2012 Ford Explorer: Kid Seat Compatible?
June 15, 2012
Don't use Recaro kid seats or boosters with the Explorer's trick new airbag-equipped seatbelts. That's what Recaro says, at least for now. They haven't tested the seats with the seatbelts yet. I did notice that it was very difficult to jam the much thicker seatbelt through the routing slots on the booster when I was buckling it into the seat for this photo (without a kid in it). Made me wonder how safe it was if I couldn't properly route the strap.
Ford's consumer page for the Explorer says that the new seatbelts are compatible with child safety seats, and there are a good number of child seat manufacturers who do recommend their seats with the inflatable seatbelts. This document from Safekids.org compiles many of the child seat manufacturers' positions on use of their seats with inflatable seatbelts. As with all child safety seat questions, it's important to read and follow the instructions in the seat's owners manual, or contact the manufacturer if you have further questions.
Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 15,800 miles