Ford's New Seat Belts

Pixels

New member
And while we're saying "what about ...?"
What about infant seat bases with a closed belt path? The airbag will inflate under the infant seat. Might that push the infant seat/base over the edge, causing the seat to pop out of the base? It's not like infant seats have a stellar track record for staying in the base.

And I doubt that there would be any concern about the airbag popping the lockoffs on a TrueFit. The belt is thicker, so I highly doubt that it would be possible to even close the lockoffs (at least the RFing ones, haven't played much with FFing). And all the other seats with lockoffs, I doubt that the increased thickness of the belt would be compatible with any of them except maybe the KeyFit base.
 
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LISmama810

Admin - CPS Technician
And all the other seats with lockoffs, I doubt that the increased thickness of the belt would be compatible with any of them except maybe the KeyFit base.
Depending on how thick it is, I doubt you'd be able to slide it into the KF lockoff, either. It's already a pretty snug fit.

I appreciate that everyone is *trying* to make things safer for kids, but everyone is failing miserably.

Ford's new seatbelts might be great for kids who shouldn't be in a seatbelt anyway...and for older kids/adults who should be. And maybe it's a nice benefit for boosters. But unless we're completely misinterpreting this thing, it could be disastrous for child restraints in general.

And then yesterday we had an appointment with our new pediatrician, who tells his patients to RF until 2, and he asked me why NHTSA (yes, he's familiar with them!) wasn't doing a big public education campaign to stress ERF. I told him it's because they're too busy with their public information campaign on trying to get everyone to use LATCH. :rolleyes:

I don't want Ford bragging about bizarre new seatbelts. I don't want the government pushing for a flawed system (especially if Ford thinks it solves their seatbelt issue).

What I want is for everyone to get on the same page already. Standardize LATCH the way it was supposed to be. No more "advances" in child vehicle safety until we get the underlying questions answered.

Sorry. :soapbox:
 

jess71903

Ambassador
Has anyone clarified whether the lap belt is independent of the shoulder belt? That would pretty much fix everything as far as CR installation.
 

Evolily

New member
Has anyone clarified whether the lap belt is independent of the shoulder belt? That would pretty much fix everything as far as CR installation.
That would be about as disastrous as "passive restraints", where people were only using half of the seat belt :( .

I think the technology sounds promising. In reality, we need to sort of LATCH and focus on making seat belts safer for boostered children and adult passengers. You know the saying "Jack of all trades, master of none?". That's basically what the seatbelt is- it's working two jobs. They are making changes to LATCH- that's what the RN XTSL can be latched to 80 lbs in vehicles made after 2005.
 

Irishmama

New member
Would it be a concern how the seat belt inflating pushed it out of the slot on the booster, on the Youtube video? It would probably only affect boosters that weren't open loop but I would think that wouldn't be good, as it could allow the shoulder belt to move out of position? Just curious.
 

steph_s

New member
My thoughts? NOT safe! Nice try Ford, but this is going to cause more harm than good.

-They are only considering that all car seats are going to be installed with latch. Except that you can't use all 3 latch positions in the vehicle, and some of the higher height and weight seats out there can't use latch because the latch limits are so low or you can't get a good install.

-They are stating that it's ok to install a car seat with a seat belt. The thing is... are car manufacturers actually going to test out every single car seat to see if it's safe? Is the gov't going to run crash tests with these new belts? Not likely! So how can we know it's safe? What if that air bag deploys and it causes the entire belt path of the seat to break causing the seat to be free from restraint? :eek:

-They are assuming this will help children, but they failed to understand that by making a seat belt with air bags they are actually discouraging use of a high back and no back booster seat because (and you know stupid parents will this this) "my child is safer this way because there is an air bag". This goes against all of the laws, everything techs work so hard to do and that is to keep children in booster seats until they fit in the regular seat belt.

-How are children going to react to that seat belt? The fact that it's got to be thicker and heavier than a regular seat belt.

-If they make it so it's a lap and separate shoulder belt for car seats what about children who should ride in boosters who the booster manufacturer states you can't use those types of seat belts on their seats? \

**MOST IMPORTANTLY** Do these fools realize the force at which an air bag deploys? Do you really think it's a great idea to have that right next to your head let alone your child's? There is a reason why they say no children under 12 in the front seat with air bags! Air bags are not safe for kids! They really aren't. I have seen the damage done by an airbag deploying and it's nor pretty. I can also see how a child sleeping on an air bag when it deploys can cause great pain if not break the child's neck. I can see the air bag deploying and breaking apart a high back booster seat's belt guide and hurting the child.

BAD BAD BAD! That's my thoughts... off my soap box.
 

