The failure of the driver’s seat belt webbing of the 2018 MY Volkswagen Tiguan in two separate crash tests has propelled federal regulators to conduct a thorough investigation. The results of the probe will determine whether Volkswagen is required to issue a recall on about 110,000 of these Tiguan models currently active on the road.
Results of the frontal impact tests
In December 2017, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted the two frontal crash tests through its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). The results revealed that the vehicle’s seatbelt webbing sustained a complete separation during both crash tests. The report indicates that both full frontal impact tests into a rigid barrier were performed at 35 mph. A male and female dummy were fastened into the driver’s and passenger’s seat respectively during the tests. The driver seatbelt webbing was shown to have “completely separated in tension where it looped through the seatbelt latch tongue.”
Subsequent to the investigation, Volkswagen maintained denial of the seatbelt flaw, claiming tension in the crash dummy’s umbilical cord produced abrasion or cuts to the seatbelt. The automaker performed several of its own sled tests in an effort to substantiate their assertion. They sent the data from their tests to the NCAP and Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) for review. Analysis of the sled test data substantiated the claim that the seatbelt failed in tension and not as a result of abrasion or cuts created by the crash dummy umbilical cord.
The 2018 Tiguan has been on the market for approximately one year, and thus far the NHTSA has received no complaints regarding this auto part defect issue.
Next step: engineering analysis
The investigation is entering its next stage, which is the engineering analysis stage in order to take a closer look at the behavior of the seatbelts in the Tiguan vehicles and discover the underlying cause of the seatbelt rupture.
As this case demonstrates, automobile manufacturers put in substantial effort to defend their products and avoid recalls due to the associated expenses and public relations problems they pose for the company. However, federal agencies such as the NHTSA are commissioned to work on behalf of the consumer and their safety.
Regardless of where the fault lies for a particular car crash, if a safety device within the vehicle, such as a driver or passenger seatbelt failed and caused you injury, you may have the right to recover compensation from the manufacturer for losses associated with your injury.
At Gainsberg Law, our Chicago car crash attorneys are able to fight vigorously on your behalf to hold all responsible, negligent parties liable for any injury you or a loved one has suffered. We are able to bring your claim against one or more liable defendants, including drivers, automakers, manufacturers, retailers, and distributors. If a defective auto part has caused your injury, you may have a right to obtain compensation. To arrange a free consultation about your case, call our law office today or visit our website.