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OFF TOPIC: seatbelt recall

Subject: OFF TOPIC: seatbelt recall
From: Richard D Arnold <>
Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 06:12:16 -0500


I must respectfully disagree.

>  It's not the same MG that supplied the cars in 1977.

The company may not have the same ownership, but it's still the same
company.  My '74.5 RB MGB and '79 Midget have changed hands several times
since being built, but each is still an MG.  A change in ownership
doesn't change the essence of a car, any more than it does the essence of
a company.

> Secondly,  the belts did not fail because they didn't work, it's
>because the rewinders did not release the belts fast enough
>for the drivers to pull them on in the manner to which they
>were accustomed.

The company knew or should have known that the belts were not being
released at a rate which a reasonable driver would have expected.  Thus,
the company failed to provide a usable and safely designed product when
it could have.  Indeed, it appears that it installed an inherently flawed
product that was certain to malfunction under normal use.

>There does not seem to be an issue of the belts not holding 
>in a crash.

Kinda makes you wonder how many injuries occurred because the vehicle
occupants were unable to use their seat belts at all.
>More info on the specific recall is in another post
>I made earlier Sunday night.  

I recall your post of Sunday, and agree with many of its points. 
However, I still hold that MG (or its successors, etc) is still
responsible for fulfilling its obligations.  They chose to enter into the
US market to make money, not out of any good-hearted notion or
inclination to supply a sportscar to the downtrodden, deprived, ignorant
masses of North America.  Since the company was allowed to reap the
benefits of selling cars here, it can not be allowed to avoid its

As I have said previously, MG will return to the US market only if it can
make money here.  Its only interest in you and I is whether or not we
might buy  a vehicle.  I, for one, would be uncomfortable doing business
with a company that has so little regard for its obligations.  Worrying
about the effect that efforts to obtain replacement belts might have on
MG's potential return is somwhat akin to efforts by sports franchises to
get tax breaks or new stadiums.  Any way you look at it, the fans are
expected to give something up while the owners gain the benefits.

Under the FWIW department (just down the hall from the Department of
Redundancy Department), I replaced the seat belts in my Molly because of
legal and safety considerations (oddly, the retractors in the old belts
were shot).  This doesn't mean that I am not expecting MG/Rover/Whoever
to come up with the belts that they owe me.  They still do, and I am sure
that I am on a list somewhere....  In the meantime, I am afraid that we
simply must disagree.


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