Easy to Use LATCH hardware Saves Lives, Audi Earns the Most IIHS Good Ratings of All Automakers

The most precious cargo you transport in your vehicle is your family, but have you ever struggled to get a child’s car seat properly secured? Though you know that digging behind the seat for straps or anchors can be frustrating and confusing, perhaps you would be surprised to find out that placement of anchors and tethers that are easier to use improves child safety. Maybe you would be less surprised though that Audi, a carmaker known for revolutionary engineering and progressive design, has made this critical detail a priority. The Audi Q7 received a Good+ rating, the highest possible score from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) for the ease of use of lower anchors and tethers for children (LATCH). Just to prove it was committed to child safety and the Q7 designation was no fluke, eight other Audi models received a rating of Good, the next highest grade—making Audi the carmaker with the most models receiving Good or better rankings.

“The safety of our customers is always a top priority, so we are delighted that such an array of 2019 Audi models have been recognized for their ease of use for child restraint hardware,” said Filip Brabec, vice president, Product Management, Audi of America. “The breadth of models rated speaks to the brand’s commitment to safety and delivering cutting edge technical innovations to our customers.”

Of course, even one avoidable death of a child due to being improperly secured in a vehicle is too many! National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that the lives of nearly 1000 children ages four and younger were saved by properly installed child restraints from 2014-2016. Due to the work of organizations such as IIHS and the attention of carmakers such as Audi, the number of children that have survived crashes rose in each of those years.

How Do They Work?

Though car seats and boosters can be properly secured using safety belts, LATCH provides guidelines for attachment hardware for child restraints, encouraging correct, simpler, and more intuitive installation. IIHS research shows that child restraints are more likely to be correctly installed when LATCH is used and that parents, in particular, are more likely to correctly install a car seat or booster when the process is uncomplicated by hidden straps and anchors. Additionally, easy-to-locate tether anchors at the top of car seats make installation of car seats more efficient and keep forward-facing restraints from pitching forward in a crash.

The ratings are based on:

  • Accessibility of lower anchors: Location of anchors at a depth of ¾ inch or less within the seat bight—the intersection of bottom and back of the seat. If they can be easily reached without anything in the way, slightly deeper anchors are allowable.
  • Force to attach to anchors: The force required to attach a connector to the lower anchor should be less than 40 pounds.
  • Tether Location: Tether anchors should be on the top 85 percent of the seatback or the vehicle’s rear deck—not at the bottom of the seatback, under the seat, on the ceiling or floor.
  • Confusing tether anchor hardware: There should be no other hardware that could be confused for the tether anchor—if it is within 3 inches, a contrasting label is required.

So, don’t dig deeper for those child safety anchors! The Audi Q7, with its lavish creature comforts, cutting-edge innovation, and Good+ LATCH rating, allows you to enjoy your ride to the grocery store or favorite mountain overlook knowing that safety is built into its spacious, ergonomic environment. Additionally, the A4, A4 Allroad, A5 Coupe, A5 Sportback, A6, e-tron, Audi Q5, and Q8 received Good ratings, giving Audi the most models ranked Good or better. Sometimes good is not only good enough, but it is the very best!

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