Maedze

New member
My thoughts? NOT safe! Nice try Ford, but this is going to cause more harm than good.

-They are only considering that all car seats are going to be installed with latch. Except that you can't use all 3 latch positions in the vehicle, and some of the higher height and weight seats out there can't use latch because the latch limits are so low or you can't get a good install.

-They are stating that it's ok to install a car seat with a seat belt. The thing is... are car manufacturers actually going to test out every single car seat to see if it's safe? Is the gov't going to run crash tests with these new belts? Not likely! So how can we know it's safe? What if that air bag deploys and it causes the entire belt path of the seat to break causing the seat to be free from restraint? :eek:

-They are assuming this will help children, but they failed to understand that by making a seat belt with air bags they are actually discouraging use of a high back and no back booster seat because (and you know stupid parents will this this) "my child is safer this way because there is an air bag". This goes against all of the laws, everything techs work so hard to do and that is to keep children in booster seats until they fit in the regular seat belt.

-How are children going to react to that seat belt? The fact that it's got to be thicker and heavier than a regular seat belt.

-If they make it so it's a lap and separate shoulder belt for car seats what about children who should ride in boosters who the booster manufacturer states you can't use those types of seat belts on their seats? \

**MOST IMPORTANTLY** Do these fools realize the force at which an air bag deploys? Do you really think it's a great idea to have that right next to your head let alone your child's? There is a reason why they say no children under 12 in the front seat with air bags! Air bags are not safe for kids! They really aren't. I have seen the damage done by an airbag deploying and it's nor pretty. I can also see how a child sleeping on an air bag when it deploys can cause great pain if not break the child's neck. I can see the air bag deploying and breaking apart a high back booster seat's belt guide and hurting the child.

BAD BAD BAD! That's my thoughts... off my soap box.

I'm fairly confident that Ford has a good idea how fast air bags deploy. They are, after all, engineers ;)


I am sure the air bags on the belt are not the same sorts of airbags that go in the front seats of cars.

Testers agree that the seat belts themselves are comfortable.


I agree that there are significant questions I have, and issues that appear to be arising, that have not been satisfactorily answered. I do NOT think that Ford's new seatbelts are going to kill the people they are meant for. In fact, they sound rather innovative....for adults and big kids who pass the five step test.
 

jess71903

Ambassador
I'm fairly confident that Ford has a good idea how fast air bags deploy. They are, after all, engineers ;)


I am sure the air bags on the belt are not the same sorts of airbags that go in the front seats of cars.

Testers agree that the seat belts themselves are comfortable.


I agree that there are significant questions I have, and issues that appear to be arising, that have not been satisfactorily answered. I do NOT think that Ford's new seatbelts are going to kill the people they are meant for. In fact, they sound rather innovative....for adults and big kids who pass the five step test.
I agree. I'm somewhat excited to see what comes of this because I think it's a step in the right direction. I just hope they considered CR installation with these belts and they are, indeed, safe to use with CRs. Is this anyone from here? It's posted on a status update on the Elite CarSeats FB page.

I was concerned about the effects on CRs too - I'm on the CPS Advisory Board for the state of MN and our CPS Coordinator contacted Ford to find out more details. Here is the response we got:

"The system relies on two retractors - one for shoulder and one for the lap belt. So we will have sufficient webbing to accomodate the belt path. The inflatable portion is only from the buckle to the d-ring on the pillar. The inflatable belt will inflate only when the belt is buckled and currently there is no means of disabling the feature. The inflation is much slower than traditional airbag and the bag pressure is very low, so we did not see any problem when we tested different type of child seats - rear facing infant seat, foward facing convertible, high back and low back booster. We did not tests all the child seats available since the child seat manufacturers keep changing the models every year."

I guess we'll just have to wait and see....
Fri at 4:09pm · Report
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
-They are stating that it's ok to install a car seat with a seat belt. The thing is... are car manufacturers actually going to test out every single car seat to see if it's safe? Is the gov't going to run crash tests with these new belts? Not likely! So how can we know it's safe? What if that air bag deploys and it causes the entire belt path of the seat to break causing the seat to be free from restraint? :eek:
The government doesn't test child safet seats with current seat belts or vehicle seats, either.

-How are children going to react to that seat belt? The fact that it's got to be thicker and heavier than a regular seat belt.
Hoepfully better than what many do now, which is to put the uncomfortable belt behind their shoulder or back.

