Sunday 11 December 2016

Child-seats, wheelchair vehicles, V for Zlatan

Shortcuts with Eddie

Published 01/06/2016 | 02:30

A rearward-facing seat is good up to the age of at least three years.
A rearward-facing seat is good up to the age of at least three years.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the V90 Volvo marketing campaign.
The Audi Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI quattro goes on sale here shortly.

So much attention is paid to technological safety that ordinary basic elements can be overlooked.

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Child seats happen to be a prime example. It is reckoned that a huge percentage of child seats are not suitable for the occupant or improperly fitted.

This is a good time to raise the topic again as Volvo (which actively tested child seats in crash tests back in the early 1960s) unveils three new models.

"We understand that many people find child safety in cars a complex and sometimes confusing subject." That is the succinct summary from (the not-so succinctly titled) Lotta Jakobsson, Adjunct Professor, PhD and Senior Technical Leader, Injury Prevention at Volvo Cars Safety Centre.

But Lotta makes the point: Teaching adults how to install and operate a child seat is one thing, getting the child to stay in the seat is another entirely - especially as they grow older.

Lotta says that, depending on size and age, a rearward-facing seat is good up to the age of at least three years.

After that the youngster can be accommodated with a child seat or booster cushion until they are 140cm tall.

"Too many parents unwittingly allow their children to sit forward-facing too early." The new seats are for infants (rearward-facing, up to 13kg or nine months); child seat (rearward-facing from nine months to six years); booster seat (forward-facing from three to 10).

* Still on Volvo: I see they will use football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic (the one big threat in Ireland's Euros game against Sweden) for their V90 marketing campaign. I wonder how that will go down here if he scores the winner and helps knock us out.

* The Audi Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI quattro goes on sale here shortly. The first plug-in hybrid in the Q series it will cost from €84,475 OTR. They expect first deliveries in July.

They claim up to 56km on electric power alone. There is a massive 373hp of system power and 700 Nm of torque but, again they claim, it consumes just 1.8 litres of diesel every 100km.

* We wish all the best to those involved with the first wheelchair accessible executive mini-coach here. Ryan Tubridy, along with Stephen Cluskey and Graham Merrigan, rolled out the vehicle and its facilities.

Owned by DC Chauffeur Drive, the vehicle can carry two wheelchair passengers and six others. Graham Merrigan, born with spina bifida, is a basketball player and hopes to make it on Ireland's team for the Rio Paralympics.

Stephen Cluskey, paralysed from the neck down at a young age, set the rugby players' transport challenge, which was broadcast last year on TV3.

Brian Curtin of DC Chauffeur Drive says he noticed wheelchair users were not being catered for in the luxury end of the market and that some wheelchair accessible vehicles could not be used for more than one person at a time. Safe travel.

* Six Hyundai Tucsons have been added to the GoCar range. The fleet already has a Hyundai i20 and i30. GoCar has more than 5,000 members and is fast approaching 20,000 trips.

Indo Motoring

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