I have a 2003 4-Motion Passat. I recently bought a base for my infant grand daughter’s car seat. The store I bought it from would not install it in the middle of my back seat because they said the arm rest that comes down is not safe if a crash occurred. So they installed it on the back side seat. I have concerns about side impact crashs and the safety of the infant seat in that position. I called VolksWagen and they recommend any back seat position for the infant seat and don’t say the middle position is unsafe. Do you have recommendations about this issue.
I would venture that any seat with a seat belt is also safe for a child seat! The child seat is held in place by a government approved seat anchor; if that is absent, you should have one installed.
If you feel bad about the armrest, have its hinge taken out by an upholstery shop, and only use it when you are not using the child seats in the back seat. Or you could have the arm rest fixed in the upright position. The store is guessing, Vokswagen knows better.
Read this brochure:
It discusses air bags and where to seat your child. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does not say that a side or center seat is preferred, just the back seat when it comes to child safety. If you worry less with your grandchild in the center, put her there.
BTW, the IIHS is every auto insurer you ever heard of. These folks are experts willing to share their experience and data with you.
Whenever I had to remove a customers child seat. I would write in the biggest letters on the repair order that the customer must check that the seat was properly installed. I can understand how a business is what seems to be overly cautious in this area.If a customer complained about my note the complaint never reached me.