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2017 Chrysler Pacifica Review Video

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2017-2018 Chrysler Pacifica Review: Kids, Carseats & Safety

The new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is the only minivan to receive an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award for 2017.  It also received a 5-star overall rating from Safercar.gov and the NHTSA gave it 5-stars in each crash test as well.  That’s why we gave it a Runner-Up award for our Safest Family Minivans and SUVs with 3rd Row Seats.  We do have a few minor concerns, however.  To earn the top award from the IIHS, you have to purchase one of the pricier trim levels and an options package totaling almost $42,000 MSRP with family-friendly 8-passenger seating.  As for carseats, while it’s a nice improvement from the Town & Country minivan, it’s still not quite as kid or carseat-friendly as the 2017 Honda Odyssey.  Is it the best choice for your family?  SafeDad discusses some of the pros and cons in our video review:

Likes:

  • IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (Limited & Touring L Plus w/Advanced SafetyTec group)
  • NHTSA 5-Star Rating
  • 5 sets of LATCH in 8-passenger trim
  • Improved from the Town & Country
  • Interior and Exterior styling
  • Stow ‘n Go is great
  • Easy 3rd row access
  • Cargo space and flexibility
  • Very good performance for a minivan
  • Decent fuel economy; Hybrid available

Dislikes:

  • Very pricey to equip important Advanced SafetyTec features
  • 3rd Row has various issues with child safety seats
  • 2nd row buckle stalks & head restraints can be problematic for certain carseats
  • Narrow 2nd row center seat is difficult for carseats, doesn’t stow in floor
  • Firm front seats, rear seat comfort lags other minivans

Car Seats and Child Seating:

While not as family-friendly as the 2017 Honda Odyssey or even the 2017 Kia Sedona, the Pacifica does accommodate larger families with multiple carseats.  The Car Seat Lady has an exhaustive write-up that fully addresses the second and third row seats in regards to kids and carseats.

Conclusion:

Despite the cost above $40,000, I recommend the Chrysler Pacifica Touring-L Plus trim with the Advance SafetyTec Group and 8-passenger seating options.  This is arguably the safest family hauler you can buy today!  The 2017-2018 Pacifica does have some minor concerns and is still not the ideal minivan for being friendly to carseats, but with Stow ‘n Go seating it is flexible enough for most families.

 

Thank you to Chrysler for providing the 2017 Pacifica used for this review.

SafeDad writes about automobiles, carseats and traffic safety issues at CarseatBlog

Fireworks Safety: Don’t Let Your Kids Do What I Did.

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You know the people.  They matter-of-factly inform you that your concern about carseat safety is ridiculous.  Never mind that motor vehicle crashes are still among the top few causes of fatal injury to children.  After all, they rode without any carseat or seatbelt when they were a kid, and they’re still around to lecture you 40 years later!  Never mind that nearly twice as many kids died each year in motor vehicle crashes in the 1970s than today, even though there were so many fewer vehicles and miles driven back then.  The truth is that they are lucky never to have been in a crash while unrestrained or improperly restrained!

I can say the same about fireworks.  I’m lucky to have all my fingers and eyes intact.  From bottle rocket wars to making our own homemade fireworks from others we disassembled.  I’d say we were also very lucky none of our houses or nearby parks burned!  So, if you let your children use fireworks at all, please just make sure they are properly supervised at all times.   Don’t let your kids do what I did…

 

Safe Kids has some fireworks safety tips as well.  And some statistics from the National Fire Protection Association:

2017 Update: Safest Affordable Used Cars for Families and Teens

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Safest Used Cars Deals under $10K in 2017 for Teen Drivers

Many families put a high priority on safety for their kids.  Unfortunately, for various valid reasons, most are not able to go out and buy a brand new car with the latest safety features.  Perhaps others are buying a car for a teen or college student and want something safe, but don’t want them wrecking a new car!  Earlier this year, the IIHS evaluated hundreds of cars to produce a list of recommended models for teens.  A similar list was created by Consumer Reports.

I have somewhat different criteria for my teen drivers, with more emphasis on crash test results and safety features.  For example, while I also exclude the smallest sub-compact and “micro” vehicles, I have no issue with my teen driving a compact sedan if it is above around 2,750 lbs., but only if it has great crash test results.  While compact cars do give up a little in terms of weight in a frontal crash, they are generally more maneuverable and easier to handle and park.  That’s important for new drivers.  And of course, compact cars are less expensive to buy and maintain.  I am also more concerned about having top results in all the actual crash tests, including the new IIHS small overlap test, and less concerned about certain other results that Consumer Reports and the IIHS factor into their recommendations.

Unfortunately, the IIHS excludes compact sedans from their list, even top performing models with many safety features and decent all-around crash test scores, including their own small overlap test.  In fact, some models they recommend do very poorly in this newer crash test.  Like Consumer Reports, many of their recommendations are well over $10,000.

My Requirements?

  1. 4-star or better NHTSA overall rating
  2. No “2-star” or “1-star” ratings in any individual NHTSA crash test or rollover rating.
  3. No “Marginal” or “Poor” IIHS crash test results in ANY crash test, including the newer small overlap test
  4. Around $10,000 or less to buy.
  5. Good visibility and handling.
  6. Stability control and side-curtain airbags.
  7. No minicars, sub-compacts or any model below 2,750lbs.  Weight is a bad thing on roads, I know.  More mass means more kinetic energy and more wasted fuel.  But when the other guy is driving a 5,000 lb. truck, the smallest cars become splatter.

