Using LATCH in Center Seating Positions

crunchierthanthou

New member
Most vehicles do not have three full sets of LATCH in the same row (also known as UAS in Canada). Using LATCH in the center position without a third set of dedicated lower anchors is called borrowing. It is only allowed if specifically stated in both the vehicle and carseat owner's manuals. Each lower anchor can only be used for one carseat at a time. Never attach two lower anchor hooks to the same lower anchor.

There are specific standards for LATCH anchors, including spacing. While they may look the same from the outside, there are two ways in which they are connected to the vehicle frame. There is a bar connecting the two anchors for the seating position. Some vehicles are like this: o__o o__o, with no bar in the center seat and some are like this: o__o__o__o, where they are all connected (o represents the lower anchor and __ represents the structural bar hidden beneath the seat connecting the two lower anchors). Vehicles that do not allow borrowing have either no bar in the center to support the anchors or non-standard anchor spacing, or possibly both.

Note: some vehicles with non-standard anchor spacing still allow center LATCH. Remember to consult the carseat manual as many carseats do not allow non-standard spacing for lower anchors.


There are several configurations found in vehicles with three sets of LATCH in one row. Generally, lower anchors cannot be borrowed for other seating positions in these vehicles.

Some have three full sets that can be used simulataneously: o__oo__oo__o.

Others have overlapping anchors: A__AB_CB_C. Positions that overlap cannot be used at the same time.

A few vehicles have a fifth anchor that is shared by the center and outboard positions: o__oo__x__o (with x being the shared anchor). The shared anchor can only be used for one position at a time.


The top tether should always be used for forward facing carseats when available, whether using lower anchors or a seatbelt. It is mandatory for forward facing carseats in Canada.

Seatbelts and LATCH are equally safe. Always follow the manuals for both the vehicle and the carseat. When both methods are allowed, use the one that yields the best install.
 
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Nanette

Guest
Thanks for your thorough account. We have a car seat lady install our seats (a pediatric nurse in New York City/car seat safety zealot) and I will ask her for specific vehicle recommendations based on your information and her installation experience.
 

stefanie720

New member
I really liked this article b/c it offered information I could not find elsewhere. I'm trying to resolve this issue with my 2004 Accord. Anchors are
o__o o__o
All four anchors appear to be equally spaced, but I don't know if there is a bar in the middle or not. The manual is a little vague. I will continue to research.
 
Last edited:

Jeanum

Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus
Staff member
Honda does not allow borrowing the outboard lower anchors to do a center LATCH installation at all. A few Hondas have dedicated sets of lower LATCH anchors for the center rear seating position (Ridgeline, newer CRVs, for example) but not in the Accord, and borrowing the outboard anchors in a Honda is not allowed per the LATCH manual. For reference, here is the list by vehicle manufacturer from the LATCH manual: http://www.saferidenews.com/pdfs/pg_126_max_wt_07.pdf
 

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