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Old 10-07-2011, 06:37 AM   #1
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tech question for a friend

Hi y'all I know many of you are techs so I'm hoping someone has the answer. A friend went to a car seat check event and they told her she could not use the latch in the middle seat in the back. She thought that sounded weird so told me she failed the inspection but wasn't sure about it. She wasn't sure if this was an actual CPST seat check, or a police/firefighter type check (which we know vary greatly in expertise, or atleast here they do and have been known to give out misinformation like using both the latch and seatbelt in combination)

Anywho, she has a 2005 acura TL and Britax Frontier 85 forward facing (harness of course). She did not have her car manual on hand or the Britax manual on hand either. She lives a few hours away, so i havn't seen the car and don't know latch placement.

ETA- this is the only seat installed so latches are not being used by multiple seats

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Old 10-07-2011, 07:11 AM   #2
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Re: tech question for a friend

The techs at the event were correct. You are not allowed to borrow LATCH for the center in Acura cars and there is not a dedicated LATCH in the middle position. Did they also tell her the LATCH limit is 40 pounds for her car? When her child reaches 40 pounds, she has to start using the seat belt anyway. She can install it in the center with the seat belt and top tether.
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:14 AM   #3
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Re: tech question for a friend

If there's not a dedicated set of anchors for the middle seat then no, she probably can't use latch in the middle. A lot of cars are like that.

I looked up her vehicle owners manual, and it says that the lower anchors are on the outer seats. Since it doesn't specifically say she share them with the middle seat that would make me think that she probably can't and the tech is right. Here's her owner's manual.
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:07 AM   #4
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Re: tech question for a friend

Like PP said, they gave her accurate information. Acura (and most foreign cars for that matter) forbid borrowing outboard LATCH anchors for the center position. Some seats forbid it as well so the best rule of thumb to follow is to not use LATCH in the center unless you have dedicated anchors. DH has dedicated center anchors so we use those. My car does not have them so we use the seat belt. Installing with a seat belt is equally safe to installing with LATCH provided both are done properly. LATCH was meant to make installing child seats easier which could make the installs safer because a proper install is safer than an improper install. Locking seat belts make seat belt installs easy and all vehicles after '96 have them.
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:23 PM   #5
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Re: tech question for a friend

Thanks y'all! I knew you could help I'll forward the info as soon as DH gets off the computer (on phone now, can't copy/paste well)
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