Child Car Seat Resources For Vehicles With Inflatable Seatbelts

Ford and Mercedes-Benz vehicles offer an optional inflatable seat belt for rear outward passengers. This unique safety feature presents challenges when installing a child car seat. Let’s see where to locate information.

To locate OEM information pertaining to child car seats and rear passenger seat belt inflators the owner's manual is a great place to start. Model specific owner manuals can be found:

Inflatable seat belts are not compatible with all car seats. It is recommended to refer to the car seat manufacturer to confirm your specific car seat is compatible. The car seat manufacturer may have recommendations on acceptable ways to install the car seat.

As an example, per the 2017 Ford Explorer owner manual:

  • "Unlike the standard seatbelt, the inflatable seatbelt's unique lap portion locks the child restraint for installation. The ability for the shoulder portion of the belt to move freely is normal, even after the lap belt has been put into the automatic locking mode."
  • "We recommend checking with a NHTSA Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician to make certain the child restraint is properly installed."

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTSA) provides great resources for car seat safety. This includes:

  • Locating NHTSA Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians
  • Checking car seat recall
  • General installation guides per car seat type
  • Car seat use after a crash
  • Glossary of terms

To locate this information:

  1. Go to
  2. Click Vehicle Safety (top right of webpage)
  3. Click Car Seats And Booster Seats

Properly installed child car seats are critical to the protection of small children in a collision. Seeking a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician for an inspection or help with installation is recommended.

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