Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,679 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Ford Escort seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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1998 Ford Escort Owner Comments

problem #7

Oct 242008


  • 90,000 miles


My son was driving my 1998 Ford Escort LX on a 35 mph road when the driver in front of him slammed on his brakes. My son immediately tried to stop the car, but he rear-ended the other car before he could come to a complete stop. During the impact, the driver's seat belt did not lock in place and the dual airbags did not deploy - allowing my son's upper body to continue forward until his face hit the steering wheel. The lap belt functioned properly, holding my son's lower body in place.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #6

Aug 012008


  • 81,756 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Escort. While driving between 35-40 mph, rear ended another vehicle. At the time of the crash, the air bags failed to deploy. Both occupants were wearing seat belts, but that did not prevent them from being thrown to the front of the vehicle and injured. The driver sustained injuries to the head and face. A police report was filed. The vehicle was partially destroyed and the front bumper, bumper support, radiator and support, air conditioner condenser, and power steering reservoir were damaged. The failure and current mileages were 81,756.

- Columbia, PA, USA

problem #5

Mar 102005


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving approximately 20 mph consumer's vehicle rear ended another vehicle. Upon impact, seat belts did not lock, and air bags did not deploy.

- Defiance, OH, USA

problem #4

Jul 151998


  • Manual transmission
  • 0 miles


I have had this problem since I purchased the vehicle, as you are driving the back of the seat will drop down. I had taken it in to the service center and made comment of this to which I was told I have never heard anything like it before. What I have found out over the years and miles, is that the seatbelt strap at the lap can catch on the release lever of the seat and any shifting in position will pull on the lever and release the seat back. This is just a warning to others as it can cause a fatal accident as it catches the unsuspecting driver off guard when the back of your seat falls. I have had this happen over a dozen times since owning the vehicle.

- Manitowoc, WI, USA

problem #3

Jul 302003

(reported on)


  • 92,000 miles
Vehicle's rear seat belts are locking in the retract position and wouldn't release. Consumer is unable to properly retrain children in css. The dealership indicated the seat belt system needs replacement in order the correct problem.

- West Hills, CA, USA

problem #2

Oct 012001


  • miles
Driver's side automatic seatbelt is goes up and down intermittently without prior warning. Belt is stuck half way because it is off the track. Dealership is aware of problem.

- Kearney, NE, USA

problem #1

Mar 112001


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving 30 mph vehicle hit pole, driver's and passenger's seatbelts did not work, driver and passenger hit their heads on windshield.

- Spicewood, TX, USA

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