Avis is proud to be the first rental car company to adopt the LATCH system as its standard for child safety seat installation. We welcome inquires and questions from the press about our commitment to child passenger safety. Schedule an Interview or download pdf for LATCH Fact Sheet
What is LATCH?
The Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren system is designed to reduce the risks from improperly installed seats by creating a standardized "connectors into anchors" system for installing child safety seats. Installing a child restraint with LATCH means bypassing the vehicle's adult seatbelt system.
This new system is being phased in under the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 225. Effective September 1, 2002, all new vehicles and child safety seats must be manufactured with the new LATCH system. All new passenger motor vehicles will have at least some seating positions equipped with permanent top and bottom anchors and new child restraints will include connectors that hook or snap onto the vehicle fittings quickly and easily.
Lower anchors are already standard in most 2002 model year U.S. vehicles.
NHTSA estimates that the new LATCH system will eliminate as much as half
of the misuse associated with the improper installation of child safety seats.
Why Does LATCH Matter?
Avis stocks a set of standard, Evenflo® child safety and booster seats. However, until recently, mastering the installation of child restraints in the many makes and models of Avis vehicles was a monumental task.
Today, because so many of our vehicles already feature LATCH anchors, Avis can use one consistent process to install the Evenflo child restraints in any of our LATCH-ready vehicles. In fact, every one of the managers at Avis has been trained on proper LATCH installation.
That makes it easier for us to help you, and for you to re-install the restraints during your travels. *
*If you bring your own child restraint, Avis can provide a vehicle manual but our employees are not trained to help you install the restraint.
Avis' Approach to Child Restraints
Phase 1: Top Tether Straps
Thanks to new laws effective September 1999, almost all convertible and forward-facing child restraints now come with top tether straps. This extra tether strap and anchor further secure the child restraint, potentially reducing your child's forward head motion and lessening the possibility of injury in the event of a collision.
Since 1999, the U.S. Government has required automobile manufacturers to factory-install tether anchorages in new vehicles. Owners of many older vehicles, especially those built after 1989, can go to their dealer for a low-cost or free tether anchorage kit. Some vehicle manufacturers also offer free installation at the dealership. Check your vehicle owner's manual for details or call your vehicle manufacturer.
Avis provides top tether straps for use with all Avis forward-facing child restraints. However, top tether straps are not to be used with restraints that face the rear of the vehicle.
Phase 2: LATCH
The Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren system's goal is to reduce the risks from improperly installed seats by creating a standardized "connectors into anchors" system. Installing a child restraint with LATCH means bypassing the adult seatbelt system, saving time and reducing the potential for using the seatbelt incorrectly.
By September 1, 2002, all automobile manufacturers will be required to factory-install two sets of bars in the rear seat of all vehicles-at or just above the seat crease. Child restraints will be required to have a set of attachments that connect to the anchorage bars in the vehicle.
The new lower anchorage system is used by itself for all rear-facing infant and convertible child restraints used in the rear-facing position, and in combination with a top tether for all forward-facing child restraints. Booster seats are not affected by this new installation unless they are being used with their internal harness system as a restraint for children under 4 years old (approximately 40 pounds).
Why does Avis provide a LATCH Strap?
If you'd like us to assist with the installation of your seat, or you simply want to try the the new "Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children" (LATCH) system, Avis will provide an Evenflo Secure Right" LATCH Kit for easy, convenient child restraint installation. The kit is necessary to make the Avis-provided Evenflo seat "LATCH-ready." The kit installs in moments and also:
- Bypasses vehicle seat belts
- Promotes a tight and proper fit of child car seat
- Applies to rear- or forward-facing installation
- Can be used only with the Evenflo child restraints with built-in harness systems provided by Avis-and in vehicles equipped with lower anchors
If you'd like a LATCH kit for a child restraint that you use with your own vehicle equipped with LATCH lower anchors, contact your child restraint manufacturer to order one that is designed for your model.
All Avis locations stock foam levelers, another National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety standard, to help install seats securely.
What if the child safety seat is an older seat that isn't LATCH-equipped?
These seats must meet the same high standards and are safe if: they are installed according to the vehicle owner's manual and child safety seat manufacturer's instructions, haven't been recalled, and haven't been damaged. Child safety seats that don't have LATCH should be installed using seat belts, even in LATCH-equipped vehicles. Before installing an older child safety seat, refer to the manufacturer's instructions regarding how long the seat may be used.
What if a vehicle isn't LATCH-equipped?
Any child safety seat can be safely installed using a seat belt and, if available, a top tether, following the vehicle owner's manual and child safety seat manufacturer's instructions. If the vehicle doesn't have a top anchor, contact the manufacturer or dealership to see if it can be retrofitted. Remember, children are safest when properly restrained in the back seat.
For a child safety seat inspection by a certified technician, call 888-327-4236 or visit www.nhtsa.gov.
Back to the Avis Cares child passenger safety main page.