Stuck Seatbelt Latch - Honda Civic

So I hop in my car this evening to run some errands and once I get to my first stop, I find that my seatbelt won’t unlatch. I had no obvious problems latching it, and I have tried jiggling, wiggling, hitting and cursing at it. No dice.

Does anybody know how I might fix this short of taking it to a shop?

This is my beater run around car, so it’s not a crisis, but I’d prefer not to spend $40 or so on something this stupid at the shop, especially as I can still loop the chest belt over my head.

It’s an 87 Civic sedan.


Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that manufacturers are required to service safety equipment such as seat belts for free, for the life of the car.

I had a similar problem with my out-of-warranty Honda seat belt not functioning properly. I just wanted an estimate, to see if replacement was in my budget. They took it apart and lubricated it (eliminating my problem), and also installed a new plastic cuff at the latch end to replace one that frequently cracked. All for no charge.

Hondas of about that era had a recall on the front seat belt buckles. I’m not sure if 1987 Civics are included or not; you might call the local dealer to ask.

That would explain things, in light of this from Car Talk:

Surfing over to NHTSA, we find that your 87 Civic is indeed covered by a seat belt recall, issued May 1995. So depending on how generous Honda is feeling, you might still get it for free.

Hey! I remember this recall. I also remember that this irked the Japanese manufacturers in general and Honda in particular because they put the blame for these failures and stupid, fat, Americans that were always eating in their car. Apparently foodstuff was gumming up the seatbelt works. FWIW neither my 88 Civic nor 95 Civic ever had problems, although my official policy now is to urge you to purchase a Ford. :slight_smile:

Generous does not enter into it. Recalls NEVER expire. The local dealer is leaglly bound to do the recall. The only exception I can think of is if the recall has been done and it is a repeat failure.

Of course, you should always be nice to the people that fix your car. :slight_smile:
But nice or nasty does not change the status of the recall.

Do you have any kids? I only ask that becuase I remember once when I was young I put a coin in a seatbelt latch. It latched just fine but didn’t unlatch. BTW the trick was to bend it over so that it was upside down as you unlatched it. This was a minivan, so it was a bit easier to bend it back.

Nah - no kids.

Everything’s cool. I called the local dealer and they said that recall or no, Honda seatbelts and other safety equipment had a lifetime warranty. So I’m taking it in later this week for a replacement.

Thanks to all!