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NHTSA Investigates Ford F150 Seat Belts

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury, Product Liability


Seat belts are designed to save lives. Unfortunately, certain 2015 to 2018 Ford F-150 trucks may feature seat belts that cause vehicle fires after accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA is currently conducting an investigation after receiving reports that the seat belt pretension systems on these pickup trucks caused five fires, three of which destroyed the trucks completely.

If you or a loved one has been hurt as a result of the F-150 seat belt malfunction or another auto defect, contact our highly skilled Chicago personal injury lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. by calling (312) 236-2900. We may be able to help you recover compensation for your damages.

More Information on the Ford F-150 Seat Belt Investigation

According to a report by the NHTSA, the Ford F-150 trucks in question are equipped with seat belt pretensioners that are manufactured by ZF TRW and Takata, two auto suppliers. Takata continues to be involved in a large recall of over tens of millions of defective airbags. There have been hundreds of reported injuries and over 20 deaths as a result of the Takata airbag recall.

The current F-150 seat belt investigation involves Ford F-150 trucks that were manufactured from 2015 to 2018. If the seat belt pretensioner activates on these trucks, following a crash, fires may begin in the B-pillar, which is where the safety system can be found.

The role of the seat belt pretensioner is to hold a passenger firmly in place just before and at the start of an accident. It allows the passenger to come in contact with an inflated airbag in a controlled manner.

It is important to note that as of now the Ford-F150 trucks with faulty seat belt pretensioner systems have not been recalled. The owners of the affected trucks may continue to use their vehicles until further notice. Fortunately, there have not been any reported injuries related to the seat belt pretensions on the F-150s.

The Importance of Seat Belts

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has discovered that seat belts reduce the risk of death from vehicle crashes by up to 50 percent. Therefore, it’s essential that Ford and every other auto manufacturer ensures that the seat belts in their vehicles work properly. Seat belts can do the following:

  • Keep vehicle occupants inside: Car accident victims who are thrown out of vehicles during a crash are four times more likely to lose their lives than those who remain inside of vehicles. Fortunately, seat belts can keep car accident victims inside.
  • Spread out force from a crash: Seat belts can spread out the force of an accident over a greater area of a victim’s body. This can reduce their risk of suffering serious injuries.
  • Restrain strong body parts: Seat belts are intended to be strapped around a vehicle occupant’s hips and shoulders and protect these strong body parts.
  • Slow down the body: An abrupt change in speed leads to serious car accident injuries. Seat belts lengthen the time it takes for an occupant’s body to slow down in a crash and reduce the risk of serious injuries as a result.

Contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.

If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by faulty seat belts or other auto parts, reach out to our Chicago product liability lawyers. We can assist you in determining liability and handle the claims process on your behalf, if necessary. By filing a claim, you may be able to secure compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Call us at (312) 236-2900 for a free, no-obligation consultation today or contact via our online form.

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