Vehicle Safety
December 9, 2016

Seatbelt Pretensioners Fail; Ford Recalls 680,872 Vehicles

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Seatbelt Pretensioners Fail; Ford Recalls 680,872 Vehicles

The Ford Motor Company has recalled 602,739 vehicles in the United States over concerns that their seatbelts “may inadequately restrain an occupant in a crash, increasing the risk of injury.” The defective seatbelts have been traced back to two Ford manufacturing facilities, where they were assembled from 2012 to 2016—one in Hermosillo, Mexico and the second in Flat Rock, Michigan. Three lines were affected by the recall; Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ, and a small number of Ford Mondeo sedans.

The automaker has said that two injuries have been reported in connection with the faulty seatbelts at the time of the recall. Ford’s investigation discovered that the breakdown occurs because of “increased temperatures generated during deployment of the seat belt anchor pretensioner,” which are then susceptible to “separate” during a crash. Pretensioners are a safety device triggered by sudden and extreme braking, which then instantly tightens the seatbelt, and in doing so thrusts the passenger into an ideal seating position just before the airbag goes off to reduce the risk of injury.

2016 Volvo & Toyota Seatbelt Recalls

This is the third major seatbelt recall of 2016. At the end of October, Volvo recalled 74,000 new vehicles over concerns that some seatbelts might not work as intended during an accident. That recall, caused by defective seatbelt buckles, included 2016 and 2017 models of Volvo’s S60, S90, V60, XC60, and XC90. Back in February, in what was the largest seatbelt related recall of the year, Toyota was forced to send out notices to 2.87 million RAV4 owners internationally. Those Toyota seatbelts could allegedly break apart in a crash and were linked to the death of at least one passenger.

Owners of a recently recalled Ford or Lincoln will be contacted by the company by mid-January when dealers are ready to service their cars. In a statement, Ford said, “Dealers will inject a conformal coating into the front driver and passenger seat belt anchor pretensioner to protect the cables from increased temperatures generated during deployment at no cost to the customer.” Until repairs are made, however, it is recommended that owners find an alternative means of transportation.

To check if your vehicle has been recalled: http://consumerwatch.com/vehicle-recall-checker-by-vin-check-vehicle-recalls/