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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(I searched and could not find this question addressed.)

In another thread I discussed that my 2013 Touareg TDI had the driver's window broken out yesterday in an apparent theft attempt. The window was replaced this morning. Now I have a seat belt latch problem.

When I attempted to drive away yesterday after the break-in, the driver's seat belt tang would not fully insert and lock in the latch. After a couple of attempts I looked inside the latch and saw that some glass fragments were stuck down inside. I drove home without the seat belt, and attempted to remove the glass fragments with some small picks. I got some of them out, but I think at least one fragment fell down inside the latch. Now, the red release button will not fully press in and there is a green-colored, spring-loaded, flat piece of metal that is blocking the path of the tang. I suspect that a glass fragment is stuck inside the mechanism, but I have not been able to remove it or shake it free.

The VW dealer will not attempt to open up the latch to clear the glass (safety and liability), but will only replace the latch with a new one. A new latch is about $106 and with installation (1-1/2 hours) the total cost would be about $290. I would like to try to clear the glass, and if that is unsuccessful then install the new latch myself (I ordered one).

So,

1. Does anyone know how to remove the black plastic body that covers the internal latch mechanism so that I can gain better access to see and clear any glass? The plastic body is in two halves, but it is not obvious to me how to separate them, especially without breaking them.

2. Assuming I cannot clean/clear the current latch, has anyone installed a new latch? The latch appears to be attached to the seat frame with a single bolt, but access the bolt is extremely tight. I suspect that you have to tilt or remove the seat like you would for a battery replacement so that you can access this attachment bolt. Correct? And you have to disconnect the wiring from the latch and reconnect it to the new latch. Does anyone know if the new latch will "self start" or will it need recoding?

Thanks.
 

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Just a couple creative ideas to try and get the glass out: Compressed air in either an electronics style air can with straw (sort of weak) or a full air compressor at 140psi and a detailing style hose attachment (this would likely free the culprit).

If glass is visible, perhaps a wire with superglue on the end? Wait to dry and pull out?
I have got some pretty crazy objects out of tight places over the years, this sounds like a good challenge.
 

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Assuming comprehensive insurance covered the replacement glass caused by vandals / druggies why won't they also cover the hidden damage caused by glass shards? ie replace the seat belt latch?
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Assuming comprehensive insurance covered the replacement glass caused by vandals / druggies why won't they also cover the hidden damage caused by glass shards? ie replace the seat belt latch?
Yes, my insurance covers it, but I carry $1,000 deductible to significantly reduce the cost of my insurance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just a couple creative ideas to try and get the glass out: Compressed air in either an electronics style air can with straw (sort of weak) or a full air compressor at 140psi and a detailing style hose attachment (this would likely free the culprit).

If glass is visible, perhaps a wire with superglue on the end? Wait to dry and pull out?
I have got some pretty crazy objects out of tight places over the years, this sounds like a good challenge.
Thanks for the tips. I have a 140 psi compressor and have been inserting a narrow-tip wand into the latch to try to blow out the glass. No luck so far, but I'll try again today. I can't see any glass when I look inside the latch, which is why I would like to remove the black plastic cover to gain better access.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Still no joy in clearing the latch mechanism while the latch is still attached to the seat. Just not enough room. So it looks like I will have to remove the latch from the seat.

Although on my T3 seats it looks like the seat can be rotated backwards once you remove the two TORX bolts at the FRONT of the seat frame that attach the seat frame to the moving part of the seat base (I'll keep this in mind for future battery replacement), unfortunately the latch is attached to the moving part of the seat base and not the seat frame. The seat base is the part that is secured to the Touareg floor by the four triple square bolts. It also appears that the bolt securing the latch to the seat base is also a triple square (hopefully the same size). So, off to the auto parts store to get a 10 mm triple square bit. It looks like all four triple squares will have to be removed and the entire seat and base moved backwards about six inches or so in order to gain access to the latch bolt. We'll see.

If I end up having to remove the latch from the seat base, unless it clears easily I will probably just install the new latch that I will have in my hand before I start disconnecting the seat base.
 
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