LATCH Manual 101
Click the picture to watch a video that will answer many of your questions.
Note: This webinar uses examples from the 2019 (lavender) edition. However, the manual’s basic layout was maintained for the 2021 edition. Therefore, this webinar continues to be a useful way to learn how to effectively and efficiently use the current, 2021 (green) edition.
What is the most current edition of the LATCH Manual?
As of January 1, 2021, the current edition of the LATCH Manual is the 2021 edition (green cover). Older versions should no longer be used for manufacturer information, as much has been updated. The 2021 edition will be current until December 31, 2022.
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Old editions of the manual are outdated and therefore cannot be relied on for use in the field.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 on unexpired products is ever missing when the most current edition is used. For these reasons, it is best to simply put outdated manuals (those other than the current, 2021 edition with an green cover) into the recycle bin. However, if you are collector/history buff and want to hang onto them, just make sure that old editions aren’t referred to when educating caregivers.
How often is the LATCH 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 (so we will bill you). 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 email@example.com. You can also call SRN at 800-403-1424.
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 pricing.
Why can’t I buy the LATCH Manual in electronic form, like as an app?
SRN is very aware that many users would appreciate an electronic version, and that the demand for this grows each year. Currently, the LATCH Manual is available only in print form. SRN is seriously exploring electronic formats, and will announce availability when such an option becomes available.
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. Currently, Denise Donaldson is the writer/editor and Katrina Rose is the vehicle manufacturer liaison.
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. 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 information stated in the LATCH Manual differs from what is stated in the owner’s manual, it is SRN’s intention to also note that the LATCH Manual is an update to those instructions; if a discrepancy is found that the LATCH Manual does not clarify in this way, please notify SRN at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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, so we are 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. So some vehicles were not included because they could not be retrofitted. However, in other cases, the manufacturer simply didn’t provide information for older models that could be retrofitted with TAs. While SRN sometimes adds older, retrofittable models that are brought to our attention from the field, manufacturers generally don’t provide new information on models that are now very old.
Why are some of the current model year vehicles not listed in the current 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), some new models are not ready for production at press time, so they don’t make it into the book. These models get included in the next edition or, sometimes, in a LATCH Manual update (at www.saferidenews.com).
Should I still refer to the 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 the LATCH Manual has lots of information other than LATCH weight limits. 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 current 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.
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 any 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 LATCH Manual Updates page at www.saferidenews.com. Reader feedback is extremely helpful!
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 page 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 Manual Updates page?
The latest updates to the page are highlighted as “New.” 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 subscribe, select “Sign Up for Email Updates” at the bottom of the website 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 for an older vehicle might not lead to referencing incorrect information, sometimes it would. 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 at the SRN website, one CEU for recertification can be earned. Please note: To pass the quiz, use the current LATCH Manual. Please honor the spirit of recertification CEUs—do not attempt to take a quiz without having access to the correct LATCH Manual. To accommodate CPSTs who purchased the previous edition, please note that SRN offers both the current and prior versions of the quiz simultaneously for the first six months after a new manual is released. After that time, only the quiz for the current edition is available.
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 CEU 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. This change also helps SRN keep the LATCH Manual’s page count and overall size from growing too much. Find information about the SBSH at www.saferidenews.com.
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.)