Few Cars Have Easily Accessible Child Seat Latches: IIHS - NBC4 Washington

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Few Cars Have Easily Accessible Child Seat Latches: IIHS

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Few cars allow parents to easily install their child's car seat, a new report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reveals.

    Only the Volkeswagen Passat, the BMW 5 series and the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class received good ratings in the organization's first-ever report on child seat latches. The IIHS tested how easy the latches are to find and use.

    The Volkeswagen Jetta, Nissan Altima and Toyota Sienna were among the cars that received a poor rating.

    "Parents often struggle to locate the anchors in the vehicle or find it’s difficult to attach the seats to them. We believe fixing these problems will...increase the likelihood that children will ride in properly installed seats," Jessica Jermakian, an IIHS senior research scientist. "

    The IIHS say child restraints installed with a vehicle's latch system, rather than safety belts, are more likely to be installed correctly. 

    In response to the report, Toyota said all of their vehicles meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards requirements for latch safety. They also said they continue to modify car designs based on recommendations such as those from the IIHS and from customer feedback.

    Volkswagen, whose Passat received a “good” ranking, added that the Jetta, which ranked “poor,” previously earned a spot as an IIHS Top Safety Pick in 2015.

    “We have no records of complaints of the LATCH system in the Jetta and have, in fact, have received positive reviews in the media,” a spokesperson for Volkswagen said.

    Madza received "poor," "marginal," and "acceptable ratings for several vehicles, but the manufacturer notes that the study only measured ease o use. 

    "The IIHS has stated that a correct installation in a vehicle with poor LATCH (lower anchors/tethers for child seats) is just as safe as a correct installation in a vehicle with good LATCH,” Mazda said.

    Here's where the cars the IIHS tested ranked:

    GOOD
    BMW 5 series
    Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
    Volkswagen Passat

    ACCEPTABLE
    Acura MDX
    Buick Enclave
    Chevrolet Cruze
    Chevrolet Equinox
    Chevrolet Impala
    Chevrolet Malibu
    Chevrolet Tahoe
    Chevrolet Traverse
    Chrysler 300
    Chrysler Town & Country
    Dodge Dart
    Dodge Durango
    Dodge Grand Caravan
    Ford Edge
    Ford Expedition
    Ford Explorer
    Ford Flex
    Ford Focus
    Ford Taurus
    GMC Terrain
    GMC Yukon XL
    Honda Civic
    Honda Odyssey
    Honda Pilot
    Hyundai Santa Fe
    Jeep Cherokee
    Jeep Compass
    Kia Forte
    Kia Optima
    Kia Sedona
    Kia Sorento
    Kia Soul
    Lexus GX
    Mazda 3
    Mazda CX-5
    Mercedes-Benz C-Class
    Mercedes-Benz E-Class
    Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
    2014 Nissan Maxima
    Nissan Murano
    Nissan Pathfinder
    Nissan Versa
    Toyota Camry
    Volvo s60

    MARGINAL
    206 Acura RDX
    Audi Q7
    BMW 3 series
    2016 BMW X3
    BMW X5
    Buick LaCrosse
    Cadillac SRX
    Chevrolet Sonic
    Chrysler 200
    Dodge Charger
    Dodge Journey
    Dodge Ram 1500
    Ford Escape
    Ford F-150
    Ford Fusion
    GMC Acadia
    Honda Accord
    Honda CR-V
    Hyundai Elantra
    Hyundai Sonata
    Infiniti QX60
    Jeep Grand Cherokee
    Jeep Wrangler
    Lexus CT 200h
    Lexus NX
    Lexus RC
    Lexus RX
    Mazda CX-9
    Mini Cooper
    Nissan Frontier
    Nissan Quest
    Nissan Rogue
    Nissan Sentra
    Subaru Forester
    Subaru Impreza
    Subaru Outback
    Subaru XV Crosstrek
    Toyota 4Runner
    Toyota Avalon
    Toyota Corolla
    Toyota Highlander
    Toyota Prius
    Toyota Rav4
    Volvo V60
    Volvo XC60

    POOR
    Chevrolet Silverado 1500
    Ford Fiesta
    Hyundai Accent
    Lexus ES
    Nissan Altima
    Toyota Sienna
    Toyota Tundra
    Volkswagen Jetta