I have a 1990 Civic 4-door 5-speed with those annoying automatic shoulder
harnesses which don't seem to be providing the restraint that the lap belts
and rear-seat shoulder harnesses provide. If I tug on them quickly they
don't lock in position, unlike the others.
The Honda dealer I consulted states that they're a differently-designed
mechanism from the lap and rear-seat shoulder harnesses and will work
properly in the event of an impact, but I don't believe it and am feeling
I've _never_ encounter such shoulder-harness behaviour on any other auto or
aircraft and feel that the dealer is wrong. Can anyone corroborate the
dealer's statement please, or suggest some sort of test to show that the
front shoulder harnesses will work properly?
I've seen it in quite a few cars. The shoulder harness in those cars has an
inertia device in the pillar that is supposed to lock up when the car
decelerates sharply. You can try very hard braking, but I don't think that's
a reliable test either.
I'm not sure what you mean. I should slam on the brakes to see if the
harness keeps me out of the steering wheel? It sounds to be a rather absurd
and harsh test of the harness capabilities, given the fact that a simple tug
test doesn't lock them.
I can easily imagine some crash conditions where the brakes won't be
applied, such as waiting in an intersection to make a left turn and an
oncoming vehicle crosses the line and a head-on ensues.
It feels as if the entire design of these automated shoulder harnesses is
ill-conceived, and I'm glad they're no longer manufactured. I have to remind
the passenger to fasten the lap belt, as they have the illusion of being
belted in when the shoulder harness slides back.
You're misunderstanding. The belts may be designed to lock when sudden
deceleration is sensed. Just tugging on them will not activate the
When I say "spike the brakes", I mean to jump on them as though, say, a
cat suddenly ran out in front of your car. If you're worried about going
through the windshield doing that, just hold on to the steering wheel.
Only the US got those dumb "running-mouse" belts. Actually, the Swedes,
who were the first in the world to install seat belts as standard in the
late '50s, had shoulder belts only. Lap belts didn't come along until
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