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Do I REALLY need a new female seat belt?

I have a 2007 Ford Escape that I “bought back” from the other guy’s insurance company. It looked like an easy fix, and has been. Everything went back together nicely with minimal pain. It only blew the driver’s side airbag. I have located a good used black airbag, no problem, but the salvage yard selling it says that I need to also replace the seat belt receptacle beside my right hip and the module. I agree with the module, but I don’t see the need for the receptacle as it appears to function normally, and the seat belt light goes out. I know most times the retractor on the belt that extends from the door post will lock up when an air bag pops. Mine did not. What, if anything, happens to the stationary end? In my case the retatctor did not lock. The belt appears to function normally. It locks if pulled briskly it will lock. My wife normally drives this vehicle, so it has to be fixed right.

I’m not sure about Ford, but many GM suvs and minivans use a pretensioner in the buckle end of the seat belt, essentially a small explosive to pull the belt even tighter as the air bag deploys. Obviously they are a one-time use item… I would check with the Ford service info to be sure.

Seat belt pretensioners can be located in the belt retractor or buckle depending on vehicle design. On this vehicle the seat belt pretensioner in located in the buckle assembly.

In general any air bag or belt pretensioner that has been deployed will set a fault for “open squib”.

Thanks guys. Looks like I’ll be shopping for one of those too.

Or two, on some systems if the passenger seat is unoccupied the air bag and seat belt pretensioner are disabled. Close examination of the pretensioner or fault codes will tell if the passenger buckle assembly was deployed.

Since the passenger seat was not occupied, and the right air bag didn’t pop, I’m going to guess that the pretensioner didn’t do its thing on that side either.