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Seatbelt Defects

Seatbelts Defect Injury Lawsuits

Seatbelt Defects | Lawsuits, Lawyers | Defective: Injury, Death | Crash, Unlatching

Seatbelts play an important role in passenger protection during accidents. Properly designed seatbelts should restrain the occupant by stopping ejection and decreasing the passenger’s movement within the vehicle during a crash. Seatbelt defects can result in death and serious injuries.

More than 100 million cars in America have seatbelts with the release button on the front face of the buckle. In some rollovers, frontal collisions and side impacts, the release mechanism can be disengaged when the back of the buckle hits part of the seat structure or of the human body. Manufacturers are reluctant to admit the existence of this defect. However, in Malone v. General Motors, crash tests videos were introduced into evidence which demonstrated seatbelt unlatching in internal tests conducted by General Motors.

Over the last several years, there have been several landmark cases against Japanese and American automobile manufacturers pertaining to this defect. During impact, the release of the seatbelt happens as a result of force or energy being applied to the back of the buckle in the form of the forward movement of the occupant into the buckle. When the initial energy is transformed into the spring of the buckle, it releases the tension on the latch plate, allowing it to come open.

When this happens, the occupant is then as if he wasn’t belted at all. Relatively low forces during a wreck can cause the button to depress, permitting the latch plate to be free.

Legal Help For Victims Affected By Defective Seatbelts

If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective seatbelt, please fill out the form at the right for a free case evaluation by a qualified product liability attorney or call us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).


Seatbelt DefectsRSS Feed

Pennsylvania Man Awarded $55 Million in Defective Seat Belt Case

Jul 28, 2014
A Philadelphia jury ordered Honda to pay $55.3 million to a man who filed a lawsuit alleging that the seat belt in his Acura Integra was defective, causing him to suffer severe injuries when he got into a car crash. In 2010, Carlos Martinez, 57, was driving to work when one of his tires blew out. He lost control of the vehicle and as it rolled over, his head hit the roof. His injuries caused him to be paralyzed, and he now uses a wheelchair. Martinez filed a lawsuit in the Philadelphia Court...

Jury Awards Bus Crash Victims $17.5 Million

Oct 4, 2005 |
A McLennan County jury decided Thursday that the bus involved in a deadly 2003 Interstate 35 crash near Hewitt was defective because it didn't have seat belts and awarded $17.5 million in damages to bus passengers.After 15 hours of deliberation, jurors in the four-week accident liability trial gave the plaintiffs everything they sought in their lawsuit against Motor Coach Industries, a Schaumburg, Ill.-based bus manufacturer.“A person who sits on a bus ought to have the opportunity to be...

Mazda, GM To Recall Sport Utility Vehicles

Apr 15, 2004 | AP
Mazda is recalling 106,000 Tribute sport utility vehicles because they can stall without warning, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Thursday. Separately, General Motors announced a recall because of seat belt defects that could affect up to 1.8 million SUVs. Involved in the Mazda recall are Tributes from the 2001-2003 model years with 3-liter, V6 engines. In a letter sent to NHTSA in May 2002, Mazda said the engine stalling didn’t present...

Houston Family Settles Lawsuit Over Deadly, Faulty Seat Belts

Apr 8, 2004 |
A Houston-area family has settled its lawsuit against DaimlerChrysler in the deaths of two women ejected from a minivan in a crash that occurred in 2002 as the family returned home from vacation.Martin Mendoza filed the suit against the automaker March 13, 2003 , claiming faulty seat belts were to blame for the deaths of his wife and sister-in-law. The suit was settled for an undisclosed sum.Seven members of the extended Mendoza family were returning Sunday, Dec. 29, 2002, to their homes in...


Feb 27, 2003 |
The widow of a man who died as the result of a defective seat belt came to Austin to urge lawmakers not to make it harder for citizens to file and win lawsuits that expose unsafe products."When you make it harder for average people to discover the truth and punish wrongdoing, you no longer have justice for all," said Yvonne Moran, of Sinton, TX. Moran testified before the Texas House Committee on Civil Practices, which is hearing proposals that would sharply limit access to the legal system by...

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