Volkswagen is to recall 75,000 cars after a Finnish magazine found a fault with its seatbelts during a test drive.
The manufacturer will recall its Polo along with the Seat Arona and Ibiza which are manufactured by VW. The test drive found that when three passengers were in the back seats and the car turned sharply, the centre-rear seatbelt failed. VW said the tests were under “exceptional” conditions and had not been reported elsewhere.
Consumer group Which? called it a “potentially lethal fault” and said that the company had sold 55,000 cars since the problem was first identified. So far nobody has been injured as a result of the faults with regulators rejecting an informal recall and cable tie solution.
Alex Neill, Which’s head of home products and services, said: “The decision not to suspend sales when the problem was discovered has now put substantially more drivers, as well as their passengers, at risk.”
A VW spokesperson, said: “These specific communications – both of the issue and the relevant steps to take – with all of our affected customers were felt to be more effective than a statement on a website.
“Given the limited circumstances in which the seatbelt can (in the test conditions) come unbuckled, and the employment of the interim fix and further still the specific warnings provided to users, there is no materially increased risk. It is on that basis that sales continued.”
VW said affected consumers would be contacted and could drop their cars off at VW retailers to arrange a fix free of charge.