Ford to Recall 650,000 Vehicles for Defective Seatbelts
Ford Motor Co. has said it will issue a vehicle defect recall for about 650,000 Ford and Lincoln sedans in North American including more than 602,000 in the United States because of issues with the vehicle’s seatbelts. According to a Detroit News report, the seatbelt anchor pretensioners in these vehicles could separate during a crash due to the increased temperature generated as the pretensioners deploy. If the cable separates, occupants of the vehicle may not be properly restrained increasing the risk of injury.
The Dearborn automaker says it knows of two crashes and two injuries associated with these seatbelt defects. The recall includes certain 2013-16 Ford Fusions, 2015-16 Ford Mondeos and 2013-15 Lincoln MKZs. When the recall begins, dealers will inject a coating into the front driver and passenger seatbelt anchor pretensioners to protect the cables, at no cost to consumers.
What Seatbelt Pretensioners Do
The job of the seatbelt pretensioner is to allow the seatbelt to work correctly when it is restraining someone. The pretensioner retracts to keep the person in place should an accident occur. So when a pretensioner fails to work as it should, vehicle occupants are in grave danger. When a seatbelt doesn’t work as intended, vehicle occupants could get thrown inside the vehicle or worse, get partially or fully ejected from the vehicle.
Investigating Defective Seatbelt Cases
When an accident occurs where a vehicle occupant is partially or fully ejected from the vehicle, it is important to understand why that happened. In some cases, a seatbelt defect might be obvious. However, in other cases, it may not be obvious. In such cases, accident reconstruction experts will be required to see if there was a seatbelt malfunction.
A skilled auto product defect attorney will also have the body of the ejected person carefully examined for evidence of seatbelt bruising and marking. They would also test the webbing microscopically for marks, blood stains or other indicators that would prove that the seatbelt was in use at the time of the accident.
Police traffic investigators will normally tend to assume that the driver or vehicle occupant was not wearing their seatbelt if they were completely or even partially ejected from the vehicle. But an expert looking for signs of seatbelt use will be able to correct or confirm such assumptions. This is why it makes a difference when you get an experienced and resourceful auto defect law firm on your side in such cases.