09 May 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Rear seat belt safety issue found on sixth-generation Volkswagen Polo models

2018 Volkswagen Polo Beats (UK)

Volkswagen has stated that passengers of the sixth-generation Polo as well as its SEAT Ibiza and Arona SUV siblings should not use the middle rear seat after the left rear passenger belt came unbuckled during high-speed lane-change manoeuvres conducted by Finnish magazine Tekniikan Maailma.

UK car weekly car magazine Autocar broke the story on the morning on 9 May, and reports that Volkswagen has advised not to use the rear place on affected cars until an official recall has been issued. Tekniikan Maailma discovered that the rear left buckle can come undone when the cars are carrying their full complement of five passengers. Autocar reports that a Volkswagen representative confirmed that the company ‘will provide a technical solution shortly and recall the vehicles concerned’.

‘Design fault’
It is reported that the higher-mounted middle buckle is pushed onto the lower left rear latching under high-speed left direction lane changes due to the weight of the passenger in the centre seat. Tekniikan Maailma confirmed that all three cars acted in this way, and even tested a pair of SEAT Aronas to make sure it wasn’t an isolated case, saying that the unlatching is ‘caused by a design fault’.

Owners of the latest sixth-generation Polo are advised not to use the middle rear seat until affected models have been remedied with a redesigned seat belt lock fixing. Volkswagen told Autocar that the recall will be ‘carried out in co-operation with the national vehicle registration authorities’ in markets where the car is sold.

Update, 11 May 2018: Volkswagen has officially confirmed there is a rear seat belt lock fixture issue and has released the following statement.

Volkswagen announces a recall for the current Polo generation due to issue with rear seat belt lock fixtures

  • Technical solution has been identified
  • Recall campaign to start within the next few weeks
  • Safety remains top priority for Volkswagen

Wolfsburg – Volkswagen has confirmed a technical issue on the new Polo (model year 2018). There is the possibility that in rare situations (e.g. sudden quick lane changes with five passengers on board) and when the rear center seat and the rear left seat are occupied at the same time, the left seat belt lock could be unintentionally released.

At Volkswagen safety remains a main priority and the brand has identified a technical solution: a redesigned belt lock fixture, which will prevent this from happening.

Volkswagen Polo is legally homologated and safe to drive; however the brand advises its customers not to use the middle seat of the new Polo until the car will be equipped with the redesigned belt lock fixture.

Volkswagen is now addressing the concerned authorities for their final validation in order to implement the solution, both on vehicles in the market as well as on the future series production.

Within the next few weeks, Volkswagen will start a recall campaign. Customers will receive a letter so as to plan an appointment with a Volkswagen service partner. The check, as well as the implementation of the redesigned belt lock fixture will be free of charge.

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