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Child in Roadster

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by Vip, Jul 10, 2014.

  1. Vip

    Vip Member

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    Looking to buy a Roadster to add to my Model S. I am trying to convince my wife. She has concern about driving around our 7 year old child in the front seat of the Roadster.
    Anyone here that can help with any information or experience?
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #2 wiztecy, Jul 10, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
  3. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    Link: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/about/leg/newleg.htm

    If your son is over 4' 9", then it's OK in CA - or you may want to wait a year. Since Roadster has no back seats it will be legal for him to ride - but you and your wife need to decide how safe that is. On the Lotus forums, some people have installed airbag switches, which then enables a narrow car/booster seat to be used.
     
  4. Jackyche

    Jackyche Member

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    Maybe I read that wrong but in summary:

    a)8 years old OR 4'-9" --> just sit there
    b)under 8 and 4'-9" --> need booster/car seat
    c)under 20 pounds OR needing rear facing seat --> a no-no (unless you disable airbag)

    So I don't see why you'd have to install a switch just to use the booster seat.
     
  5. supersnoop

    supersnoop Tesla Roadster #334

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    The manual specifically says that children under 12 should not ride in the car. My daughter is 11, so I'm legal, but not recommended.
     
  6. strider

    strider Active Member

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    The reason for that 12-year-old reco is because it does not have an advanced airbag (with a weight sensor that adjusts airbag power based on weight on seat). That's also a primary reason that production was ended but that's another thread.

    So if you disable the airbag via a switch then you only have to worry about your local state requirements. I've been meaning to look into adding a switch so I could take my son along when necessary and not have to fire up the Jeep. My son is a few months away from moving to a booster so this will move up my priority list soon.
     
  7. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    The safety issue is related to hitting the airbag before it's fully deployed. The typical recommendation there is that the child is at least 10" from the airbag. In Roadster without a child/booster seat, that's easy. Even easy to get double that distance. With child/booster seats, however, the child can be sitting too close.
     
  8. GSP

    GSP Member

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    This is a very important point. The older "full power only" airbags can be very dangerous for children and even very small adults.

    Parents need to understand this well so that they understand the risk and can protect their child.

    GSP
     
  9. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    I installed the airbag switch in my Roadster. You need to get a form from the NHTSA and take it to an approved airbag shop.
    My son, who is now 8 and half has been riding in it regularly for almost 4 years.
    Before I bought the Roadster I made sure this was possible, because I wanted to be able to use it to take him to and from school.
    First I had him in this booster: Young Sport - RECARO Child Seat - Group I,II,III
    Now he just uses a regular backless booster seat.
    ( The Roadster seat is narrow, you need to test fit the booster seats to find one that works )

    There is no way I would ever let him in a Roadster without the airbag switch.
     
  10. strider

    strider Active Member

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  11. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    The OP doesn't say where he lives but I think most (all?) states (like California mentioned up-thread) simply require the same precautions as if your child was sitting in the rear seats.

    My daughter was 7 when I first got the Roadster and always used a booster seat until she was tall/heavy enough to go without. Now at almost 11 she stills loves it. The biggest problem was finding a booster seat which would fit in the trunk when not in use; I ended up with a BubbleBum which stored nice and small in the trunk.
     
  12. Vip

    Vip Member

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    Nigel, thanks for your experience info. I am located in Ohio. Not sure about the laws here which I will have to look up. My son is turning 7 next month but he is a tiny guy (36 lbs). Like the BubbleBum idea. Did you get an airbag switch installed to turn off the passenger airbag?
     
  13. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    That's probably actually the one I have. I got it 5 years ago, my memory is terrible. I just googled "Recaro Young Sport" and pasted the link.
     
  14. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    No, but my daughter was/is a good 28" away from the airbag compartment.

    You're right although I do note that the booster seat raised my daughter up but not forwards; given the slope of the seats it was actually moving her slightly away from the airbag compartment.
     
  15. spaceballs

    spaceballs Member

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    Just in case anyone encounters this.

    I had an airbag service switch installed by a local company (NHTSA recommended per their paperwork), and they were not able to get the airbag light to turn off during their testing/verification steps. They had no issues with this on 1.5 roadsters, but on my 2.0 it wouldn't work with their tools (they updated the latest firmware, etc.) So after the switch was installed, I drove a few blocks to the local SC and told them what happened, and they where great about resetting the light!
     
  16. m0rph

    m0rph Member

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    My son is just over 4ft. I use just the sitting part that I took out of his BMW Junior seat. It fits perfectly!

    childseat.jpg
     

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