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tommy.roks

Well, that would depend on what you consider normal sized :lol:

Yes, you can only carry 4 people in the seats, with the seat belts.

Honda only designed the Element for being a 4 seater. If you lay down the 2 back seats, it is really up to you how many people you can fit in, but it won't be safe to drive, and if you do, mostly illegal.
 

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Another reason for only seating four is the carrying capacity of the Element is only 675 pounds! That's four 170 pound adults and you're at the vehicle's load limit.

I didn't believe it when I first heard about this, I've since called Honda twice and wrote them a letter; all confirm the 675 pound limit.
 

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People,

We do have to remember this is not a super big Lux boat. This car is not designed to be a huge SUV. The Element is a wonderful utility truck, but it is not everything under the sun.

If you need a truck that seats more than 4, this is not the vehicle for you. Maybe, if the Element sales zoom, Honda may make a bigger version. I would not count on it though.
 

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I just love the element. The only problem is that I have 3 kids. I need to be able to hold 5 people on family excursions. Is there a way to carry 5 people in the Element or at least plans to make an alternate rear seating plan (maybe a removable split bench)?
 

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Bonkers,

I would say that the Element is not the right vehicle for you.

There does not seem to be anything in the works (from what I have seen and heard) about making seating for 5. Sorry.
 

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You are SOL. To me, that is the biggest drawback to the E. I have two kids who always seem to have friends with them. Our E belts fewer people than my Civic Coupe. I could do without the flip-up seats if I could have a 5 seater. I have read online about people 'rigging' a middle seat belt, but it is for emergency only and not acceptable for a daily 5th passenger.

Sorry, the E is not for you.
 

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I love this vehicle. But, every now and then I'm going to have to fit a fifth person (most likely a 6-year-old). I'm thinking about a seat cushion to place over the center cupholders and having an interior shop install a shoulder belt, possibly tied into the baby seat latch system. I'm also investigating a harness belt (the kind used in race cars). If the interior shop tells me it's not safe, I won't do it. Anyone have a better idea?

Honda, are you listening? At least make the fifth seat an option.

Thanks, All!
 

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Although I am not recommended this to you, especially with a 6 year old being the 5th driver....but we have on several ocassions had three full grown adults across the back bench. They all made the decision to take the ride and I know I would have been held liable if god forbid anything happened.

I understand the reasons behind Honda's design....having the two seats in the back allows for the 50/50 split and the ability to hang the seats in the back. I will admitt that I have hung the seats many more times than I have had 3 people in the back.....so maybe if Honda simply makes this an option in upcoming model years. I would not opt for this as I like and use the 50/50 split more than I would use 3 seats in the back.

I look at it this way.....only a lucky 3 people get to ride in the fun car! All the rest have to pile into my friends Explorer or Expedition :)
 

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Are you mad??????? Installing a seat yourself..... First off I don't know if your ins company would insure you or not. Just think of the law suit if something happened to the person that was sitting in that seat when it gives way and they are injured or killed.

Maybe you should have thought of this before you bought your E

I would not put in a seat if I were you.
 

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I understand, however, would you not need Honda or your Ins company to ok this????
I'm just thinking if something happens with it. Would Honda say that installing something like this may effect the body of the vehicle or something like that. I know whith a lot of things if you tamper or add things to the structure or components companies wave there hands of any responsiblities.
Is it even legal to do something like this???

Just wondering????
 

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Someone ask for a lawyer?

Legal, (depending on the state) actually, not. It changes the vehicle according to DMV.

I would stay away from having this type of modification done.
 

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What do you mean not legal? What is DMV? What about screwing things on like bush bars and running boards and roof racks etc? Isn't that a vehicle mod. I put lapbelts in the military into jeeps and MI51's. You need about 1/2 inch bolt to attach to the frame? There are DOT guidelines.

BTW I am planning to put in a lapbelt for emergencies. The only thing is if rust starts there its going to be my fault. It will not be the fault if rust starts at the other side of the vehicle.
 

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if you need to squeeze more than 2 people in the back, take another car. I'd have to concur that rigging a belt for a 5th person is a hazard, regardless of how you have it done. Especially if this person is a minor, 6 years old at that - they have no way to know that it's a bad situation for them. You're better off putting the kid in a kennel in the rear!
 

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Took it to an interior shop today -- one of the best in Los Angeles. They do a lot of restorations and commonly add DOT approved seat belts to old cars that don't have them and add shoulder harnesses to old cars that only had lap belts. The owner said "Absolutely no problem."

