I've locked my seatbelt, and can't get loose

2005 Ford Escape. The seatbelt was used to secure something in the front passenger seat, pulled out all the way so the seat belt was in the automatic locking mode. Then when it was released, it inadvertently snagged
around the headrest. The rear seat headrests come out, but the front doesn't. I can't release the seatbelt. The owner guide only says to get out of the automatic locking mode by returning the seatbelt all the way, but I can't do that, because it's snagged around the headrest.
I'm not sure what to do to get the belt functional again. I might pull the door trim out and see if there is something I can release, or unscrew the rear anchor for the belt, but that's a large torx bit, and I don't think I have one of those.
--
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5

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snagged
If the seat isn't all the way back you can release the tension my moving it back. That should give you enough slack to unlock the mechanism. Most head rests can be removed. Some are not so obvious so I'll leave that to others to respond to if my first suggestion cannot be done.
--
Richard




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If the seat is all the way back, you can recline the seat-back all the way forward or back, depending on which position would help the most. On my '02 Escape, the front ones come out also, but you have to hold the release in, and they are quite a bit tighter the farther up they're pulled.
SC Tom
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The seat and back were, unfortunately, positioned in the optimum spot by the time I got involved ;-( The adjustable pivot point on the door pillar was all the way down, too.
The first person involved wiggled things around and only succeeded in getting the belt tighter.
I took the plastic cover off the door pillar and poked and prodded to see if there was a visible latch. No joy. My largest torx was too small to remove the anchor. The explosive pre-tensioners are only on the driver's side.
I tested the headrest for removal. No good there. It comes up, and hits a hard stop. One rod has a pushbutton for up/down adjustment. The other rod had what I thought was a locking piece. It came out, but I still couldn't get the headrest out.
I clamped the seatbelt so it wouldn't retract any more, and unbolted the seat from the floor. There was enough tension from the belt that it was difficult to unscrew the inboard front bolt. That barely gave me enough room. I couldn't maneuver the seat much with the belt locked around the headrest, and if I hadn't clamped the seatbelt to keep it from retracting, I would have lost what little slack I had, and been unable to get the belt off. As it was, it required some squishing and prying to get the belt over the headrest.
I broke a little tab off the plastic parts for the door pillar. That will probably rattle forever to remind me about this incident.
This is an odd thing to have happen, but I would guess it has happened to someone before. The lock doesn't release until the belt is almost fully retracted. I suppose the headrests in the front are permanent to keep people from taking them off. A friend wanted hers off because she couldn't see around it when backing up.
How to avoid it? Make sure the belt isn't hooked around the headrest, obviously. If it does get hooked, clamp the belt before trying any maneuvering of the seat, or it will suck up all of the slack.
--
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5

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snipped-for-privacy@99.usenet.us.com wrote:

This sounds like something Homer Simpson would do. Reminds me of when he had the boot attached to his car in New York. :)
Why don't you remove the seat? I find this hard to believe you can't get the belt out any oither way. Theres only 4 bolts holding the seat down.
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One does have to wonder how it got started, but once it gets started...

There are only four bolts holding it down, but with the seat belt securing the seat to the door pillar, unbolting the seat doesn't allow much maneuvering space. I clamped the belt so it wouldn't retract any further, otherwise, if the seat belt were allowed to retract further, it still wouldn't release.
It might have been easier to remove the seat belt anchor, but that requires a large torx bit, which I didn't have, and couldn't get nearby over the holiday.
--
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5

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