Preferences:

Britax B-Safe 35 Recall

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2017 Britax Infant Car Seat Recall: Britax B-Safe 35, Britax B-Safe 35 Elite and BOB B-Safe 35

Britax announced a recall today in cooperation with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and other regulatory authorities. This recall involves the chest clip on certain B-Safe 35, B-Safe 35 Elite and BOB B-Safe 35 infant car seat models manufactured between Nov. 1, 2015 and May 31, 2017, as identified on www.bsafe35clip.com.  Over 200,000 units may be affected.

Britax has determined that the center tab on the chest clip – on certain rear-facing only car seat models – can break presenting a choking hazard to an infant in the car seat. There have been no choking injuries reported.

Users can continue to safely use the affected car seats if they remove the chest clip or monitor the center tab of the chest clip for signs of breakage. The chest clip is not a required safety device: it is added to the harness system to help position the shoulder straps.

Please visit www.bsafe35clip.com where you can follow these steps:

  1. Look for the Date of Manufacture (DOM) label on the back of the infant car seat shell.
  2. Compare the DOM details to the model numbers and date range listed on the site.
  3. If your seat is affected and you registered your seat, you will automatically be sent a free replacement chest clip.
  4. If your seat is affected and you didn’t register your seat, you can order your free kit on www.bsafe35clip.com.
  5. Until you receive your replacement chest clip, you can continue to safely use the car seat as long as you remove your current chest clip or monitor the center tab of the chest clip for signs of breakage.
  6. Before installing the new replacement chest clip, review the printed step-by-step instructions and/or watch the how-to video on the site.
  7. Please do not return product to the retailer.

Model/Serial Numbers Affected

Products Model Numbers Dates of Manufacture

(YYYY/MM/DD)

B-Safe 35 & Travel Systems

 

     

US: E1A183F, E1A185M, E1A185P, E1A186R, E1A203F, E1A205M, E1A205P, E1A206X, E1A206Z, E1A207E, E9LU65V, E9LU66X, E9LU66Z, E9LU67D, E9LU67E, EXA185M

S02063600, S02063700, S03803400, S03803500, S03803700, S03803800, S03803900, S04144400, S04144500, S04144600, S04145000, S04402800, S04884200, S04884300, S04975600, S04978900, S05260200, S06020300, S06020400, S06020500, S06020600, S06020700, S06020800, S06020900, S06147100, S921800

 

CANADA: E1A193F, E1A195M, E1A195P, E1A196X, E1A196Z, E9LV16R, E9LV17D

S04144700, S04144800, S04144900, S04183700, S04183800, S04437700, S04884400, S04884500, S06051400, S06051500, S06051600, S06051700, S06051800

 

ISRAEL: E1A233F, E1A235M, E1A235P, E1A236X

November 1, 2015 (2015/11/01) through

May 31, 2017 (2017/05/31)

B-Safe 35 Elite & Travel Systems

 

US: E1A215T, E1A215U, E1A216P, E1A221Q, E1A225C, E1A225U, E1A226L, E9LS51Q, E9LS56C, E9LS56L, E9LS57F, E9LS57G, E9LS57H, EXA216L

S01298600, S02063800, S02063900, S02064000, S04281200, S04281300, S04628500, S06018800, S06020000, S06020200, S06051300, S923700

 

CANADA: E9LV21Q, E9LV26C, E9LV26L, E9LV27F, E9LV27G, E9LV2Q8

S01298700, S04184000

 

ISRAEL: E9LT15U, E9LT16C, E9LT16L

BOB B-Safe 35 by Britax

 

US: E9LT34A, E9LT34C, E9LT35X, EXLT34A

 

CANADA: E9LT54A, E9LT54C, E9LT55X

 

Chest Clip Tab may Break and be a Choking Hazard The broken tab may present a choking hazard to an infant in the car seat, increasing the risk of injury.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 17C002000

Manufacturer Britax Child Safety, Inc.

Components CHILD SEAT

Potential Number of Units Affected 207,037

Summary

Britax Child Safety, Inc. (Britax) is recalling certain B-Safe 35, B-Safe 35 Travel Systems, B-Safe 35 Elite, B-Safe 35 Elite Travel Systems and BOB B-Safe rear-facing infant child safety seats, model numbers E1A183F, E1A185M, E1A185P, E1A186R, E1A203F, E1A205M, E1A205P, E1A206X, E1A206Z, E1A207E, E9LU65V, E9LU66X, E9LU66Z, E9LU67D, E9LU67E, EXA185M, S02063600, S02063700, S03803400, S03803500, S03803700, S03803800, S03803900, S04144400, S04144500, S04144600, S04145000, S04402800, S04884200, S04884300, S04975600, S04978900, S05260200, S06020300, S06020400, S06020500, S06020600, S06020700, S06020800, S06020900, S06147100, S921800, E1A215T, E1A215U, E1A216P, E1A221Q, E1A225C, E1A225U, E1A226L, E9LS51Q, E9LS56C, E9LS56L, E9LS57F, E9LS57G, E9LS57H, EXA216L, S01298600, S02063800, S02063900, S02064000, S04281200, S04281300, S04628500, S06018800, S06020000, S06020200, S923700, E9LT34A, E9LT34C, E9LT35X and EXLT34A. The affected child safety seats have a center tab on the chest clip marked “ABS” that may break.

Remedy

Britax will notify owners and will provide a replacement chest clip marked “PC”, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin June 21, 2017. Owners may contact Britax at 1-833-474-7016 or visit www.bsafe35clip.com.

Notes

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.