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I took delivery of Flying Scotsman's 2004 FE yesterday and am anxiously awaiting the title so I can register the car and get driving. I'm happy to be part of the Lotus owners group again (I had an 89 non-SE back in 2000).

I have 2 kids - 7 and 3 and would like to have them drive with me on occasion. I have a "normal" car seat which I could use the front belt to hold in place (and the 4 point harness to hold them).

Two questions:
1 - Is this the best car seat strategy or is there something that will work better and/or not cause damage to the seat leather?

2 - It looks like there is a connection under the passenger side dash that will disable the airbag. Is this something I can simply unplug when I have them in the car?

Thanks in advance, Noah
 

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I do not believe it is legal to put a child's car seat in a front seat. And since there is no back seat there is no legal way to put a child's seat in a Lotus. There is no way to disable "just" the passenger air bag without some modification to the wiring. To disable both airbags you can just pull the fuses under the passenger bolster.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Congratulations of the purchase. Jim was one of the previous owners of my Final Edition as well. I really like the darker colour of yours.

I can't comment on how to disable the passenger airbag, I've never looked but perhaps it's as simple of unplugging it.

As for attaching the car seat itself, there should be a child seat tether anchor mounted to the bulkhead behind the passenger seat (this is shown in the user manual). Use the seatbelt to hold it in place like you mentioned, but I would place a blanket between the seat and the car seat to protect the leather.

Enjoy the car!
 

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Cal H
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There is a resistor plug or module that can be installed on the cable when disconnected from the passenger air bag to turn off the warning light and to allow the driver bag to still work. This type of resistor module is usually used when a steering wheel air bag is removed and a non air bag wheel is used in its place. That way the passenger air bag and side impact bag are still active. So it can be used on the passenger side as well. There are also custom shops and many car dealers that will install an on/off switch for the passenger air bag.

About the Law

Parents generally know that car seats belong in the back seat. Despite this, many parents find reasons why they need to place it in the front. Watching your baby closely while you drive, a back seat full of groceries or not having a back seat can make the front seem like a valid option. In situations where you feel justified to place the car seat up-front, it is important to know if there will be legal ramifications.

State Laws Vary
State laws on safety and car seats varies. All states have these laws, but they vary based on age, height and weight of the child. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children under 4 feet 9 inches be restrained; this generally includes children under 13 years old. California, New Jersey, Michigan, South Carolina, and Georgia require that children in car seats ride in the back seat when available. Puerto Rico requires children under 12 years old ride in the back seat. Find out the specific age, weight and height requirements for your state, and if there are exceptions.

Examples of exceptions
Your child may ride in the front seat if:
Your vehicle has no rear seats.
Rear seats are side-facing jump seats.
Child safety restraints must never be placed on side-facing vehicle seats.
The child restraint system cannot be properly installed in the rear seat.
For example, your vehicle has lap belts only in the back seat, but there are lap and shoulder belts in the front seat. Your child is 5 and weighs 45 pounds and must ride in a booster seat. The booster seat must be used with a lap and shoulder belt; therefore your child may ride in the front seat.

Fines Vary
If you break the law, you can get a ticket. All states have fines associated with their safety restraint laws. Just as the laws themselves vary, so too do the amount of the fines. As of 2013, fines range from $10 to $500 for first offenses. In California, the fine can be $490 plus one point. In Maine, the first offense is $50, but subsequent tickets can be up to $250 a piece. In Michigan, the fine is only $10. Research the amount in your state so that you are not caught off guard with a hefty fine.

Safety Issues
Putting car seats in the back seat is not only a legal issue -- it is also a safety issue. Rear-facing car seats should never be placed in the front seat. Air bags, meant to protect passengers, are a safety hazard to rear-facing car seats and young children who are not properly restrained. Placing a rear-facing car seat in the front seat can result in severe injury or death even in a low-speed crash. If the airbag inflates, it can hit the back of the seat, right in the back of her head.
 
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