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Volvo recalling 2.1 million cars over seat belt flaw, a few SA cars affected

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The Swedish carmaker discovered that a steel wire connected to the front seat belts could potentially be weakened over time.

Picture: Reuters

Gothenburg, Sweden – Volvo Cars announced on Wednesday that it is recalling nearly 2.1 million vehicles around the globe as a preventive measure, after the Swedish carmaker discovered that a steel wire connected to the front seat belts could be weakened over time.

However, only 143 cars are affected in South Africa, the local division confirmed on Wednesday.

“Volvo Car South Africa is contacting owners of all concerned cars, asking them to contact their Volvo retailer to have their cars corrected free of charge,” the company said in a statement.

“All concerned cars will be updated with a new component replacing the existing steel cable. This is a robust solution which eliminates the risk of the issue to occur in the future.”

So what went wrong?

The recall is related to a steel cable connected to the front seat belts, Volvo said. The cable may, over time and under certain circumstances and user behaviours, suffer from fatigue. This could eventually cause damage to the cable, resulting in reduced seat belt restraint function.

Volvo press spokesman Stefan Elfstrom told Swedish public radio. “We have seen that this wire can be subject to wear and tear under special conditions,” reducing the seat belt’s protection, he said, adding “this is a very rare problem,” he added.

Volvo said the recall, which is the biggest ever for the brand, “is a preventive safety recall to avoid future issues.”

The Swedish carmaker said the affected models are Volvo S60, S60L, S60 Cross Country, V60, V60 Cross Country, XC60, V70, XC70, S80 and S80L, manufactured between 2006 and 2019. 

No current models are included in the recall.

Furthermore, there have been no reports of injuries or accidents linked to the fault. 

AP & dpa