Last post on Mar 23, 2008 at 7:43 AM
You are in the Honda Odyssey
What is this discussion about?
Dodge Caravan, Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Town and Country, Chrysler Voyager, Plymouth Voyager, Van
#6871 of 7485 Re: Nice vehicles now owned [hansienna]
Mar 27, 2006 (2:39 pm)
"You have had more vehicles (and more expensive) in the past 5 years than we have owned.
1. 2006 Ody EX-L R&N vs 2006 Sienna LE.
2. 2003 Ford F-350 CC KingRanch PSD vs 1993 Ford F-150
6 cyl LWB extended cab.
3. 2005 VW Passat GLS TDI vs 2001 Chevy Blazer LT.
In the past, 1998 Corolla and 2004 VW Jetta GLS TDI vs my wife's 1994 Toyota Corolla wagon and used 2002 Chrysler T&C LX."
But you know what else....I've also LOST alot more money on vehicles in the last five years than you have
As I said, hopefully, now I'm done buying vehicles for atleast 7-8 years.
I really do like the Odyssey. I tested it against the T&C Signature, the Sienna XLE and the Buick Terraza (NAV was a must for me, if Daddy has to drive a minivan, he wants toys....factory toys). I was not thrilled with the comfort of the Stow'n'Go seats (but I think the T&C had the best color.....some sort of burnt orange color), the Buick was just a fancy Chevy and I liked it, but thought the engine in the Honda nd Toyota was smoother. In the end I just liked the style of the Honda over the Toyota. A matter of personal preference over anything else.
But nobody has answered my question. Do the rear belts in a DC van lock, and if so, why weren't they locked in this situation (just questions a lawyer will ask).
#6872 of 7485 pusterracing
Mar 27, 2006 (3:29 pm)
"Do the rear belts in a DC van lock, and if so, why weren't they locked in this situation..."
Before I answer (as well as I can), we should be clear on the definition of 'lock'.
Seatbelts can be 'locked' for use on a child's carseat (usually done by pulling the belts COMPLETELY out as far as they'll go and then taking all the slack back onto the reel, whereupon the belts are 'locked' into position). When 'locked' like this, the belts have zero 'give' and most people would find them to be uncomfortable to wear.
I'm not sure if the 2nd/3rd row belts on the DCX vans can be 'locked' like this (for use with child seats) but anecdotal reports indicate that they do lock for this type of use.
The other definition of 'lock' would be the belt operation in which the belts DO offer some degree of movement in normal operation (enabling the wearer to lean forward/move about), but which are SUPPOSED to lock up in a frontal impact. The problem/confusion arises due to the fact that there are TWO main types of mechanisms which are designed to lock the belts in a frontal impact.
The first type of mechanism (centrifugal lock) will lock the belts based on the SPEED with which the webbing is pulled out of the mechanism. These types of belts can be tested by the infamous jerk test. Apparently, these types of belts are by far the most common on minivans.
The second type of mechanism (pendulum lock) will lock the belts when a small weight in the mechanism swings forward under rapid deceleration, locking the belt. This type of belt can NOT be tested by the jerk test since the speed with which the belt is pulled has no effect on the pendulum.
Now then, what we know so far:
1. All seat belts (by Federal law) must employ SOME form of lock. They can be EITHER the centrifugal lock type (which can be test by jerking the belt) OR they can be the pendulum lock type (for which a jerk test is worthless). The simple fact that the DCX vans are certified for street use tells me that they have SOME type of lock on the 2nd and 3rd rows. I can't imagine how a few million could have been produced with nobody noticing the seat belts had no lock.
2. A frontal impact accident occurred in which a young girl in the 2nd row was not restrained by her shoulder belt and impacted the back of the front row seat, resulting in injuries. After the accident, the suspect belt was jerked and did not lock. Subsequently, a large number of belts on OTHER DCX vans were 'tested' by jerking on them and they also failed to lock (by jerking on them).
As I see it (and someone may have other ideas), there are two possible causes for the injuries:
1. Locking mechanism failure. Despite a properly worn belt with zero slack, the mechanism failed to lock, despite a vehicle collision of roughly 35mph.
2. There was slack in the shoulder belt which allowed the wearer to hit the seat back OR which allowed the belt to slide off the shoulder as the wearer was thrown forward.
Regarding slack in the shoulder belt: there can be slack in the belt for a couple of reasons. Either the wearer INTENTIONALLY leaves a few inches of slack for 'comfort' (and a few inches is all that is necessary to result in a belt which can't restrain the wearer OR the takeup reel is weak and doesn't properly take the slack out under normal operation.
I'd be interested to know if temp409 has tested whether or not the takeup reel adequately takes out the slack or if the belt sometimes has to be 'helped' back onto the reel.