After conversations with Honda Motor Corporation we found that the 2017 Honda CR-V is really a 4-passenger instead of 5-passenger vehicle.  Evidently  this design was intentional.
If you already have, or are shopping for a  2017 Honda CR-V, be aware that the rear seat belt buckle is fixed next to the center seat anchor buckle, making it nearly impossible to properly buckle 3-passengers in the back seat. Essentially it becomes a 2-seater vehicle in the back seat.
The 2017 Honda CR-V has the vehicle seat belt anchors switched in a way making it difficult to properly seat 3-passengers in the back seat.

Having one passenger buckled behind the front passenger is fine. However the center and left side passenger (behind driver) is the issue. When following the instructions, according to the vehicle owner's manual, and buckling passengers and/or installing a child restraint system in either of these two locations, becomes a problem because it clearly indicates to not have any seat belt get "caught on anything". Unfortunately because these two fixed buckles are located on the opposite side of each other, the seat belts catch on each other. Either with a passenger and even more difficult with a child restraint system (car seat or booster seat). 
Is this a manufacture defect or poor design on the 2017 Honda CR-V?
  1. The existing design configuration seems to conflict with the owner’s manual. Whereas it specifically indicates that the belt must not catch on anything, which is does catch on the left side seat belt.
  2. The existing configuration in the vehicle is also different than what is described by the image in the owner’s manual. In that the existing configuration has the left rear-passenger seat belt buckle fixed next to the center-position side buckle, but are located on opposite sides.  Causing the belts to cross over and catch on each other.  In the owner's manual, the image illustrated these are on opposite sides as well, however in the owner's manual image the center buckle is also fixed at a 45-degree angle, allowing the center belt to buckle over the left passenger seat belt without it catching on any other seat belt. It is unclear if this was done intentionally or if a manufacturer defect.

What does the owner's manual recommend?

1. SEAT BELT TO BE NOT CAUGHT ON ANYTHING

According to the owners manual, it specifically indicates to “Make sure that the belt is not twisted or caught on anything.” (See page-10 of the 2017 Honda CR-V owner's manual). However when the “Small latch plate” is fastened onto the “Anchor buckle”, the seat belt is caught on the left rear-passenger belt, when both are being used, as shown in this image.

2. IMAGE IN OWNER'S MANUAL DIFFERENT FROM EXISTING VEHICLE CONFIGURATION

The owner's manual
(See page-11 of the 2017 Honda CR-V owner's manual) has a image significantly different from that of what is in the vehicle, as shown in these images.
a). In the vehicle, the center “anchor buckle” is fixed in the vehicle, side-to-side, next to the left passenger seat belt buckle. In this case, the “small latch plate is attached to the “anchor buckle” and is buckled for the center position, the seat belt then catches onto the belt of the left passenger when both are used. This is shown in the two photographs below.
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Photo of existing configuration, Honda CR-V, 2017
b). While in the owner's manual the image shows that the "anchor buckle" is angled above the left passenger seat belt. In this case the center seat belt would simply be pulled over and above the left passenger seat belt buckle. This would allow for each belt to not get caught on each other.
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Photo credit: 2017 Honda CR-V Owner's Manual. Note: Image expanded for clarification purposes.

Be aware of this design

We have made this to attention at Honda dealerships, and to the Honda Corporation, but they informed us that this is the way it was designed, with no further details.  If this was designed as shown in the "edited" photo below 3-passengers could be seated while properly buckled. However with the existing configuration this is difficult. In addition for properly installing a child restraint system (car seat or booster seat), is  the choice of having a center or left passenger. Meaning that the back seat has two passengers, not three. Either way just be aware of this issue if you need a 5-passenger vehicle or having the back seats with child restraints.
This image is a photo of the existing 2017 Honda CR-V configuration of the center Anchor buckle and left passenger seat belt buckle. This illustrates how these are located on the opposite side making the vehicle seat belts catching on each other. Of which the Owner’s manual clearly specified to not have “anything catch” on the seat belt.
Image has been photo edited to illustrate how if existing center Anchor buckle and left passenger seat belt buckle were configured, then the back seat of the 2017 Honda CR-V could seat 3 passengers while buckled properly.


Have people noticed this problem?

Have people noticed this problem? Yes. From Honda customers to Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPST). The following are others who have noticed this problem.

 
 
NHTSA Child Restraint Recall Notice,:

1) Graco ComfortSport, model numbers 1813040 and 1794333;
2) Graco Ready Ride, model numbers 1924520 and 1924519; and
3) Graco Classic Ride, model number 1812930.

