News Fed. Law keeps Volvo from offering safer child seats

southpawboston

New member
Both seats are RF in the front, I wonder if Volvo disables the airbag if you purchase the seat. I can't imagine RF anyone in the front, let alone putting a child in the front period. But I love those seats.
european cars come with switches for the front airbags, so you can have your own control of them. here in the US, the gov't takes the stance that we are all idiots and wouldn't know if they are on or off :rolleyes:. therefore in the US, cars are required to have sensors (which rarely work correctly) to sense the presence of a child in the seat :thumbsdown::thumbsdown::thumbsdown:. since the sensors are notoriously unreliable, it is not recommended to have a carseat in the front. it is quite normal and common for carseats to be used in the front in sweden and other EU countries, and it is considered safe there.
 
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ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
Okay, so if the compatibility issue is the airbag thing... How about make it an option to brace on the front seat if you're in the back (as long as the car doesn't prohibit it?)

That would solve that problem and make it so the seat could fit "all" cars (yes, there are some it couldn't, but there are also seats that don't fit in other cars because they take up too much room, etc., strikes me as the same kind of thing.)
 

TechnoGranola

Forum Ambassador
Oh boy, someone PLEASE correct some of those uneducated comments! The Canadian says that we have a law all across Canada that kids have to be in a booster until 4'9"/80 lbs/8 years, uh sorry, that is not Canada wide but I'm guessing this guy thinks that Ontario is the only province in Canada. :D And he said most Canadian vehicles have a key to turn off the air bag. Huh? The only Canadian vehicles I've seen with a key for the airbag are moving trucks with only a front seat.
 

Kat_Momof3

New member
I wish volvo would simply approve the seats for use in other cars... do they not see that every single person on this board with a child who could still rearface in it would be after that gorgeous convertible seat from Sweden?
 

southpawboston

New member
Potentially does more harm than good? Yes, in some cases. Overall? I don't think so.
hard to say.

on the one hand, it's purpose is to prevent airbags from deploying when a child is seated. that's good. would a switch accomplish this? yes.

on the other hand, they rarely work, and there have been cases where light adults seated in the seat trigger the deactivation, rendering the airbag useless. and vice versa-- kids seated in the seat and the airbag is still active. that's bad. would a switch prevent both of these scenarios? yes.

additionally, because of the unreliability, it's not safe to put a child there, simply for the "what if" situation. would a switch overcome this? yes.

therefore, IMHO the sensors are doing more harm than good.

basically, it's not rocket science. vehicle operators have to have a modicum of competence to know if a switch is on or off. else they should not be driving.
 

TechnoGranola

Forum Ambassador
on the other hand, they rarely work, and there have been cases where light adults seated in the seat trigger the deactivation, rendering the airbag useless. and vice versa-- kids seated in the seat and the airbag is still active. that's bad. would a switch prevent both of these scenarios? yes.
My Ford Escape was BAD for this. At 105 pounds, the air bag sensor would flicker on then off, on then off, on then off, on then off for the entire trip. They said it was because I was on the "edge" of the limit for when the sensor turned off, at 105 pounds. I was told to ride with sack of potatoes (yes, Ford seriously told me that). They later issued a TSB to lower the threshold weight, the TSB was applied to my vehicle, and it did NOTHING for me, the issue remained the same and the air bag would fluctuate between on and off when I was a passenger. I felt terrible unsafe as I was unsure if I would have an air bag in an accident. Even when I was pregnant and weighed 120 pounds, the light still flickered.

The really sucky thing? An emergency required us to transport our, at the time, 70 pound 9 year old and the air bag turned ON for her, did not fluctuate, never went off. Yet for me, at anywhere between 105 pounds and 125 pounds, it fluctuated between on and off.

Apparently she sits differently enough, or had a different enough body shape, so that the force she placed on the sensor was more than my body. Crazy. And shows how unreliable these sensors are.
 

