Currently reading: Volkswagen and Seat seatbelt issue: fix due in November
Arona, Ibiza and Polo models are still being sold without fix, months after fault was identified – but VW Group says it is taking action
Jimi Beckwith
News
3 mins read
24 August 2018

The Volkswagen Group has said that safety remains a top priority, following reports that the Seat AronaSeat Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo are still being sold without a fix for the seatbelt issue discovered in May that could result in a rear passenger being unbuckled during a high-speed manoeuvre.

Finnish automotive magazine Tekniikan Maailma found that the left rear buckle in the three models, which are based on the VW Group's MQB underpinnings, could be released when the cars were carrying five people. Once the problem was identified, the VW Group redesigned the belt lock fixture and advised customers not to use the middle seat of affected vehicles until the fix was applied. The firm says the solution will start rolling out in November.

Following a report by Which? suggesting that cars are still on sale with the potentially faulty seatbelts, the VW Group has highlighted that the models are "legally homologated and safe to drive", and that both current owners and prospective buyers of affected cars are being advised not to use the middle seats.

The statement added: “Customers have already received a letter informing them of the situation so as to plan an appointment with a Volkswagen/Seat service partner. The current recall solution is a temporary measure which aims to minimise further what is already an extremely low risk of the rear left seat buckle being unintentionally unfastened during exceptionally specific and rare driving conditions. A permanent solution is scheduled to be available in November."

The problem relates to the location of the middle buckle, which is mounted slightly higher than the one to its left. During a high-speed lane change to the right, the weight of the middle passenger pushes that buckle onto the left buckle at an angle that presses the left buckle's release button (see illustration below). VW explained it as "the possibility that in extremely rare situations (eg. sudden, abrupt lane changes with five occupants on board) the left seat belt lock could be unintentionally released".

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In its report, Tekniikan Maailma said this happened on numerous occasions in each identified model. It tested two Aronas in order to confirm that the issue wasn’t isolated to a particular car and said the problem wasn't found in previous tests because they were not conducted with five passengers aboard.

“According to our judgement, the unlatching is caused by a design fault,” Tekniikan Maailma said in a statement. “The easiest fix for the problem would be either to shorten or lengthen the attaching belt of the middle buckle by a couple of centimetres.”

The VW Group's previousnstatement read: "Volkswagen and Seat have confirmed a technical issue on the new Polo, Ibiza and Arona (model year 2018). The Volkswagen Polo, Seat Ibiza and Seat Arona are legally homologated and safe to drive; however, the brands advise their customers not to use the middle seat of affected vehicles until they are equipped with the redesigned belt lock fixture."

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Paulrose52 27 October 2018

Keeping Quiet!

Not once did our Seat dealer mention this. Issue. Not during the sale nor the handover. Just a small warning sticker inside. I am disgusted with Seat. 

dpm 24 August 2018

Volkswagen and SEAT seatbelt recall

My new Polo, ordered in January and delivered first week in June, does not have the seatbelt buckles as shown in the photo. They are side by side not one above the other and there is no slack to position them as shown in the photo. So far (after 700 miles ) I am happy with the car(SEL 115 bhp petrol dsg) although it is by no means perfect. Performance is good and it is very quiet but the seats are too hard, the brakes are very sharp and the dsg box when moving off is not as smooth as my old auto astra.

Citytiger 24 August 2018

dpm wrote:

dpm wrote:

My new Polo, ordered in January and delivered first week in June, does not have the seatbelt buckles as shown in the photo. They are side by side not one above the other and there is no slack to position them as shown in the photo. So far (after 700 miles ) I am happy with the car(SEL 115 bhp petrol dsg) although it is by no means perfect. Performance is good and it is very quiet but the seats are too hard, the brakes are very sharp and the dsg box when moving off is not as smooth as my old auto astra.

5 month waiting for a Polo, which isnt comfortable, or nice to drive, so why did you buy it?  Especially for the current list price you could have got a Fiesta ST2.

JezyG 24 August 2018

Japanese Engineering

The seat belt clips were sourced from a Japannese maunfacturer... The A1 would have been released with the same seat belt issue had it not been found.

Over the years so many safety issues like Toyota and the throttle, Vauxhall and its burning bin - sorry Zafira few Corsa's as well. List goes on and the issue only arises under extreme circumstances which I bet were never tested with passangers in the vehicles ether by the OEM or VAG...

Citytiger 24 August 2018

JezyG wrote:

JezyG wrote:

The seat belt clips were sourced from a Japannese maunfacturer... The A1 would have been released with the same seat belt issue had it not been found.

Over the years so many safety issues like Toyota and the throttle, Vauxhall and its burning bin - sorry Zafira few Corsa's as well. List goes on and the issue only arises under extreme circumstances which I bet were never tested with passangers in the vehicles ether by the OEM or VAG...

The seatbelt clips may have been sourced from a Japanese manufacturer, they themselves are not the problem, its the way they are fitted to the vehicles that is a problem, thats a design issue of the vehicle, not the belt clip. The fact they are still selling these potentially unsafe vehicles without a fix, months after the issue was raised and it will be another few months until a fix is issued, and then potentially a lot longer until they get around to actually fitting it to those vehicles is an absolute disgrace, smacks of indiffernce to its customers, and lets be honest its not the first safety recall for potentially life threatening problems, remember the mk1 TT that had to be recalled for significant modifications after they were found to be unstable at speed and flipped over killing the occupants.  Quality German engineering.. 

JezyG 26 August 2018

Citytiger wrote:

Citytiger wrote:

JezyG wrote:

The seat belt clips were sourced from a Japannese maunfacturer... The A1 would have been released with the same seat belt issue had it not been found.

Over the years so many safety issues like Toyota and the throttle, Vauxhall and its burning bin - sorry Zafira few Corsa's as well. List goes on and the issue only arises under extreme circumstances which I bet were never tested with passangers in the vehicles ether by the OEM or VAG...

The seatbelt clips may have been sourced from a Japanese manufacturer, they themselves are not the problem, its the way they are fitted to the vehicles that is a problem, thats a design issue of the vehicle, not the belt clip. The fact they are still selling these potentially unsafe vehicles without a fix, months after the issue was raised and it will be another few months until a fix is issued, and then potentially a lot longer until they get around to actually fitting it to those vehicles is an absolute disgrace, smacks of indiffernce to its customers, and lets be honest its not the first safety recall for potentially life threatening problems, remember the mk1 TT that had to be recalled for significant modifications after they were found to be unstable at speed and flipped over killing the occupants.  Quality German engineering.. 

Japaneese manufacutured and design for the fitting as well - they were behind the double stack design as well!! As I said BMW, Vauxhall and Toyota had designs that DID cause fatal accidents. What about the A Class and the 'Elk' test a few years back... All denied any issue to start with as well - it is called damage limitation and reputational harm. If you want the ultimate cover up and loss of life then move out of automative world look at the Boeing 737 rudder over issue, which cause fatal crashes and Boeing stating 'no issue' before being linked to a PCV valve.

I suggest you get into fuzz testing as your powers of deduction may have either seen or spotted the seat belt issue. As Talor Swift sings "haters gonna hate."