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#200, Few carmakers get top grades in car seat installation

Cars.com recently released its 2021 Car Seat Fit Report Card. It provides a detailed analysis of which cars are the best for parents when it comes children’s car seat installation.

Jenni Newman, the editor-in-chief of Cars.com and a certified child passenger safety technician, is our guest on Episode #200 of The Weekly Driver Podcast.

Co-host Bruce Aldrich and I discuss the report card and the reactions by carmakers to the grades they received.

Only a few carmakers get top grades for child car seat installation.
Only a few carmakers get top grades for child car seat installation.

Only four vehicles made the car seat installation Honor Roll with “straight A’s”: the 2021 Nissan Sentra, 2021 Genesis GV80, 2021 Audi SQ8, and the 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid.

Few carmakers get car seat installation right

While the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport earned a “B” for its Latch system, it received an “F” in the rear-facing convertible category.

We also talk about common mistakes parents and caretakers make when selecting and vehicles with proper car seat installation.

Parents also have car seat installation woes

The Cars.com national survey also revealed 56 percent of parents stated they have installed a car seat incorrectly.

Additionally, 84 percent of parents find “some level of the process frustrating.”

The survey also noted 67 of parents with car seat age children make vehicle purchase decisions based on car seat fit.

Each Car Seat Check is performed by a Cars.com certified child-passenger safety technician who installs three types of car seats — infant, convertible and booster — into each new vehicle and evaluates the vehicle’s Latch system, as well as how the vehicle accommodates the different car seats.

The car seat installation issue is our 200th issue

The Latch system is a set of lower anchors and top tether anchors that are supposed to make car seat installation easier, but that’s not always the case.

To earn an “A” grade, a vehicle must show it has plenty of room for the car seat and the child, without impacting legroom for the driver or front passenger. Vehicles must also demonstrate their Latch system is easy to find and use (without any fit issues), in order to show it’s car-seat-friendly.

Please join us as we celebrate our 200th episode as we report on this important issue.

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