High Court Mulls Mazda Seat Belt Preemption Case

Law360, New York (November 3, 2010, 6:36 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Supreme Court considered Wednesday whether the husband of a woman killed while wearing an outdated lap-only seat belt should be able to bring a state tort claim against Mazda Motor of America Inc., despite a federal regulation that approved the belt when the vehicle was made.

The 1989 National Highway Transportation Safety Administration regulation that allowed lap-only belts in minivan aisle seats shouldn’t override California state law because the highway agency meant lap-only belts to be a bare minimum, not an equal alternative to...
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