Seat belt won't retract after accident

Seat belt won't retract after accident

Published by CarCarePros 
Last Updated Apr 23, 2018 

Seat belt no longer retracts after an accident. If the vehicle is involved in an accident the seat belt often will get jammed (or stuck due to the blown pre-tensioner.)

seat belt stuck due to blown airbag


If your vehicle is equipped with seat belt retractors it is normal for the seat belt to stop retracting after an accident. This is caused by the blown pre-tensioners on the seat belts. 

To fix this problem it is recommended to replace the seat belt and the pre-tensioner. 

A cheaper alternative is to remove your seat belt and send it for repair to a company that rebuilds and recharges seat belts and retractors. You will need to remove the seat belt from your vehicle then send it for repair to the company of your choice.

Resource: Seat Belt Rebuilt Service 

Getting your seat belt repaired

  1. Choose a company that repairs seat belts. See link above. 
  2. Remove the seat belt that does not work. Removing the seat belt from most cars is very easy. You will need to remove the plastic from the B pillar to get to the retractor. 
  3. Ship your damaged seat belt (and retractor) to the company. 
  4. Wait anywhere from 5 to 15 days for the repaired seat belt to arrive. Check with the vendor how what the turn around time is to repair the seat belt. Some companies offer 24hr turnaround on seat belt repair.

Note the airbag system on your vehicle may need to be diagnosed further. The airbag light may still stay on until the Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) has been diagnosed and fault codes have been cleared. 

Airbag & Safety