We came up with a system using a high quality racing style harness. He would attach a belt to each of the baby seat latches in the rear roof. He would then attach the lower belts to one of the following: The same floor rod to which the seats attach or the same bolts that hold the other belts (under the spare tire cover). It would probably also attach to the seats. This would be used in conjuction with a booster seat with a built-in headrest (made for up too 100 lbs.). His opinion, after installing hundreds of seat belts over the years, is that, with this four point system, this center position will be the safest seat in the car. By the way, the belt could be easily detached from the upper latches when not in use (which would be 95% of the time).

If for one second I felt that I was endagering my child, I would never do this. Keep in mind that each of these upper latches is made to hold a child seat.

I am certainly not trying to encourage other to use such a system, just sharing my experiences. I believe that many Element owners will occassionally have a 5th passenger - sometimes it's unavoidable. This is certainly better than nothing.

Drive Safely!
 

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So the shop that is going to install this for you what type of insurance do they have???? How do they back there product???? Have you asked Honda about this???? Is the added force from this belt when stopping for an emergancy going to have an effect to the floor mounts that everything else is secured to??
 

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[quote:cc4ed3fa2a="ropedart"]What do you mean not legal? What is DMV? What about screwing things on like bush bars and running boards and roof racks etc? Isn't that a vehicle mod. I put lapbelts in the military into jeeps and MI51's. You need about 1/2 inch bolt to attach to the frame? There are DOT guidelines.

BTW I am planning to put in a lapbelt for emergencies. The only thing is if rust starts there its going to be my fault. It will not be the fault if rust starts at the other side of the vehicle.[/quote:cc4ed3fa2a]

Not legal, as in against the law. DMV is Department of Motor Vehicles. They thru the police enforce state and local laws and codes for motor vehicles. Cars, boats, and air planes (yes, they are considered motor vehicles). You would have to check into your local or state law as to what would be legal for you. I know in Ct and NY, you can not legally make the type of modifications to your vehicle that you talk about doing.

Let me give you an example. Bumper height. All bumpers are required to be the same height (give or take). When someone puts springs and a lift kit on a vehicle, they change the location of the bumper. Now it is rare to hear about the police pulling someone over for it, but they can. In addition, if there was an accident, the insurance company could sit and say, well, the person would not be injured, or the vehicle would not have been as bad if you had not changed the location of the bumper, so they won't pay, and you will have to. Does that make any sense?

You can do whatever you wish to your E, but your insurance company and the police may have something to say on it.

Any change you make, must legally be reported to your insurance company. Now I am not talking about putting a roof rack on (although you actually should notify them), but if you bolt something to it, that changes the manufacture's design. That can effect the center of gravity, the weight ratio that the company has on a vehicle, etc. If you were to add brush guards, that might effect the warranty. Really it might.

As far as DOT regulations, you would have to check with your state and see what they require. Adding a lapbelt, even up to code may not be the best idea, as Honda could say that you changed their design, and that altered the E and you are liable for anything that goes on due to things. God forbid that you have a serious accident, and the bolt pulls out, or breaks, etc. I would hate to have to represent you in a case like that.

I hope this helps a bit.
 

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OK you did your job you scared everybody. :shock: Now its my turn.

Perhaps I have an advantage because I am a mechanical engineer who can calculate, certify and stamp an belt assembly to be safe. I would be comfortable in what I would do to my Element. I am sure the interior shop Elemental mentioned feels the same way. I have lapbelt kit from Bell (the helmet people). Basically its says to mount it 15 to 25 inches apart at angle of about 70 degrees behind the seat. The bolt should be attached to the vehicle frame that is has anchor points rated to FMVSS 210 (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 210). Searched online and it means the anchor point should take 5000 lbs of force. The Honda seatbelt anchor points would be located inches away from where I would put them. So its going to be a strong area. Given that Bell gives you 7/16 inch bolts and 3 inch diameter washers its a pretty strong assembly system. If I have a problem I know I can sue Bell for a defective product. I know by looking at the situation my passengers would be dead or badly injured long before the seatbelt fails. I think 5000 lbs would kill anyone.

What I also have to say its not OK to mount the seatbelt to the seat with glue or staples or stitching. Its not OK to mount seatbelts to carpet. Its not OK to mount the seatbelt to flimsy plastic. It has to be a solid area of steel.

Adding this seatbelt is a 1000 times better than not offering any in an emergency. In an age of airbags and curtains there are too many deaths just from not being buckled in with a lousy lapbelt. I am exercising reasonable care and duty for my passengers. Try and sue me for that.

Anyway if anyone cannot stomach this then just get a CRV or something.

Finally my disclaimer. DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME KIDS!. I am not advocating anyone try this. This is just an idea. Do this at your own risk. I am not responsible or any accidents or stolen items. :evil:
 
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