A seat belt buckle is a device anchored to the vehicle frame near the designated vehicle seat. It is part of the seat belt system that will reduce the risk of injuries or death during a collision or a sudden stop.
Usually, there are two types of seat belt buckle:
✔️ With stalk
✔️ Recessed / Floppy
The stalk type buckles are usually found at the driver’s seat or the front passenger’s seat. In certain vehicles, it can also be found in the rear seats (refer pictures). However, most vehicles have recessed or floppy type buckles for rear seats.
The recessed/floppy type buckles include an anchor member made of stitched webbing to be fixed on the vehicle seats. This buckle type offers an advantage in terms of flexibility of buckling angle as compared to stalk type buckles which are rigid.
Whichever type of buckles you found in your car, the thing that will affect a child restraint system (CRS) installation is whether it is protruded or recessed.
If the buckle protrudes too much, it will cause a loose installation and sometimes also a ‘buckle crunch’ issue. A buckle crunch can happen if the seat belt buckle sits too near or sometimes inside the belt path of the CRS. If this happens, the buckle can be disengaged or break during impact due to overloading of stress.
Due to the different interiors and systems in vehicles, we always inform parents to try out the CRS in the vehicle before buying it. Not all CRS fits all cars.
Can you identify which are the ones you have in your vehicle?