Five years ago, General Motors issued a seat belt recall that affected about 1.4 million vehicles nationwide. Now, the recall fix is under investigation.
NHTSA said in documents posted to its website Thursday that it received four complaints that seat belts failed in vehicles after recall repairs were made. No injuries were reported.
The May 2014 recall covered Saturn Outlook, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse crossovers from the 2009 to 2014 model years, NHTSA said. At the time, GM said the flexible steel cable connecting the front seat belts in the vehicles could become fatigued and separate, which could cause seat belt failure in a crash. GM dealers inspected the cables and replaced them if needed.
In one of the complaints, an owner of a 2012 Traverse from Versailles, Ohio, told NHTSA that the seat belt cable disintegrated while the vehicle was stationary. The complaint said SVG Motors in Greenville, Ohio, and “the manufacturer” were made aware of the failure. "The seat belt was held on by a few threads of steel," the owner wrote.
In a complaint from Dayton, Ohio, the cable snapped on a woman while she was fastening her seat belt in a parked 2010 Traverse. The complaint says that although the vehicle was repaired under the recall, Chevrolet said the new problem was "normal wear and tear."
GM told Automotive News on Thursday that it is "fully cooperating with NHTSA's investigation."
The Associated Press first reported NHTSA's investigation of the recall fix.