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Report: Manufacturers Improving Child Restraint Safety

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June 28, 2019—Nearly three-quarters of 2019 vehicles have LATCH hardware that rates good or acceptable for ease of use, according to IIHS.

The results mark a shift from 2015, when IIHS launched its LATCH ease-of-use ratings. At that time, a majority of new vehicles rated poor or marginal.

A properly installed, age-appropriate child restraint can protect a child much better in a crash than a seat belt alone. LATCH, which stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, is intended to make child restraint installation easier. Child restraints installed with LATCH are more likely to be put in correctly than restraints installed using the vehicle seat belt

Today, 21 vehicles earn the top rating of good+, 33 are rated good, and 88 rate acceptable. Forty-nine vehicles are marginal, and only four earn a poor rating. Among automakers, Toyota and Subaru are standouts for LATCH ease of use, while U.S. automakers lag behind. Installation in pickups remains tricky, compared with other types of vehicles, according to IIHS. 

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