A few days ago I promised you the second part of the RACE response to the request of thousands of parents to clarify what is happening with the chairs with front shield (link here).
As you can see the answer is being divided into several 'posts' since it is something of great interest and we do not want to leave anything unanswered.
In this case I want to send you the text of the email that accompanied the reply. We want to share it with you since I think it is a reply addressed to everyone. So that it does not become eternal and since we have already done many points in the previous post, let's get straight to the point. (You will always find its text in italics).
FIRST PART (Body of the mail):
'Good afternoon,I enclose the answer We have prepared on the comments posted on the safety of children in the car. Above all, I would like to highlight the following:– There is no commercial interest behind the test results. Absolutely none. The evaluation depends exclusively on the tests and analyzes carried out by European automobile clubs and consumers. We have said this as active and passive, and we believe that it should be made clear once and for all. ' RACE
- A few years ago (2011- 2012-2013) we could find photos where the RACE recommends cybex, only the cybex logo appears in its test lane and only a Cybex advertisement appears in its exhibition:
- Entering youtube and putting 'RACE recommends CYBEX' we can find videos like East (where you can see the 'RACE recommends Cybex' logo) and East (All the chairs that appear are Cybex).
- In 2011-2012 we could read several posts like this where there is talk of an agreement with Cybex (at which point Cybex chairs started to win): (…) Cybex is a young brand, what does it do to make its products known to consumers? You are right, Cybex is a very young brand that has made a name for itself in the market very quickly, and our marketing team has done an incredible job in this regard. On the one hand, we attend all the consumer fairs that are held and in this way we present our products directly to the end customer. On the other hand, we collaborate very actively in the magazines of the sector, providing very interesting information for consumers. And on the other hand, we hold conferences on child safety for both consumers and retailers. Our sales team also place a lot of emphasis on training in stores, our product is technical and needs a good explanation, which sellers are very grateful for. Finally, our agreement with the RACE under which CYBEX promotes child safety in the car also It has helped us to publicize the brand in Spain(¿?¿?¿?¿?)
- And coincidentally, at that time, we could see that there was 'controversy' in this case: (…) As can be seen in the 2013 Children's Chairs Comparison that appears on the RACE website, and that we reproduce along these lines, the analysis of the 103 models –in the reports that go from 2011 to 2013– it has a sixth column, titled 'RACE Store'. In that column the icon of a shopping cart is included in certain models. An icon that, when pressed, leads to the RACE Online Store, and allows the user to directly purchase that seat. So far, everything normal. The problem is that the mentioned icon appears, specifically, in nine of the 103 seats that are analyzed in the table. A very low percentage. Another curiosity: the nine seats available in the RACE store are from the same brand, Cybex. And a third: the nine seats have obtained the same rating in the analysis: 'satisfactory'. Logical on the other hand, since it would be very striking if RACE sold seats in their store that had obtained a simple approval or, worse, a suspense. The fact is that this redirection of the users to the Online Store so that they buy the Cybex seats forces to investigate the relationship that exists between the company and the RACE. By surfing the Net, you can find numerous examples of this collaboration: reports made jointly or express recommendations by RACE towards Cybex products. Obviously, nothing prevents both of them from collaborating. But, for RACE's credibility, the report seems suspiciously favorable to products from a particular brand. " Some time later this 'cart' disappeared.
All this (although we had not mentioned it because we focused exclusively on the technical part) makes us doubt even more. Why is it the only recommended brand? Why is it the only brand with which an 'information dissemination' agreement is established? Isn't this an agreement that brings publicity to Cybex (How well does the same brand express in the interview)? Why was there that 'shopping cart' with Cybex chairs and no other?
