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  1. #1
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    Britax "Check Fit" fix

    I found this on the Britax web site re: production change:

    "BRITAX will implement a slight change on the FRONTIER 90, PINNACLE 90 and PIONEER 70 by January 2014 that will be designed to address the occasional instance where proper belt fit is not achieved."

    Is anyone familiar with this production change that's directly related to the IIHS finding? Is it a change to the armrest geometry? Perhpaps to the red area underneath that affects the belt path? Has it happened yet? DOM cutover date? Best guess on how long to wait for the revised seats to reach retailers?

    This link to IIHS includes a photo that illustrates the issue with the armrest geometry:

    http://www.iihs.org/iihs/sr/statusreport/article/48/8/1

    "A surprise came from Britax, a company whose boosters have consistently earned the top two ratings. This year, three new Britax models didn't make their debuts as BEST BETs or GOOD BETs. They are the Frontier 90, Pinnacle 90 and Pioneer 70. These highback seats replaced two Britax boosters that previously earned the top rating."

    "The highback Britax Frontier 85 was a BEST BET last year. In IIHS evaluations, the seat correctly positioned the lap belt across the dummy's thighs in all test conditions. Britax introduced the Frontier 90 in 2013. The geometry of the highback booster's armrest doesn't consistently provide the same lap belt fit as the earlier model. In 2 of 4 test conditions the lap belt was too high on the dummy's abdomen, although the shoulder belt fit was good."

    "...booster seats have consistently improved. We've never had a seat go the wrong way.

    That is, until this year.

    When Floyd started evaluating the Britax Frontier 90, he was taken aback by what he found: The lap belt was too high on the dummy's abdomen in 2 of 4 test conditions that represent a range of vehicle safety belt setups. A booster seat needs good lap belt fit, in addition to good shoulder belt fit, in all four conditions to earn a BEST BET rating.

    "Britax surprised me," Floyd says. "I did the test and then got the Frontier 85 out of storage to compare the designs. Britax changed the armrest's geometry, and that put the lap belt in the wrong place to earn a BEST BET or GOOD BET." The Frontier 85 was a BEST BET for 2012."
    Last edited by rfk; 01-12-2014 at 12:57 PM.

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  4. #2
    Ambassador jess71903's Avatar
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    Re: Britax "Check Fit" fix

    No info, but that's interesting!

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  5. #3
    CPS Fanatic Keeanh's Avatar
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    Re: Britax "Check Fit" fix

    I read that page a few weeks ago and was surprised that they had changed the armrests like that. Good to know they're addressing it. Your post is the first I've heard of them making a change. Maybe phone them tomorrow and ask for more details.
    17yrs, 15yrs, 13yrs, 11yrs , 9yrs (58", 75lbs, Incognito), 7yrs (46", 50lbs, Dreamtime), 5yrs (41", 35lbs, RN), 3yrs (30lbs, RF Marathon), NB (Peg 4-35)
    '14 Mazda5, '06 Chevy Express, '08 Toyota Tundra

  6. #4
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Re: Britax "Check Fit" fix

    Quote Originally Posted by rfk View Post
    Is anyone familiar with this production change that's directly related to the IIHS finding? Is it a change to the armrest geometry? Perhpaps to the red area underneath that affects the belt path? Has it happened yet? DOM cutover date? Best guess on how long to wait for the revised seats to reach retailers?
    Yes, we reported the upcoming change in our Blog:

    http://carseatblog.com/24639/britax-...ooster-rating/

    There are other minor updates coming as well, including:

    http://carseatblog.com/25296/britax-...ination-seats/

    I hope to have some more details soon!

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  8. #5
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    Re: Britax "Check Fit" fix

    Quote Originally Posted by CPSDarren View Post
    I hope to have some more details soon!
    Great, thanks for your post, looking forward to what you can share, when you can share it... We can last a few more months with the twins in Roundabouts, might as well wait some of this out.

  9. #6
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Re: Britax "Check Fit" fix

    Some of the updates, including the aircraft and inflatable seatbelt guidance, will be effective on new production February 3rd. Last I heard, it was not clear if this would include the revision for the IIHS booster testing or when that change might happen. I would also guess that this change is to the design of the lap belt guide under the armrest, but that's just a guess. I expect to have more details in about 2 weeks or so.

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  11. #7
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    Re: Britax "Check Fit" fix

    Quote Originally Posted by CPSDarren View Post
    Some of the updates, including the aircraft and inflatable seatbelt guidance, will be effective on new production February 3rd. Last I heard, it was not clear if this would include the revision for the IIHS booster testing or when that change might happen. I would also guess that this change is to the design of the lap belt guide under the armrest, but that's just a guess. I expect to have more details in about 2 weeks or so.
    Wonderful, thank you again for the info. Will keep my eyes open for more info...
    Last edited by rfk; 01-13-2014 at 08:47 PM.

  12. #8
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    Re: Britax "Check Fit" fix

    Quote Originally Posted by CPSDarren View Post
    Some of the updates, including the aircraft and inflatable seatbelt guidance, will be effective on new production February 3rd. Last I heard, it was not clear if this would include the revision for the IIHS booster testing or when that change might happen. I would also guess that this change is to the design of the lap belt guide under the armrest, but that's just a guess. I expect to have more details in about 2 weeks or so.
    Upon further thought...

    Given the statement on the Britax web site ("BRITAX will implement a slight change on the FRONTIER 90, PINNACLE 90 and PIONEER 70 by January 2014 that will be designed to address the occasional instance where proper belt fit is not achieved.") and Darren's comment above (re: Feb 3) --

    What I think might happen (reading between the lines) is that the production change will be implemented after Close of Business (assembly) on Friday, Jan 31. Then new production beginning Monday, Feb 3 will have the changes.

