Ford has issued a vehicle defect recall for about 117,000 vehicles to replace improperly tempered seat, seatback, seatbelt and seatbelt buckle attaching bolts that could increase injury risks in the event of a car accident. According to an NBC New York news report, when the recall begins, Ford will replace the bolts for free. The recall affects Ford F-150, E-Series and Escape vehicles as well as Lincoln MKC cars. There have been no reported injuries so far.
In affected vehicles, if a seat, seatback or seatbelt anchor attaching bolt fractures, the structural integrity of the seat or the seat belt system’s performance may be compromised in a sudden stop or crash, increasing the risk of injury. Ford says if the bolt fractures, the seat or seatbelt’s performance could be compromised in a sudden stop or crash. The company says it is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the defect.
Each year, seatbelts save thousands of lives. However, there are also a number of injuries and fatalities that stem from defective seatbelts. According to one statistic, for every 15,000 lives saved annually, at least another 6,000 could have been saved had their seatbelts been functioning properly at the time of impact. Seatbelt failures cause serious injuries including but not limited to fractures, dislocations, lacerations, bruising, concussions, and whiplash. A number of these injuries require extensive and intensive medical treatment and rehabilitative therapy.
When a car accident occurs, there is a primary impact of the vehicle striking another vehicle or stationary object. During such a collision, it is the function of the seatbelt to protect the driver and passengers. However, if the seatbelt is defective, a second impact will occur causing the driver or passenger to hit the interior of the vehicle. Passengers may also get ejected from the vehicle if the seatbelt doesn’t work properly. Defects in design, production or installation of a vehicle’s seat restraint system are factors in the severity of how these injuries occur.
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a defective seatbelt, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. An experienced auto defect attorney will be able to evaluate the nature of the seatbelt defect and the role it played in the victim’s injuries.