The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has revised its 2014 booster seat ratings, downgrading two seats in the process.
According to IIHS, the Eddie Bauer Deluxe Highback 65 and Safety 1st Summit 65 were wrongly awarded the BEST BET designation and should have been designated as Not Recommended. As a result, IIHS is advising consumers to not purchase those seats for use as boosters, although there are no problems using either of them with an internal harness.
Both affected seats are manufactured by Dorel Juvenile and the issue centers on the shoulder belt that crosses the child’s body at the middle of the shoulder. That belt is positioned too far forward and in that position, it is less effective in a crash.
The original booster rating only called for measuring the shoulder belt’s lateral position and didn’t take into account whether the shoulder belt was close enough to the dummy’s body. Both seats were accidentally evaluated using an old protocol that didn’t limit the distance allowed between a reference point on the dummy’s chest and the shoulder belt to one centimeter. IIHS did say that both seats can be used safely with the harness until the child reaches 65 pounds or 4 feet 1 inch.