because the aztek seems so narrow.
I think I'll tell my dad to install Andy's FPSVD outboard in his ford explorer, since that's the only way he knows how to install them, and there's little chance of him having to transport andy anyway.
My office mate had called toyota about the center installation, and got nowhere- she didn't feel confident in the lady on the phone flipping through the owners manual and saying, "well, it doesn't say you CAN'T install it like that, so it must be OK".

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Old 07-05-2007, 06:09 PM   #7
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Re: anchors in vehicles- need LATCH manual consult

went out to my office mate's toyota and re-installed the FPSVD using the seat belt (shoulder belt). She is much happier with it, it installed very tight- it was so easy.

measured the aztek- 19' between the latch anchors. Installed the regent using those, and it's rock solid. But I couldn't find the tether hook. Ini the manual it's pictured as being on the floor between the split bench, but I didn't see anything. I guess I don't HAVE to have it tethered, since it's installed with the recline bar, but I have to check again tonight once it cools off and see if I can't find it somewhere. In the book, it looks pretty visible on the floor.
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