Explaining tests and approvals

Child car safety tests / Explaining tests and approvals

ECE R44 04

ECE R44 04 is a European approval standard. Child car seats are tested in frontal collisions at 50 km/h and rear collisions at 30 km/h using crash test dummies and measuring instruments designed to see how well the seats protect the test dummies.

All child car seats currently being sold in Europe, the Middle East and most Asian countries must be ECE R44 04 approved. In most countries, ECE R44 03 is not allowed anymore. All BeSafe seats are compliant with ECE R44 04.


ADAC is an organization representing the interests of car owners in Germany which organizes tests of child car seats. The tests conducted are approx. 50% more stringent or stipulate stricter requirements than the ECE R4404 standards.

In these tests, 50% of the emphasis is on collision results and 50% relates to user-friendliness, comfort, instructions for use and installation methods, etc. This is a worst-case scenario test, that means the poorest result will influence the total score. Frontal and side collisions are conducted. Side collisions are particularly important because children can sustain much more serious injuries in side collisions than in frontal collisions. The frequency of severe head- and neck injuries are higher in side collisions than in frontal collisions.

Stiftung Warentest

Stiftung Warentest is the consumer council in Germany. It administers and conducts tests on behalf of the International Consumer Research and Testing organisation, ICRT. Stiftung Warentest conducts its own tests in collaboration with the ADAC. These tests are conducted using frontal collisions at a speed of 64 km per hour and side collisions, while ECE R44 only tests frontal and rear collisions.

Plus test

The VTI and NTF introduced the Plus Test in Sweden in 2009. This test provides a stamp of quality for seats that are so good that they are recommended in Sweden. The Plus Test has such strict requirements that forward facing child car seats would not be able to comply with the Plus test. The thinking behind the test is that no children sitting in a child car seat which is Plus Test labelled would sustain any serious/life-threatening injuries in a collision.


European consumer organizations are members of ICRT and do publish their own test report. However, these reports are copies of the Stiftung Warentest and ADAC Tests but published in another layout. As an example, WHICH in the UK.