MOT Test of Seat Belts | What is checked

MOT Test of Seat Belts

MOT Test of Seat Belts (incl airbags and supplementary restraint systems (7)

Formerly MOT Test of Seat Belts

Most vehicles after 1965 must have seat belts.

All seat belts fitted will be inspected.

Child seats which are permanently attached to the vehicle using isofix or nuts and bolts will be inspected.

Anchorages for the securing of disabled persons’ belts or wheelchairs will be inspected.

The seat belt anchorage ‘prescribed area’, which includes seat belt mounting points where a seat belt is attached to a seat frame, will be assessed for corrosion, strength, continuity and security.

A belt fitted with no corresponding seat will not be inspected.

A buckle or stalk with no corresponding belt will not be inspected.

The following category applies to defects in this section:

DefectCategory
a. A seat belt:
i. load bearing structure strength or continuity significantly reduced within 30cm of an anchorage point (see Appendix ‘A’)
Major
ii. anchorage likely to become detached in the event of a collision
Dangerous
b. Seat belt anchorage loose
Major

Seat belt fitment and condition

Any visible parts of all seat belts fitted, and all child seat restraints will be inspected.

Folded seats will be lifted to inspect seat belts (unless tools are required). If seats can’t be lifted because of heavy or fragile items on the seat, the Tester may refuse to Test the vehicle.

The Tester will test the seat belt buckle by:

  1. Fastening the belt locking mechanism
  2. Trying to pull the locked sections apart
  3. Pressing the release mechanism while pulling on the belt
  4. Making sure that the mechanism releases when required

For retracting seat belts the Tester will check that excess webbing is wound into the retracting unit with the mechanism fastened and the unoccupied seat set at its rearmost position.

If a temporary device is fitted to prevent retraction, the Tester can remove it.

Notes: 1. For technical reasons the inertia locking mechanism is not checked. 2. On some vehicles the belt is attached to the seat, in which case the security of the seat to the vehicle would also constitute part of the seat belt check.

 

Fitment

Seat belts aren’t needed for:

  • seats that are only used when the vehicle is stationary, such as a sofa in the living area of a motor caravan
  • side facing seats
  • occasional seats that fold down when not in use

The following categories apply to defects in this section:

DefectCategory
a. A statutory seat belt missing
Major
b. A seat belt missing
i. or flexible stalk damaged
Major
ii. webbing or flexible stalk significantly stretched or weakened
Dangerous
c. Seat belt not functioning as intended or of an incorrect type
Major
d. Seat belt buckle missing, damaged or not functioning as intended
Major
e. Seat belt retractor not functioning as intendedMajor

Seat belt load limiters

Torsion bar mechanical load limiters may be too technical for the average motorist to check, or it may be a simple stitched fold designed to fail at a pre-set load. If the load limiting system has been deployed a fail will apply.

All seat belt load limiters fitted as original equipment other than class 3 vehicles, will be inspected.

The following category applies to defects in this section:

DefectCategory
A seat belt load limiter fitted as original equipment obviously missing or a folded webbing type load limiter deployed
Major

Seat belt pre-tensioners

All seat belt pre-tensioners fitted as original equipment other than class 3 vehicles, will be inspected.

Seat belt pre-tensioners activate in certain violent collisions to tighten the seat belt just before the full force of impact. Once activated, a warning device might display.

The following category applies to defects in this section:

DefectCategory
a. A seat belt pre-tensioner fitted as original equipment obviously missing or deployed
Major

Airbags (7.1.5)

This inspection is for all airbags fitted as original equipment other than on Class 3 vehicles.

A passenger airbag that is switched off isn’t a defect.

The following category applies to defects in this section:

DefectCategory
a. An airbag fitted as original equipment obviously missing
Major
b. Not in use
N/A
c. An airbag obviously inoperative
Major

Supplementary restraint system (SRS) (7.1.6)

The following category applies to defects in this section:

DefectCategory
a. An SRS malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) indicates a system malfunction
Major

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