'- In the attached document it will look like there is no set limit for shields. So, The 1.5 bar has been considered to establish a penalty in the final grade, even when there is no agreed rule. Once again, we include a criterion even when there is no consensus, as we did years ago with the lateral crash test, when it was not mandatory, and which, however, is now one of the tests that must be passed for the i-homologation. Size. ' RACE
As you will have read in the attached studies in the post we dedicated to this expressly, yes there is a consensus although at the moment it is not published:
- In 2012 Philippe Beillas developed an investigation on abdominal pressure in child dummies (CASPER, 'Child Advanced Safety Project for European Roads' by P. Beillas in 2012). Beillas in this document is already starting to recommend that abdominal pressure should not exceed 1.2 bar. Here the suspicion begins. But since some people are still determined that these studies are old, because they are from 2012, I will tell you more.
- In April 2016, a few months ago, a project was presented (Recommendations for setting dummy injury thresholds for regulation 129 Phase 2 regarding chest & abdomen loading) at that a series of recommendations were requested in order to approve the new regulation of homologation R 129 (known as the new I-SIZE regulation). On page 4 you can already clearly see what the requests were: Validate the proposed injury criteria below 1.2 bars.
- In the project 'ANALYSIS OF THE PERFORMANCE OF DIFFERENT ARCHITECTURES OF
FORWARD FACING CRS WITH INTEGRAL RESTRAINT SYSTEM 'by Heiko Johannsen, Philippe Beillas and Philippe Lesire We find these two tables where we can also check as one of the requests (Table 1. on page 4) is that limit pressure to 1.13 bars.
- PUBLICATION OF THE NEW REGULATION 129, known as the new 'I-SIZE' approval (May 2016) - link here In case you have any doubt about the pressure limitations in this document, definitive of the new homologation 129, we can find that YES The limitation is approved at 1, 2 bars for Q1.5 dummies and 1 bar for Q3 dummies.
3.- WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT HARNESS / SHIELD PRESSURE
'- We have seen that it was considered an increased risk in shield chairs. In this sense, the pressure criteria between harnesses / belts versus shields cannot be compared.. We explain it in the document. ' RACE
to be very limited as the contact to pelvic bone and rib cage prevent the belt from penetration into the abdomen. Because they are rigid and stop lower than the shoulders (Figure 1), shield systems are expected to interact very differently with the child. They could mainly load ribcage and abdomen [Mizuno, 2007]. In principle it is possible to design them in way that they are also loading the pelvic bone in order to prevent abdominal loading but this does not always seem to be the case [Tanaka, 2009]. There are no geometrical requirements for shield systems
defined and they are assessed based on their dynamic performance. However, the body regions that should receive special attention for shield systems (chest and abdomen) are not adequately
observed. Due to the main loading to the lower rib cage and the abdomen - ie regions that are not very stable or able to sustain large loads - thoracic and abdominal injury risk could be expected to be higher than with harness systems. However, despite the very different working biomechanical principles, there is only limited data supporting the use of a particular architecture or demonstrating its adverse effects. The objective of this study is to provide an overview of evaluation procedures and past results, recent observations from the field and new testing that could be relevant for the assessment of shield systems and 5-point harnesses. While the review is not exhaustive, it is hoped that it can provide material for the discussion on the respective performances, risks and possible benefits of the two systems and highlight future research needs in this area (..) '
'- Finally, the RACE He has been working to improve child safety for many years, NEVER responding to any commercial interest. We do not play with the lives of children, as we have read on some occasion, nor do we have hidden interests. If someone says it, show it. These accusations must stop now, or be defended in other instances. It's not worth everything when it comes to criticizing us. When there are doubts or procedural questions, such as the ones you sent us, we try to give precise answers, but insults as serious as those we have had to read cannot be accepted.. I hope you understand.By last, we are absolutely at your disposal for everything we can help, even in a meeting if you consider it appropriate, where to put all these issues together. We will be delighted. And of course, you can count on us for everything we can be of help, especially if it is the safety of the little ones. ' RACE
And now only the PDF document that accompanied this mail is missing. Again, not to overload with information, we will present it in a new post (part III). We believe that this is very important, dense information and therefore we prefer that everything be understood perfectly.