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  1. #61

    400 miles on my 2010 Honda

    400 miles on my 2010 Honda Accord EX-l and I could not take the headrest anymore. Read all of the other posts. The 2007 headrests sound good, but expensive after just buying a new car. I thought I would give a shot at bending the tubes. I have quite a lot of experience with metal work and gave this a lot of thought. The tubes are pretty hard but they do bend. The hard part was bending them at the top so they would still go up and down. I had a piece of steel sheet that was 1/2" thick with a 1/2" hole in it. Wrapping the leather in plastic and masking taping the areas to be bent to protect them I gave it a shot. With the sheet steel in a bench vice I put one tube through the hole at a time. Pushing it all the way through until it hit the leather I then placed rubber tube over the headrest tube. Then I used a larger piece of steel tubing about two feet long over the headrest tube that was sticking out of the steel plate. I simply bent it to the angle desired. It doesn't take much. The end result is much better. The only problem is that the headrest will no longer go all the was down due to the bend in the tube(one click up). I cleaned the headrest tube with a little metal polish. It does have some tool marks in it but it is worth the comfort. Trying this yourself be sure not to over bend the tube and kink it. I can not speak for the legality of doing this. This post was simply to share my experience. (legal stuff)

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  3. #62

    I can't drive my inherited

    I can't drive my inherited 2008 RAV4 or sit in my husband's 2008 Highlander or my mother's 2010 Camry for more than 10 minutes without wanting to get out of the car and never get in again. Toyota - what is wrong with you that you can't make a 5'2" person comfortable in any of your cars? Only my 2002 Subaru is perfect. I'll never give it up or ever get another Toyota.

  4. #63

    I can't drive my inherited

    I can't drive my inherited 2008 RAV4 or sit in my husband's 2008 Highlander or my mother's 2010 Camry for more than 10 minutes without wanting to get out of the car and never get in again. Toyota - what is wrong with you that you can't make a 5'2" person comfortable in any of your cars? Only my 2002 Subaru is perfect. I'll never give it up or ever get another Toyota.

  5. #64

    I completely agree with

    I completely agree with myachingneck. My husband bought a Honda Accord 2010 LX-P sedan and started complaining about back pain the second day he drove the car. He test drove the LX-P and the EX, but he did not notice the issue during the test drive. He bought an Obusforme Ultraforme backrest product with the ultraforme seat that attaches to it with velcro. It cost him about $170.00 for both, but he has no back pain now. He has been using it for 5 days now. It is not the most comfortable item, but it has stopped the back pain. He drives 1 hour and 30 minutes a day. You can buy it on-line or at a pharmacy. So, I agree with the above opinion. He bought both since the curvature of his back was in the right spot. He is 5 foot 8 inches. I wish we had read your post. We tried out another product, but it did not work. You really need the one that goes to your shoulders.

  6. #65

    The reply I got from

    The reply I got from NHTSA:

    I am sorry to hear about the difficulty you are having with the head restraint on your 2010 Toyota Corolla. However, I think you have been misinformed as to the US head restraint standard.

    The US head restraint standard was developed in the 1960s. Up until the 2010 model year, the previous head restraint standard specified a height for the head restraint, but this height was insufficient for many occupants. The old standard did not specify how far away from an occupant's head the head restraint could be (backset). However, biomechanics research has shown that, in addition to height, the closer a head restraint is to an occupant's head (even contact with the head), the better the protection against whiplash.

    NHTSA upgraded the head restraint regulation to be consistent with current information about whiplash injury. This upgrade went into effect for front outboard seats in the 2010 model year and will require 80% of the vehicles sold to meet the upgrade.

    The upgrade will require taller head restraint and a backset of no more than 2 inches (55 mm) rearward of a test manikin that represents the head position of an average adult male. Alternatively, manufactures would be relieved of the backset limit if they certify that they can meet a dynamic test simulating a rear impact. In this test a 50th percentile male test dummy is limit to 12 degrees of rearward head rotation with respect to the dummy torso. We believe that many manufacturers who are currently installing active head restraints in their vehicles will select this option.

    Another factor influencing vehicle designs is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) head restraint rating. They rate front seat head restraints as Good, Acceptable, Marginal or Poor. First they rate the height and backset of the head restraint. The head restraint must have a Good or Acceptable geometry to qualify for dynamic evaluation. The dynamic evaluation provides the final rating of the head restraint. The head restraint rating is tied into the overall vehicle rating.

    The actual backset that any one occupant will have in the same seat will vary as a function of many factors. One important factor is the seat back angle selected. Our 55 mm backset limit is measured with the seat in the manufacturers selected design position. If an occupant selects a more upright angle, the backset will be reduced by about 3 mm for every degree of difference. In general, short stature occupants will tend to select more upright seat back angles. So these occupants may tend to have less backset. However, many of these occupants are female and research has shown female occupants are more susceptible to whiplash injury.

