Ford has issued an auto defect recall for 16,430 F-150 SuperCab pickup trucks from the 2021 model year because of a problem with the front seatbelts that could put vehicle users at risk. According to Consumer Reports, the driver or passenger-side seatbelts may have been improperly routed during the assembly process of these vehicles.
Ford has said the seatbelt webbing may be routed through a rubber trim sleeve rather than an anchor. If this occurs, the seatbelts may not provide enough restraint during a crash, increasing the risk of severe injury. The automaker has advised owners to perform an initial self-inspection of the driver and passenger side front seatbelts to ensure the belt is routed properly through the anchor.
Details of the Recall
Owners will be notified by mail with instructions on performing the preliminary self-evaluation of the vehicle’s seatbelts. However, Ford has emphasized that this procedure does not replace the need for an inspection by a Ford technician. If the driver’s side seatbelt fails the inspection, the owner should not drive the vehicle until the recall is performed. If the passenger-side seatbelt fails the inspection, the seatbelt should not be used until the recall is performed.
Vehicle owners uncomfortable performing the self-inspection should contact their Ford or Lincoln dealer to have the vehicle towed for inspection. As part of the recall, Ford dealers will inspect the front outboard seat belts and, if misrouted, replace the seat belt retractor and pretensioner free of charge.
The recall affects only SuperCab models. The problem affects vehicles built at the Dearborn, Michigan, and Kansas City, Missouri plants between Jan. 2, 2021, and May 27, 2021. F-150 pickup trucks assembled after May 27 utilize seatbelt assemblies that were assembled using an updated process. Ford has said it is not aware of any reports of accidents or injuries related to this problem.
Dangers of Seatbelt Failure
Seat restraint systems are critical to keeping vehicle occupants secured to their seats. This is extremely important in the event of a crash. When a seatbelt fails or doesn’t work as intended, vehicle occupants could get partially or fully ejected from the vehicle and suffer catastrophic injuries or even death.
Suppose you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective seatbelt. In that case, you may be able to file an auto product liability claim seeking compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses. An experienced California auto defect lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options better.