The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced on November 2, 2016 that 74,027 vehicles manufactured by Volvo are recalled due to a faulty seat belt that might loosen during a crash. In particular, the front passenger seat belt affixed by a stud may loosen during a crash allowing the buckle to separate from the seat belt bracket. These seat belt buckles are in violation of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety (FMVSS) number 210 for improper anchorage of a seat belt.
The recall effects the following 2016 and 2017 models:
Seat belts are one of most effective life saving or injury preventing devices in a vehicle. This problem appears to be due a defect in the manufacturing process on the assembly line rather than the design itself. Every vehicle that I have owned had seat belts bolted through the structural frame component with a 1/2″ (or metric equivalent) bolt. As such, the structural component should fail before the bolt does. The problem involved in this recall is likely due to an improper sizing of the hole or thread for the stud. The thread should be tight enough so that the bolt is somewhat hard to turn because you would not want the bolt to loosen over time.
If you or someone you know has been injured due to one of these vehicles with a seat belt defect, please contact a Volvo seat belt recall attorney for a free consultation. You cannot predict when a crash is going to happen. These vehicles should not be driven with a front passenger until the repair has been made.