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Old 08-06-2007, 02:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy LATCH Anchor Weight Limits

Hello, everyone. I need to sound off on something because I am just in disbelief at what I have been told by Honda Corp. Consumer Relations. If there are any certified child seat technicians out there, or anyone else with constructive comments, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.

When my son turned 4 years old several months ago, we bought him a Britax Regent, (booster seat with a 5-point harness that accommodates children over 40 pounds) on the advice of our pediatrician (he thinks kids 4 to 5 years old are safer in 5-point harnesses rather than boosters with seat belts).

We subsequently bought our Honda Pilot in June, in part because it had better crash test results than the Toyota Highlander and because we liked that the side-curtain air bags cover the third-row passengers in the Pilot (they do not in the Highlander). So, we go to install our Regent into the Pilot and notice that the Regent owner's manual says to check the auto owner's manual for weight limits on the LATCH lower anchors, and if there's no limit in the auto manual, assume the limit is 48 pounds. We checked the Pilot owner's manual - no weight limit. Just to be sure, I called our dealer's service department. He had no idea what the weight limit is, but said, "whatever the standard is, Honda probably exceeds it." Not so reassuring, so I called Honda Corporation's customer service. That representative couldn't find anything, but said he thought he remembered an e-mail from a long time ago that said the limit was "something like 40 pounds." I did a little online research and found a website that has a list of all the major auto manufacturers LATCH lower anchors weight limits:
http://saferidenews.com/pdfs/pg_126_max_wt_07.pdf

According to that website, Honda's weight limit is 40 pounds. Audi, Buick, Chevy, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Jeep, Lincoln, Mercury, Mitsubishi, Oldsmobile, Saturn and Volkswagon all have a stated limit of 48 pounds. Sure that there must be a typo, I faxed a letter to Honda Corp. A customer service rep. called me back to say that the government minimum for the latch anchors is 40 pounds, so their limit is 40 pounds. When I commented that the above manufacturers have a limit of 48 pounds, he stated "I cannot respond to that."

I also asked about the tether weight limit. He said the tether limit is also 40 pounds. Since the Regent requires use of a tether, this stupid, expensive carseat I have purchased is unusable in the Pilot.

I am sorry, but I am just in complete disbelief that this car I purchased because of it's safety features is incompatible with my car seat because Honda just meets the bare minimum weight requirement. Especially when so many other auto manufacturers have gone beyond that.

Anyway, I am very sorry for this incredibly long post. I just needed to rant a little bit. Thanks, I feel much better.
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Old 08-06-2007, 03:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hmmm, that is very sad. I too just bought a new Pilot and we have a 2.5 yr old. I guess when he gets over 40 lbs we will have to go with the seat belt method (or maybe seat belt and LATCH).
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Is it possibly 40 lbs per attachment point???

I haven't looked how the Pilot's mount, but my VW mounts directly to the frame, just like the seatbelt, so the weak spot would be the car seat, not the hook up point (in that case).
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default You can still use your Regent...

You can still use your Regent, you will just have to install it with the seatbelt instead of the lower anchors. I am not a carseat tech, but I don't believe that the lower anchors are safer than a seatbelt install, perhaps just a bit easier. Good Luck.
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Old 08-06-2007, 10:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: You can still use your Regent...

Quote:
Originally posted by bensmom243
You can still use your Regent, you will just have to install it with the seatbelt instead of the lower anchors. I am not a carseat tech, but I don't believe that the lower anchors are safer than a seatbelt install, perhaps just a bit easier. Good Luck.
Actually, the reason I can't use the Regent is that the weight limit on the TETHER anchors (as well as the LOWER anchors) is 40 pounds. The Regent, which can be used for a child up to 80 pounds, requires the use of the tether. We had thought about just using the seat belt instead of the LATCH lower anchors, but we have to use the tether too.

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Old 08-06-2007, 10:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by mmmmark
Is it possibly 40 lbs per attachment point???

I haven't looked how the Pilot's mount, but my VW mounts directly to the frame, just like the seatbelt, so the weak spot would be the car seat, not the hook up point (in that case).
Hmmmm. . . 40 pounds per mount? That would be great, but hopefully the customer service guy would said if that were the case, since I was grilling him on the weight limit and expressing my disbelief that it was 40 pounds. Plus, even if it were 40 pounds per Lower Anchor mount, the tether limit is still listed at 40 pounds, and that's only 1 mount.

I can't say for sure how the Pilot's lower anchors are attached, but they are immovable metal, as if they were part of the frame. I agree, it seems crazy that the lower anchors would somehow fail for a child over 40 pounds, but I feel like I have to go with what the car manufacturer says when it comes to car seat installation.
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Old 08-07-2007, 12:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I read somewhere, and for the life of me can't find the article, that the anchors have a 40 pound limit per point. Anyhow, I use the LATCH anchors, tether and seatbelt to hold the carseat down. I also use Mighty Tite Car Seat Tightener on the seat belt. I had the C.H.P. inspect it and they told me that it was the perfect install.
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Old 08-07-2007, 07:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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instead of using a tether anchor from the pilot you can go to the local baby store and pick up a tethe anchor. it looks like a seatbelt strap with a loop.

attach it around the seat frame / base and you will have a stronger anchor point.

