News Fed. Law keeps Volvo from offering safer child seats

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lenats31

New member
NHTSA ban on EU EERF seats

Volvo and Britax in Europe have tried to join forces and have their EERF legal in the USA. However NHTSA have stopped them. Read here:

http://www.allgov.com/ViewNews/NHTSA_Stops_Volvo_from_Introducing_Advanced_Child_Car_Seats_90425

The seats are.

1 Volvo branded Britax infant seat.
1 Volvo branded Britax Multi-Tech RF 20-55lbs
1 Volvo branded Britax booster seat (not Kidfix)

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=146267#5

http://www.volvoclub.org.uk/press/releases/2009/child_car_seats.shtml

Lena
 

Evolily

New member
Re: NHTSA ban on EU EERF seats

See, why can't the modify the design to fit all US seats? I mean, don't they fit most US cars anyway??? I'm not sure what the problem is.

I'm not sure faulting the NHTSA is the right move- if volvo would work with britax to ensure the seats fit all cars there shouldn't be a problem. Unless there is some reason for it.

Personally I do not want to see seats coming into the market designed to just fit one car.
 

Momof4Girls

New member
Re: NHTSA ban on EU EERF seats

Personally I do not want to see seats coming into the market designed to just fit one car.
I don't know, with Chrysler being sold to Fiat, talk of GM being sold to Fiat (at least last week there was), and Ford owning so many brands anyway, what harm could there be, so long as a Fiat seat fit a Fiat car (whether it's Chrysler, GM, Fiat itself, whatever), a Ford seat fit a Ford seat (Lincoln/Mercury/Jaguar/etc)?

ETA:

And I would rather be able to buy a seat designed to be used in my specific car and have a greater ease of use factor (and, thus, less misuse). Yeah, it could be a pain, but it's something to factor in when purchasing a car and planning, ultimately, to have a family.
 

Stresch

New member
What if you need to rent a car? What if you need to go somewhere last minute in someone else's car? What if you decide you want a new car? What if someone else needs to pick your kid up from daycare?

I can think of a lot of situations where you might end up in a different car and not know what brand it will be. That said, I strongly suspect that being Volvo specific is a marketing thing. Maybe they don't want to have it approved for use in any other car because it doesn't help their marketshare.

I don't understand why so many people would jump to the conclusion that a company is looking out for the safety of kids rather than profit, but the government agency charged with making sure carseats are safe is being needlessly restrictive. I want NTSHA to make sure that carseats really are safe and useable.
 

Mama Jo

New member
The thing with these particular seats though is that they appear to be exactly the same as the Britax versions. Sure, it's a marketing thing... but it seems silly. Just buy the Britax seat if this is what you want. Then you can use it in your car, the sitter's car, DH's car... and you don't have to worry about it not working. So the Volvo brand might be easier to use in a Volvo car, but IMO, it's screaming for misuse - for the people who will inevitably try to use it somehow, someway, in a non-Volvo car.
 

Pixels

New member
Re: NHTSA ban on EU EERF seats

I don't know, with Chrysler being sold to Fiat, talk of GM being sold to Fiat (at least last week there was), and Ford owning so many brands anyway, what harm could there be, so long as a Fiat seat fit a Fiat car (whether it's Chrysler, GM, Fiat itself, whatever), a Ford seat fit a Ford seat (Lincoln/Mercury/Jaguar/etc)?
I wouldn't. I'm quite happy with the near-universal systems we have. I would not like to have to take two vehicles when my Dad comes to visit because even though he has a 6-passenger vehicle, I drive a Honda and he drives a Ford, therefore my carseat wouldn't work in his truck.

Or when we go on vacation and rent a vehicle, or use a relative's. Just counting our personal vehicles and those of family that we fly to visit at least once a year, there are 5 different makers (Honda, GM (Pontiac and Saturn), Ford, Toyota, Hyundai). No WAY am I going to buy 5 carseats for one kid just to have a seat on vacation.

Large families with 4-7 kids in seats would have a very hard time vehicle shopping. (They already do, just finding a vehicle to fit them all.) If you added in the restriction of staying with the same brand (or brand family) vehicle that they already had, or buy new seats for all, that would make it that much more difficult. Even an average family with 2.4 kids doesn't need the added expense of outfitting new carseats if they get a new vehicle.

If carseats were vehicle-specific or vehicle-brand/maker specific, you'd end up with a lot of people using carseats in vehicles that they were never intended to fit. There's already enough complication, misuse, and just plain creativity with the two attachment systems we already have.
 

UlrikeDG

Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus
Re: NHTSA ban on EU EERF seats

I would treat the vehicle-specific seats like built-ins: they're great when you're driving THAT vehicle, but you still need spares if you have a 2nd car or whatever. That's OK with me.
 

An Aurora

Senior Community Member
Re: NHTSA ban on EU EERF seats

I'm still not sure what makes these seats only fit in Volvos. I'm betting that the problem is that Volvo knows these seats fit since Sweden has the same seats and the same cars with no problem, but who knows if it's been tested in a Ford, or a Dodge, or a Chevy, or a Honda, etc. It would be Volvo's responsibility to test in all those cars, right?

