DaimlerChrysler Denies Safety Problems
DaimlerChrysler has started a vigorous public relations campaign to deny safety problems with the Gen3 seat belt buckle. Furthermore, they have begun issuing a statement to the media that the GEN3 "passes all federal safety standards." But federal regulations require that seat belt buckles "be designed to minimize the possibility of accidental release," and the Gen-3 buckle does not minimize the possibility of accidental release. · Code of Federal Regulations >
Houston Families File Suit
2 Moms Latest to Die · News Release >
Consumer Group Public Citizen Joins Cause
Statement supports recall · News Release >
National Class Action Approved
But DaimlerChrysler Appeals · News Release >
Latest Gen3 Unlatching Claims Two Lives
Two women were killed and a child seriously injured in a roll-over
accident Dec. 28, 2002, near Beeville, Texas. This brings the total
number of deaths to 17 and serious injuries to 27 in accidents in
which Gen3 buckles are believed to have unlatched.Case Background >
· News Release >
A seat belt buckle installed in DaimlerChrysler vehicles beginning with the 1993 model year is dangerously prone to unlatching during auto accidents. The buckle, known as the Generation 3 (Gen3), may have been installed in as many as 16 million Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles.
A special concern is the buckle used to secure infant/child car seats. See the Child/Infant Safety Seats
section for details.
This Gen3 buckle, (middle photo), is distinguished by a release button that juts higher above the button cover than other safety belts, such as its predecessor (top photo). This design fails to meet a standard auto industry test
for accidental release. A newer safety buckle, the Gen4 (bottom photo) meets the industry standard. More information about the Gen3 buckle and the ball test is contained in frequently asked questions
A Texas jury in June of 2000 found this buckle defective in its design and responsible for the death of a Corpus Christi man. A judge in Moran vs. DaimlerChrysler
subsequently awarded Bart Moran's wife and child $6.7 million. At least 17 deaths and 27 serious injuries have been linked to the Gen3 buckle.
Each year 10,000 Americans die as the result of not buckling their seat belt. But how many of these may have buckled up, only to have had the seat belt fail them?