Safety (at) last

Fi­nally our young ones get world’s best prac­tice car re­straints

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

AUS­TRALIAN chil­dren are fi­nally about to get world-class pro­tec­tion in cars.

But it could be a long time be­fore Aus­tralian-made cars rise to the global stan­dard for in-car pro­tec­tion, called Isofix.

Only the Holden Cruze is cur­rently com­pat­i­ble with Isofix and there are no con­crete plans to fit the nec­es­sary mounts to the Ford Fal­con and Ter­ri­tory or Toy­ota Camry and Au­rion.

Also, the Isofix sys­tem is not univer­sal and is not fit­ted to most older ve­hi­cles.

Leg­is­la­tion is be­ing fi­nalised at Stan­dards Australia to ap­prove Isofix child seats next year, al­low­ing them to be sold in Australia and fit­ted to the vast range of im­ported ve­hi­cles that al­ready have the nec­es­sary mount­ing points in the rear seat.

The ad­van­tage of the Isofix sys­tem is that it makes it much eas­ier to fit a baby cap­sule, child seat or booster.

They are clipped di­rectly to a pair of at­tach­ment mounts which are part of the ve­hi­cle’s ba­sic struc­ture. There are usu­ally two pairs of Isofix mounts, lo­cated at the base of the rear seat in the two out­board po­si­tions.

All three lo­cal mak­ers are sup­port­ers of the Isofix move, which comes more than 15 years af­ter Europe and a decade af­ter the US.

The pri­mary ad­van­tage of the sys­tem is that it makes cor­rect fit­ting of child seats far eas­ier than strap­ping them into a ve­hi­cle with an adult seat belt, even with the use of the top tether man­dated in Australia.

‘‘ Holden is very sup­port­ive of this tech­nol­ogy and is pleased that the leg­is­la­tion will be changed in the near fu­ture to sup­port Isofix in Australia,’’ says Holden en­gi­neer­ing man­ager in charge of ve­hi­cle struc­ture and safety in­te­gra­tion Stephen Cur­tis.

‘‘ The ma­jor­ity of Holden’s port­fo­lio is Isofix-com­pat­i­ble, with the ex­cep­tion of Com­modore, Ba­rina Spark and Cap­tiva.

‘‘ Holden’s en­gi­neer­ing team is work­ing hard to en­sure these three car lines are ISOFIX com­pat­i­ble as we in­tro­duce model up­dates to these ve­hi­cles.’’

Ford is also a strong sup­porter and fits the mounts in a wide range of its ve­hi­cles.

‘‘ Our Euro­pean-sourced ve­hi­cles are all Isofix ready and we are in­ves­ti­gat­ing its ap­pli­ca­tion across the other ve­hi­cles in our range,’’ says Neil Mcdon­ald of Ford Australia. ‘‘ We are look­ing into its ap­pli­ca­tion for our Aus­tralian-made ve­hi­cles.’’

The com­pany is a global booster for the scheme, but has no de­tail yet on Fal­con or Ter­ri­tory.

Toy­ota is also talk­ing pos­i­tively about Isofix.

‘‘ Toy­ota has wel­comed the re­cent re­vi­sion of Aus­tralian De­sign Rule 34 . . . which now more closely aligns with in­ter­na­tional stan­dards by in­clud­ing al­lowance for Isofix,’’ Toy­ota says.

Mar­ket leader: Holden’s Cruze shows the way on

child-safety re­straints

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