More Than Half of Parents Surveyed by Cars.com Have Incorrectly Installed a Car Seat, While 67% Make Vehicle Purchase Decisions Based on Car Seat Fit
CHICAGO, Sept. 27, 2021 — Leading car shopping marketplace Cars.com (NYSE: CARS) today released its 2021 Car Seat Fit Report Card, providing parents and caregivers with essential information on which family vehicles best fit car seats for infants, toddlers and young children. This year, Cars.com compiled Car Seat Check scores for 51 vehicles evaluated over the last year by Cars.com’s certified child-passenger safety technicians.2 Cars.com assigned a letter grade to each of the 2021-22 vehicles evaluated. To view the complete list, visit Cars.com/news/car-seat-check.
Of the 51 vehicles evaluated, only four made the Honor Roll, achieving straight A’s in their Cars.com Car Seat Checks:
According to a national Cars.com survey, 56% of parents stated they have installed a car seat incorrectly, while 84% of parents find some level of the process ‘frustrating.’1 Cars.com’s Car Seat Fit Report Card, which compiles a year’s worth of comprehensive Car Seat Checks conducted by Cars.com’s team of experts, aims to reduce some of the stress involved with car seat installation and selecting the best family vehicle.
“When it comes to shopping for a new vehicle, our data show that for more than two-thirds of parents, car seats play a significant role in their purchase decision,” said Jenni Newman, editor-in-chief at Cars.com and certified child-passenger safety technician. “I’ve evaluated more than 600 vehicles in my career, and there’s no doubt about it: Some cars are just better made to properly and safely fit a car seat. With all the stress and confusion that comes with car seat installation —- especially for new parents — it’s so important that families do their homework and select a vehicle that not only works for their needs right now, but also one that grows with their family.”
Making the Grade
Each Car Seat Check is performed by a Cars.com certified child-passenger safety technician who installs three types of car seats — infant, convertible and booster — into each new vehicle and evaluates the vehicle’s Latch system, as well as how the vehicle accommodates the different car seats. The Latch system is a set of lower anchors and top tether anchors that’s supposed to make car seat installation easier, but that’s not always the case. To earn an “A” grade, a vehicle must show it has plenty of room for the car seat and the child, without impacting legroom for the driver or front passenger. Vehicles must also demonstrate their Latch system is easy to find and use (without any fit issues), in order to show it’s car-seat-friendly.
“Our research shows that the majority of consumers (80%1) consider child safety features to be very important in guiding their vehicle purchase, and I don’t blame them,” said Newman, a mother of two. “Automakers continue to improve in-car safety technology features and well-appointed Latch systems. Our Car Seat Fit Report Card and ongoing Car Seat Checks help to alleviate some of the stress and anxiety parents face by highlighting the vehicles that offer the most peace of mind,” said Newman.
To learn more about how Cars.com performs its Car Seat Checks, or to see how well a car seat will fit in your family vehicle or a vehicle you are considering purchasing, visit www.cars.com/news/car-seat-check.
1 Cars.com survey conducted Aug. 27, 2021; 1,030 responses.
2 Car seat certified by Safe Kids, certifying body partner of the National Child Passenger Safety Board
CARS is a leading digital marketplace and solutions provider for the automotive industry that connects car shoppers with sellers. Launched in 1998 with the flagship marketplace site Cars.com and headquartered in Chicago, the Company empowers shoppers with the data, resources and digital tools needed to make informed buying decisions and seamlessly connect with automotive retailers. In a rapidly changing market, CARS enables dealerships and OEMs with innovative technical solutions and data-driven intelligence to better reach and influence ready-to-buy shoppers, increase inventory turn and gain market share.
In addition to Cars.com, CARS brands include Dealer Inspire, a technology provider building solutions that future-proof dealerships with more efficient operations and connected digital experiences; FUEL, which gives dealers and OEMs the opportunity to harness the untapped power of digital video by leveraging Cars.com's pure audience of in-market car shoppers, and DealerRater, a leading car dealer review and reputation management platform.