Public service campaigns rely heavily on memorable phrases that are easy to remember and easy to repeat. We’ve all heard “seat belts save lives” and while that overall concept is true, the real sound bite should be “seat belts could save more lives.” Why? Because, like any other car part, seat belts fail, but when they do, lives are at stake. They are arguably the most important part of automotive safety.
When you get in your car and buckle up, you expect that your seat belt will stay latched and restrain you in the event of an accident. In fact, that is the main concept behind the push for mandatory seat belt laws – to keep occupants from being ejected in a crash or impacting the car’s interior. Known as the “second collision,” seat belts help keep a person from hitting a vehicle’s windshield, steering wheel or roof after the vehicle first collides with an object.
While it’s good news that seat belt use has increased, it’s troubling that many of them don’t work properly. Defective seat belts may not adequately restrain occupants of a vehicle due to poor manufacturing or design. Malfunctions include inertial unlatching (in which the latch plate pulls out of the seat belt’s buckle), false latching (in which the seat belt pulls free at less than five pounds of pull), material and weaving that are not durable, too much slack and faulty retractors.
Hyundai recalled 143,000 of its 2015 Sonatas to fix a problem involving the metal tongue of the front passenger seat belt buckle. Kia Motors America recalled 2,587 model year 2016 Kia Sorentos due to buckle latch assemblies that may prevent the front passenger from fastening the seat belt. About 47,000 Chevrolet Caprices and Pontiac G8s were recalled by GM due to problems with the seat-belt tensioner assembly. And approximately 1,350 Honda Pilots were recalled to fix problems with seat belts located in the third row seats.
If you have suffered injury due to seat belt failure, contact an experienced crash worthiness attorney. At the Mann Law Firm, we have successfully represented victims throughout Georgia who have been seriously hurt by defective products. We have also assisted families who have lost loved ones to defective vehicle parts. For over 50 years, we have been helping injured consumers put their lives back on track and we are ready to help you. For advice on how to proceed next, or if you have any questions about this topic, call 478-742-3381 or submit our online form.