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New Head Restraints - Safety, Torture, or Both?



  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    I just got back from my doc and he asked the same thing. I don't do any of those things while driving so it never even occurred to me. And I kept my distance when the police interviewed the kid. Actually, fintails' mention of an explosion is more like the experience as the car quickly compressed ahead and behind me in a cloud of smoke and steam as fluids spilled on the exhaust. It was very surreal and seemed to happen in slow motion. I got out quickly because the smoke from oil on the exhaust was so thick I thought it might be on fire and found the ground covered in oil, coolant and transmission fluid, but not gasoline.

    It was about 1/4 mile of backed up cars behind a red light and it was very dark with low clouds. The kid didn't know how he did it, but I was thinking he might have focused on the traffic light 1/4 mile ahead rather than the line of cars backed up before the light. Its possible that when the light turned green, he kept at speed. He never touched his brakes. At least he was honest and admitted that it was all his fault, so his insurance should easily determine liability.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,300
    Back in 2005, we were shopping for a new family (aka wife mobile) vehicle. I wanted a Volvo XC90 (had a killer lease deal worked out), but ended up with an Odyssey. Size was a factor, but the head rests came into play too. I loved them, it was like a catchers mitt cradling my head (and I like to lean my head back when I can), but they hit my wife (8" shorter than me) wrong, and pushed her head forward I think.

    Might not have been a big deal once she got used to it, but we never did have to find out.

    One thing that does get annoying is the size. I was driving someone elses car recently (must have been a new MDX) and it was impossible to check anything over your shoulder (either one).

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,913
    edited November 2010
    I'm so glad nobody was hurt worse. Sounds like your Subaru Outback saved your bacon, man. Great testimony to the Subaru build product!

    With that commute, I'd want all the airbags I could get.

    Yeah, Kia puts a driver's knee airbag in their Sportage model and yet another reason why I may one day trade for a new Ford Fiesta is because Ford also installs driver's knee airbags in their new little subcompact. I don't know, haven't test-driven a Fiesta yet, but the size of our '08 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS might just be about as small as I would want to go (compact sze), especially after hearing about wrecks like morin's here.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • This is why all cars' headrests are terribly uncomforatble:

    Headrests are now designed to accomodate a male who is 50th percentile in height. Short people like myself suffer. Headrests no longer adjust back and forward, they just crank your neck down. Every car I have test driven and rented since 2007 has this problem.

    Thanks, but I'll keep my 06 Subaru until there is a better option.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    I've experienced the same problem with some newer models. Reclining the seat back, or a combination of tilting the seat back and reclining the seat back can mitigate the headrest problem. I suggest you try it.
  • . . . it didn't work. Otherwise I wouldn't mind the issue. I travel frequently for work and leisure and usually rent a car. GM's, Ford's, Hyundai's, even a Volvo S40 had the issue to some extent. What a pain in the neck! Another member mentioned reshaping the headrests and having them reupholstered -- that is what I'll have to do.
  • shorty43shorty43 Posts: 1
    I am 5'3" and my husband is 6'3". He has a much easier time with the new head restraints than I do, but still finds them uncomfortable unless the seat is reclined. At best, a telescoping steering wheel helps with the reclining seat, but you still feel like you are driving from the back seat. I, on the other hand, have found very few newer vehicles that accommodate my short stature. Even highly adjustable seats are not really able to get me in the prime driving position. I typically sit up straight and slightly rest my head against the head rest/restraint due to past neck surgery and fusions in 3 vertebrae, and since I curently drive a 2002 VW Jetta, I am able to do so.
    I have been looking for over a year at newer model vehicles with very little luck finding one that is comfortable enough to commute in without laying me almost flat on my back to avoid the head restraint nightmare. Comfort is imperative because I commute. I have had several salesmen try to switch out and turn head rests around but then you end up with nothing to protect your head at all. It seems to me that if they insist on building a head restraint that forces your head forward and down that they could at least build up the top of the seat so that you aren't sunk in at the shoulders. Sounds like we are either forced to be uncomfortable or pay extra on top of the vehicle cost to modify the interior. I realize that almost everything is manufactured for a set height range, but a few little added adjustments to the head restraints like I have seen on one Focus and Kia Sorento would solve this issue in it's entirety.
  • The 2012 Impreza has a tilting headrest, too.
  • I know this was asked once before by euphonium, but I never saw an answer. Does anyone know how to remove Subaru headrests that were installed backwards?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    edited November 2014
    What make and year Subaru?

    Just pulled them out on mine, but it was an old '97 Outback and that was long before all the "improvements". There was a little button but you didn't need to press it when you put the restraint in backwards, probably because there was no detent on the back side of the head rest rod.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,564
    Soemtimes you have to press the sides of the seat where the "button" is internal. Sometimes you just yank real hard. One way or the other, they all come out.
    bill493 said:

    I know this was asked once before by euphonium, but I never saw an answer. Does anyone know how to remove Subaru headrests that were installed backwards?

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