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Child seat crash test 2010 - 5 child seats fail

Reinhard Schmid
Child seat crash test 2010
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The crash test team on the TÜV test track did not expect such a disaster, on the contrary. 18 years after the first a uto motor und sport child seat test, mostly good results were to be expected. After all, the last total failure of a seat with parts breaking out of the shell was almost seven years ago. But now the testers are amazed at the broken structure of the Chicco Key 1, without realizing that the horror of this series will almost never end.

Child seats were bought on the free market

But one after the other. As usual, the seats were bought in stores before the crash, just like normal customers. The focus in the selection was of course on novelties or modeled seats. This also explains why there are no baby seats in this crash test, because only one completely new seat has come onto the market since the last test in issue 18/2006. Completely different in seating group I for children up to three years of age and the adjoining group II-III, whose interesting entrances therefore form the test field.

With used seats, previous damage cannot be ruled out

In addition comes a used seat. auto motor und sport has always warned against purchasing second-hand restraint systems. Finally, previous damage cannot be ruled out in the case of an older seat. Even a minor accident can cause damage to a child seat that may not be visible, but that has a massive impact on its protective function. The test seat, however, came from a member of the auto motor und sport editorial team and was guaranteed to be tested without any previous damage. He should have to be patient until his mission, because who could know how well the oldie would protect the sensitive dummy. The Chicco Key 1 was the first to be installed in the test body because it is equipped with the Isofix fastening system. In previous tests, this often offered the dummy a bit more protection than the seats that are only held in place with the seat belt - things turned out differently.

Child seat Key 1 breaks in the crash test

However the Key 1 does not have the often used support in the footwell in front of the rear bench with a support leg, but rather a belt called a top tether, which is attached to the rear of the trunkgot to. Its purpose is to prevent the seat from shifting forward, which at 42 centimeters was completely uncritical in the test. Unfortunately, the tension belt in the plastic of the seat substructure is above a steel rod and is therefore attached to a long lever arm. The rigid connection to the body is then too much for the seat in the event of a crash, it breaks through over the entire width. The tester notes: System fails.

Not recommended despite low exposure values ​​

It no longer matters that the exposure values ​​that act on the dummy only show a low to medium risk of injury , the seat will be downgraded to 'not recommended'. An apparently tough measure. Because the destroyed seat may provide acceptable protection in the so-called primary accident - which the crash simulates - but protection is no longer guaranteed in the event of a secondary impact. Such a secondary crash often occurs in accidents on the road, whether it is that another car hits the accident or that the car skids and hits a second obstacle. The testers were shocked a total of four times when the seat construction was broken or failed - a disaster.

Recaro seat is awkward to install

Failure number two comes from Recaro. Polaric is the name of the bulky and heavy Isofix child seat, which, unlike most restraint systems, cannot be secured with the car seat belt and which is dependent on the Isofix retaining bracket on the car body. The Polaric is a well-known construction, the seat shell of which has been sold as Storchenmühle Primus since 2003, albeit without an Isofix base. In the meantime, the primus has become the Polaric, because Storchenmühle and Recaro child seats have been developed together for years in Marktleugast, Franconia.

Even the installation of the Polaric tubular steel construction is cumbersome, because the Isofix anchor points plus an additional support leg, two tension belts must be fitted. A lot can be done wrong.

In the event of a crash, an Isofix attachment fails

It is clear that this seat is not suitable for quickly taking it from one car to another . The Polaric cannot be used in the rear of a two-door car either. If the passenger airbag is switched off, it can be installed at the front. In the event of a crash, however, it is in the rear - with the support leg extended, firmly lashed straps and two green indicators that show that Isofix is ​​properly locked. In the event of a crash, however, one of two locking points opens and the seat spins uncontrollably in the body. The entire load that occurs upon impact is now only attached to one instead of two wire brackets. This has never happened before in any other attempt. The testers initially suspect an assembly error, but this continuesdetailed assessment of the Isofix bracket can be excluded, because both are deformed, so they have absorbed force. On the other hand, if the lock had not fully engaged, the corresponding bracket would not have shown any deformation after the test. Verdict: System failed, 'not recommended'.

