Child restraint systems –Accredited crash testing
VTI's crash safety laboratory has long and solid experience of testing child restraint systems, CRS, and was among the first in the world to start performing such.
Please note, we cannot comment on crash tests conducted by other laboratories. This is why we do not comment
VTI's involvement in the design of testing and its methods started in the 1960s. Since then, VTI has actively participated in the development of testing and crash safety for children in vehicles.
In 2021–2023, VTI made major investments like a new brake system, new test rig, and new crash dummies to be able to offer testing by UN ECE Regulation 129.
What we offer
Testing and E-approval
E-approval is European, and such mandatory testing and approval are governed by UN ECE Regulation 44 and UN ECE Regulation 129. UN ECE stands for the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
In Sweden, the Swedish Transport Agency issues the E-approval after testing at VTI. The approval will be valid in all countries that have accepted the regulations. E-approval is mandatory for all child restraint systems.
Plus Test is a voluntary supplementary test to the E-approval and is ordered by the CRS manufacturers, who want to demonstrate qualities in addition to those included in mandatory UN ECE Regulation 44 or UN ECE Regulation 129.
In a Plus Test, the speed increases to 56 km/h, and the stopping distance is reduced by about 100 mm. We also measure the forces that the child's neck exposes to in a frontal collision. A child restraint system that has passed the Plus Test gives the child a little extra safety and reduces the risk that the child traveling in it exposes to life-threatening high neck forces in a frontal collision.
The Plus Test has been developed in a collaboration between VTI, NTF (National Society for Road Safety), Folksam, SIS (Swedish Standards Institute), Volvo, and representatives of CRS manufacturers.
VTI's crash safety laboratory also conducts prototype testing of child restraint systems. The testing has many elements, including dynamic testing and component testing.
Now and then, the VTI crash lab do receive questions and comments about child restraint products tested at other locations than VTI. We are then urged to comment on crash test results or video sequences for which we do not know the full test setup prerequisite.
We often do not know the speed, the deceleration pulse, the installation mode, the weight of the dummy or even if the test is with a pre-production prototype or the final product.
Thus, we do refrain to comment on any such allegations of failures, which will only serve to make the public afraid of using proper protection child restraint.
We do acknowledge that if a child restraint seat does have the proper ECE Regulation 44 or Regulation 129 markings, the seat has been duly tested according to the ECE Regulation by an accredited laboratory.
Tests are run very strictly according to given rules of ECE R 129 regarding speed, deceleration pulse, installation procedure, dummy size and weight etc. The same rules are valid for all accredited test laboratories and forms the basis for acceptance and/or approval according to given standard.
Following the above, no further comments will be issued by VTI regarding tested products or tests run by other laboratories.
If the marking has a number E5, the tests are done by VTI in Sweden.
If no E5 marking, the test was done by another crash test service provider.
If the child restraint seat has the VTI Plus test marking, the seat has passed the ECE Regulation tests, and as well the additional Plus test procedure run by VTI. Any properly used and ECE-approved rearward facing child seats, preferably with the additional VTI Plus test label, will improve the chances of a positive outcome in the event of an accident.
If no such Plus test markings are attached to the child restraint seat, the seat is either not tested or may have failed the acceptance criteria for Plus test.
For the moment being, no forward-facing child restraint have yet passed the criteria for the Plus test and since the criteria are strict, it is expected that no forward-facing child restraint will pass the criteria. A successful Plus test will result in a permission to add the Plus test label on the child restraint, but no proprietary individual test results will be made public.
All Plus Test approved child restraint systems are presented on our website:
More questions and answers: FAQ Plus Test
New for UN ECE Regulation 129 is, among other things, that the length of the child determines which child restraint system (CRS) should be used in harmony with the recommended maximum weight. In the test, a side impact test and several advanced measurements in the crash dummy have been added.
The plus test is known to be one of the toughest voluntary tests available, and VTI wants to continue to live up to that. It occurred natural to update the test in connection with the introduction of the UN ECE R129 testing. The focus is on protecting the child's neck and the child restraint systems robustness. All to give the child extra safety in traffic.