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VW and Audi Will Replace Upper Child Seat Tether Anchors

Volkswagen of America, Inc.Volkswagen of America, Inc. Offers Free Retrofits for Upper Child Seat Tether Anchors and Lower Child Restraint Anchors for Some Cars - Audi Brand Offers Both Upper Tether and Lower Child Restraint Anchors Retrofit for Nearly all of its Models

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Oct. 22 -- Volkswagen of America, Inc. and Audi of America, Inc. announced that they will retrofit many older model year Volkswagen and Audi vehicles, which are not factory equipped with modern upper child seat tether anchors, at no charge to the customer. The upper tether anchors, which can be used with today's more advanced child safety restraint seats, are required this coming model year by U.S. and Canadian regulations on all current production vehicles. When used properly, these upper tethers can reduce forward movement of the child restraint and help to make the child seat even more secure in case of a crash.

In an industry leading move, Volkswagen and Audi further announced a program for free-of-charge retrofit of lower anchors where possible. These anchors are now being phased into production pursuant to NHTSA regulation and provide a more secure and easy to use attachment for specially designed child safety seats without using the vehicle's safety belts.

The vehicles included in the free upper tether anchor retrofit program are all 1993 and newer Volkswagen and Audi models. People who own a 1993 or newer Volkswagen or Audi that does not have the upper tether anchors and who wish to install a child restraint equipped with a top tether attachment in their vehicle are welcome to visit or call their respective local dealers to schedule the retrofits. The tether anchors for all rear seating positions have been installed as standard equipment on passenger cars beginning with the 2000 model year.

The combination of the lower anchors and upper tethers is called the LATCH system (for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children). The lower anchor system is standard on all 1999 and newer Jettas, Golfs, GTIs, Cabrios, and New Beetles. Passat models built from the 1999 model year on do not have the lower anchors but are specially prepared to allow for easy retrofitting of the system. Currently, most Audi vehicles from model year 1999 to present can be retrofitted with the lower anchors at no cost.

Retrofitting the upper or lower anchors can be completed by an authorized dealer in most cases in less than an hour.

Audi and Volkswagen want all drivers to remember that the rear seat is the safest place for children. Children 12 years of age and younger should always be placed in the rear seat, properly restrained in a child seat or booster seat appropriate for their age and size. Children large enough to use the vehicle safety belts and all adults should always buckle up.