Seat Belt Failure

Posted on 28. Feb, 2012 by in Blog

When one buckles a seat belt it is with the expectation that it will restrain one in the event of an accident. Seat Belts are designed to prevebt occupants from hitting the interior of the automobile and keep the passenger inside the vehicle. A properly functioning seat belt will stop a passenger with the car.

Seat Belt Defects
There are several ways in which a seat belt can malfunction. Accidental unlatching. Another seat belt defect occurs when the belt detaches from the vehicle. Older seat belts have been associated with tearing. Shoulder harness have been known to allow occupants to “slide-out” or if improperly fitted can injure or strangle a passenger.

Accident Unlatching: Generally the seat belt buckle opens or unlatches by flying objects or inertia during an accident or sudden stop.

Belt Detaching: The seat belt dislodges from the permanent mount.

Tearing: The seat belt tears or rips during impact. This can be caused by defective material.

Ill-fitting Shoulder Harness: Due to design or improper installation, a shoulder harness may not fit properly. In this case, it can cause bodily injury to the wearer.

Currently, most states require all front seat passengers to utilize seat belts. In some states, it is also law for backseat passengers too. In addition, seat belts are used to restrain child car seats. See Child Car Seat Section and Basic Flow Car Seats and Booster Seats for additional information on product safety for these items.

Third Generation Seat Belts
The Third Generation seat belt buckle installed on certain Chrysler vehicles has been associated with accidental unlatching. A loose object or flailing body part can bump into the button and accidently unlatch the buckle during a rollover crash.

The Volvo XC60’s driver’s side seat belt detached from the anchor point during a side-impact crash test performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Volvo recalled nearly 10,000 vehicles to repair this defect.

In addition, Takata seat belts were the subject of a very large recall. These belts either failed to lock properly or would jam and not unlock after impact. More than 8 million seat belts were implicated in the recall affecting Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Ford, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Isuzu, General Motors, Suzuki, Daihatsu, Geo, GM and Chrysler.

Those who have suffered injuries as a result of an accident where a seat belt did not function properly may wish to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering and mental anguish.

If you find yourself in this situation, call Rick Woods at DWSA Law Group (Daniels, Woods, Snively, Atwell Law Group, LLP) at (800) 664-3001. We are here to help. Remember if you don’t call we can’t help.

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