Ease-of-use ratings for child safety seats

The NHTSA, Consumers Union and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety all indicated that the new child safety seat system known as "Lower Attachments and Tethers for Children" (LATCH) is making child safety seats easier to use. However, all expressed concern that some new LATCH seats can be difficult to install in certain vehicle models.

"With literally thousands of combinations of vehicles and seats, it is understandable that some compatibility issues would arise, particularly during the early years of the LATCH system phase-in," said Dr. Runge, noting that NHTSA plans to meet soon with manufacturers to help identify and resolve any remaining compatibility issues.

Consumers can access a list of current child safety seat ratings at the NHTSA Website. The ratings can also be obtained by calling the NHTSA Office of Communications and Consumer Information (202-366-9550), by phoning NHTSA's toll-free Auto Safety Hotline (888-327-4236) or by writing to NHTSA Media Relations, Room 5236, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20590.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, June 11, 2003

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