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post #25 of (permalink) Old 3rd January 2010
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Re: Renault Grande Scenic - Stage 3 car seats don't fit

Hi, Karen
I would be interested in receiving your emails if you still have them.
My eldest son has just moved into a stage 3 booster seat, and I too, have had tremendous problems finding a high back booster seat that will fit safely in the Renault Grand Scenic.
The problem is that with all high backed booster seats I have tried, including all Renault boosters, the seat belt is pinched between the head rest and the side of the car. When the child leans forward, the belt extends as it should, but does not retract when the child leans back again. This leaves the child completely unprotected in the event of sudden breaking or an accident.
I have contacted Renault – dealers and head office. No dealer admitted to being aware of the problem, and most head office staff that I contacted were apparently unaware of it.
Renaults advice, which wasn’t very easy to obtain, was that only a Renault high back booster seat was recommended, and that the car seat must be moved as far forward as it will go. I’d like to make the following points (which I also made to Renault, but received no reply!)
1) The owner should not have to remember to bring the seat forward in order to ensure the child’s safety.
2) The only seat recommended by Renault is as hard as stone, and would be suitable for no more than short journeys.
3) Keeping the 2nd row seat in a forward position exposes the contents of the boot, and compromises the comfort of the driver or front seat passenger, since the seat in front of the seat with the booster has to be moved forward too to allow enough leg room for the child in the booster seat.
4) The grand scenic is marketed as a safe, versatile family car – it clearly is not, and as such, I consider this positioning misleading.
I am shocked and very concerned that Renault has not taken proactive measures to alert all owners (largely young families) of the potential hazard, consciously preferring to react only to the few fortunate owners who notice it. Given that Renault is clearly aware of the problem, I believe it has an obligation to ensure the safe use of its vehicle, whether or not the manufacturer considers it has covered itself from a legal point of view. I would have thought that the likes of ‘WatchDog’ and ‘Which?’, or even trading standards would be interested in the story. Has anyone alerted any of them to the problem? Has anyone considered, or tried, legal action? I was tempted, since I feel that the problem has devalued my vehicle, particularly if I choose to sell it privately – Unlike Renault, I would feel it appropriate to advise any prospective purchaser of the booster seat safety concern, given that I am aware of it (I would not wish to be responsible for the serious injury of anyone’s child), and I believe that this would likely put off the vast majority. Dropping the price may be the only way to shift it.
In my opinion, this is an accident waiting to happen. There must be thousands of Renault Grand Scenic owners out there who are completely oblivious to the problem, and it is the poor children in these families who are at risk. Indeed, I believe that using a stage 3 high backed booster seat in the Grand Scenic is likely to put the child at more risk than not using a booster seat at all.
In addition to the safety concerns mentioned above, the grand scenic has other significant flaws:
I understand that Renault advises that no booster seats should be used in the rear 2 seats – that means that the rear two seats are useless for children aged below 13 years of age. Given the size and space afforded to these rear seats, they are also of very limited utility for larger children or anything but the smallest adults. Thus, these rear seats are little more than a gimmick, and a point on which the car is sold.
I, personally, am very disappointed with both Renault and its Grand Scenic. I purchased what I believed to be one of the safest and most versatile cars for my young family, and was clearly sold the car on that basis. In truth, the car doesn’t even come close to the claims made by Renault, and I would advise caution for anyone considering this vehicle as their family car.
I’m glad I came across this forum – I just wish more people would look it up before buying the grand scenic!!!!

Originally Posted by KarenG View Post
It is totally unbelievable isn't it. I have now had numerous emails from Renault confirming that child seats are prohibitted from the rear row of the Grand Scenic. Apparently the safety brochure that was first issued with the car showed that seats could be used in the rear row but this was a misprint/error!! The new brochure has been amended. However most dealers are still saying you can use car seats in the rear row.

We have now had to go out and buy another car. The Grand Scenic is my hubby's company car and they won't be able to change it for another 2 years. They were good enough to let us chose a seven seater and we chose the one with the best space and lowest tax band. Until now we were happy with the car. Now we have to pay the company car tax for the seven seater and run our own. Needless to say we haven't bought a Renault.

If anyone would like copies of my emails from Renault please get in touch.

Currently in JB1965's garage:
2004 Renault Grand Scenic
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