MDX / Forward-anchored seat belts / Third Row



MDX / Forward-anchored seat belts / Third Row

I have a 2002 Acura MDX and cannot find a child seat that can be installed securely in the third row seats using standard belt routing. The third row seats have rear tether anchors, but they do not have the LATCH system and the seatbelts are "forward-anchored" (meaning that the seatbelt attachment points are several inches forward of where the back of the seat and bottom of the seat meet). When I belt the Britax Roundabout in forward facing (and any other forward facing seat) I find that the lower part of the child seat is not held firmly against the seat back. In a crash I believe it could travel forward far enough to crush a child's feet/legs between the child seat and the back of the second row seats. If the seat had the latch system or a standard lap belt, I think this would not be a problem. Any suggestions about whether they can be added or whether there is a child seat that works better with forward-anchored seat belts?


This can be a problem

The Roundabout manual gives you a handy "ruler" on the edge of one page to see how forward the seatbelts can be for proper use. Some carseats even specify that they cannot be used with forward-anchored belts like this. This is one reason the LATCH system was developed; seatbelt systems like this are designed to improve protection for adults but they can make installing carseats more difficult.

Your best option is to visit an experienced techncian in person. Please visit the "Free Carseat Inspection" link under the top banner to find one near you. If you make an appointment for a free checkup, you might explain the problem in advance, or ask for an instructor or senior checker if you are concerned.

It is often possible to get a good installation with these types of seatbelts, but it can take some effort. The Roundabout does tend to be one of the better seats in this regard, though. If the carseat and vehicle owner's manual do not prohibit installation with these type of belts, then you just need to make sure the installation results in less than an inch of side-to-side and front-to-back movement when you grip the seat where the seatbelt is routed.

Sorry I can't be more helpful, but in some cases you really need to see it in person to give correct advice. Unforutnately, I doubt you will be able to get a LATCH or lap-belt retrofit:-(


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