2009 IIHS Booster Ratings Released
The IIHS tested 60 models, finding that 11 boosters aren't recommended at all because they do such a poor job of fitting the belt. The models which received none of the three ratings can provide good protection for some kids in some vehicles, but not in as many cases as top-rated boosters.
According to the Institute, a good booster routes the lap belt flat across a child's upper thighs and positions the shoulder belt at midshoulder. The test, introduced last year, found the following boosters as being Best Bets: Combi Dakota backless with clip, Recaro Young Sport highback, Recaro Vivo highback, Maxi-Cosi Rodi XR dual-use highback, Evenflo Big Kid Amp backless with clip, Eddie Bauer Auto Booster dual-use highback, Cosco Juvenile Pronto dual-use highback, Britax Frontier highback and Clek Oobr dual-use highback.
Good Bets are the Combi Kobuk dual-use backless with shoulder belt clip, Maxi-Cosi Rodi dual-use highback, Evenflo Symphony 65 3-in-1, Britax Parkway SG dual-use highback, Graco TurboBooster SafeSeat Wander dual-use highback, and Graco TurboBooster SafeSeat Sachi dual-use highback.
As said, IIHS found 11 models not to be adequate: Alpha Omega, Alpha Omega Elite, Alpha Omega Luxe Echelon, Combi Kobuk, Eddie Bauer Deluxe, Eddie Bauer Deluxe 3-in-1, Evenflo Express , Evenflo Sightseer, Harmony Secure Comfort Deluxe(backless with clip, Safety 1st All-in-One and Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite.
The tests were carried out using a specially outfitted crash test dummy representing an average-size 6-year-old child. Engineers measured how 3-point lap and shoulder belts fit the dummy in each of the 60 boosters under 4 conditions spanning the range of safety belt configurations in vehicle models. Each of the models got 4 measurements for lap belt fit and 4 measurements for shoulder belt fit.
The new ratings were also applied to Dorel Juvenile Group products, who recently came under the spotlight due to the 77 reports of the child restraint handle fully or partially coming off the car seat/carrier. According to IIHS, Dorel makes no less than 7 of the boosters that aren't recommended (Cosco, Dorel, Eddie Bauer, Maxi-Cosi, and Safety 1st). On the other hand, Dorel has 3 Best Bets and 1 Good Bet.