By on December 2, 2016


Ford Motor Company has announced a recall of 680,000 vehicles to fix seat belts that might not protect occupants during a crash.

The automaker claims two crashes and two injuries are connected to the failure of driver and and front passenger seat belt anchor pretensioners in vehicles spanning four model years.

According to Ford, the pretensioners can overheat during deployment, leading to cable separation. Without that restraint, occupants face the risk of injury during a front impact collision.

Unlike the door latch woes that have plagued Ford over the past two years, this recall involves only two domestic models. The automaker says it will repair 2013 to 2016 model year Ford Fusions assembled at both the Hermosillo and Flat Rock assembly plants, as well as 2013 to 2015 Lincoln MKZs.

Of the recalled vehicles, 602,739 were sold in the United States, 35,614 in Canada, 8,665 in Mexico and 653 in federalized territories. The affected Fusions were built between Aug. 13, 2012 and April 2, 2016, while the MKZ models rolled out between November 14, 2012 and July 31, 2014.

Ford’s prescribed fix is an easy one:

Dealers will inject a conformal coating into the front driver and passenger seat belt anchor pretensioner to protect the cables from increased temperatures generated during deployment at no cost to the customer.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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14 Comments on “No Holding Back: Seat Belt Failures Spark Sizable Ford Recall...”

  • avatar

    So 3/4 of a million Sienna’s recalled or about all of them made since 2011 because the door could open while driving is back page stuff?

  • avatar

    Curious. Seat belt tech is not exactly new. Automakers and their suppliers know how to make this sort of thing. What changed?

    • 0 avatar

      They mixed in the sort of Mexican safety standards that allowed Nissan to keep building a Sentra that was obsolete 20 years ago?

      • 0 avatar

        The article mentioned the recall affected vehicles made in both Mexico and Michigan:

        “The automaker says it will repair 2013 to 2016 model year Ford Fusions assembled at both the Hermosillo and Flat Rock assembly plants,”

        So it appears to be more of a cost cutting design issue, rather than a manufacturing defect. Safety is the wrong place to save money. And belts get “deployed” relatively frequently.

        • 0 avatar

          “And belts get “deployed” relatively frequently.”

          The belts get “deployed” when the airbag does, so not sure what “frequent” means.

          • 0 avatar

            I brake for squirrels. Seat belts tension up, but airbags do not go off.

            – Aggressive driver cuts me off
            – Short yellow turns red
            – Stalled car in left lane

            The list goes on, but for the last one, the car in front of me slammed on his brakes to avoid a stalled car in the left lane on a highway. I don’t tailgate, but I had to slam on my brakes too, smoking my tires and sending everything in the car forward. No collision. No airbag. Seatbelt deployed. Heart stopped briefly.

          • 0 avatar

            @ WheelMcCoy, no these don’t tighten up if tensioners not an inertia switch. Just like air bags they are a one use item. An explosive charge is detonated. That explosive charge is apparently so hot that it can burn through the 3/8″ cable.

          • 0 avatar

            Thanks, got it. I thought the belts were the typical pendulum / inertia design, hence was wondering what was new.

        • 0 avatar

          It would save the health care system a ton of money if boomers would buy these things but we just buy pickups and big SUV’s.

    • 0 avatar

      Except seat belts were never wired in with the airbag control module to fire an explosive to tighten down the belt itself.

  • avatar

    The profits now, recalls later business model of Big Al strikes again.

    This probably won’t please the Ford advertising machine on this site though.

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