Monthly Archive:: August 2011

2011 Toyota Tundra Review: Not Hurting for Space


My latest ride has been a change for me. I’m used to SUVs, vans, and the occasional car. The past couple of weeks, though, I’ve been driving a truck. Yep, a truck. Not a big ol’ semi, but your average, run of the mill full-size pickup truck. Toyota decided it was time for America to have alternatives to its domestic truck line and introduced the Tundra in 2000 and it’s now on its second generation. It’s been an eye-opening experience driving the Tundra to say the least. Now I know how the other half live :D.

I’ll let you in on a little secret of mine: I’ve always wanted a small truck. Back in my early teens, I had a crush on a guy who drove a Nissan truck with wheels that made it look more sporty and less utilitarian.  For many years, I wanted that truck: it represented freedom and a really good-looking guy. Then when dh and I were looking to replace a car in our mid-20’s, we looked at small pickups. What’s more perfect for 2 people who occasionally needed to haul stuff around? We eventually settled on the RAV4, but trucks have always had an appeal to me. But who’d-a-thunk that *I* would be driving a truck. Really! I’m definitely more Ritz Carlton than camper. I did get a kick out of the brochure: it’s very much geared toward the male half of our species. Even one page of the Tundra website declares: “If you want to blend in, the TRD Sport Special Edition Tundra ain’t for you.”

Last Call for our August Forum Giveaway!


You still have a couple days to enter our August giveaway contest at !  Thanks again to our generous sponsor, !

Sunset clause on lockabilit​y standard is history!


Translation: All seatbelts in new vehicles will continue to have some way to lock pre-crash (in order to keep a child restraint securely in place), even after September 2012.

Now this might seem like trivial news to those who don’t spend their lives “doing their best work in the backseat,” but I assure you that it is VERY big news for anyone who has a kid in a carseat. You see, for reasons we don’t fully understand, NHTSA was going to allow vehicle manufacturers to go back to seatbelts without pre-crash locking features after September 2012 if the seating position had LATCH anchors. This was referred to as the “sunsetting” of the lockability standard of 1996.  Had it happened, it would have meant no more switchable retractors, no more locking latchplates and a lot more locking clips for parents who didn’t want to, or couldn’t, use LATCH.  And of course, more misuse of child restraints installed with seatbelts as a result.

Fortunately, after many years of lobbying by groups such as Safety Belt Safe USA and Safe Ride News, NHTSA has announced a final ruling on the matter. The verdict is… the lockability standard will continue!  Whew!  Kudos to all the advocates who dedicated significant time and effort during the last 5 or 6 years to ensure this outcome. You know who you are, and we all owe you BIG TIME!!!

Link to the federal register which includes this final ruling announcement.

The Great Babies R Us Trade-In Event


Babies R Us is doing their trade-in event again: turn in old baby gear, including carseats, and you’ll get a 25% off coupon to use in the store that day. It’s a great time to get rid of expired or crashed carseats, or recalled baby items. Items accepted include any used cribs, car seats, bassinets, strollers, travel systems, play yards, high chairs, kids’ beds, swings, walkers, bouncers and entertainers. If you have more than one item to turn in, I suggest going on separate days to turn in the items to take advantage of the coupon.

The event begins Friday, August 26, and runs through Sunday, September 18. There’s a bit more information here:

So, tell us–what carseat will you be trading in? Or, if you’re using the coupon, what carseat will you be buying? Is there a great story behind the carseat?