ZF Seatbelt Retractor Recall Bites Corvette, Jeep, Ram

AutoInformed.com on 2020 Corvette Recall because of ZF partsStingray

General Motors President Mark Reuss with the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette during its unveiling.

Front seatbelt retractors may not lock as intended during a crash because of defective parts from supplier ZF. The safety defect applies to multiple makes and models. As a result, FCA US has announced a safety recall on 2019 and 2020 Model Year (DT) Ram 1500 Pickup, 2019 Model Year (DJ) Ram 2500 Pickup, 2019 Model Year (JL) Jeep Wrangler, and 2020 Model Year (JT) Jeep Gladiator vehicles. FCA US is not aware of any accidents or injuries. General Motors recalling some 2020 Chevrolet Corvette models as well. GM is not aware of any injuries or accidents either.

The safety defect appeared at GM during barrier testing of a 2023 model year Corvette. GM worked with ZF to analyze the root cause of the retractor failure, including teardowns, computer analysis, and CAE simulations. That analysis showed that the retractor failure was caused by the locking mechanism not being properly engaged. The same part is used on current production models.

On July 6, 2020, GM reviewed computer analysis conducted by ZF that showed the locking failure was caused by a deformed pretensioner tube. That deformation, which occurred during manufacture, may prevent the retractor from locking following normal deployment of the pretensioner.

On July 7, 2020, the trace data ZF provided showed that there were no affected vehicles with the suspect retractors in the field – all VINs with suspect retractors were company-owned and driven vehicles. However, on August 31, 2020, the supplier provided additional trace data from a second production line that showed there were 5 vehicles with the suspect retractors outside of GM’s control. The investigation was reviewed by GM’s Open Investigation Review Board on September 14, 2020, and on September 17, 2020, GM’s Safety and Field Action Decision Authority decided to conduct a safety recall.

Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front seat belt retractors, free of charge as required by law. The recall is expected to begin November 13, 2020. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is W67.

GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the driver’s side seat-belt retractor, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on November 9, 2020. Owners may contact GM customer service at 1-866-522-9559. GM’s number for this recall is N202307690.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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