I don't see how these seats are any different than the "Ferarri" CarGo, or the "Porsche" seats. They are just regular seats with different covers. Granted, the Ferarri and Porsche seats were already US approved seats, but I would be one happy camper if we had a 55 lb seat in the US.
 

UlrikeDG

Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus
Re: NHTSA ban on EU EERF seats

It may be that the seat is identical to a Britax or Roemer seat that is designed to fit in many vehicles. It is also possible that the shell is similar to another Britax/Roemer seat, but that the installation system is different. The previous generation of Volvo seats installed with an ISOFIX base which the seat then clicked into. The installation system included two tethers which fastened toward the front of the vehicle, an attachment method which is probably not compatible in most other vehicle brands.

Please note that other manufacturers have released vehicle-branded child restraints in the US (BMW & Porche come to mind). In these past cases, the seats were re-branded Britax seats. In at least one of these, the infant carrier seat had an airbag off-switch built in. The off switch was only compatible with the specific vehicle make, but the installation system was identical to the Britax seat it was based off of.
 

kmcenery

New member
I think that maybe It does not use LATCH or a seat belt but something else to put it in the car and thats why it can not pass in the us. And why it can only be used by volvo.
 

lenats31

New member
What I don't get is why they have installed the seats in the front passenger with airbags...??
European cars have switch for the airbag in front. It is not permitted to place a child restraint of any kind in front of an active airbag.:)

The EERF seat IS the Britax Multi-tech - just rebranded.

Each European restraint comes with a car compatible list. The "problem" is that it sounds as if this seat is suitable for Volvo cars only. The truth is that the car compatible list is ......endless.....

It can be installed with lap shoulder belt (Regent long route). As far as I know the top tether strap is not law in the USA.

The Britax Multi-Tech RF tethering:

Front seat runners without tether brackets:



Using tether brackets:



Front seat bights:


FF installation:




The parents of The little boy Joel who broke his neck in a frontal crash at city speed at 15 months old and 33 lbs was given permission by NHTSA to legally import and use this seat for Joel. They can be imported legally if you have a child with disabillites that call for RFing past 35 lbs. without regard to a car comp. list.
 

An Aurora

Senior Community Member
I think that maybe It does not use LATCH or a seat belt but something else to put it in the car and thats why it can not pass in the us. And why it can only be used by volvo.
I don't think so. In Sweden they use ISOFIX or seatbelts.

Lenats, thank you for the pictures!!!! That answers my previous question about the RF tether issue. It seems that it doesn't even use the RF TAs that Volvo provides, hence it's not a Volvo-specific install.
 

Pixels

New member
Re: NHTSA ban on EU EERF seats

I'm still not sure what makes these seats only fit in Volvos. I'm betting that the problem is that Volvo knows these seats fit since Sweden has the same seats and the same cars with no problem, but who knows if it's been tested in a Ford, or a Dodge, or a Chevy, or a Honda, etc. It would be Volvo's responsibility to test in all those cars, right?
No, there is actually NO testing of carseats in actual cars required to be certified in the US. Carseats are tested on a test sled bench, which is supposed to simulate the back seat of a vehicle. The gov't figures if it works on the bench, it should work in most vehicles. There is no guarantee of compatibility.

A big part of the reason that we do not have any seats that require foot props or tethering towards the front of the vehicle is that there is no "floor" or anything toward the front of the "vehicle" on the test bench sled.
 

Evolily

New member
Re: NHTSA ban on EU EERF seats

A big part of the reason that we do not have any seats that require foot props or tethering towards the front of the vehicle is that there is no "floor" or anything toward the front of the "vehicle" on the test bench sled.
Sounds like that is something which needs to be changed. Now, that would be a great thing to complain about to the NHTSA and write articles about instead of focusing on them not letting poor ole volvo market car seats only for their vehicle.
 

Stresch

New member
Re: NHTSA ban on EU EERF seats

CelticLabyrinth said:
Now, that would be a great thing to complain about to the NHTSA and write articles about instead of focusing on them not letting poor ole volvo market car seats only for their vehicle.
Yes. This.
 

lenats31

New member
The MT does not use LATCH or Isofix. It is a belt installed seat that installs pretty much the same way that you would install a Marathon RF with LATCH. seatbelt route is the same (through the front of the seat)

All RF seats in Europe do not have a floor either when being tested. They MUST pass all tests without the use of the footprop or leaning against a front seat or dashboard.

Here is the comp. list:

http://www.britax.se/pdffiler/BB0-703-00 Multi-Tech Fordonslista 2007-08.pdf

Darren mentioned something about mechanisems that may not have been approved of yet. I can think of one: The footprop. No US car seat has this. The MT has it. This could could be a big part of the reason NHTSA denied this seat approval for sale in the USA.

The tethering is the same as that on the US RF convertiables. Only that the MT needs both front seat runners or both sides of the front seat. Instead of one.

SO it could very well be the footprop that caused the denial.

Lena
 

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