Most vehicles don't make the grade in car seat installation

A good car seat is only part of the equation for child safety.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested the built-in attachment hardware or latch system, which stands for “lower anchors and tethers for children,” on more than 100 vehicles. In many vehicles, latch can be easily confused with other hardware or almost impossible to spot.

IIHS then rated the vehicles based on how easy it is to use the hardware. Only 3 earned the top rating of good and more than half were poor or marginal. Those 3 vehicles receiving a good rating included the BMW 5 series, Mercedes-Benz GL Class and the Volkswagen Jetta. 

Safety experts say parents should look for latch hardware that is easy to reach because if it's easier to use it is more likely to result in tight installation. 

IIHS says car manufacturers need to put the tethers in accessible locations and leave parents enough room to maneuver around them. Latch hardware with a poor rating still provides the same protection as hardware with a good rating it's just more difficult to use.  You can check out the full study at

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