Seatbelt Recall Hits 400,000 VW And Seat Models After Magazine Findings

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.

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  • Peter Gaskin

    How long do car manufacturers spend on engineering and designing cars? Seems hard to believe something like this slips through. Do we need a test that checks on safety of both front and rear passengers?

    • ace_9

      It is not possible to think about everything and test every possible scenario. And issues like this are very rare, so there is nothing to be concerned about. I’m sure they will include it into the future tests.

      • Peter Gaskin

        Seat belt problem with ZB Commodore suggests something is not quite right!

        • ace_9

          I don’t know what exactly is the problem with rear seat belts on Commodore, but I would say, it is different from the vw issue.

    • ProtectOurHeritage

      I guess Volkswagen spends longer on emission cheat software and middle-of-the-road in-car entertainment systems to worry about such things as seat belts.

  • ProtectOurHeritage

    When will our European regulators crack down on such mismanagement? Oh wait, they won’t.

    • haudit

      Mismanagement? It’s a minor design flaw that they’ve already identified and devised a fix for. Don’t go getting your knickers in a knot over nothing.

      • ProtectOurHeritage

        Its just more evidence that Volkswagen is churning out rubbish cars where their design fault has the potential to kill. Being advised ‘Don’t use your middle seat’ on the new SEAT Arona, SEAT Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo models is NOT nothing.

        • ace_9

          They advise to not use the middle seat because it CAN be a problem in an accident and they made an announcement as soon as it was found out. And now they are recalling the cars. So what’s your problem? You don’t even know what the issue is.

          • ProtectOurHeritage

            The problem is that Volkswagen are using suppliers who are well-known for manufacturing dangerous products. You may see you no problem with it, but this poor decision is going to cost them millions to rectify, and it serves them right.

          • ace_9

            The belt latches itself are not unsafe. They are the same as in almost any other car. The problem is the placement of the two latches when they are used. I tried to explain it in the other post.

  • ProtectOurHeritage

    Hard to detect or predict? I’m amazed it wasn’t spotted by Volkswagen in testing, which makes me ask if they do enough?

    • haudit

      Volkswagen didn’t design the seatbelt latches, they bought them from Takata. So if anyone is to blame, it’s the supplier, for supplying Volkswagen with latches that are too easy to trigger.

      • ProtectOurHeritage

        They are using a manufacturer well known for churning out other dangerous products such as faulty airbags? That doesn’t surprise me one bit. How deeply irresponsible of Volkswagen Group!

        • haudit

          Pretty much every automaker in the business is still using Takata for at least some of their parts. Funny, I don’t recall you commenting on the article about BMW recalling 300,000 cars that are at risk of catching fire. I’d call that a real safety hazard – much more serious than a seatbelt that can potentially disengage if you have three passengers in the rear and take a left hand turn with gusto.

      • Peter Gaskin

        Easy to give vw a free pass but dont vw give specs to supplier of seat belts? Basic QA says the goods must meet certain standards. I know problems changing brand of wire for wrapping explosives seems to involve more red tape! Once the goods are delivered it is then up to the manufacturer to ensure compliance

    • ace_9

      You really did not google what actually caused the problem, did you? But it’s funny that you don’t seem to be concerned about making a fool of yourself without checking the facts…

      • ProtectOurHeritage

        I’m guess you’re one of those who didn’t have a problem with the dieselgate scandal either? Volkswagen really does have some deranged fans out there.

  • sidewaysspin

    Predictable it would happen when you buy pos.

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