You may have heard or read about the recent recall of two million Ford F-150 pickup trucks because of the vehicle’s seat belt pretensioner. If you haven’t heard about it, let me fill you in.
To begin with, let me tell you what exactly a pretensioner is. In most modern vehicles, there are special sensors that can pick up when a collision occurs and quickly unfold the various safety features intended for this kind of event. Along with the airbags, a car will set off seat belt pretensioners that jerk the safety belts a little bit tighter. This is what pulls passengers into their seats.
In early August of this past year, it was reported that Ford was recalling a large amount of their F-150 pickup trucks. It turns out that the company discovered that the pretensioner in the car could possibly set fire if the truck were collide with another vehicle. Apparently, about 23 complaints of smoke or fire related to the seat belt were reported in both U.S. and Canada. There were no injuries reported but Ford wanted to take the side of caution.
Whereas some pretensioners operate mechanically, many modern models consist of explosive charges that rapidly tighten the belt. The pretensioner of Ford F-150s is found inside of the B-pillar, which is the part of the vehicle separating the front and back doors. When the pretensioner is activated, it releases gases inside of this B-pillar, which can be ignited by sparks. As a result, things behind it like carpeting or insulation can catch fire.
Because the seat belt pretensioners in a few Ford models were at risk of starting a fire, there was an investigation opened up into the issue. All of this led to the recall of 2 million of their trucks.
In this instance, it is fortunate that nobody was injured before the recall happened. Nonetheless, it taught the public a valuable lesson about paying attention to even minor things. If you find yourself involved in an accident, you now know that your vehicle may need pretensioner repair. There is a company called Safety Restore that specializes in just that. Safety Restore performs pretensioner repair for seat belts for vehicles that have been involved in large collisions or even minor fender-benders. The company uses industry standard tools and 100% OEM parts, so you can rest assured that safety and quality will be ascertained in the pretensioner repair. The company has also always met or exceeded FMVSS standards and provides all of its customers with a lifetime warranty.