Ford to Provide Free Installation Of Child Safety Seat Tether Anchors
15 February 2000Ford Motor Company to Provide Free Installation Of Child Safety Seat Tether Anchors
CHICAGO, Feb. 15 -- Ford Motor Company will begin providing free installation of top tether anchors in vehicles for use with child safety seats beginning immediately. Owners of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles from the 1989 model year through current model year production will be able to receive the installation by contacting their local dealership. Top tethers attached from the child safety seat to the vehicle improve forward-facing child seat performance in crashes by limiting the forward motion of the seat. The upper portion of child safety seats are attached to an anchor point by a special tether strap, available through child safety seat manufacturers. The anchor points are located on the rear side of the back seat, in the rear filler panel, on the floor, or in the roof, depending on the vehicle. "Occupant safety, especially for children, has always been a primary concern for Ford," said Helen Petrauskas, vice president of Environmental & Safety Engineering. "Free installation of top tether anchors will further improve parents' and other caretakers' abilities to securely attach child safety seats." The U.S. government will require top tether attachments be placed in all vehicles beginning in the 2001 model year. Child safety seat manufacturers were required to equip all forward facing seats with top tether straps beginning in September 1999. This action has also resulted in increased customer demand for the vehicle anchors. Ford Motor Company was the first automaker to offer built-in tether anchors in the 1986 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable station wagons. For the 2000 model year, nearly all Ford, Lincoln and Mercury cars, as well as the Ford Windstar and Mercury Villager minivans and the Econoline van are equipped with top tether anchors. In a related area, new federal regulations will require lower attachment hardware on all vehicles and child safety seats manufactured for the 2003 model year. This system, called LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) uses rigid, metal-anchoring points in the vehicle seat bight (where the seat back and cushion meet). The child safety seat is connected directly to the metal anchor points in the rear seat of the vehicle. This system provides for a secure and easy installation of the child car seat. Ford Motor Company is among the first automakers to produce vehicles with the lower anchors. They can be found in both the Ford Windstar minivan and Ford Focus.