I've always meant to bring in our van to have our car seat installation checked by a professional. Never got to it. Guess I should have.
We've had our Toyota Sienna (7 passenger) since February 2007. And we started using our rear seat in September 2009 after Clara was born.
Since then, Kevin and I have complained about the location of the "car seat tethers" for the rear seat. They got in the way of our cargo space, and made it difficult to store certain items. We really started complaining once we had two of the kids sitting in the rear of the van.
In the last few weeks, Kevin and I have been discussing new car seats. Callum and Clara both need them, and ideally, we'd love the option to place three across the back in the rear. I did some research and came to find out that our car seats were tethered in the wrong location. We were using the cargo holds to attach our car seats, not the car seat tethers. When I learned this, I was in disbelief. After all this time, we had though our car seats were safely installed. We guessed wrong. I am so thankful that nothing happened and we were never in any sort of car accident during this time.
|The Cargo hold latch that I thought was the car seat tether|
The first thing I did yesterday was fix the car seats. I had to install Mairead and Lilah's car seat right next to each other - which should really bode well for being able to annoy the hell out of one another. I don't understand why Toyota didn't install three LATCH or Tethers in the rear, or put the two LATCH on either ends, not one right next to the other! It makes for a very difficult installation, and a lot of potential headaches for the adults having to listen to the fighting!
|Current installation with the correct tethers - see the flap!?|
I definitely wanted to share this information for you because the tethers on this Toyota Sienna were NOT in an obvious spot. You have to lift a flap up and even then, the anchors are not obvious unless you are looking for it. So, don't be like me, take your car seats to get checked - many police stations or fire stations will do it.
Shame on Toyota for making this family swagger so difficult for installing car seats, especially for larger families!