When it comes to automotive safety, nothing is more important than safeguarding the lives of young children. That is why the car safety experts at DCH Tustin Acura are actively educating motorists with small children about the importance of a vehicle’s LATCH system.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety evaluates each vehicle’s LATCH child-safety seat installation system based on its overall ease-of-use in properly securing a carseat. LATCH, which stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, is required by federal law to have at least two rear seats with LATCH compliance, as well as a third seat that is at least equipped with a tether.

IIHS LATCH evaluations test each vehicles two best second row LATCH equipped seats and are assigned one of five different ratings determined by a three-point inspection of each vehicle’s Lower Anchor hardware, as well as a two-point inspection of its Tether apparatus.

IIHS Latch Ratings

  1. GOOD – Two seats pass all three points of the IIHS Lower Anchor evaluation, and if applicable, pass both points of the Tether evaluation as well. A GOOD+ rating is available for vehicles that are equipped with a third IIHS fully compliant LATCH equipped seat.
  2. ACCEPTABLE – Two LATCH equipped seats meet two of the three IIHS Lower Anchor requirements, as well as one of the two Tether requirements.
  3. MARGINAL – If a vehicle’s LATCH equipped seats only pass one of the three IIHS Lower Anchor evaluation points, and does not pass any on points on the Tether evaluation.
  4. POOR – A vehicle’s LATCH equipped seats do not meet any of the IIHS’ Lower Anchor or Tether requirements.

The Lower Anchor Three-point Evaluation Includes:

  1. Accessibility of Lower Anchors – Lower Anchor depth should be no more than ¾-inch deep into the seat inlet. Slightly deeper may be acceptable if positioned totally free from obstruction.
  2. Force – The amount of force required to properly install a car seat must not exceed 40-pounds.
  3. Clearance Angle – A clearance angle of 54-degrees or higher is considered passing.

The Two-point Tether Hardware Evaluation is Comprised of:

  1. Location – The tether apparatus must be located on the top 85-percent of the seatback, or on the car’s rear deck.
  2. Confusing Hardware – The tether hardware is clear of any separate devices or systems. If there is any other hardware in the immediate vicinity, they must all be marked with clear, contrasting labels located within 3-inches of each device, including the tether.



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