The Most Common Seatbelt Defects

Defective products can be scary because they are generally things we use in our everyday lives that should otherwise be quite safe. Even more difficult to comprehend is when something that has been created to keep you safe, like a seat belt, malfunctions and causes injury to you or a loved one. Using a seat belt should make you feel protected, not nervous. Some common seat belt defects to be aware of include:

  • Defective latches and defective release buttons: It is not uncommon for seat belt latches to just let go upon impact in a car accident. If the seat belt lets go, people can be ejected from the car.
  • Lap-only belts and shoulder-only belts: These belts are not included in more modern vehicles, but they are still present in some older ones. Shoulder-only belts can cause the passenger to slide out from under the belt upon impact, while lap-only belts could cause internal damage at the moment of impact due to the force of a passenger's weight combined with the forward momentum.
  • Retractor failures
  • Vehicle system failures
  • Ineffective tension sensors
  • Warning light failures
  • Cheap material, bad stitching, or poor construction: This can cause seat belts to tear or fray, enough that they are rendered completely ineffective.

Seat belts are responsible for saving so many lives, but when they don't work, they give a vehicle's occupant false hope that they are being protected. If you are in a car accident, your seat belt should do what it was made to do. In the event it does not do what it was supposed to do, it's very possible that it was either defectively manufactured or defectively designed.

If you were in a car accident and your seat belt did not work, call Austin defective product attorney Earl Straight for a free consultation at 512-454-1331.