Car MOT Manual 2012 onwards

Seat Belts and Supplementary Restraint Systems - 5.2 Seat Belt Condition

This inspection applies to all seat belts fitted including child seats/restraints etc. However the reasons for rejection should only be applied to those permanently attached to the vehicle ie secured by using Isofix mountings or nuts, bolt etc. Presenters should be advised of any effects on non-testable items.

Child seats retained by seat belts must not be removed. A visual examination is required of only those parts of the seat belts which are readily accessible.

A seat belt installation check may be required on vehicles, fitted with more than 8 passenger seats, first used before 1 October 2001. Refer to Section 5.3 for further information.
Where a belt is fitted with no corresponding seat or if there is a buckle/stalk but no corresponding belt, it is NOT to be considered a seat belt for the purpose of this inspection. Every effort should be made to lift folded seats to facilitate the inspection of seat belts provided this does not require the use of tools or specialist equipment. However, this is not mandatory where it would be unreasonable, such as due to the presence of heavy, fragile or numerous passenger effects or other articles.

Some types of retracting belt might need manual help before they retract. The vehicle presenter should be advised of and given the opportunity to remove any temporarily fitted device likely to cause failure before notification of refusal is issued. Where a seat belt is attached to a seat frame, ALL seat mounting points are considered to be seat belt mounting points.
Method of Inspection
1. Pull each seat belt webbing against its anchorage to see that it is properly secured to the vehicle structure.

2. Examine the condition of all seat belt webbing for cuts or obvious signs of deterioration. Pay particular attention to webbing around anchorages, buckles and loops.

3. Examine the condition of all seat belt attachment and adjustment fittings.

4. Examine flexible buckle stalks for corrosion, deterioration or damage.

a. Fasten each belt locking mechanism and try to pull the locked sections apart. Operate the release mechanism while pulling on the belt to check that the mechanism releases when required
b. on retracting seat belts, check that with the mechanism fastened and the seat unoccupied, excess webbing is wound into the retracting unit. Note: In doubtful cases, this should be checked with the seat base set in its rearmost position.

6. As far as is practicable without dismantling, check the condition of the vehicle structure around the seat belt anchorage points The floor-mounted anchorage points might need to be inspected from underneath the vehicle.
Reason for Rejection
a. A seat belt not securely fixed to the seat or to the structure of the vehicle. For example, a fixing bolt not secure
b. for seats with seat belts attached to them:
Ľ any insecure attachment of the seat to the vehicle structure
Ľ a seat frame cracked
Ľ any damage that significantly weakens the seat frame.

2. A seat belt:
a. cut or damaged sufficient to obstruct correct operation of the belt or significantly weaken the webbing
b. stitching badly frayed, not secure or incomplete
c. which has obviously been repaired

3. A seat belt attachment or adjustment fitting fractured or badly deteriorated.

Note: Damage or deterioration of the plastic covering of a component is not a reason for rejection unless it affects the operation of the belt.

Reproduced from the MOT Inspection Manual by kind permission of THE VEHICLE INSPECTORATE.

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