LATCH Manual 101
What is the most current edition of the LATCH Manual?
As of January 1, 2019, the current edition of the LATCH Manual is the 2019 edition (lavender cover). Older versions should no longer be used for manufacturer information, as much has been updated. The 2019 edition will be current until January 1, 2021.
Should I hold onto old editions of the LATCH Manual?
Old editions of the manual are outdated and therefore cannot be relied on for use in the field. For each edition, manufacturers provide information on new products, but they also have the opportunity to update information on existing products (and often do). Also, rest assured that SRN carries over all products and vehicles from one edition to the next, so no information is ever lost by moving on to the most current edition. For these reasons, it is best to simply put outdated manuals (those other than the current, 2019 edition with a lavender cover) into the recycle bin. However, if you are collector and want to hang onto them, just make sure that old editions aren’t referred to when educating caregivers.
How often is the manual updated?
Safe Ride News updates the LATCH Manual every two years. We work on the update project during even-numbered years, and the new edition comes out on the first of each odd-numbered year.
How can I order a LATCH Manual?
Go to www.saferidenews.com and look under the Order Publications tab. There you can order the current LATCH Manual or, in the fall of even-numbered years, there will be an option to preorder the upcoming manual.
Orders can be placed using a credit card, PayPal, or by uploading a company purchase order. If you have any question about the ordering process, you can use the Contact Us feature of the website or simply create an email and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call SRN at 800-403-1424.
Purchasers who want a LATCH Manual mailed to a Canadian address should send an email to email@example.com.
Can I get a discount if I order multiple manuals?
Yes, the pricing schedule is listed on the LATCH Manual product page at www.saferidenews.com (under Order Publications). For orders of 750 books or more, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 403-1424 to discuss discounts further discounts.
Can I buy the LATCH Manual in electronic form, like as an app?
Currently, the LATCH Manual is available only in print form. SRN is considering electronic formats, and will announce availability if such an option becomes available. SRN is very aware that many users would appreciate an electronic version, and that the demand for this grows each year. For the 2011 edition, we made a CD version of the LATCH Manual appendices, but few were sold. We are currently in the process of carefully considering other formats that might be better received.
Who can buy a LATCH Manual?
Anyone can purchase a LATCH Manual. However, it is written for child passenger safety technicians, an audience that understands the language and basic foundation of child passenger safety issues. Also, in order to do their job, CPSTs need to be able to quickly refer to information about multiple CRs and vehicles. Caregivers, on the other hand, are better off using the instructions provided for their particular vehicle(s) and CR(s), and to refer questions to the manufacturers and to CPSTs.
Who writes the LATCH Manual, and where does the information come from?
The editors at Safe Ride News oversee all aspects of the LATCH Manual. For appendices A and B, this means reviewing and often editing information provided by the CR and vehicle manufacturers. Other parts are researched and written by the SRN editor. In recent years, Denise Donaldson has been the writer/editor and Nancy Lang and Katrina Rose have served as the child restraint and vehicle manufacturer liaisons, respectively.
SRN determines the information to request from manufacturers. To the extent possible, the manufacturers provide this information, which becomes the specific CR and vehicle models/brand information in appendices A and B. SRN carefully reviews all manufacturer input and edits for clarity and consistency. The manufacturer then reviews all edited material. This process is repeated until the manufacturer signs off on the final version for print.
I see information in an owner’s manual that seems different than what is printed in the LATCH Manual. What should I do?
Typically, follow the owner’s manual (OM). However, the LATCH Manual provides manufacturers with an opportunity to print information that is an update or clarification to the printed owner’s manual, so sometimes differences are intentional. Therefore, if the LATCH Manual press date is more recent than the information in the owner’s manual, it should be okay to follow the information in the LATCH Manual. If in doubt, contact the manufacturer and/or SRN at email@example.com.
When will the next LATCH Manual come out?
As long as this resource remains relevant and useful to the CPS community, new LATCH Manuals will be scheduled to be available the first week of each odd-numbered year.
What color will the next LATCH Manual be?
Over the years, the color of the cover has been kept a secret until the new manual is printed, leading to much speculation and curiosity. Over the many editions, most colors of the rainbow have already been used. We love to hear technicians’ suggestions for the next color! Please let us know what you think.
Do some of the older vehicle models get dropped when compiling each new edition of the LATCH Manual?
No. Although some of the oldest vehicles in the LATCH Manual are now quite old, SRN knows that the public continues to use the older vehicles and is committed to continuing to provide the information these families need to use those vehicles as safely as possible. The first LATCH Manual was printed in 1999, when it was actually just a tether manual, as LATCH was not yet introduced. At that time, CRs had just begun to be required to meet more-stringent forward-facing test requirements, so all FF models began to include a tether. Therefore, the intention of the first manual was to help CPSTs introduce tethering to the public and, especially, to help people with older vehicles know how to retrofit with TA hardware. Each year since then, the new vehicles are added, but no older models are deleted.
Why are some pre-1990 vehicles listed, while others are not?
