Volvo Develops Safer Car Seats, but Can’t Bring Them to U.S.
Volvo says it has developed a line of child safety seats it believes are safer than anything on the current market – but federal law bans the seats from the United States.
Edmunds Inside Line reports, “Volvo this week launched three new state-of-the-art child restraints for vehicles in a range to cover children up to about age 10. But it will not be able to offer them in the U.S. because of rules imposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.” NHTSA rules require that all child safety seats be able to fit in any vehicle. Volvo’s new seats are designed only for Volvo cars. The rule means, then, that the seats can’t be imported into the U.S. – not even by Volvo owners.
Autoblog explains, “Volvo’s new infant and convertible child seats are highly adjustable and serve kids from newborns up to age six, with the latter seat able to keep older children facing the rear.” Current safety seat designs in the U.S. generally turn children to face forward by age 2 or 3, depending on the child’s weight. Auto safety experts, however, believe that rear-facing seats are safer for young children because their heads are large and heavy in proportion to the strength of their necks, and rear-facing seats cradle the head more effectively in most impacts. “The booster seat has eleven height settings and can serve kids up to age ten,” Autoblog adds.
A Volvo spokesperson tells Inside Line, “We have requested rule changes by NHTSA and have been ignored. While NHTSA’s rules certainly benefit all consumers, we have a solution that is the best solution for our cars.”