NHTSA Digs Deeper Into VW Tiguan Seatbelt Failures
Vehicle manufacturers are expected to test vehicles for problems before releasing the cars and to fix issues that could impact passenger safety. Unfortunately, car makers don't always take the right steps to ensure that every car they release will actually operate as it should and keep occupants safe. When a car turns out to have serious problems, a California lemon law lawyer should be consulted by the buyer to find out about available legal remedies.
Recently, there have been concerns about Volkswagen Tiguan vehicles. In particular, there is a risk that the seatbelts in these vehicles will fail, putting occupants in danger. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is conducting an investigation into seatbelt failures, according to Consumer Reports.
NHTSA Investigates Seatbelt Failure in Tiguan Vehicles
Consumer Reports indicates that NHTSA's concern is about the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan. NHTSA conducted frontal crash tests of this SUV and found that the seatbelt on the cars tore apart.
The two crash tests were conducted less than a week apart. The testing took place at different locations. But, in both instances, the seatbelt holding the driver of the SUV in place separated and frayed. Ultimately, this resulted in the seatbelt completely splitting into two parts. The seatbelt split at the area where the belt is inserted into the buckle.
NHTSA launched a safety-defect investigation in light of the repeated problems with the seatbelt fraying in two crash tests. The first phase of this investigation was called a Preliminary Evaluation; however, after this phase was completed, NHTSA launched an Engineering Analysis to continue the investigation.
Engineering analyses have become less common in recent years, with just four such analyses launched in all of 2017. Depending upon the results of the analysis, it is possible that Volkswagen Tiguan's will end up having to be recalled if NHTSA determines that a risk of seatbelt failure could endanger vehicle occupants in the event of a crash.
The 2018 Tiguan has been on the market for around a year already, and no vehicle owners have made complaints to NHTSA about problems with seatbelts. There have also been no reports of fatalities or serious injuries as a result of seatbelt failure.
Volkswagen does not believe that there is actually a problem with the vehicles, and the car maker is challenging the results of the NHTSA crash tests in which the seat belt allegedly frayed. A spokesperson for VW said the car performed well in the company's own testing as well as in other third-party tests including crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which had given the Tiguan a top rating.
If your car has problems with seatbelts or any vehicle parts or components, it is important that you talk with a California lemon law lawyer to find out what options you have available to you to pursue legal remedies. Contact an attorney as soon as your vehicle begins having issues so you can get the help you need.