-Mike.
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Old 08-07-2007, 07:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hey CrownCityPilot (not my intention to hijack a thread here) but you should not use the anchors and the seat belts at the same time. This could put too much stress on the car seat during an accident and cause it to break. This is because during an accident force could be applied simultaneously at different angles to the same area. Also I'm not sure if the Mighty Tite is a better option then a car seat better suited for the Pilot. Most car seats are tested and meet certain standards, but not all car seats fit properly in all cars. If you feel your car seat needs more tightening, then maybe its not the right car seat for the Pilot.
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Old 08-07-2007, 09:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Re: You can still use your Regent...

Quote:
Originally posted by shrimpgirl


Actually, the reason I can't use the Regent is that the weight limit on the TETHER anchors (as well as the LOWER anchors) is 40 pounds. The Regent, which can be used for a child up to 80 pounds, requires the use of the tether. We had thought about just using the seat belt instead of the LATCH lower anchors, but we have to use the tether too.

Wow, I knew the lower anchors had a weight limit, but I did not know about the tether weight limits. That is disappointing and in looking at the list, Honda is not alone in having the lower weight tether anchor limits. There are so many new seats on the market that harness kids until 65 or even 80 lbs, and most require the use of a tether. What are parents supposed to do?
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Old 08-07-2007, 10:30 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default So I asked the question about what to do...

on a car seat board and I was given this link, which has some helpful information.

http://www.saferidenews.com/pdfs/LATCH_T_updat04.pdf

Good Luck,

Jill
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Old 08-07-2007, 12:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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If the concern is the right to sue someone should one's child be injured in an accident, then this seems like a valid concern.

Is there any empirical data actually supporting the idea that the LATCH anchors are a weak point? From the standpoint of actual practical safety concerns, I find it very hard to believe that the LATCH systems of the Pilot or any other vehicle are inadequate. And I say this as the father of a toddler.

Tangent: I think many American parents have gone off the deep end in trying to attain 100 percent safety for their children. It is, sadly, not attainable. Do you realize what kind of seats kid rode in for the first, say, 75 years of American automotive transportation? Today's seats (and cars!) are incredibly safe by comparison.

My point: I think there are many things one can do to increase one's children's health and safety that will be far more effective than losing sleep over the ratings of one's LATCH anchors.

Can the pediatrician here even produce any research showing that five-point harnesses reduce injuries? Either way, I would return the Britax, get a booster seat, and get on with life. And I'd like to thank you for saving me a lot of money on the overpriced Britax, since we are approaching that next step as well...

Peace,

Chris
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Old 08-07-2007, 12:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by StarBlazer
Hey CrownCityPilot (not my intention to hijack a thread here) but you should not use the anchors and the seat belts at the same time. This could put too much stress on the car seat during an accident and cause it to break. This is because during an accident force could be applied simultaneously at different angles to the same area. Also I'm not sure if the Mighty Tite is a better option then a car seat better suited for the Pilot. Most car seats are tested and meet certain standards, but not all car seats fit properly in all cars. If you feel your car seat needs more tightening, then maybe its not the right car seat for the Pilot.

That was a concern of mine. I did, however, contact Britax and they said it was fine. They did also walk me through the process of securing the seat without adding too much pressure to it.
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Old 08-07-2007, 01:10 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Re: You can still use your Regent...

Just look at the Honda tether and LATCH connection points. They are NOT going to fail before you car seat does!!

You are fine to use them, IMO.

[QUOTE]Originally posted by shrimpgirl


Actually, the reason I can't use the Regent is that the weight limit on the TETHER anchors (as well as the LOWER anchors) is 40 pounds. The Regent, which can be used for a child up to 80 pounds, requires the use of the tether. We had thought about just using the seat belt instead of the LATCH lower anchors, but we have to use the tether too.

[/QUOTE/]
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Old 08-07-2007, 01:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Interesting enough, there was a study of actual crash data in the US that indicated that a child of 2+ years (24 months or more) is no more likely to be injured (or less) and the injury is no more (or less) severe in a child seat or with the regular seat belt.

The only difference was between unsecured children and secured ones.

If all the numbers prove out right in this study it suggests that car seats beyond 2 years have, statically, no benefit to their users vs. using the seat bests alone.

A much bigger benefit might come from turning off the cell phone, radio, skipping McDonald's drive thru, and slowing down to 55 MPH !! How many parents are willing to that?!?!?!

-D

Quote:
Originally posted by TheEaglePilot
If the concern is the right to sue someone should one's child be injured in an accident, then this seems like a valid concern.

Is there any empirical data actually supporting the idea that the LATCH anchors are a weak point? From the standpoint of actual practical safety concerns, I find it very hard to believe that the LATCH systems of the Pilot or any other vehicle are inadequate. And I say this as the father of a toddler.

Tangent: I think many American parents have gone off the deep end in trying to attain 100 percent safety for their children. It is, sadly, not attainable. Do you realize what kind of seats kid rode in for the first, say, 75 years of American automotive transportation? Today's seats (and cars!) are incredibly safe by comparison.

My point: I think there are many things one can do to increase one's children's health and safety that will be far more effective than losing sleep over the ratings of one's LATCH anchors.

Can the pediatrician here even produce any research showing that five-point harnesses reduce injuries? Either way, I would return the Britax, get a booster seat, and get on with life. And I'd like to thank you for saving me a lot of money on the overpriced Britax, since we are approaching that next step as well...

Peace,

Chris
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