Porsche is set to recall 11,324 Panameras worldwide, or all the examples ever sold, to fix a theoretical problem with the front seat belts. 3,176 units are located in the US.
Interestingly, there are two different causes being reported. Bloomberg reports that the belts may not properly hold after accelerating and reversing repeatedly, while Porsche spokesman Gary Fong told Autoblog that “in extreme forward front seat positions the front safety belts do not meet our strict safety standards.” The NHTSA also cites an unspecified extreme seat position. We have contacted Porsche to clarify. Look below for Porsche’s answer
The problem was discovered through internal tests ran by Porsche. To repair it, an additional locking element will be installed by dealers. Porsche has not stated when the recall will begin, so Panamera owners are advised to contact Porsche or their local dealer and find out.
You can find the NHTSA notice below, as well as Gary Fong’s statement to Autoblog.
Update: Porsche spokesman Laurance Yap told us the following:
The two are one in the same – the extreme seat position is the extreme forward one.
So the extreme seat position cited by the NHTSA is indeed the extreme forward position Gary Fong described, but the problem can also be caused by accelerating and reversing repeatedly as Bloomberg stated.
NHTSA Campaign Number: 10V-141
Mfg’s Report Date: March 31, 2010
Components: SEAT BELTS: FRONT: ANCHORAGE
Potential Number of Units Affected: 3,176
PORSCHE HAS NOTIFIED NHTSA OF A DEFECT IN CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2010 PANAMERA S, 4S AND TURBO 4-DOOR SEDAN. IF THE FRONT SEATS ARE ADJUSTED TOWARDS AN EXTREME POSITION, RESULTING IN UNFAVORABLE TOLERANCE OF THE MATING COMPONENTS, IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE FUNCTION OF THE LOCKING MECHANISM OF THE SEAT BELT MOUNT CAN NO LONGER BE GUARANTEED. THE SEAT BELT MOUNT COULD DETACH FROM THE ANCHORING SYSTEM WHEN THE SEAT BELT IS FASTENED OR OPENED.
IN THE EVENT OF A CRASH, THE SEAT BELT MAY NOT PROVIDE ADEQUATE PROTECTION FOR THE SEAT OCCUPANT, WHICH MAY INCREASE THE RISK OF INJURY OR DEATH.
DEALERS WILL HAVE AN ADDITIONAL LOCKING ELEMENT INSTALLED ON THE SEAT BELT ANCHORING SYSTEM FOR BOTH FRONT SEATS. THIS SERVICE WILL BE PERFORMED FREE OF CHARGE. THE MANUFACTURER HAS NOT YET PROVIDED AN OWNER NOTIFICATION SCHEDULE. OWNERS MAY CONTACT PORSCHE AT 1-800-545-8039.
PORSCHE RECALL NO. AA01. CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION’S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
Gary Fong statement
“The company has discovered that in extreme forward front seat positions the front safety belts do not meet our strict safety standards. To assure the front belts works properly in all possible positions, Porsche will add an additional element to the anchoring system. The repair takes about 15 minutes and will be done free of charge. No injuries or fatalities have been associated with this recall.”
Source: Bloomberg via The Detroit News, Autoblog and NHTSA