Subaru to support pet-carrier crash testing

Company will fund Center for Pet Safety crash testing of pet crates and carriers.

Published: June 8, 2015, 5:00 PM
Updated: November 23, 2021, 11:57 AM

Pet harnesses are tested on a crash test sled.

Crash testing plays an important role in keeping cabin occupants safe in a crash situation, but one of our family members is not being taken into consideration as thoroughly as others, which is why Subaru has signed up for a third year to support of crash testing pet-safety products.

Subaru of America will continue its support of pet-safety in partnership with the Center for Pet Safety (CPS), a non-profit research and consumer advocacy group, by funding the group’s crash testing of pet crates and carriers. It is estimated that over 55 percent of pet owners travel with their pets and 20 percent of those admit to carrying their pets on their laps.

“We want to make pet parents aware of proper safety measures they can take to help protect their pets. Following the previous study with CPS, we were delighted to support this next stage in testing,” said Michael McHale, Subaru's director of corporate communications. “Pet safety is very important to Subaru as more than half of Subaru drivers are pet owners, with over 69% of them owning at least one dog. We feel a sense of responsibility to inform pet parents of safety measures they can take.”

The research will explore the structural integrity of crates and carriers, as well as connection options, much in the same way as child safety seats are crash-tested in vehicles to determine the best latching options and seat positions.

“No performance standards or test protocols currently exist in the U.S. for pet crates or carriers, and while many pet safety product manufacturers claim to test their products, they can’t be substantiated without uniform test standards and protocols,” said Lindsey Wolko, Center for Pet Safety’s founder and CEO. “We are very excited to once again have the support of Subaru, allowing the independent examination of pet crates and carriers. Subaru understands the importance of safety of all passengers including our four-legged friends.”

Not affiliated with the pet product industry, CPS uses scientific testing in accordance with 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 their manufacturers.

In the past, the organization has tested pet harnesses, resulting in the Harness Crashworthiness Study (2014) that uncovered major differences in pet restraints (many resulting in catastrophic failure that could result in major injuries to pets and people in the cabin).

The latest testing will be performed by MGA Research Corporation, an independent testing facility used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), with results released in summer 2015. The results will reportedly include a crate sizing guide for the pet owner as well as best practices for installation.