Body and Frame Components
A front-wheel drive hatchback automobile was involved in a severe front end impact. Failure analysis of the automobile revealed only a single sound spot weld in each of two 66 cm (26 in.) sections of both upper and lower floor sill flanges. Consequently, upon impact, the floor pan separated from the rocker panel, buckled and rotated upward and forward. This introduced slack in the seat belts since their retractors, being anchored to the floor pan, also rotated forward. Although not contributory to the accident itself, the faulty welds were responsible in part for the severity of the injuries sustained...