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    Thread: LATCH / ISOFIX Child Seat Fixtures and Mounting Hooks

    1. Member copernicus0001's Avatar
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      11-30-2004 11:57 AM #1
      I noticed in a couple of the Phaetons I have driven that there are 2 black rectangular plastic things loose in the center compartment. Does anyone know what these are for?? They look like extra parts or plugs to fill holes or something like that....

      Thank you!


    2. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      11-30-2004 06:08 PM #2
      Original Title of thread was "A question from a new owner" - thread title changed by Michael for archival purposes.

      Do the objects you refer to look like what is in the first photo below?

      If so, this is a guide fixture for mounting an ISOFIX (European nomenclature, means International Standards Organization - Fixture) or LATCH (North American nomenclature, means Lower Anchor Tether Child Seat) design child seat.

      All passenger vehicles manufactured since about 1999 have been equipped with hooks in the rear outboard seating positions to allow an ISOFIX or LATCH child seat to be attached to the vehicle. The guide fixtures are provided by Volkswagen as a courtesy, and are supposed to serve two purposes: 1) Make it easier for the person installing the child seat to locate the mounting hooks, and 2) Protect the upholstery of the vehicle in the vicinity of the mounting hooks. The guide fixtures are not part of the ISOFIX or LATCH standard, but the little buttons that are attached to the base of the rear seatback, indicating the location of the mounting hooks, are part of the standard.

      These guide fixtures work very well on all VW products except the Phaeton. I had an Volkswagen brand ISOFIX child seat (purchased in Switzerland) that I used occasionally in my 2002 Golf when I was transporting my 4 year old niece. I tried installing the guide fixtures on the Phaeton, and found that the seats of the Phaeton were too heavily upholstered to accept the guide fixtures without risk of damaging (deforming) the leather seat surfaces. The actual child seat will slide into the mounting hooks on the Phaeton without any difficulty, though.

      My suggestion is that you use a normal (meaning, restrained by the seat belt) child seat only in a Phaeton.

      Guide Fixture for ISOFIX / LATCH Child Seat mounting hook

      Buttons on rear seat backrest identifying location of ISOFIX / LATCH Child Seat mounting hooks

      ISOFIX / LATCH mounting hook

      ISOFIX / LATCH mounting hook on Golf IV

      Guide Fixture installed on ISOFIX / LATCH mounting hook (again, on a Golf IV, with thinly padded fabric seats)
      <

      diagram from owner manual explaining how to mount the guide fixture
      The guide fixture is optional, the child seat will install and hook into place without the guide fixtures. They are not provided in Europe or Canada, only in the USA.

      Last edited by PanEuropean; 09-30-2012 at 05:45 AM.

    3. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      11-30-2004 06:17 PM #3
      I suppose I should finish this story off...

      Here's what an ISOFIX, or LATCH, child seat looks like. I took these pictures a few years ago, the vehicle is a Golf IV.

      Seat with mounting bracket retracted

      Child Seat with mounting bracket extended, ready to shove into guide fixtures (and eventually into the mounting hooks)

      Child Seat lined up and ready to be inserted into guide fixtures

      Last edited by PanEuropean; 09-30-2012 at 05:47 AM.

    4. Member PassaTT's Avatar
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      11-30-2004 06:54 PM #4
      Michael, I will add my opinion to this that I found the Latch system to work just fine on my Phaeton with a rear-facing infant carrier in the center position. This carrier is the type that the base installs in the car and the infant carrier snaps in and out so you don't have to wake the baby upon entry and egress. The base uses straps with Latch hooks rather than the vertical jaws that your pictures shows on the toddler seat so the upholtery is not at all deformed.
      I have some time yet before I need to experiment with a bigger seat so no comment on your specific comments on the bigger seats.


      Modified by PassaTT at 3:57 PM 11-30-2004

    5. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      12-01-2004 01:56 PM #5
      Interesting point, thank you for mentioning that. I did not consider putting the child seat in the middle position. But now that you mention that, it makes a great deal of sense - it leaves the two outboard seats free.

      In fact, I was not even aware that there were ISOFIX / LATCH points available at the middle seating position. Are there 6 mounting points altogether (2 at each rear seat position), or, do you use the inboard mounting point only from the left and right outboard seat if you want to put a child seat in the middle?

      Michael


    6. Member PassaTT's Avatar
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      12-02-2004 05:00 PM #6
      Quote, originally posted by PanEuropean »

      In fact, I was not even aware that there were ISOFIX / LATCH points available at the middle seating position. Are there 6 mounting points altogether (2 at each rear seat position), or, do you use the inboard mounting point only from the left and right outboard seat if you want to put a child seat in the middle?

      Michael

      I used the inboard mounting points from either side and they seem to work fine. The only issue with that setup is that the outboard passengers have some belting to navigate around when socketing their seatbelts. Once socketed, they do not interfere with each other. My oldest (eight) has no problem with this, my youngest (five) needs an assist. Small price to pay to have the newborn in the center position, away from all the airbags.


