What is a Top Tether?
High risk of misuse
Top Tether are additional anchorage points located in different positions behind the rear seat. However, not all cars are fitted with one, especially older models. The additional belt at the top of the child restraint system reduces the forward displacement of the head during a head-on collision. Generally, only forward- and backward-facing Group I seats (9-18 kg) with a backrest can be anchored with a top tether system.
Even so, it is advisable not to use a top tether seat as they are rather more difficult to install and thus increase the risk of error. In the most recent tests, conducted by German car magazine auto, motor und sport, an additional problem emerged: If the constellation of the top tether points on the seat and the car is unfavorable, an inflexible connection may arise. This occurred in some of the tests, causing the seats to snap in two! If a system fails so radically, good values for the forward displacement of the head suddenly seem irrelevant. If the vehicle is involved in an accident, the seat may offer protection on first impact but if another car runs into the back of you or you crash into another obstacle, the seat may break and thus no longer provide the slightest protection! (auto, motor und sport, 14.01.10)