The backrest of Storchenmühle My Seat CL breaks in a crash

Unlike the Chicco, there is no design fault here. The fact that an Isofix connection opens indicates more of a problem during assembly in the factory or even before that in the quality control of the installed parts. The company Recaro /Storchenmühle should surprise the testers negatively with another product. Finally, the Storchenmühle My Seat CL, which competes in the large group II-III, breaks the backrest during the test. Again it says: System fails, 'not recommended'. This time, an assembly error can be ruled out immediately; the choice of material is more important here, because the plastic appears too brittle for the intended purpose, which is also indicated by the sharp break edges. The backrest is also not entirely successful in terms of construction, because large areas of it are stiffened by aluminum profiles that are intended to ensure easy height adjustment for size adjustment. But where the profiles end, the seat breaks off in the event of a crash, presumably because the backrest cannot bend harmoniously under load.

Two other models fail in the child seat crash test

The group I-seat Twin One from Storchenmühle shows that a seat from this company can withstand the tough auto motor und sport crash test without major damage, but that doesn't make the model particularly safe. High neck forces do not allow any other result than 'not recommended'. The Concord Transformer has to be satisfied with this note. The ambitious Group II /III seat with two integrated gas pressure springs for easy size adjustment also suffers from a design flaw that is very similar to that of the My Seat CL. Because the gas spring integrated in the backrest not only makes this component heavy, it also stiffens it and prevents it from sagging. As a result, the backrest breaks almost completely beneath the metal element and thus proves that high tech and high prices are no guarantees for safety.

Only two child seats can convince in Group I crash test

Only four seats in this test series are enough to lighten up the gloomy result. After all, two systems in Group I are recommended all round. The Besafe Izi Combi X2, the installation of which is at least as complicated as its name, and the Maxi Cosi Tobi, which requires a long seat belt for installation and can only be attached with difficulty in a Ford Kuga, for example. By the way, the used model of the Tobi was the bright spot of the test because ithas not lost any of its protective function even after two years of intensive use. After all, the Römer Eclipse offers satisfactory protection, but does not keep the promise of being specially developed and suitable for small cars. To do this, he would have to ensure that the dummy moves very slightly forward so that its head does not hit the seat in front. Nevertheless, the Eclipse has the largest shift forward in the test field, without causing any real problems.

Even in group II-III only two seats are convincing

There are also in the large group II-III After completing the tests, two seats are recommended: the Cybex Solution X-fix and the Kiddy Discovery pro. It is gratifying that both are priced in the middle and are so light that older children can switch back and forth between two cars themselves. Not least because the installation is really child's play, especially with the Kiddy, while with the Cybex, depending on the car, some fiddling is necessary with the Isofix mountings. However, this is less due to the seat itself than to the car manufacturers, who in some cases hide the Isofix bar in the rear seat in a ludicrously inaccessible way.

The headrest of the Solution with the integrated sleeping positions may work well on paper, in the In real life, however, the child's head folds forward just as much as in most other comparable seats, where the backrest can only be tilted slightly for sleeping. The kiddy also deserves criticism for its sleeping position. It can only be inserted, inconveniently, if you unbuckle the child, pull the seat forward, fold out a bracket on the back, press the seat back against the back of the rear bench and then strap the child back in place. This operation can of course only be carried out while standing and is really no joy with a four-year-old in the seat.

The development program for child seats seems too lax

The fact that there is little joy at the end of the test is due the results of the four failures. They are a disaster and apt to reinforce the old-fashioned child seat refusers in their blind attitude towards the protection system. It is reasonable to assume that some seats were developed exclusively to meet the lax approval tests and that the auto motor und sport test, which is based on reality, is apparently not part of the development program. Even after 150 child seat crash tests carried out by the editorial team in 18 years, a lot of potential in child protection remains untapped. The tests will continue so that it doesn't stay that way.

The basic test setup on the TÜV system has hardly changed, because the restraint systems have always been mounted on the rear bench of a reinforced compact car body.

The child seat crash test reaches a speed of 51 km /h

Currently that of a VW Golf is used. All seats are installed in the right rear seat in accordance with the instructions for use. In the event of a crash, a speed of 51 km /h is reached and decelerated with a maximum of 31 g.

The seat was used very regularly and was moved from one car to another almost every day, but always treated with care.

Child seats age particularly quickly in a warm car

After this time, the upholstery material has sagged a bit and the cover is showing the first signs of abrasion -Appearances. The seat belt system and the tensioning devices for the car seat belt, however, are externally unimpressed by the use. The crash test reveals that the safety is still good. All measured values ​​are almost identical to those of the new Tobi; the used seat would have deserved the rating 'recommendable'. A second-hand seat can therefore be an alternative to buying a new one if it meets two very important requirements: It must not have been involved in any crash - not even a very slight one - and it should not be older than five years. This is because plastic parts can become brittle when seats are used for a long time. They age faster than average in a hot summer car.