    The agency recognizes the importance of acceptable comfort for all occupants, including those of short stature. However, we believe the available data do not support the view that the 55 mm requirement will create any significant problem for well designed and well built seats. We reviewed backset data from the 2004 model year provided by IIHS and it showed that about half of all vehicles had a backset of 55 mm or less, 25% had a backset of 40 mm or less. Moreover these calculations were made with a 25 degree seat back, which would tend to give a large backset value. So a large number of vehicles in the fleet have been meeting a 55 mm backset limit for several years without causing significant comfort issues. Finally, our analysis shows that if the agency increased the backset limit from 55 to 70 mm, the number of prevented injuries would be cut in half.

    We have found that some manufacturers have placed the head restraint much closer to the head than the 55 mm that the upgraded standard requires. We have been told specifically by Ford that the IIHS ratings are forcing them to put head restraints closer than they need to for our new standard and for safety. They do this knowing that it will alienate a small segment of their customers, but they will gain customers if they get a high rating from IIHS. In a presentation last year at a Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) conference, Ford stated that, in order to get a good IIHS rating, the backset value they must design to for the Ford Edge is just 2 mm. This is much closer to then the 55 mm required by our standard.

    If you wish to file a complaint with NHTSA you can go to http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/index.cfm.

    However, since it is up to the manufacturer if they wish to place head restraints closer than our standard requires, it may be more effective for you to provide your feedback to vehicle manufacturers and the IIHS (www.iihs.org).

    I am not aware of any after-market solutions designed to address your concern. However, if you recline you seat back slightly, you will create additional clearance between your head and the head restraints. It appears from your letter that you have tried this. You also may find that any kind of pad on the seat back would move you torso away from the seat back, also creating additional clearance for you head.

    I hope this information has been helpful.

    Louis N. Molino

    Acting Division Chief
    Light Duty Vehicle Crashworthiness
    1200 New Jersey Ave., SE, NVS-112, W43-311
    Washington, D.C. 20590

  7. #66

    I am of 180 cm height.

    I am of 180 cm height. Bought a Toyota RAV4 2010 today. The 15 min way home just killed my back. I then went around my undeground home parking noticing hundreeds of vehicles with the same form of headrest which made me crook forward. I wonder if there is any safety with this kind of headrest in a case of back collision, for my back and especially shoulders hardly could contact a backsit while I drove, and any hit from begind will arrive pretty directly on my head and neck.

    I have been driving my cheap Mitsubishi Lancer for 14 years and was happy. Tomorrow I need to go to my work on this new car for 45 min and I have no idea in what condition I will arrive.

  8. #67

    I too have found the head

    I too have found the head restraints on new-model cars to be downright painful! I've been car shopping this past week and when I sit down and adjust the seat to a comfortable angle (10-15 degrees recline, proper driving position), my neck begins to ache right away. This likely results from the fact that these head restraints force my head downwards so that I'm practically staring at my crotch. So just to look out the windshield, I either have to crane my neck forward (more neck pain and horrible posture), or lean the seat way back, which is uncomfortable and reduces visibility. Of course, turning the headrests around eliminates the problem, but I'm guessing it's unsafe, or at the very least could cause insurance problems. I've tried Nissan, Toyota, and Hyundai models, and all are equally bad.

    I'm tired of hearing dealers tell me how wonderful these obnoxious head restraints are, too. Head restraints that "protect" me from whiplash are no good if they cause chronic neck pain!

    Alas, I will be lodging complaints with the auto manufacturers themselves, and maybe even the IIHS and the NHTSA.

  9. #68

    I just checked out the 2010

    I just checked out the 2010 Sonata this weekend, but didn't even take it for a test drive once I sat in the driver's seat and felt the headrest! I hesitate to buy a car only to turn the headrest around (although I'm considering it). Have you all found any other workaround? What did the dealer say?

  10. #69

    Picked up my new 2010 Honda

    Picked up my new 2010 Honda Fit last night, and like Donald from a year ago, was ready to rip the thing apart after a twenty-minute drive home.

    Wonderful car, incredible pain in the neck. I'm astonished by all the misery listed above, and the fact that this has been going on for three years! My heart goes out to all of you!

    I will follow up with the suggestions to call Honda at 800-999-1009, and I will let Consumer Reports know, and I'll send an email to Louis.Molino@nhtsa.dot.gov. I urge everyone who visits this site to do the same.

    My original plan was to return the car, but I suspect that any other car I might consider would have a similar issue. I have a lumbar support which I didn't transfer from my '07 Ford yet; that can only help.

  11. #70

    I recently brought a Kia

    I recently brought a Kia Optima and it seems like I have the same problem as Honda owners have with the uncomfortable headrest. I tried reversing it, but that lead to zero support in the event of an accident, plus not comfortable. I am looking for a solution as everyone else. So far I have nothing. Is this an issue for USA cars?

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