Major car manufacturers report seatbelt defects
Audi, Land Rover, and Tesla are among the automakers hit with production problems
The Volkswagen Group recently announced in a statement the recall of models within the Audi brand. According to the carmaker’s note, A3 and S3 series vehicles manufactured between July 26, 2021, and January 26, 2022, suffer from defects in the front seat belt system tensors.
The potential problem came to light during a crash test of the Audi RS3 for the South Korean market on January 10, 2022. Following the mishap, an investigation was conducted and found that the strength of the front seat belts did not meet their requirements. By not having a sufficient level of restraint in the event of a crash, it could shift a passenger’s body position forward, increasing the risk of injury.
When the issue was discovered, the Ingolstadt brand contacted the supplier and explained that a production deviation was the root of the problem. The German company initiated a process to detect the cars that had this retention system.
Audi suspended the manufacture and sale of the A3 and S3 models already in production in order to install a seat belt assembly with the appropriate restraint force. All vehicles produced after January 26, 2022, were equipped with the new restraint system.
According to data provided by the car manufacturer, all affected cars were marketed in the United States. Out of a total of 2,584 affected units, 2,221 vehicles were Audi A3 and 363 S3. Fortunately, the company has not received any customer complaints about problems related to this setback.
The car company will offer all kinds of facilities to solve the defect as soon as possible. According to the press release, all vehicle owners and Audi dealers will be informed about the replacement procedure free of charge by September 16.
Jaguar Land Rover has also reported problems with seat belt pre-tensioners
Audi has not been the only automaker to discover a fault in the seat belt system. Jaguar Land Rover has also recalled thousands of vehicles for a problem with the pre-tensioners. These devices are intended, in the event of a frontal impact, to prevent the belt from extending, securing the passenger firmly in the seat.
The British company, however, has already located the error and notified in a statement: “A damaged front seat belt pre-tensioner tube may have been installed on the seat belt retractor, which could result in a reduced level or complete loss of pre-tensioning in the event of a crash and increased occupant injury”.
There were about 4,927 cars affected by this issue, all of them manufactured between December 2021 and March 2022. The affected models are the Land Rover Defender, Land Rover Discovery, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Range Rover Sport, and Range Rover Velar.
By mid-September, the UK automaker will inform dealers about the recall of select cars and provide information on how to fix the issue to the impacted owners.
NHTSA singles Tesla out again for having improper seatbelt alarm programming
As we’ve already seen, 2022 has not been a good year for the seat belt systems of several automotive companies. At the beginning of the year, Tesla was flagged by the NHTSA and had to issue a massive recall on almost all of its models due to a problem with the seat belt programming.
According to NHTSA documents, many of the electric car brand’s models did not adhere to U.S. safety requirements that require the seatbelt chime to be engaged when the car is started.
Around 817,143 vehicles had to be repaired through an over-the-air software update after the defect was discovered on January 6 by the South Korean Automobile Testing and Research Institute.
But this was not the only glitch that has publicly exposed Tesla. Earlier this year, the NHTSA also launched a federal investigation to shed light on accidents that the Autopilot driving system may have caused in recent years.
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