Maedze

New member
The sensor in our Ford Freestar is supposedly set for 40 pounds. However, Bean the First at more than 40 lbs plus his installed Graco Nautilus (now we're pushing 60 pounds), triggered the disengage. Those sensors are very unreliable.
 

southpawboston

New member
My Ford Escape was BAD for this. At 105 pounds, the air bag sensor would flicker on then off, on then off, on then off, on then off for the entire trip. They said it was because I was on the "edge" of the limit for when the sensor turned off, at 105 pounds. I was told to ride with sack of potatoes (yes, Ford seriously told me that). They later issued a TSB to lower the threshold weight, the TSB was applied to my vehicle, and it did NOTHING for me, the issue remained the same and the air bag would fluctuate between on and off when I was a passenger. I felt terrible unsafe as I was unsure if I would have an air bag in an accident. Even when I was pregnant and weighed 120 pounds, the light still flickered.

The really sucky thing? An emergency required us to transport our, at the time, 70 pound 9 year old and the air bag turned ON for her, did not fluctuate, never went off. Yet for me, at anywhere between 105 pounds and 125 pounds, it fluctuated between on and off.

Apparently she sits differently enough, or had a different enough body shape, so that the force she placed on the sensor was more than my body. Crazy. And shows how unreliable these sensors are.
The sensor in our Ford Freestar is supposedly set for 40 pounds. However, Bean the First at more than 40 lbs plus his installed Graco Nautilus (now we're pushing 60 pounds), triggered the disengage. Those sensors are very unreliable.
so would both of you agree that a simple toggle switch would be far superior to these idiotic sensors? <sarcasm> but nooooooooo.... that would be unsafe in the eyes of whoever mandates those sensors... we can't rely on humans, now, can we... </sarcasm>.
 

An Aurora

Senior Community Member
Ha, yeah instead we have all these people who know they have a sensor and think it's ok to put baby's carseat in the front seat since, you know, the air bag is turned off and all :rolleyes:.
 

Kat_Momof3

New member
oh yeah... I don't know what the sensor in dh's car is (2007 cobalt) set to, but it doesn't take much to activate it (it automatically isn't until there is a certain amount of weight)... but I know that either of my boys, once they were over 50-60lbs, in the lightest (cosco high rise/ambassador/auto) backless booster on the market could activate it.

At least there is a very noticeable OFF/ON set of signals on the front console that let you know if it's on... and boy is it easy to notice... they are a good 3/4-1" apart.

Obviously, I wouldn't put a child in the front unless I had to anyway... but aside from worrying about it failing, I think it's just silly that in such a small car, they don't just provide a keyhole for disabling it when needed, like what I've seen shown in European small cars.
 

joolsplus3

Admin - CPS Technician
Oh, my, there is NO comparison, the Frontier is a breeze compared to the Breverra.

NHTSA's response on CPSPList is this, btw...

"To clarify some erroneous statements which have appeared regarding child restraints produced in conjunction with Volvo:

NHTSA's FMVSS 213 standardizes the means of attachment, not fit. More specifically:

Standard 213 does standardize the means of attachment of child restraints, and in that way, prohibits vehicle-specific seats. The requirement is for child seats to be capable of attaching to the vehicle seat by a seat belt and by LATCH. The restraint can't attach only by a special mechanism that only specific vehicles have. However, if they are able to attach by a seat belt and by LATCH they can have a supplementary (vehicle-specific) attachment mechanism in addition to those universal means of attachment.

The reason for requiring a standardized means of attachment is to reduce the likelihood of misuse. We want to avoid the situation of a consumer acquiring a vehicle-specific child seat that can't attach universally and then trying to use it in the wrong vehicle. "

But what I'm not understanding then is what special attachment situation are these 'Volvo' Britaxes utilizing? They need a belt or LATCH, so.... color me confused until someone spells this out for me....
 

Jeanum

Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus
Staff member
I'm confused as well, and wondering if these Volvo carseats utilize something special to deactivate the front passenger side airbag, similar to those Porsche carseats that had a key or connector of some sort designed to plug into certain specific Porsche 2-seater cars to deactivate the front airbag?
 

arly1983

New member
The sensor in our Ford Freestar is supposedly set for 40 pounds. However, Bean the First at more than 40 lbs plus his installed Graco Nautilus (now we're pushing 60 pounds), triggered the disengage. Those sensors are very unreliable.
Count my Ford Freestart in too. That sensor drives me bonkers.


What REALLY irks me was that I HAD to drive 3.5 hrs with Seth in the car with only me the other day. It would have helped me tremendously to be able to see his screaming butt without have to focus through two mirrors while driving but I didn't trust the sensor so he stayed in the back.
 

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