What's Wrong With This Picture? - 2012 Volvo S60 T5 Long-Term Road Test

2012 Volvo S60 Long-Term Road Test

2012 Volvo S60 T5: What's Wrong With This Picture?

August 02, 2011

Volvo IP.jpg

Look closely at this picture of our Volvo S60's dash. What's wrong with it?

Got it? Good. Jump.

The quick answer here is that, well, nothing is actually wrong, per se, but there's an anomaly here: I'm not wearing a seatbelt, the car is in D and there's not a single warning light or chime.

Now, I'll preface this by saying that I am an instinctive, habitual seatbelt user. Swapping parking spots in the garage? Seatbelt. Moving a car at the track? Seatbelt. Re-adjusting my parking space for a perfect parallel to the curb? You know there's a seatbelt involved. I don't understand the "I'm just going down the street!" crowd. Accidents don't have a safety radius.

But back to the point.

I set my backpack in the passenger seat of the Volvo and, upon entering drive, I was met with a really annoying chime and flashing red seatbelt warning. Just as I was about to shove the whole thing on the floor, the light went out and the noise stopped. Hooray! So when I got to my destination, an empty garage, I tried it with the driver seat. Same thing. Brief noise followed by nothing.

It really is an odd thing in a car that panics when the car in front of you is slowing down for a turn (they haven't figured out how to calculate for a turn yet, the computers just see the speed differential and freak out) or if you're driving behind a person close enough to not give up your spot in traffic to a municipal dumptruck. I'd have assumed that seatbelts would be MANDATORY in this car as they are in a number of other vehicles where the noise and flashing lights don't stop at all -- EVER -- unless the buckle is buckled.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor @ 2,762 miles

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