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Added: 19 Nov 2012
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MORE than half of new parents have never been shown how to correctly choose or install a child’s car seat, according to new research.

The study, conducted by Mamas & Papas and Alfa Romeo for the SAFER SEAT campaign, also found one in 10 parents choose car seats based on price alone, rather than the correct fit or function for their specific vehicle.

And almost two-thirds of parents didn’t know that different car seats are suitable for different types of vehicle, while one third also didn’t know that the safest direction for a baby up to at least 13kgs is to face rearwards in the car seat.

Despite 80 per cent of new parents admitting to a post-natal change in driving habits, the survey results indicate a worrying over-reliance on advice from friends and family rather than a consultation of proper guidance on safely transporting children.

The result is that a large proportion of child seats are being incorrectly installed, or installed in vehicles incompatible with the model of car seat, reducing the protection the seats offer for their child passengers.

To combat the problem, Mamas & Papas has produced the SAFER SEAT initiative, supported by Which? in partnership with Alfa Romeo, which is launching a series of roadshows during National Road Safety Week (Nov 19-25).

It provides info including a step-by-step checklist to help parents find the best car seat for their child and specific car, with advice on correct installation.


McLAREN GT6 has confirmed plans for a limited production run of the track-focused 12C GT Can-Am Edition.

Limited to 30 cars and costing £375,000, the limited edition pays tribute to Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme who successfully raced a series of McLaren models in the Can-Am series.

Billed as the ultimate track car, each will be fitted with an unrestricted version of the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine with power boosted to 630bhp, making the 12C GT Can-Am Edition the most powerful 12C produced to date.

The model’s appearance is dominated by the large carbon fibre rear wing which forms part of a high downforce aerodynamic package honed by McLaren Racing using Formula 1 technology and simulation, and offers a 30 per cent increase in downforce.

Inside the cockpit are two black race seats, complete with six-point harnesses and a unique McLaren Formula 1 steering wheel while an integrated motorsport air-con system is incorporated into the carbon fibre dash.


VOLVO is ramping up production of the new V60 Plug-in Hybrid ahead of first customer deliveries early next year.

After the initial batch of 1,000 model year 2013 cars, production will increase to 4,000-6,000 cars from 2014.

The assembly of the world's first diesel plug-in hybrid has been successfully integrated on the same production line as the regular-powered V60, V70, XC70, S80 and XC90 models at the Torslanda plant in Gothenburg.

And that’s quite an achievement considering that the plug-in hybrid technology includes two complete drive trains and a powerful battery.

Volvo senior vice president Peter Mertens said: "We are first in the industry to integrate a plug-in hybrid in an established production flow together with other car models."


ALL carmakers will follow BMW’s lead as the first major manufacturer to roll-out DAB radio as standard across all models, according to motor industry analyst CAP.

BMW has said that DAB would become standard across its entire model range from January next year.

Though there has been slow penetration of digital audio broadcasting radios across the car market, CAP believes  BMW’s move is a shot in the arm for DAB take-up in the UK.

The news comes amid speculation that the slow adoption of DAB by British radio listeners in general will force a delay in the analogue signal switch-off, which was originally planned for 2015.

The government has promised to maintain the analogue signal until half  of radio listening is via a DAB receiver, but the current figure stands at 31 per cent.

Observers have speculated that up to 25 million cars could be left with no radio signal after the switchover but CAP is confident that the new car market will be fully geared to the change, whenever it occurs.


VAUXHALL has teamed up with young driver insurance specialist ingenie in a partnership which could provide 17 to 25 year-old drivers of both new and used Vauxhalls with more affordable insurance.

Ingenie fits a black box out of sight in the car and collects data on how the vehicle is being driven. Driver feedback is available via the mobile app and online.

Key areas of driving are assessed including speed, cornering, braking and acceleration and the policy is then reviewed every three months.

It means  the best drivers could receive a discount of up to 10 per cent on their insurance in the first year - so, if they drive well, they pay less.

Vauxhall’s Mark Pinkney said: "We wanted to provide young drivers who buy their cars through Vauxhall retailers with affordable insurance to help them get on the road. Vauxhall Insurance for 17-25 year olds powered by ingenie will help make it more affordable for first time young drivers but more importantly it will encourage young people to become better drivers through ingenie’s driving feedback.”


A SLICE of American pie will be baking on Wednesday (November 22) when Chester Harley-Davidson hosts its fifth annual Thanksgiving event at its Stanney Mill Lane dealership.

The theme will be all things American with Harley-Davidson motorcycles to demonstrate, a hog roast and the chance to win two flights to the USA.

Selected parts and accessories will be discounted as well as a range of Harley-Davidson clothing.

Words: Mike Torpey

Keywords: Volvo, McLaren, Alfa Romeo, ingenie, Vauxhall, Harley-Davidson, CAP, child safety, Motoring News, latest