Volkswagen and Seat cars could be recalled amid seatbelt concern

Tens of thousands of Volkswagen and Seat cars could be recalled in the UK over fears their seatbelts may malfunction at high speed.

German firm VW Group, which owns the brands, is reportedly set to issue a global safety recall affecting up to 28,000 recently sold Seat Arona, Seat Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo vehicles in the UK.

Tests by Finnish motoring magazine Tekniikan Maailma found that when three passengers are travelling in the rear seats, the positioning of the middle seat belt buckle means it can unfasten the left buckle during a high speed lane changing manoeuvre.

A spokesman for Volkswagen in Wolfsburg said: "Based on the analysis made at our factory we have identified the seatbelt issue that Tekniikan Maailma has found in the tests.

"At Volkswagen, safety remains a main priority and we immediately reacted to solve the issue. As a consequence, a feasible technical solution has been identified.

"Volkswagen is now waiting for the concerned authorities' final validation in order to implement it, both on the customers' cars and on the future series production."

A spokeswoman for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency in the UK said the recall has not yet been issued. It has contacted VW Group in relation to the seatbelts and is awaiting a response.

The car giant said safety remains a priority (Mike Egerton/PA)
The car giant said safety remains a priority (Mike Egerton/PA)

The manufacturer was found to have cheated air pollution tests for 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide in September 2015, including 1.2 million in the UK.

Earlier this week it emerged that another German company, BMW, is recalling 312,000 UK vehicles at risk of an electrical fault linked to a fatal crash.

It will contact owners of the affected models - BMW 1 Series, 3 Series, Z4 and X1 petrol and diesel models made between March 2007 and August 2011 - in the next three weeks, a spokesman said.

Former Gurkha soldier Narayan Gurung, 66, died on Christmas Day 2016 when he crashed his Ford Fiesta into a tree in Hampshire while swerving to avoid a BMW car which had cut out due to an electrical fault, an inquest in Woking, Surrey, was reportedly told.

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