These include the above seats manufactured between March 1, 2014, and February 28, 2015.

The recall expected to begin February 22, 2016. Product owners may contact Graco at 1-800-345-4109. or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or visit www.safercar.gov.

More information on this recall.

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to sign up for child recall notices at safercar.gov



 
 
On September 22, 2015 Governor Brown signed a new law requiring children to be riding rear-facing in their car seat until the age of 2-years. The bill introduced by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, will go into effect on January 1, 2017. Even even though the new law will require children to be rear facing until 2-years of age, it is recommended and safest to keep your child rear-facing up until the maximum height or weight that is printed on the side of your child's car seat for maximum safety and protection. Once your child outgrows a rear-facing only car seat their next seat is a convertible car seat (most can also be used for newborns), where the child can ride rear-facing longer, up to the height or weight printed on the side of the car seat. 
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Under current California Law, children are required to be riding rear-facing until the age of 1-year. However child passenger safety advocates and educators have been providing best practice recommendations to parents to make sure they keep their child rear-facing up until the maximum height or weight, printed on the side of their car seat to reduce the risk of spinal cord and brain injury.

Most car seats are now being designed to a greater height and weight to accommodate children riding rear-facing longer. Even once a child is out of a rear-facing only infant car seat, the next stage of car seats which is the convertible seats are also designed to keep the child to be continued seated rear-facing. Many of these convertible car seats when rear-facing can range from 40, 45 and even up to 50 pounds.Baby growth charts modified for child passenger safety best practices illustrate that these upper weights can keep children rear-facing between 3-5 years of age. Keeping a child rear-facing longer helps to provide support to protect the child's head and neck during a collision.  A child that is restrained properly in a rear-facing seat helps to provide additional support to the child's posterior torso, neck, head and pelvis. In the event of a collision this helps to distribute the crash force over their entire body instead of the force being on the body at the five-point harness contact points.

Remember to keep your child rear-facing longer, up until the height or weight maximum that is printed on the side of your car seat to give your child more neck and head protection. Even further every time you move your child from rear-facing to forward-facing, to booster seat to seat belt you are giving your child less and less protection. Keep your child at each stage longer up until the maximum height or weight printed on the side of your child's car seat. 

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Pro Car Seat Safety, a division of Pro Consumer Safety released a "Best Practice Standard" to help remind parents that car seat manufacturers are designing car seats at a greater height and weight maximum so children can ride at each stage longer. Depending on the the car seat design, children can ride rear-facing to around kindergarten age. Of course this ranges between 3-5 years depending on the seat height and weight maximum and the child's size. The important thing for parents to understand is that car seats are going to a greater height and weight maximum so kids can ride in each stage longer. This helps to keep them safer by giving them the physical support they need to protect their neck and brain from injury during a car crash as seen in this video.
A WARNING TO PARENTS! 
When infants and toddlers are advanced to a forward-facing position too soon,  this increases their risk for neck and traumatic brain injury or death during a car crash. Keeping children rear-facing longer, according to the car seat height and weight recommendations, provides them with proper head and neck support. 
Parents are beginning to understand, but many still need to be reminded. It is all too often that some parents advance infants and toddlers from rear-facing to forward-facing too soon, increasing the child's risk of c-spine (neck) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Some also parents become confused between the law and recommendations from parents who had infants and toddlers several years back when car seats were not used like they can be today.

Some car seats  are now designed for rear-facing for children up to around 43 inches or 50 pounds. This is great news because children can now be seated in a rear-facing to three to even five years of age, depending on the height and weight of the seat and child. Therefore giving the child more support and protection during a collision. When I provide consultation to parents and make them aware of the increased height and weight in many rear-facing restraint systems, they often are surprised that their child can ride rear-facing to about kindergarten age, depending on the height and weight maximum and the child. While parents have specific milestones for infants and toddlers, when it comes to car seat seating positions, the new milestone is to be rear-facing (birth to 3-5 years) from birth to on average about kindergarten age (depending on the maximum weight and height of the car seat and child). Followed by forward-facing (3-5 to 6-7 years) school-aged, booster seats (6-7 to 10-12 years), then to seat belt use, after they pass the seat belt test, usually between 10-12 years of age.
Parents remember to check your child's car seat height and weight maximum to know how long your child can remain in the seat. Remember keeping them in each stage longer gives them more protection, keeping them safest during a car crash.
 
 
When a recreational vehicle (RV) is crash tested and illustrates how wooden benches and dinette seating can collapse during a crash, parents must understand these risks. Guidelines are available for parents to consider the best and safest alternative when transporting children and using an RV.  
Review these videos from Bailey Motor Homes. This company is located in the United Kingdom, but illustrates how vulnerable the inside of an RV can be, especially for those not crash tests.  Parents also view Guidelines for parents: Alternatives to consider while traveling with children in an RV.

