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In the June 2019 issue, Stiftung Warentest and ADAC once again tested child car seats. Most models scored “good”. However, two child car seats were classified as “poor”. In addition, the test showed: hands off child seats that grow with all age groups.
Together with the ADAC, Stiftung Warentest has tested 31 child seats for newborns and for children up to 36 kg. These were tested for safety, operation, ergonomics and pollutant content. Some child car seats from previous tests have been optimised by the manufacturers and have therefore scored even better in the current tests.
Maxi-Cosi is test winner
Of 31 child seats tested, 23 scored “good”, three “satisfactory”, two “sufficient” and two “inadequate”. The test winner with the quality rating “very good” (1.5) is the Maxi-Cosi Jade 3wayFix by Dorel Juvenile. It received a very good rating in the accident safety category. In terms of handling and ergonomics, the Dorel child seat received a “good” rating. The Maxi-Cosi Jade 3wayFix scored “very good” in the pollutants category. The i-Size child seat is suitable for children up to a height of 105 cm.
With the Jade, Maxi-Cosi has for the first time launched a system for i-Size on the market in which newborns ride transversely to the direction of travel up to about the sixth month. The baby bath can also be used as a pram attachment. This is particularly safe, but takes up a lot of space.
The majority of child car seats have passed the test with “good”. Cybex Cloud Z i-Size (grade 1.7), Cybex Cloud Z i-Size + Base Z (grade 1.8), Cybex Sirona Z R i-Size + Base Z (grade 1.9) and the Cybex Sirona Z i-Size + Base Z (grade 2.1).
The following child car seats from the Maxi-Cosi brand scored “good”: Maxi-Cosi Pebble Pro (1.7), Maxi-Cosi Pebble Pro + 3wayFix (grade 1.8), Maxi-Cosi Pebble Pro + FamilyFix One (grade 1.8) and the Maxi-Cosi Pearl Pro i-Size + 3wayFix with a grade of 2.1.
The regulations for child car seats
Until 2013, the EU divided child car seats into weight classes according to the standard. For example, according to the ECE R 44 standard, manufacturers must specify the ranges for children’s body weight. This was followed by the stricter i-size standard. This stands for a classification according to body size. Since then, the side impact test has been mandatory. For children up to the age of 15 months, it should be ensured that they are transported in the child car seat against the direction of travel. Both standards are currently still valid. However, the old regulation is to be replaced by the i-Size standard in the long term.
Child car seat that grows with the child does not perform well
The tested child seat, which should grow with the child from birth up to 36 kilograms and thus be suitable for all age groups, did poorly in the test. The examiners found that there was an “increased risk of injury in a frontal crash”. The accident safety and the overall assessment of the child car seat growing with the child were only sufficient.
Alarm system for child seats
A new function is designed to prevent parents from forgetting their little ones in the car. A contact mat below the seat or a sensor in the belt monitors whether the child is sitting in the belt or not. A warning tone sounds on the smartphone when the parents move away from the child seat while the child is still in the seat, with the Bluetooth connection forming the safety zone. Only when the Bluetooth range has been exceeded does a signal sound. The system will be mandatory in Italy from summer 2019. In Germany the alarm system is offered optionally in the child seats of the mark Chicco and Cybex. In addition, other manufacturers also offer sets for retrofitting.
Child car seat of the future
Henry Görlitz, project manager at Stiftung Warentest, draws attention to problem areas in the car seat industry: “What is really missing is a system that discreetly warns parents when the children unbuckle. A child that frees itself from the harness belt is the best thing for parents. Görlitz takes a positive view of the future: “I believe that in the future the seats will show even better whether they are correctly installed. And in our experience, seats and cars should be better coordinated. Car manufacturers could get even more involved in this.”
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Link: Stiftung Warentest has tested child car seats.