Detroit, Michigan – General Motors is urging auto body shops that seat belt checks are essential during every repair, no matter the severity of the collision.
“Safety is our overriding priority on everything. and really, every single vehicle, regardless of the severity level or what’s being done, should have a seat belt operational and functional check,” GM wholesale dealer channel collision manager John Eck said.
It’s a seven-step process “that should be done on every vehicle, every seat belt, every time,” Eck said.
GM has revised their “Repairs and Inspections Required After a Collision” document (No. 5807146) to highlight the importance of seatbelt checks, it also states that the repairer wouldn’t take the extent of damage into account until after the seatbelt work was done.
The first step in this seven step process is turning the vehicle on, and ensuring that the seatbelt reminder lamp is working properly.
Following the lamp test, OEM requires that shops conduct six steps on each individual seatbelt in the vehicle.
One example of this six step process is fully extending the seat belt webbing to verify that the seat belt webbing does not have any twists or tears.
While this is time consuming, GM along with OEM stresses the importance of thorough tests.
The OEM also still warns shops in the document against attempting to replace individual components on seat belt systems.
“Always replace the entire seat belt system with the buckle, guide, and retractor assembly, which includes the latch and webbing material,” GM writes. GM urges repairers to replace the seatbelt system if they are even remotely doubtful of it’s condition.
To read GM’s revised Repairs and Inspections Required After a Collision document click here.