Back in 1998 and 2000, when the first manuals were being researched, manufacturers were asked to provide info on older vehicles that could be retrofit with tether anchors. Therefore, some vehicles that were not included were older models that could not be retrofitted. However, in some cases, the manufacturer simply didn’t provide the information. Over the years, as manufacturers are asked to provide information on new models (and review information provided for recent ones), it is more and more unreasonable to expect them to collect information on models that are now very old.
Why are some MY 2019 vehicles not listed in the 2019 edition of the LATCH Manual?
For each new edition, SRN asks each vehicle manufacturer to provide updated information on the newest models. However, though the manual is timed to capture most new models (traditionally released in the fall), unfortunately some are not yet ready for the vehicle manufacturer to provide. These get included in the next edition.
Should I still refer to the 2019 LATCH Manual now that it is past February 27, 2014 (when FMVSS 213 began requiring labels on new CRs to provide the weight limit for use of the lower attachment system)?
Sure! First, remember that there is lots of information in the LATCH Manual other than LATCH weight limit information. When it comes to LATCH weight limits, follow the information on the CR label for lower anchor attachment use only. Check the owner’s manuals and the LATCH Manual for information regarding use of the tether. Also, if you are working with a CR made before February 2014, the LATCH Manual might supplement the information available in the vehicle and CR owner’s manual.
I can’t find the vehicle I’m looking for in the 2019 LATCH Manual— what should I do?
First, be sure that you are looking for the model alphabetically in the appropriate brand table. Most manufacturers have two tables: one table for models that have one- to two-row, followed by another table of vehicles with three or more rows.
If you feel that a model is missing, please contact SRN at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will research this and add the model to the LM Updates page at www.saferidenews.com, as appropriate.
What should I do if I see a mistake in the current LATCH Manual?
We greatly appreciate input from our readers. If you feel that some information is printed in error, please send us details at SRN at email@example.com. We will research this and post corrections, as needed, on the LM Updates page at www.saferidenews.com. Likewise, let us know if there is any additional information that you’d like to see added to the LATCH Manual
Where can I find updates to the current LATCH Manual?
Whenever changes are needed in the current LATCH Manual (updates, corrections, or clarifications), we will post them to the LATCH Manual Updates category at www.saferidenews.com (look at the footer or under the LATCH tab). All changes are noted on the main updates page; lengthier entries are also provided in PDF form so they can optionally be printed and added to your manual.
How can I find out if there is new information on the LATCH Updates page?
The latest updates to the page are highlighted on the LATCH Updates landing page at www.saferidenews.com. The best way to know if a new update has been posted is to subscribe at www.saferidenews.com to authorize e-mail notification from SRN whenever an update has been posted. This is a free service.
To sign up, select “Sign Up for Email Updates” at the bottom of the website home page and follow the prompts.
Can I use older editions of the LATCH Manual if I need to look up information for a vehicle that’s older than the edition’s publication date?
It is tempting to do this, and indeed sometimes the information would be the same. However, many brand-wide bullets get updated from one edition to the next, and model information is reviewed and sometimes updated as well. So, though using an older edition to look up information specific to an older vehicle might not lead to referencing incorrect information, this is far from certain. Therefore, it is always prudent to consistently use the most current edition of the LATCH Manual.
Can I get CEUs for technician recertification by owning the LATCH Manual?
Yes! By taking a quiz on the LATCH Manual, one CEU for recertification can be earned.
Where can I find the LATCH Manual CEU quiz?
An open-book quiz on the current LATCH Manual that earns users 1 CEU can be found at www.saferidenews.com. Look under the CEUs tab or the LATCH tab.
What happened to the LATCH Manual appendix on LATCH in school buses that appeared in older editions?
Because that information (plus much, much more) is found in SRN’s book, The School Bus Safety Handbook (SBSH), 3rd edition, this appendix was removed in 2015 in order to keep The LATCH Manual’s page count and overall size from growing too much. Find information about the SBSH at www.saferidenews.com. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can I learn about installing a retrofit tether anchor kit?
Chapter 6 of the LATCH Manual includes a supplement section with model/brand specific information on TA retrofitting. Additional information for do-it-yourselfers can be found in the Chapter 6 text, and at the Safe Ride News website, www.saferidenews.com. (Select “Tether Anchor Retrofit Guide” under the LATCH tab.)
Can I use highlighter on LATCH Manual paper?
Yes, LATCH Manual paper takes highlighter well. However, avoid bleed-through, in which the ink soaks through and mars the opposite side of the page. SRN tested several highlighters of various brands and colors on the 2019 manual. We found that, when used in a normal fashion, Sharpie brand highlighters performed well and didn’t bleed through. (Look especially for Sharpie highlighters with “smear guard.”) Other brands bled through a little, but not extensively. (Although, be aware that the Hi-Liter brand sells fluorescent markers that are not true highlighters, and these will bleed a bit.) Overall, classic bright yellow worked best, and any color or type is less likely to bleed if applied using the highlighter’s point, rather than stroking with the full beveled edge. Of course, using a light touch is always advisable.