Volkswagen and Seat will recall over 400,000 vehicles after a Finnish automotive magazine uncovered a seatbelt fault.
During tests of the Seat Arona, magazine Tekniikan Maailma discovered that when there were three passengers in the back and the driver made a high-speed turn to the left, the middle seatbelt buckle can press and unlatch the buck of the left passenger. The magazine was able to replicate the same results with newer versions of the Volkswagen Polo and Seat Ibiza.
All up, the recall affects roughly 220,000 current-generation Polo models and 191,000 Ibiza and Arona models from 2017 and 2018.
Following tests at its factory, Volkswagen was able to replicate the results from Tekniikan Maailma and will recall said models.
“Safety remains a main priority and we immediately reacted to solve the issue. As a consequence, a feasible technical solution has been identified. We are now waiting for the concerned authorities’ final validation in order to implement it, both on the customers’ cars and on the future series production,” a Volkswagen spokesperson said.
The magazine believes the easiest way to rectify the issue would be to shorten or lengthen the belt of the middle buckle “by a couple of centimeters.”
As VW awaits approval for its fix, the company has advised Polo, Ibiza, and Arona owners to not use the middle rear seat.