    7. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      12-03-2004 04:21 PM #7
      Quote, originally posted by PassaTT »
      I used the inboard mounting points from either side and they seem to work fine.

      That is a really clever idea of yours. I did not know that the mounting points were designed in such a way that the spacing between the two inboard ones is the same as the spacing between each outboard/inboard pair.

      It wasn't like that on my Golf - but, I guess, the Golf just wasn't wide enough to allow VW to do that.

      Michael


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      12-03-2004 07:08 PM #8
      Well, IIRC, the spacing is a bit WIDER in the center than from the sides but because the system uses adjustable belts, it works just fine and MUCH better than using the center position shoulder belt.
      When it comes time to using a bigger seat, I'll have to see what the options are. Since this is the 1st car with LATCH points that I've actually used, I'm a neophyte; but for now, it works great

    9. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      12-03-2004 07:46 PM #9
      The kids seem to like the ISOFIX technology as well.

      My niece told me (when she was 4 years old) that the new car seat - the ISOFIX one - didn't "make her sick". I couldn't figure that out at first, but a few months later, in another conversation, it became clear to me that what she meant was that her car seat didn't bounce up and down on the upholstered surface of the rear bench seat when it was attached to the frame of the car with the ISOFIX connectors.

      Sounds good to me - I'll do anything I can to avoid 'Technicolor yawns' from a kid in the back seat of the car.

      Michael


    10. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      02-01-2005 12:25 AM #10
      Just a quick note here for the benefit of European Phaeton owners - the European Phaetons do have the ISOFIX hooks, in exactly the same places as the North American cars, but they do not have the little round plastic buttons on the base of the seat-back that mark the location of the ISOFIX hook. Below is a picture of the rear seat of a European Phaeton.

      Michael

      European Phaeton - rear seat

      Last edited by PanEuropean; 09-30-2012 at 05:48 AM.

    11. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      03-06-2005 01:27 AM #11
      Here's some pictures of an ISOFIX child seat installation, thanks to Adrian for sending these in. This is a 2005 Phaeton with the 'Vienna' leather interior, in sun beige. This is also the first photo I have seen of a North American Phaeton without the rear climate control panel (makes sense, because the infant would have a hard time reaching it anyway). There is a storage bin installed where the climate control panel would normally go. Personally, I kind of prefer this appearence - it looks a bit more elegant than the climate control panel I have in that spot in my car. This Phaeton still has 4 zone Climatronic, the only difference is that the adjustments for the rear zones are now made from the front panel.

      Note also the 12 way seats in the front. They appear almost identical to the 18 way seats, the only obvious difference is the button on the side of the headrest.

      Michael

      Child Seat Installation in Phaeton

      Last edited by PanEuropean; 09-30-2012 at 05:50 AM.

    12. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      12-02-2005 12:42 AM #12
      When I was at the Transparent Factory in Dresden earlier this month, I took quite a few pictures. I'm finally getting around to browsing through them. This picture does a great job of showing where the anchor points for the LATCH (NAR) or ISOFIX (ROW) child seats are located. I think the two systems are identical, but different names are used in NAR and ROW.

      This picture also shows you the approximate level of dis-assembly that is needed to remove the hatshelf from the rear window area, in case you were planning on asking a window tint installer to remove the hatshelf in order to put tinting film over the CHMSL.

      Michael

      Child Seat Attachment Points - Phaeton

      Last edited by PanEuropean; 09-30-2012 at 05:51 AM.

    13. Member copernicus0001's Avatar
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      12-02-2005 02:07 AM #13
      Hi Michael,

      It is an interesting coincidence that you posted to this old thread when you did... This thread was my first post to this forum (and first visit to it) one year ago!

      Unfortunately, the black rectangular plastic things I spoke of were not the ISOFIX/LATCH guide fixtures... Actually, I didn't think about these rectangular parts until a few months ago when I noticed another one on the seat. The black plastic rectangular pieces were the two halves of a plastic "cover" that covers the stitched area on the seat belts. Each front seat belt should have 2 covers - one for each stitched area.

      Thank you for posting the information about the child seats... It is amazing how much more I know about the Phaeton from this forum!

      Douglas


    14. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      12-02-2005 02:13 AM #14
      Hi Douglas:

      Thanks for mentioning that - it's hard to believe that only a year or so has gone by since all of us first came together here to share our common interests.

      BTW - what is your child's opinion of the car, one year on?

      Michael


    15. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      03-16-2009 07:32 PM #15
      Photos re-hosted.

      Michael


    16. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      03-16-2009 08:31 PM #16
      Last edited by PanEuropean; 09-30-2012 at 05:52 AM.

    17. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      09-30-2012 05:51 AM #17
      Photos re-hosted.

      Michael
      Please don't send me technical questions via IM - instead, post your questions onto the end of the most appropriate thread in the FAQ, so that everyone can benefit from the answer, and everyone can assist in providing the answer. Thanks, Michael

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