    I guess we'll see soon enough...

  13. #9
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    Re: Britax "Check Fit" fix

    Quote Originally Posted by CPSDarren View Post
    Some of the updates, including the aircraft and inflatable seatbelt guidance, will be effective on new production February 3rd. Last I heard, it was not clear if this would include the revision for the IIHS booster testing or when that change might happen. I would also guess that this change is to the design of the lap belt guide under the armrest, but that's just a guess. I expect to have more details in about 2 weeks or so.
    Did I read correctly, that the FAA approval will be retroactive? Not that I can imagine ever lugging that heavy seat on a plane anyway, but nice to have all my options.

    It's annoying about the lap belt fit. Is it really safe to use with the SG clip if it does not provide good belt fit without it?

  14. #10
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Re: Britax "Check Fit" fix

    Quote Originally Posted by Athena View Post
    Did I read correctly, that the FAA approval will be retroactive? Not that I can imagine ever lugging that heavy seat on a plane anyway, but nice to have all my options.
    Yes, but the updated manual may not be available until February 3rd in regard to correct routing.

    It's annoying about the lap belt fit. Is it really safe to use with the SG clip if it does not provide good belt fit without it?
    Absolutely, in addition to providing a 4th point of restraint, the SG clip is designed to keep the lap belt low. My video shows the difference.

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  16. #11
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    Re: Britax "Check Fit" fix

    Quote Originally Posted by CPSDarren View Post
    Some of the updates, including the aircraft and inflatable seatbelt guidance, will be effective on new production February 3rd. Last I heard, it was not clear if this would include the revision for the IIHS booster testing or when that change might happen. I would also guess that this change is to the design of the lap belt guide under the armrest, but that's just a guess. I expect to have more details in about 2 weeks or so.
    Hi -

    Any new news available yet...?

    Thanks.

  17. #12
    Admin - Webmaster Admin's Avatar
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    Re: Britax "Check Fit" fix

    I hope to have an answer for this by Wednesday!
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  18. #13
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    Re: Britax "Check Fit" fix

    On pins and needles! Thanks for looking into this.
    Mazda5 and Toyota Echo
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  19. #14
    Admin - Webmaster Admin's Avatar
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    Re: Britax "Check Fit" fix

    Quote Originally Posted by teekadog View Post
    On pins and needles! Thanks for looking into this.
    Current estimate is 2nd Quarter 2014, sorry! It will not be ready for the minor changes rolling out to Canada and the USA starting next week.
    Welcome to Car-Seat.Org! Click to Post a Question. Please respect our signature guidelines. Thank you.
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  20. #15
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    Re: Britax "Check Fit" fix

    Quote Originally Posted by Admin View Post
    Current estimate is 2nd Quarter 2014, sorry! It will not be ready for the minor changes rolling out to Canada and the USA starting next week.
    I'm starting to think significantly less highly about Britax. How that armrest design ever got past basic engineering reviews & QC is beyond me.

    This reference remains on their web site (in the FAQ, though perhaps not for long):

    "BRITAX will implement a slight change on the FRONTIER 90, PINNACLE 90 and PIONEER 70 by January 2014 that will be designed to address the occasional instance where proper belt fit is not achieved."

    http://www.britaxusa.com/booster-seat-safety

    Just tried to call them, offices closed due to weather. Hilarious.
    Last edited by rfk; 01-29-2014 at 01:27 PM.

  21. #16
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    Re: Britax "Check Fit" fix

    Frustrating. I love the belt guides on our 85 and don't want to get a 90 until this issue is resolved. And HOW it is resolved matters very much to me. I understand the SG clip fixes the problem but I want to see if they are actually going to alter the seat or use the SG as a band-aid fix (like the Diono Angle Adjuster scenario). Maybe I can juggle enough seats to hold out until then...

    Thanks so much for bringing this info to us!
    Mazda5 and Toyota Echo
    Kids aged 13-4

  22. #17
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    Re: Britax "Check Fit" fix

    Yes I'm starting to think through how I can re-juggle seats and "borrow back" a few that I've given away.

    The notion of just adding an accessory as a band-ad fix for a design flaw strikes me as infuriating, along with the "odds are it won't affect you, but if it does just go buy another seat" response that I once received.

    Just to repeat this IIHS quote:

    "...booster seats have consistently improved. We've never had a seat go the wrong way. That is, until this year."

  23. #18
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    Re: Britax "Check Fit" fix

    Update after speaking with a very pleasant person:

    - Design change will address the shape of the red "underarm" section to push the belt further down the legs (I'm guessing the black portion may not change at all)
    - The January 2014 date cited on the web site was an error, w/ apologies offered (but its still there??)

    No further information available to share re: date. So I will assume above reference to Q2 means April-June 2014. Perhaps aiming for the one-year mark since initial release? (May 2013?)

  24. #19
    Forum Ambassador TechnoGranola's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfk View Post
    The January 2014 date cited on the web site was an error, w/ apologies offered (but its still there??)
    Sometimes it's not as easy to get a web site changed as you might think. Their web site maintenance may be outsourced and they have to submit a trouble ticket which then gets as singed internally within this other company and they get it when they prioritize it. Or maybe they have to pay for every change, so they first need to go through he channels to get approval to spend money, etc.

    Then there's the tech process of making the change, submitting to the test system, having it tested by someone to ensure they didn't break anything in the process, then getting that out onto the live, public site.
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  25. #20
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Re: Britax "Check Fit" fix

    I can confirm that the changes are to the red section. My impression is that they were hoping to have it ready sooner, but it was not possible. I can only guess that between testing, tooling, quality control and such that there were some unexpected delays.

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