Very low weight, easy assembly, easy to understand operating instructions, the reference to the age group is hidden. Height adjustable in six positions, the sleeping position can be activated while driving.


The Storchenmühle is inexpensive, easy to assemble and weighs little. Its load values ​​would have been enough for a 'recommendable' rating if the backrest hadn't broken off completely. therefore the result is: 'not recommended'.

System fails!

Test result: Not recommended

Probability of serious injuries: low

Head: low

Neck: low

Chest: low

Approved from 15 up to 36 kilograms, three to twelve years. Easy installation, very easy stepless size and width adjustment (gas pressure spring supported). Sleeping position can be adjusted while driving.


Elaborate technology and modern design are essential for the Concord. Unfortunately, it fails completely in the test, its backrest almost completely breaks off. Otherwise the load values ​​would have been sufficient for the result 'conditionally recommendable'.

System failed!

Test result: Not recommended

Probability of serious injuries: medium

head: low

neck: medium

chest: low

Low weight, easy assembly, easy to understand installation instructions. Three-way adjustable seat depth, height and width adjustment happen at the same time. It is not possible to adjust the sleeping position while driving.


Easy installation, lowThe kiddy combines weight and an acceptable price with good protection for the head, neck and chest of the six-year-old dummy. A recommendable seat with a somewhat impractical sleeping position.

Test result: Recommended

Probability of serious injuries: low

Head: low

Neck: low

Chest: low

Approved from 15 to 36 kilograms, three to twelve years. Despite Isofix, easy assembly, easy to understand operating instructions. Headrest with sleeping position, a total of nine height adjustment options for the backrest.


With its Isofix attachment points, the easy-to-install seat stands firmly on the rear bench and offers a high level of protection . He gets the predicate 'recommendable'. The dummy shift looks more dramatic than it actually is.

Test result: Recommended

Probability of serious injuries: low

Head: low

Neck: low

Chest: low

Complicated assembly, little space for the dummy legs. Stepless height adjustment of the seat belts (possible with a built-in seat) with helpful age markings.


One of two Isofix fastenings opens in the event of a crash, the seat rotates uncontrollably around the remaining fastening : System failure and 'not recommended'. Due to the movement, however, all stress values ​​are low.

System fails !

Test result: Not recommended

Probability of serious injuries: low

Head: low

Neck: medium

Chest: low

Approved for nine up to 18 kilograms and nine months to 3.5 years. Clear installation instructions, effective tensioning device for the seat belt, medium-thick padding. The height of the seat belts can be adjusted with the seat mounted.


The Tobi needs a long belt to attach it, but it stands very firmly on the bench. The protection for the head, neck and chest is accordingly good, thanks to its harness straps, the forward shift is very small.

Test result: Recommended

Probability severe injuries: low

head: low

neck: low

chest: low


Complex, not easy to understand installation with two or three-point belt and additional tension belts. Little space for the dummy legs.

If you do everything right with the complicated installation, you lay the foundation for very good protection in the event of a frontal impact. Above all, the neck load is exemplary in this reboard seat, chest and head protection are also good.

Test result: Recommended

Probability of serious injuries: low

head: low

neck: low

chest: low

Approved for nine to 18Kilograms, no indication of age. Easy to understand installation instructions. Triple height adjustment of the seat belts, the adjustment is extremely fiddly and has to be carried out with the seat removed.

Due to the noticeably increased stress on the head and neck, this seat is particularly recommended for smaller cars. The chest load, on the other hand, is only very slightly outside the green area. Largest but uncritical shift forward in the test.

Test result: Conditionally recommended

Probability of severe injuries: medium

Head: medium

Neck: medium

Chest: medium

Approved for nine to 18 kilograms, no indication of age. In the operating instructions there is no indication of when the seat reducer should be removed. Three-way belt adjustment with stiff locking.

The head protection in the Twin One is as good as that of the best competitors, but the force acting on the neck is clearly too high: 'not recommended'. Relatively large forward displacement. No stress values ​​for the chest.

Test result: Not recommended

Probability of serious injuries: high

Head: low

Neck: high

Chest: k. M.

Approved for nine to 18 kilograms, nine months to around three years. Incorrect labeling of the top tether elements in the somewhat confusing operating instructions. Belt height adjustment possible with the seat mounted.


The upper Isofix attachment point (top tether) causes the seat substructure to break, the unstable structure leads to Devaluation. The load values ​​would have been sufficient for a 'conditionally recommendable' rating without a break.

System failed !

Test result: Not recommended

Probability of serious injuries: low

Head: low

Neck: medium

Chest: low

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