**MOST IMPORTANTLY** Do these fools realize the force at which an air bag deploys? Do you really think it's a great idea to have that right next to your head let alone your child's?.
I'm pretty sure they do. If you look at all the video and photos, it is quite different from a frontal airbag deployment.
 

steph_s

New member
I was more referring to the side air bag deployment. You know those small ones around the drivers legs on some cars. Those are small (about the size of these deployed) and they do come out in great force! I know because I had severe bruising, welting, swelling, and air bag burns on my leg after my accident and all of me felt fine except where the air bags got me. The worst by far was that smaller one!

Just saying if they decide to put these in all vehicles I'm probably going to end up driving some super old car with the regular seat belts until my child is out of a booster!

I'm at work and can't click on the links... did they test these with booster seats and show a video of a high back booster and what happens to the child? I can only see those belt guides being destroyed and god forbid the child not be sitting 100% straight! Lets face it kids wiggle and a regular seat belt with child who isn't 100% straight does a lot of damage, can't imagine what this would do.
 

Jeanum

Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus
Staff member
Since it's in immediate contact with the rear seat occupant using the inflatable belt, an inflatable seatbelt is not designed to deploy with the force of a frontal airbag - that would create more injury risk and defeat Ford's purpose of improving rear passenger safety entirely. Hang on and don't start the super old car shopping just yet. :) ;) A super old car is likely to have less stellar crash test scores overall than newer models that have more safety bells and whistles and higher crash test ratings from NHTSA and IIHS, all things considered. Ford is planning to offer the rear inflatable seatbelts as an option in the 2011 Ford Explorer initially, not as standard equipment across the board in every model.
 

joolsplus3

Admin - CPS Technician
I was more referring to the side air bag deployment. You know those small ones around the drivers legs on some cars. Those are small (about the size of these deployed) and they do come out in great force! I know because I had severe bruising, welting, swelling, and air bag burns on my leg after my accident and all of me felt fine except where the air bags got me. The worst by far was that smaller one!

Just saying if they decide to put these in all vehicles I'm probably going to end up driving some super old car with the regular seat belts until my child is out of a booster!

I'm at work and can't click on the links... did they test these with booster seats and show a video of a high back booster and what happens to the child? I can only see those belt guides being destroyed and god forbid the child not be sitting 100% straight! Lets face it kids wiggle and a regular seat belt with child who isn't 100% straight does a lot of damage, can't imagine what this would do.
In newer cars, they do loads and loads of testing with 'out of position' dummies and side airbags. They put all sizes of dummies in all manner of positions (on their knees, facing backwards, leaning on the door, belted and unbelted, etc), to make sure that side airbags don't harm out of position kids. I can't even begin to imagine Ford not taking such precautionary testing with these new seatbelts. Also, belt guides get mucked up by regular seatbelts in crashes, no real need to be concerned about that.
Automakers have had since the early 70's to figure out this airbag thing. Yes, there were some obvious failures (say a prayer for the kids in rearfacing seats in the front seat who were killed by them...), but the technology is way better now. I'm only sorry this technology is only going to first come out in a car I'd never ever buy... maybe they'll put it in more models soon...
 

LISmama810

Admin - CPS Technician
Ford said they tested the belts with out-of-position kids, including simulating a kid sleeping with his head on the belt. They also said that the airbags deploy with much less force and with cooler air than other airbags. I'm not concerned with damage from the airbags themselves; rather for the ramifications (if any) for car seats, and the liklihood of parents putting their kids in the seatbelt too soon since it's a "safer" belt. For that, though, I guess we'll have to wait and see.
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
Ford said they tested the belts with out-of-position kids, including simulating a kid sleeping with his head on the belt. They also said that the airbags deploy with much less force and with cooler air than other airbags. I'm not concerned with damage from the airbags themselves; rather for the ramifications (if any) for car seats, and the liklihood of parents putting their kids in the seatbelt too soon since it's a "safer" belt. For that, though, I guess we'll have to wait and see.
If it really is safer and fits smaller kids well, it may not be a such bad thing to have them in a seatbelt sooner. We really will have to wait and see about the fit with and without a booster.
 

LISmama810

Admin - CPS Technician
If it really is safer and fits smaller kids well, it may not be a such bad thing to have them in a seatbelt sooner. We really will have to wait and see about the fit with and without a booster.
Agreed. However, the info I read didn't talk about better fit, per se. Instead it said that the padded belt will be more comfortable and will therefore keep kids from putting it behind their backs. But if the belts still cross over their necks or sit on their tummies or the kids don't fit properly on the seats, a padded belt does nothing.

If it really does fit small kids, great. But I definitely need to see more about it.
 

Maedze

New member
I'm not all that tickled about the idea of a young child without good headwing support from a booster/harnessed seat.

Of course, most folks put a four year old in a backless booster so eh :rolleyes:
 

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