Ford is to modify the lower seat trim of 16,500 2002 model Thunderbirds to eliminate the possibility of the driver's seat belt contacting the seat mechanism in a severe frontal crash. In a statement the company said it is taking action because the driver seat belt was found to be partially cut after the vehicle was subjected to a 35 mph frontal impact test into a solid barrier as part of the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's New Car Assessment Programme.