The SEAT Arona SUV and Ibiza supermini, as well as the mechanically-related Volkswagen Polo, are subject to a safety issue that can see the left-rear passenger’s seatbelt unbuckle itself when five people are seated in the car.
Finnish automotive magazine Tekniikan Maailma identified the issue, which is caused by the rear-left seatbelt socket resting below the middle-belt socket. During a high-speed lane change, the middle socket pushes down on the rear-left seatbelt socket’s release button, unlatching the seatbelt.
Road testers from Tekniikan Maailma first noticed the issue when group testing the Arona SUV, and subsequently replicated it in the SEAT Ibiza and VW Polo, all of which are based on MQB A0 Volkswagen Group architecture and are fitted with seatbelts made by Takata.
Tekniikan Maailma was unable to replicate the fault in the VW T-Roc, which has a similar rear buckle arrangement, but features seatbelts made by a different company. As a result of this, the magazine concluded that: “The reason for unlatching is a combination of buckle layout and too sensitive release buttons in the buckles manufactured by Takata.”
SEAT’s director of Communications, Christian Stein, said: “Based on the analysis made at our factory we have identified the seat belt issue that Tekniikan Maailma has found in the tests. We are working on possible solutions for it and we will inform you about the final decision as soon as possible.” Volkswagen was also said to be investigating the issue.
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