Study Shows Many Pet Car Safety Restraints To Be Unsafe

           Study Shows Many Pet Car Safety Restraints To Be Unsafe

Subaru and the Center for Pet Safety Announce Full Study and Crash Testing
Results

Sleepypod Clickit Utility Harness Named 2013 Top Performing Harness

PR Newswire

CHERRY HILL, N.J., Oct. 3, 2013

CHERRY HILL, N.J., Oct. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Subaru of America, Inc. and
the Center for Pet Safety (CPS), announced today the results of a
collaborative study to test the effectiveness of pet harnesses marketed with
safety claims. Sleepypod's Clickit Utility Harness has been identified as the
2013 Top Performing Harness. The pet harness study was designed by CPS – a
registered 501(c)(3) non-profit research and advocacy organization dedicated
to companion animal and consumer safety – to mirror the same crash tests used
to measure the effectiveness of child safety products. The crash tests
uncovered serious flaws in many of the popular pet restraints currently on the
market, with many resulting in catastrophic failure. The goal of this study is
to enforce the importance of driving safely with pets. In addition, the
performance data will assist in the development of the first harness safety
standard and test protocols that will serve as guidelines to the pet products
industry.

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There are currently no performance standards or test protocols in the U.S. for
pet travel products. While many pet car restraint manufacturers claim to test
their products, without uniform test standards and protocols, these claims
cannot be substantiated. Recognizing the severity of this issue, Subaru
teamed up with CPS to conduct this study in order to ultimately allow
consumers to select independently tested pet products and help them to
identify top performing brands. The Center for Pet Safety is actively working
toward publishing a harness standard later this year.

"Safety for all passengers, including our pets, is very important to Subaru
and to our drivers. Selecting the wrong harness could be just as detrimental
as not using one at all," said Michael McHale, director of communications at
Subaru of America, Inc. "Most pet owners don't know the dangers of not
properly harnessing their pet while in the car. With nearly half of Subaru
drivers also being dog owners, we want them to be as informed as possible."

Subaru and CPS enlisted MGA Research Corporation, an independent National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) contracted testing laboratory,
to conduct rigorous crash testing on commonly available pet safety harnesses
using realistic, specially designed crash test dogs. Testing was performed
using multiple, specially designed crash test dogs developed by CPS, including
a 25 lb. terrier mix, a 45 lb. border collie and a 75 lb. golden retriever.
The life-like dog models provided a realistic representation for testing
purposes, similar to the testing conducted for human occupant safety.

"Subaru and CPS share a common love for pets and safety, and it is our mission
to communicate to pet owners that an effective harness should keep the pet in
place to prevent distraction to the driver as well as offer measurable levels
of protection to all passengers in the event of a crash," said Lindsey Wolko,
founder and CEO of the Center for Pet Safety. "I, like many people, consider
my dog to be a part of my family, and dogs need to be secured with harnesses
that have been tested for safety the same way car seats and seat belts that
protect our family members have been tested, both for the pet's safety as well
as the safety of all passengers."

The overall results of the testing indicated Sleepypod's Clickit Utility
Harness as the clear top performing harness brand, as it was the only harness
tested to consistently keep a dog from launching off of the seat and the only
restraint deemed to offer substantial protection to all passengers, including
the dog, in the event of an accident. If a pet launches off of the seat, it
can strike a human passenger or risk serious contact injury to the dog from
internal structures in the car.

"Sleepypod has been researching and crash testing pet safety restraints in
autos for six years because we're serious about safety," said Michael Leung,
Sleepypod co-founder and product designer. "We admire CPS and Subaru for
conducting this study on behalf of pet owners and use the CPS testing
protocols as an extension of our own safety program."

Pet owners may purchase Sleepypod's Clickit Utility Harness on
www.sleepypod.com. Subaru will also be offering these harnesses for purchase
through its Subaru Gear catalog and at dealers in the near future.

All manufacturers whose products graduated to crash testing in the study were
issued courtesy invitations to attend product testing. Those companies that
were unable to attend were contacted with their test results, and several
companies are already working to make improvements and enhance quality
control. To view the full study results please visit
www.CenterforPetSafety.org. More information about how to keep pets safe in
vehicles can also be found on www.Subaru.com. 

The Center for Pet Safety is not affiliated with the pet product industry. The
organization uses scientific testing and references Federal Motor Vehicle
Safety Standards to study pet products and establish criteria and test
protocols to measure whether pet safety products provide the protection
claimed by advocates and intended by the manufacturer.

About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries
Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and
distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more
than 600 dealers across the United States. All Subaru products are
manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana
Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated
a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For
additional information visit www.subaru.com.

About the Center for Pet Safety
The Center for Pet Safety (CPS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and
advocacy organization dedicated to consumer and companion animal safety.
Based in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, the Center for Pet Safety's
mission is to have an enduring, positive impact on the survivability, health,
safety and well-being of companion animals and the consumer through scientific
research and product testing. For additional information visit
www.CenterforPetSafety.org.

SOURCE Subaru of America, Inc

Website: http://www.subaru.com
Contact: Joe Perri, MWW Group, jperri@mww.com, 201-507-9500
 
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