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Recall issued for faulty seat belts in Subaru Foresters

A recall issued this week affects 2009-2012 models of Subaru Foresters, about 275,000 cars in total. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seatbelts in the back seat do not meet federal standards. The defective part is in the automatic locking function, which helps restrain passengers in the event of a car accident. Without proper locks, the seatbelts also prevent proper installation of child safety seats.

Safety recalls are issued when federal regulators determine that there is a widespread problem in a product that makes it unsafe for consumers. Recalls in cars are especially concerning, since the issue may have already resulted in injuries before officials discover it. In this case, there is no information available as to whether or not people have been injured by the faulty seatbelts.

If anyone was injured, the car manufacturer could be held liable for the damage. Defective auto parts and design flaws in cars can cause significant damage to passengers and drivers in the event of a car accident. It can be difficult to establish fault on the part of the car company, since it is up to the victim to prove that the injury was not the result of normal wear and tear on the car. Attorneys often use expert testimony from design engineers, safety experts and automotive industry analysts to prove that the part was in fact defective.

Holding car companies liable is one way that victims can help to improve accountability for the large corporations. Reporting the defecting car part can also help contribute to establishing the need for a recall.

Source: Consumer Reports, “2009-2012 Subaru Forester SUVs recalled due to substandard rear seatbelts,” March 15, 2012.

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