News Archive

ABC Kids Expo 2015 – Peg Perego

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What’s new from Peg Perego? Boosters Boosters Boosters!

Viaggio Flex Highback Booster

Peg will be introducing a new highback FOLDING booster called the Viaggio Flex. It has–wait for it–no armrests! Great for those 3-across situations and tight installations where it’s hard to get your hand, or your child’s hand, down in to buckle. They’re guessing the weight limit might be 40-100 lbs, but everything is preliminary at this point. The Viaggio Flex adjusts in height in 2 steps: at the head rest and at the torso (dual height adjustment zones). ETA: May 2016 $299 Rejoice Canada! You’ll see this booster too.

Peg Viaggio flex side Peg Flex - frontish Peg Flex measurement

 Peg Flex fold 2Peg Flex fold Peg flex back

Peg Flex - side LATCH

Shuttle Backless Booster

The Shuttle backless booster goes from 40-100 lbs. and has rigid LATCH. It has a seat pan of EPS foam for the child to sit on, plus another layer of comfort cushioning–just as you’d expect from Peg. There’s a retractable shoulder belt guide using a standard harness release to extend it (a-lock, for those in-the-know), so it won’t be flopping in the way when you carry it. We measured it at 15″ deep and 16″ wide. Peg is expecting a May 2016 release date with at $99. Canada, Peg Perego loves you again 🙂 .

Peg Shuttle - front Peg Shuttle - side and showing latch Peg Shuttle - width Peg Shuttle - depth

New Primo Viaggio convertible fashions: Camo and Techo Viaggio (evidently camo is big in Europe—who knew?!!)

Peg - new camo fashion Peg - Techno fashion

ABC Kids Expo 2015 – Graco Extend2Fit Convertible (Shut Up and Take My Money) Preview

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Extend-to-Fit frontOne of the most eagerly anticipated seats at the ABC Kids Expo this year is Graco’s Extend2Fit convertible. What sets this seat apart is an innovative leg rest/seat extender that gives rear-facing children more legroom. Although we know that bent legs don’t pose a safety hazard, and we know that kids tend to be little contortionists, lots of parents worry that their kids look uncomfortable rear-facing and use squished legs as a reason to turn kids forward-facing, often before they should. Graco hopes to combat that worry with the Extend2Fit.

The seat we saw was a prototype so the soft goods and some other aspects might change a bit, but we liked what we saw.

The details:

  • 4-50 lbs. rear-facing
  • 22-65 lbs. and 49″ or less forward-facing
  • Infant insert
  • 10-position harness height, maxing out at 18 inches
  • 6-position recline (3 positions for forward-facing; 3 for rear-facing)
  • 17″ seat depth with panel extended
  • Steel reinforced shell
  • 10-year expiration

We were concerned that the Extend2Fit’s expandable seating area might cause the seat to take up an excessive amount of room in the car, but I don’t think that will be a problem. When we put the seat in the most upright rear-facing position and extended the panel, the seat took up only about 28″. Graco said they’ve done extensive fit-to-vehicle testing and found that in most cases, an average-sized man should be able to sit comfortably in the front seat.

Extend-to-fit smallest size Extend-to-Fit largest size

With a tall shell and a 50-lb rear-facing weight limit, this looks like it will be a great fit for larger rear-facing kids, yet it should still fit newborns well, too. Here’s Romeo modeling:

IMG_0649

The seat will be available in three colors, plus there will be retailer-specific fashions. The Extend2Fit should be shipping in November and should hit stores in January. Retail price is expected to be $199.

News: Acura Earns Highest Safety Ratings on ALL 2015 models. Two Dorel Boosters Re-Evaluated by IIHS.

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Acura Safety v3.0We commend Acura for achieving top overall ratings from the IIHS and NHTSA on every current model!  We awarded the Acura MDX honors as the safest 2015 SUV in a recent article, and would like to acknowledge vehicle manufacturers that place an emphasis on safety.  Acura claims to be the first and only auto manufacturer to earn a 5-star Overall vehicle score from the NHTSA NCAP program, AND a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS across its entire 2015 model line (IIHS TSP+ rating when equipped with collision mitigation braking systems).  Congrats!

CarseatBlog emphasizes crash test ratings and advanced safety features in all our auto reviews.  We strongly encourage other manufacturers to put safety first and to make crash test ratings a top priority for ALL vehicles, as Acura has done.  To put it simply, an NHTSA “5-star” overall rating and IIHS “Top Safety Pick” rating is something every buyer should require in a vehicle.  No new vehicles today should earn anything less than a “4-star” rating from the NHTSA or less than an “Acceptable” rating from the IIHS in any individual crash test result.  Period.

We also encourage all auto makers to equip advanced crash avoidance technologies as standard whenever possible, especially on top trim levels and luxury vehicles.  On economy models and lower trim levels, these features should be readily available in a relatively low cost options package.  All too often, collision mitigation braking systems necessary to qualify for the IIHS Top Safety Pick “+” aware are a hard-to-find option and only on the most expensive trim level.  Then you must tack on thousands of dollars more for a safety technology package, if you can even find one at all on dealer’s lots!  That type of obsolete marketing is NOT putting customers and safety first.

http://www.acura.com/PressReleaseArticle.aspx?category=general&year=2015&id=8699-en#~prcSoSMD1munS6

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booster_safety-1st_summit-65In other news, the IIHS is correcting two “BEST BET” booster recommendations from 2014.  The Eddie Bauer Deluxe Highback 65 and Safety 1st Summit 65 were given the top rating in error.  The revised rating is “Not Recommended”.  According to the IIHS:

The concern about the Eddie Bauer Deluxe Highback 65 and Safety 1st Summit 65, both manufactured by Dorel Juvenile, is that while the shoulder belt crosses the child’s body at the middle of the shoulder, it is positioned too far forward. In that position, the shoulder belt would be less effective in a crash.

