>CENTER LATCH (not always an oxymoron) – 2010 Vehicles that allow the use of the lower anchors in the center position
- This chart will tell you all of the 2010 vehicles that allow, in some form or another, the installation of a car seat in the center seat using the lower anchors.
- Since the vehicle manufacturers were only required to place the lower anchors in 2 seating positions, most vehicles only have the lower anchors for the 2 side seating positions. In most vehicles it is not permissible to install a car seat in the center using the lower anchors.
- However, there are some vehicles where you can secure a car seat in the center using the lower anchors – either borrowing the inner most lower anchors from the 2 side seats or using the center’s own set of lower anchors.
- Oftentimes, the lower anchors used in these center installations are at non-standard spacing (i.e. anything wider than 11 inches).
- Therefore, you must know what the car seat manufacturer allows – as many only allow their car seats to be installed when the spacing is 11 inches.
- The car seat manufacturers in the table below allow their car seats to be installed using non-standard lower anchor spacing if (and only if):
- a) the vehicle manufacturer allows the use of LATCH in a middle seating position with non-standard anchor spacing AND
- b) you can achieve a tight car seat installation
- Note: Combi’s policy allowing 11-20 inches is retroactive for ALL Combi seats
- The car seat manufacturers in the list below allow their car seats to be installed using lower anchors if (and only if):
- a) the vehicle manufacturer designates that location as a LATCH position AND
- b) the lower anchors are spaced 11 inches apart (standard spacing) AND
- c) you can achieve a tight car seat installation
- Baby Trend, Bergeron, Chicco, Dorel (Cosco, Eddie Bauer, Maxi Cosi, Safety 1st), Evenflo, Graco, Jane, Learning Curve, Magna, Mercedes-Benz, Mia Moda, Peg Perego, Sammons Preston Roylan
- Even though this chart might indicate that you can install a car seat in the center using the lower anchors, there are some obstacles you may encounter that might prevent you from 1. installing the seat in the center using the lower anchors (and instead having to use the vehicle’s seat belt) or 2. installing the seat in the center period (typically due to the size and contour of the vehicle’s center seat & the specific child car seat).
- When installing a car seat anywhere, in any vehicle, make sure it is not sitting on or in any way obstructing the use of the seat belt or buckle for an adjacent seating position. It is an absolute that EVERYONE in the vehicle wears their seat belt – so never allow someone to ride in a position where they can’t use the seat belt.
- In many cases listed below, the child car seat will often block the seat belt buckle of an adjacent seat – either by sitting on top of it, or the lower anchor strap will cross it in such a way that the adjacent seat belt becomes unusable. DO NOT install the car seat in the center in these situations if anyone will need to ride in that adjacent seat.
- NEVER attach 2 child car seats to one lower anchor
- The tables that follow are organized by the total number of lower anchors – with 4 being the most common amount (as the government standard only requires the lower anchors to be in 2 seating positions – so with 2 positions and 2 anchors per position you get 4 lower anchors).
- Note: For vehicles that have a 3rd row of seats (minivans, some SUVs) this table is speaking of the 2nd row seat.
- Of the vehicles with a 3rd row of seats, the following have lower anchors for the center position in the third row:
- Dodge Grand Caravan 2008-2010
- Honda Odyssey 2005-2010
- Toyota Sienna 2004-2011
- (also had lower anchors for the 3rd row passenger side 2004-2010)
- Volkswagen Routan 2009-2010
Center ones spaced more than 11 inches apart
- This situation is the most common
- In this situation you are “borrowing” the inner most lower anchors from the two side seating positions to attach the car seat in the center.
Equidistant – All spaced 11 inches apart
- This works great for installing a car seat in the center using the lower anchors – but when installing a car seat on the side using the lower anchors the car seat is half into the center position and half into the side position – thereby taking up 2 seating positions in the back seat
Inner passenger anchor shared between center & passenger seats
- This works well when trying to install 2 car seats side by side (driver & center) – but you will find that the passenger side seat is in most cases not big enough for a car seat or a moderate sized adult when there is a car seat in the center seat.
- Honda CRV: When using center lower anchors, a child restraint on the driver’s side seat can NOT be secured with the lower anchors – rather it must use the vehicle’s seat belt – even though the center & driver positions do not share any lower anchors.
- Chrysler PT Cruiser: the spacing between the center lower anchors is 15.4 inches
Inner driver anchor shared between center & driver seats
- This works well when trying to install 2 car seats side by side (passenger & center) – but you will find that the driver side seat is in most cases not big enough for a car seat or a moderate sized adult when there is a car seat in the center seat.
- Acura RDX: When using center lower anchors, a child restraint on the passenger’s side seat can NOT be secured with the lower anchors – rather it must use the vehicle’s seat belt – even though the center & passenger positions do not share any lower anchors.
All 3 LATCH systems can (theoretically) be used at once
- There are NO car seats on the market that are 11 inches wide – the narrowest ones are 15 inches wide, with the average width being closer to 20 inches.
- If you number the lower anchors 1-6, you need to have at least 4 inches between anchors 2&3 and 4&5 in order to be able to fit even the narrowest car seats side by side (as if the car seat is 15 inches wide and the lower anchors are 11 inches wide – you still need an extra 2 inches on either side for the 15 inch car seat to fit). This is why I said that “theoretically” all can be used at once – as with many of these vehicles the spacing between adjacent lower anchors is too close to actually allow for 2 car seats to be installed side by side.
- In these vehicles, if a car seat is installed in the center using the lower anchors you can not use the lower anchors for either of the side seats to secure a car seat on the side.
6 Lower anchors – driver & center anchors overlap
- Because of the overlapping anchors, you will likely find that with a car seat installed in the center it is impossible to use the seat belt on the driver’s side – therefore if someone needs to sit on the driver’s side you should NOT install the car seat in the center using the lower anchors.