Kiravans reputation is built on quality of workmanship and quality of design. Key to this is the safety of our products. We have tested all our double seat swivels to the latest EC safety standards on a rigid steel frame, using the OEM double passenger seat. In effect this simulates a dead-stop at 30miles per hour with all seats occupied by a person of defined weight.
They have satisfied the strength requirements for M1 loading when mounted on a rigid steel frame of both:
EC Directive 76/115/EEC amended by 2005/41/EC and ECE regulation 14.07
We are currently also going through the process of retesting each model in a vehicle body and on a crash-test-dummy sledge at 20g impact. The in vehicle test is obviously the highest possible standard as it replicates a real-life installation and tests the actual mounting bolts and floor of the vehicle as built by the OEM manufacturer. The sledge-test is to ensure that the seating arrangement can withstand even higher forces, it is conducted with the sledge running both backwards and forwards.
Futher, we are in the process of completing our ISO 9001 certification - the internationally recognised Quality Standard. The manufacturing, design and service elements of our business are all being audited to ensure we operate to the appropriate, high, quality standard.
Crash test / pull test / bench test / in vehicle test . . . . it's not altogether obvious what you're getting with lots of campervan products ..... To be clear about this here is a summary of the testing we have done with the Kiravans double seat swivel......you can find the complete test results, graphs, photos and videos in the help section of our website. It is the only double seat swivel to achieve TUV approval, a significantly higher standard than is the norm in the UK for campervan conversion parts .
1) In vehicle pull testing of both driver and passenger cab seats:
- "In Vehicle" - ie not just bolted down to a solid test bench, so the test also checks how the system interacts with the rest of the vehicle structure, OEM fixing bolts, floor etc
- "Both cab seats" ie both the drivers and passengers seats were pull tested simultaneously with the double swivel fitted, simulating a real crash, with fully loaded seats being thrown forwards and putting the full strain on to the van floor fixings.
2) 20g forwards and backwards crash sledge test:
- the double seat on its swivel is fitted to a sledge, run down a track & crashed to achieve a 20g dead stop. This one is to check that the complete assembly actually stays together in the event of a real crash, as compared to a static in vehicle pull-test that only pulls on the seat belts themselves
3) Full documentation including technical drawing of the actual sample tested is kept on file at TUV
- basically because the tests are always done on a single sample of a design there is nothing to stop an unscrupulous manufacturer from 'beefing up' the sample used for testing and subsequently changing the design that is actually brought to market. TUV therefore keep full technical details of the tested system on file, and the files are freely available in Germany for vehicle inspectors to check when a van comes in for its 'MOT'. In my opinion it is a serious flaw in the UK system that it is not possible for a buyer here to know for sure that the product he is buying is the same as the one that was tested, there are a number of cases I'm aware of where this has certainly not been the case.
4) Manufacturing quality systems assessment to ISO 9001
- finally we had to go through an assessment of our manufacturing and quality control processes to ISO9001 standard - basically to prove that we can produce the swivels to a consistent standard and have systems in place to respond to any quality issues.
. . . and once all of that is sorted, & some big cheques written, you can put a TUV badge on the product and sell it in Germany.
We've been through it all with the T5 swivel and will be repeating the entire process with T4 and Vivaro versions later this year. To date those models have only done the "pull tests on a bench".
So are all claims that a product has been 'tested' the same.? Nope. You need to use your judgement, decide what is most important to you, take your own view of the risks, get a clear understanding of exactly what tests have been conducted, and choose the product that you will feel most happy with.
If you want a seat swivel you can be sure of then choose a Kiravans one.