But I Fastened My Seat Belt!
September 2, 2015 / Vehicle Accidents
You’ve probably read quite a bit this year about the multi-million-vehicle Takata air bag recall. The faulty air bags have been implicated in at least eight deaths and over 100 injuries, and the automakers run the gamut from Honda to GM to Ford to Nissan. But you might not have heard as much about the seat belt recalls involving four major car manufacturers.
Air bags would not be as life-saving as they are if we didn’t have seat belts in our cars. Seat belts do indeed save lives. It could even be argued that seat belts are more critical to our safety than air bags. They are the original, first line of defense when it comes to minimizing serious injury and death in automobile accidents.
Seat belt use has risen over the years. Indiana’s compliance rate was at least 90 percent from 2008 through 2014. And traffic deaths went down as seat belt design improved over the decades. Yes, seat belts do indeed save lives.
But not if they don’t work.
Well Over a Half-Million Vehicles Affected
During only a few months of 2015 alone, nearly 700,000 vehicles were recalled for faulty seat belts. The recalls affect five different automakers:
- In May, General Motors recalled almost 470,000 2011-2012 Chevrolet Malibus to fix cables that fasten the front seat belts to the vehicle. The cable could separate under stress and the belts could fail. And in July, GM recalled 47,000 2011-2013 Chevrolet Caprices and 2008-2009 Pontiac G8s to fix belts. Again, the problem is with a cable.
- During July, Hyundai recalled 140,000 2015 Sonatas in North America because of seat belt buckle problems. If the metal tongue on the front passenger seat belt is not fixed, the buckle could jam and not fasten properly, meaning that the belt would not restrain you in an accident.
- In mid-August, Ford announced it was recalling over 26,000 heavy-duty trucks (F-650 and F-750) because the seat belts might not be properly anchored. The recall affects model years 2011-2013, and 2015.
- Also in July, Kia Motors recalled 2,587 2016 Sorentos for front passenger seat belts that won’t latch because the latch assemblies can prevent the belt from fastening, resulting in belt failure.
- Once more in July, 1,358 2016 Honda Pilots were recalled because the belt in the third row of seats could become trapped between the seat and the sideliner and not restrain passengers properly during a collision. Honda has had problems with the seat belts in Pilots before.
If you believe your vehicle is affected, and you have not been contacted, get in touch with the maker of your car or truck as soon as possible in order to make sure these potentially deadly problems are fixed.
Serving accident victims in Indiana since 1981.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury in an accident due to a seat belt failure, call Indiana accident lawyer Mike Stephenson. Mike can take a look at your unique situation to determine whether negligence was involved and, if so, which party was responsible. Keep in mind that in Indiana there is a statute of limitations – or a deadline – for filing personal injury claims, so it is unwise to delay. Don’t lose the opportunity to obtain the money you need to make your family’s future financially secure. Call Mike Stephenson at 1-317-825-5200 or contact us using our online form. Stephenson Rife. Trusted advisors. Proven advocates.