ADAC is an automobile club in Germany, founded on May 24, 1903, as German motor biker’s association, and renamed the General German Automobile Club (ADAC) its present name in 1911. With more than 18 million members in May 2012, it is the largest automobile club in Europe.
It is fundamentally a vehicle insurance company that is involved in the promotion of safety and product testing. One such product is Children’s Car Seats.
Car Seat Testing
ADAC cannot test all seats, they are preselected on the basis of popularity, volume of sales and novelties, an example may be a seat that swivels or is filled with air (blown up)!
Seats are fundamentally tested to the appropriate ECE R44 or ECER129 Regulations. (ADAC tests above the regulation requirements e.g. Frontal crash requirements of the Regulation is 50km/h.)
Since 2015 ADAC have used the body of a Golf V11 mounted on the test carriage. The test simulates a frontal collision of 64 km/h for the R44 Regulation and additionally, side impact at 50km/h simulating the penetration of the door as required in regulation R129.
The performance of the seat or load values, are determined using different sized dummies in the upright and reclined positions (if available).
Static tests, monitor the stability of the seat, the harness and seat belt routing, size adjustment and the headrest.
Since 2011 ADAC has measured the ergonomics of the seat, for space seating position and the space taken in the vehicle. To achieve this they use both two and four door vehicles, and a van.
Seat are also checked for pollutants, chemicals in the cover, dyes and heavy metals are evaluated and tested.
You will notice on our product pages that we will include ADAC scoring on those seats that have been tested. They look like the below image.
Which is the brand name of the Consumers Association, it was formed in 1957. They have been testing seats since 1967.
It selects products for testing anonymously from retailers. It uses independent laboratories and test houses to carry out the tests on its behalf. The seats are tested to outperform the requirements of the regulations.
Each seat is assessed for comfort and all aspects of its ergonomics.
A key factor that they consider is the clarity of instructions and ease of fitting, both the seat to the car and child to the seat.
They publish their results on a ‘Best Buy’ to ‘Do not Buy’, which reflects their findings.
Stiftung Warentest is a foundation established in 1964 by the German federal parliament with the aim of helping consumers by providing impartial and objective information based on the results of comparative investigations of goods and services.
They purchase car seats anonymously from retailers, and make ‘covert use of services’. They use independent test houses and test to their specifications.
They publish their verdict ranging from ‘very good’ to ‘unsatisfactory’ which is ‘based solely on objective results’.