How do modern seat belts work?

seatbelt replacement

Seatbelts (or safety belts) have always been a vital component in vehicles safety systems. They keep the driver/passenger safe in the event of an crash / impact. They are a legal requirement and you will not be able to pass your Warrant of Ftiness / WOF without a correctly configured seatbelt.

Over time, seatbelts have become more advanced, with improved safety features. In modern vehicles, pre-tensioner seat belts are used. These safety belts pull you backward in the event of an emergency, preventing injury. Seat belt sensors are also used to detect whether you have your seatbelt on (buckled up) and will beep or give warnings if you don’t use your seatbelt.


Seatbelt / Safety belt WOF requirements:

Your seatbelts need to be functioning if you wish to pass your Warrant of Fitness. The NZTA states that ““Seat belt webbing must not be cut, ripped, torn, frayed, faded or stretched. The webbing must not have unusual web patterns, must not be deformed, curled, rippled or have otherwise deteriorated, must be structurally sound and free of corrosion, so as not to reduce the performance of the seat belt”.

Learn more about seatbelt requirements >


Causes of seatbelt problems:

airbag light

The safety advancements to seatbelts help increase their effectiveness and reduce the risk of injury. However, they also increase the number of things that can go wrong with your seatbelt, making the seatbelt more complex to repair or replace. Common seatbelt problems include:

Seatbelt / Safety belt warning lights stuck on – In newer cars, the airbag light will illuminate if you are not wearing a seatbelt. This will often be accompanied by a repetitive beeping noise to alert the driver. Problems with the seatbelt sensor or weight sensors can cause the seatbelt warnings to stay on, even when everyone has their seatbelt fastened.

Damaged wiring – Faulty wiring can affect the seatbelt tensioner and sensors. This can often result in the warning light being stuck on.

Damaged seat belt webbing – Physical damage to the seatbelt itself will mean that it won’t be able to pass a Warrant of Fitness – WOF. This includes rips, cuts, burns and more. Seat belt webbing can be replaced, allowing your car’s seatbelts to be of a legal standard.


Damaged/loose buckle – In a crash, a loose buckle can release the belt, significantly reducing the effectiveness of your seatbelt.

Rust or corrosion around safety belt / seat belt buckles – the warrant of fitness laws say that there is no allowed to be any rust or corrosion around where the safety belts / seat belts bolt to the vehicle chassis.


Other causes of seatbelt warning light:

The seatbelt warning light can also point to problems in your car’s airbag system. It is important that your car’s airbags function correctly to protect you in the event of an accident. We offer airbag diagnostics and repairs, meaning we can determine why the warning light won’t go away.

In April 2018, over 50,000 New Zealand cars were compulsory recalled by he NZ Government due to faulty Takata airbags. If your seatbelt / safety belt / airbag light is on, we suggest that you check if your car’s model is on the list linked above.


Seatbelt / Safety Belt rewebbing and replacement in Hamilton

Have you failed your WOF due to a seatbelt problem? If so, we can help you.

At Grimmer Motors, we can replace your vehicle’s seatbelt and seatbelt sensors. This will allow for your vehicle to stop displaying warnings. It will also allow for you and your passengers to stay safe while driving and pass your warrant of fitness. In some cases, we will organise for the seat belt to be rewebbed, fixing the issue and saving you the costs of a new seat belt.

For seatbelt / safety belt replacement and rewebbing in Hamilton, contact Grimmer Motors today!




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