 
 
At Pro Car Seat Safety, a division of Pro Consumer Safety, we often receive calls from parents asking about how to install a child restraint system (car seats) in a recreational vehicle (RV). Most parents are either planning a trip with a family member who owns an RV or are planning on renting an RV. They become quickly confused when they follow the RV owner's manual for child passenger safety or after rental company provides them with a copy of the State child passenger safety law. 

RV's can present a false sense of security, due to their size, quality and even the seat belts on the bench and dinette seats. Here are just a few things to be aware of:
    1. Seat belts in the rear benches and dinette seats do not need to meet Federal seat belt requirements and RV's are not crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
    2. Child safety restraint systems (car seats and booster seats) are NEVER be used in rear-facing or side-facing bench seating in any RV.
    3. During a collision, wooden benches and cabinets can collapse and break apart, and equipment and storage materials can become projectiles causing injury to passengers.

What would an RV crash look like?

To give you an idea of what the inside of an RV would look like during a crash, see this video crash test from Bailey Motor Homes. This manufacturer is located in the United Kingdom, but provides an excellent example.  
 

What options do you have to protect your child in an RV? 
Pro Consumer Safety and Pro Car Seat Safety has 1) developed guidelines for parents to help keep children safe as passengers when using an RV and 2) established an RV "baby proofing" list.
Guidelines for parents:
Best allternatives to consider
RV's & Child Passengers
File Size: 266 kb
File Type: pdf
Download File

Baby-Proof your RV: 
Practice "home safety" when on the road
Baby Proof Your RV
File Size: 404 kb
File Type: pdf
Download File


For more information visit http://www.procarseatsafety.com/recreation-vehicles-rv.html  or call 323-491-6197
 
 
Children and hot cars don't mix! Pro Consumer Safety provides guidelines for prevention and educational material to help prevent these 100% preventable deaths. On average nearly every week in the United States a child under the age of two dies of hyperthermia from  being left alone in a motor vehicle.  

In over half of these confirmed deaths, the parent forgot their child was in the car. This is usually from a change of routine.  In 29% of cases the child was playing in an unlocked vehicle then got locked in, and 19% of cases the parent left the child for a moment then got distracted and forgot their child. Parents and caregivers need to understand that the body of a baby can heat up 3-5 times faster than that of an adult. As a result children should NEVER be left alone in a motor vehicle.

Pro Consumer Safety urges parents, caregivers and other adults to practice the following guidelines to help keep children safe:
  1. Never leave  child alone in a motor  vehicle, not even for a minute  (in 19 states it is illegal to leave a child alone in a motor vehicle. See link to laws below). Take your child with you first before leaving your car. 
  2. Leave Reminders: After you buckle your child up in their appropriate child safety restraint, leave reminders on the back floor next to your child, such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone (something needed at your final destination). This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine such as a different parent taking the baby to day care. Also request that your day care provider or babysitter call you anytime the baby does not show up. This prevents forgetfulness during a change in routine.
  3. Lock Your Car: Keep your car locked when you’re not in it so children are unable to climb in on their own.
  4. Call 911: If you see a child alone in a motor vehicle, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.

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Educational Material (click above to download)
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FACT SHEET (click above to download)

For more information or media advisory contact Pro Consumer Safety
323-491-6197
 
 
It is recommended to have your infant car seat installed in your vehicle at 32 weeks (8th month). However it is all too often that time runs out and before you know it you are within days of delivery and your car seat has yet to be installed and has been installed but still needs to be checked by a certified technician. 

As a service of Pro Consumer Safety, Pro Car Seat Safety provides a mobile service in the Los Angeles county area to install your car seat and educate you so you know how to not only install it correctly, but fasten your child appropriately and know how to remove and re-install it correctly when needed. But we also provide an emergency service to install and educate you on your car seat. Just give us a call and we can come to you usually within hours of your call, whether at your home or even in some cases at the hospital (however because not all seats fit in every vehicle it is best not to wait until you are at the hospital, but if that is the case we will do our best and provide you with appropriate recommendations).

Pro Car Seat Safety is here when you need, anytime or for emergency purposes, because having your car seat installed correctly, knowing how to install and use it properly is one of the most important things you can have ready for your new baby. 

Give us a all at 323-491-6197
It is true that most car seats are not installed or are being used correctly. Have your seat checked by a certified technician to make sure your baby is riding safe from the start!