ADAC consumer test criteria and processes
Each year in May ADAC and Stiftung Warentest together with ICRT (International Consumer Research Organisation) publish Europe’s largest test of child car seats. Some of the newest car seat models on the market are tested and rated. Which car seats are included in the test is confidential until the test is published. In addition, ADAC and Stiftung Warentest publish a supplement to the same test in Autumn of the same year.
What are ICRT, ADAC and Stiftung Warentest?
ICRT, the International Consumer Research Organization, is the world-leading organization that performs joint testing and provides frameworks for testing of different product groups. ICRT is for instance a founding member of Euro NCAP, one of the world’s largest car tests. ICRT implements and performs its car seat tests together with Stiftung Warentest.
The results of the test are then published by national organizations in each country, for example “Råd och Rön” in Sweden and “Which?” in the United Kingdom.
Stiftung Warentest is an independent company and Germany’s leading consumer testing organization. It does not accept any advertising and is partly public funded to ensure its independence. Each year Stiftung Warentest performs child car seat tests together with ADAC.
ADAC is an organization representing the interests of car owners in Germany, which organizes tests of child car seats. With over 16 million members and a magazine of 14 000 000 copies, this is Europe’s biggest automobile organisation. ADAC is known as one of the most important testers of child car seats in Europe.
Criteria and assessments
The tests that are performed by ADAC could be defined as an extreme test. The speed and loads exceed those of the European Standards approval system and are almost on the same level as EuroNCAP for cars. The core of the test are two different types of crash tests: one frontal impact and one side impact.
The test is executed using a real car body to make it as realistic as possible. The car body used in the recent tests was of the latest Volkswagen Golf model. The latest generation of Q-dummies used in the ADAC/Stiftung Warentest child car seat test also provide more detailed performance information than previously.
In addition, 50% of the total score at ADAC/Stiftung Warentest consists of assessments in handling, ergonomics and build-quality. In these categories, criteria like user-friendliness, risk of misuse, comfort for the child, quality of the cover, space in the car, the user manual, etc. are also evaluated.