• Apr 27, 2009
Last week Volvo announced a range of car seats designed with Britax specifically for Volvo cars. The same announcement also stated the seats wouldn't be for sale in the U.S. because NHTSA doesn't allow the sale of car seats only meant for specific cars. In our reader poll of your opinion, more than 80% of you declared the feds universal child seat mandate wrong.
Could it be a coincidence that today, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood wrote, "NHTSA will ... institute a new program to make it easier for parents to choose child safety seats for their specific vehicles"?

LaHood had ordered a review of child seat policy and the new program is part of the review findings. Although the program isn't specifically geared toward Volvo's development, it provides that "Manufacturers will recommend specific seats in various price ranges that work best for individual vehicles." The DoT is aiming for a start date in 2011. Hat tip to JM

[Source: U.S. DoT]


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  • 9 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      did anybody else notice this picture has the child seat in the front seat. the picture also is clearly in a sedan( i do believe this photo is sourced from volvo, but dont quote me on that).
      just something i noticed
        • 5 Years Ago
        It could be that everything you ever though about safety was wrong, maybe Volvo discovered that for some reason front is saver than the back. Volvo is a pioneer of the safety issue so i am sure there's a reason for baby being in the front.
        • 5 Years Ago
        A rear-facing seat mounted in the passenger seat has been the recommended method method of transporting babies for years because it offers several advantages over mounting the seat in the rear:

        * Making eye contact with the child is easier, reducing stress for both the driver and child
        * The driver is more focused on the road ahead
        * The dashboard is stronger than the seatback
        * A seat leaning on the dashboard follows the cars impact pattern better (less sudden

        Naturally, for any of this to work the passenger airbag must be deactivated or in Volvos case, removed*.

        * Some Volvos allow for key-disabling of the airbag.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Being from the UK, I thought it was a bit shortsighted of the US authorities to say you can only put a child seat in the back of a vehicle. For example, there's no clear rule about 2 seaters. For another thing, the front of a vehicle is definitely the safer place to be, given crash test ratings.

        Back in the UK, my US-built UK-market Accord had a switch to disable the passenger side airbag. Every UK car I've driven that had airbags had a similar feature -- usually hidden between the door and the glovebox.

        I've looked in vain for a similar feature on US-market vehicles. It's really sad that I can't put my child in the safest seat.

        On the subject though, I disagree with allowing vehicle-specific car seats. If a seat is designed to perform well in one manufacturer's cars, it's likely it won't perform as well in another manufacturer's car. Cash-strapped parents (have you met any that aren't?) might be willing to pay $30 for a used car seat, rather than $120 for a new one; and aside from the dangers of buying equipment that might have been in a crash, the added danger that it won't perform well in the "wrong" vehicle may result in the death or serious injury of a child.

        While it benefits the manufacturers, it's not fair to families -- especially the poorest of us.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Swede
        The NHTSA has recommended all children under 13 to ride in the back seat for years.

      • 5 Years Ago
      What happens when you have to switch vehicles?? Or your child is left with someone who doesn't have the same vehicle? I'm not sure I understand the point of having something that is only safe for a specific application. Sorry, I'd rather have the seat certified for all vehicles. They don't build cars with safety in mind for different size people, why even think about doing it for a child seat.

      Although, I can see this useful for booster seats....


        • 5 Years Ago
        Booster seats are a little different.... their only function seems to make an existing seat functional for a child, so that the internal harness is not around their neck or stomach for the lap belt. Since car seats range pretty average, booster seats should be more interchangable.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Where's the picture of a kid who looked like McCali Colckin (home alone kid, Jackos best friend)