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2002 Nissan Maxima seat belts locked

OK, a relatively minor shunt into a mail box. The airbags deployed. The car is drivable, and appears to have only cosmetic damage. The front seat belts will not pull out at all. They’re locked up in the fully retracted position.

The collision insurance had run out two days before. THe dealers are saying the seat belts and air bags have to be both replaced and quoting about $3,000 for the repair.

hat can we do instead?

Do the seat belts need to be replaced?

Can they be replaced with aftermarket ones?

I think the seatbelts could be opened and released, not needing replacement. I don’t know about it for sure. I don’t think it’s disruptive, just a lock that slides into place on impact/air bags. Airbags should be replaced, and only by pros, and only with OEM parts.

Yes, the belts need to be replaced.

When the belts restrained you and the passenger, the belts stretched and that destroyed their structural integrity. The devices on each belt that take up the slack during a collision did their job, and they are now inoperative, more than likely. Replace both belts and both of these devices (whose name escapes me at the moment), or you and your passenger will have greatly diminished protection in the event of another collision.

Must have been a HUGE mail box. I suspect something more like “crashed into post office.”

Be that as it may.

If the airbags and the seatbelts deployed (oh, yes, the seatbelts have their own secrets), you need a new car.

You ask, “What can I do instead,” because you allowed your insurance to lapse. Your mistake.

Sorry, but you’re stuck. There is no “instead.” If you want to keep this car it needs new airbags and new seatbelts. This will cost money. There is no aftermarket for these parts, or if there is you don’t want to know about it.

Get real. Fess up to your mistakes and do the right thing.