The seatbelt pretensioner is part of the restraint system to help keep passangers safe during an accident.
If you are involved in a front end accident the car comes to a sudden stop. However, the inertia force causes the passengers and anything else in the car to keep moving forward. Upon impact, the force triggers your restraint system to react. This will includes seatbelts to prevent the passengers from flying out of the vehicle, airbags to deploy to prevent passengers from being slammed into the steering wheel or dash and some cars have seat belt pretensioners. These basically take the slack out of the seatbelt to help keep you secured into the seat.
If a seatbelt pretensioner has deployed, then it should be replaced. It may be possible to find a used one, but it’s best not to chance it and buy a new one or see what the specific car manufacture recommends.
So if you see a car with deployed airbags, then be certain to inspect the seatbelts.
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