The IIHS states that these models were inadvertently evaluated to the protocol used prior to 2014.  They also note that these ratings only apply to these models in booster mode, and DO NOT apply when used with the 5-point harness system.  Below, you can see the difference between a Good (left) and Poor (right) shoulder belt fit in regard to contact at the shoulder (courtesy of IIHS):

Booster-GOOD-FIT-IIHS (00000002) Booster-POOR-FIT-IIHS

www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/iihs-corrects-booster-ratings-2-best-bets-awarded-in-error

Consumer Reports Identifies Potential Safety Issue with Recaro Performance RIDE Convertible Seats

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Recaro Performance Ride convertibleToday Consumer Reports released information on a safety issue they identified during testing of the Recaro Performance RIDE convertible. In crash tests using their new test protocol, the harness support hardware in the back of the Performance RIDE shell broke. This allowed the harness to pull through the seatback and loosen as the dummy moved forward. This structural failure occurred in three of four Performance RIDE tests using the 35 lb 3-year-old dummy. In all three cases, the seat was installed forward-facing on the test sled using LATCH (lower anchors and tether).

According to Consumer Reports:

The potential risk of a harness that loosens in an actual vehicle crash would be the increased forward movement of the head and added potential for a child’s head to contact some surface in the vehicle interior. There also is increased risk for the child to be ejected from the seat, and for the harness to no longer secure the child for any secondary or subsequent impacts or events.

Read the full article here: Structural Weakness Found in Recaro Performance RIDE Child Seat

I think it goes without saying that we take carseat safety very seriously around here and while these findings are concerning (especially when you consider that these same seats were recently recalled for unrelated performance issues) we want to make sure that Performance RIDE owners have a full understanding of what is going on so they can decide for themselves what action, if any, they should take.

First and foremost, it’s important to know that the new Consumer Reports carseat crash test was developed to be more rigorous than federal standards. CR realizes that not all carseats are created equal even though they should all meet the basic safety standards of FMVSS 213. Therefore, CR set out to develop a test to try to determine which carseats provide extra levels of protection beyond the standards already established by NHTSA. The CR test is very different from the FMVSS 213 tests that all child restraints are expected to pass in this country.

With that said…

Since this is a new and more stringent test, we don’t automatically think that all seats that earn a “BASIC” rating from CR are unsafe in some way. On the other hand, no other convertible seats tested by CR using the new crash test protocol had these specific issues with the 3-year old dummy that weighs 35 pounds. Now, we are fully aware of the differences between running a test at 27-30 mph (FMVSS 213 speed) and running it at 35 mph (NCAP/CR TEST speed) but the fact that these convertible seats are rated up to 65 pounds forward-facing and yet may possibly experience issues with the 3-year-old dummy doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

CR reports that the Performance RIDE had similar failures with the 6-year-old, 52 pound dummy in their test, installed using the lap/shoulder seatbelt and tether.  Four other convertibles of the 25 tested also failed with the larger dummy, though this is a much more extreme test in their new, higher speed protocol.  Also, most Recaro Performance RIDE and ProRIDE convertibles were recently recalled for failing to meet certain FMVSS 213 performance standards. It was a failure unrelated to the issue CR encountered and Recaro is sending a recall remedy to all owners of recalled seats but it was a performance failure nonetheless and it affected most of the convertible seats Recaro had made in the last 5 years.

Our advice:

If you are currently using a Recaro Performance RIDE carseat in the rear-facing position you don’t have any cause for concern at the moment since both the recent recall and the concerns raised by CR are related to issues that may potentially occur when the seat is used forward-facing.

If you are currently using a Recaro Performance RIDE carseat in the forward-facing position, fix your tether strap with the recall kit if your seat has been recalled and continue to monitor the blog for further updates, if any, regarding your carseat.  This issue reported by CR is not a second, new recall for your seat and there have been no public complaints made to NHTSA regarding this issue. As always, if your child is under 40 pounds and still fits in the rear-facing position, turn the seat rear-facing for optimum protection. Forward-facing, make sure the installation is tight and the harness is snug and continue to use it with caution until we learn more.  If your child no longer fits within the rear-facing limits, please consider another convertible or forward-facing carseat from our Recommended Carseats list.

 

Recaro’s Response to Consumer Reports:

“The Recaro Performance RIDE convertible car seat has saved the lives of many children involved in a car crash and has never experienced a field failure after being in the marketplace for over five years. Recaro tests to meet and exceed all National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash test requirements. The research by Consumer Reports was conducted with a crash test at 40 percent more energy at its peak than current NHTSA standards. We want to reassure our consumers that we take all aspects of a child’s safety seriously and will examine these findings closely. Recaro appreciates Consumer Reports’ interest in child passenger safety.”

For more info see: New Crash Protection Ratings and Methods from Consumer Reports