Volkswagen Group is recalling thousands of its cars after a seatbelt fault was exposed.
The fault was initially exposed by test drive by a Finnish car magazine during a test drive when it was discovered that when there were three passengers in the back seats and the car turned sharply, the centre-rear seatbelt failed.
Cars affected by the fault include the VW Polo, Seat Ibiza, and Arona.
VW also states that the tests were under “unexceptional” conditions and it has not heard it be reported or replicated anywhere else.
However, consumer group Which? has criticised the carmaker for not suspending sales of the cars immediately when the fault as first discovered.
An additional 55,000 cars have been sold with the “potentially lethal fault”.
Alex Neill, head of home products and services at Which?, said: “The decision not to suspend sales when the problem was discovered has now put substantially more drivers, as well as their passengers, at risk.”
VW has said customers affected by the fault would be contacted by the firm to arrange a free repair of their car.
A VW spokesperson said: “These specific communications – both of the issue and the relevant steps to take – with all of our affected customers were felt to be more effective than a statement on a website.
“Given the limited circumstances in which the seatbelt can come unbuckled, and the employment of the interim fix and further still the specific warnings provided to users, there is no materially increased risk.
“It is on that basis that sales continued.”