really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
0 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2001 Acura MDX:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

problem #1

Apr 252003

MDX 6-cyl

  • miles
My 5 1/2 year old son was belted in the driver's side middle row seat of my Acura MDX year 2001 which has 3 rows of seats. Next to his right shoulder is the shoulder strap of the middle seat which is connected to a mechanism in the seat and extends to the roof of the car. As it turns out, despite previous warnings, he was playing with that middle shoulder strap and inadvertantly it looped around his neck, retracted and began to hang and strangle him. He called out to me while I was driving in a crying, raspy voice. I immediately stopped the car and looked back. I am an emergency physician, and what I saw was my son being lifted off the seat, being held down by his seat while his head was being pulled away. His face was red and he could hardly breath and his breathing was getting more labored. I jumped in the back seat and tried to pull the shoulder strap down to give hime some slack, but it was locked. He must have pulled in out all the way prior to the seat belt retracting, and it was locked. I had to release his belt and hold him up with my hand. I could not place my finger between the belt and his neck because it was too tight, and there was no way to unwrap the belt. I looked down at the locking mechanism. There is a way of unlocking the middle seat belt and retracting it all the way into the roof for storage, in my panic I could ot identify it. I called outside to people in their cars parked at a stop light for a knife. No one had a knife. I went back and thought again and remembered that a key was required to unlactch this mechanism. I took my key out of the ignition, and found a small rectangular hole along the side of the buckle mechanism, placed my key into it and released the belt. I was able to then unwrap the belt from this neck and save his life. If I hand not previously been aware of this mechanism, he would have hung/strangled to death. I look forward to your comments. It seems to me there should be an easier way of unlocking that belt.

- Baltimore, MD, USA