On February 13, 2019, a Texas jury returned a $37.6 million verdict against Honda, finding that the seat belt system in a Honda minivan had a design defect that left a woman paralyzed after the vehicle was involved in a rollover crash.
On Thursday, September 6, 2018, media outlets carried the announcement of a massive recall of Ford F-150 pickup trucks. About 2,000,000 trucks are involved, approximately 1,619,000 of which are in the United States. The recall affects model years 2015-2018, and stems from reports that a defect in the seatbelt system could cause a fire.
The term "submarining" refers to a dangerous phenomenon that occurs during a car crash that is caused by the design of the car's seatbelt system. The seatbelt system in your car is one of the most important features that can protect you from death or serious injury in a car crash. However, if designed improperly, a seatbelt system can be the cause of your injury.
Ford is recalling nearly 700,000 vehicles due to a possible defect in the front seat belts of several models. The company says the pre-tension deployment system can fail, preventing the seatbelts from properly restraining an individual in a car accident. The pre-tension system automatically tightens the seatbelts when a driver stops a vehicle, preventing the buildup of slack in the restraints. The recall covers certain 2013 to 2016 Ford Fusion, 2013 to 2015 Lincoln MKZ and 2015 and 2016 Ford Mondeo cars.
General Motors recalled over one million 2014 and 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks worldwide because there is an issue the functionality of the seatbelts. Namely, there was a possibility that seatbelts in those vehicles would not hold or protect the driver or passenger in a crash. At issue of the seatbelt is a flexible steel cable that connects the seat belt to the vehicle. This steel cable can separate from the vehicle because of consistent wear and tear, and the repeated action of pulling the seatbelt over time. As of April of this year, there were no reports of crashes or injuries due to the faulty seatbelt.
Toyota recalled nearly three million RAV4 sport utility vehicles worldwide. This recall includes 1.33 million units in North America, 625,000 in Europe, 434 in China, and 177,000 in Japan. Uncovering a defect in the rear seatbelts resulted in the automaker's recall. In the event of a frontal collision, the seatbelts could be damaged or completely severed, leaving passengers unprotected. The automaker said in an email that the lap-shoulder seatbelts in the vehicles' second-row seats could come into contact with the metal seat cushion frame causing it to cut off. "There is a possibility that, in the event of a high-speed frontal collision, the seatbelt webbing could contact a portion of the metal cushion frame, become cut and separate," stated the company. "If this occurs, the seatbelt may not properly restrain the occupant, which could increase the risk of injury to the occupant."
According to an article recently published by the Associated Press, Subaru of America, Inc. is recalling more than 275,000 Forester SUVs from four different model years after learning that the rear seat belts may not hold a child seat securely in place.