Toyota is informing its North American dealers to stop selling almost every model it offers while a fire risk is being assessed.
Affected models include the Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid, Corolla, Sienna, Tundra and Tacoma.
The cars equipped with seat warmers are being investigated after Toyota was alerted by South Korean safety officials when the seat material didn’t meet fire retardation standards. The Korean Automotive Test and Research Institute, which uses the same standard as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (the agency now conducting the safety probe), found that the material in the seat heater does not meet standards that require it to retard a flame across the material surface at a specified rate.
Toyota informed NHTSA about the cars which have been in production since 2012, when the Japanese automakers switched fabric suppliers. Depending on what the safety agency decides, there can be a recall issued on the vehicles.
Toyota spokesperson John Hanson told Automotive News that there have been no reports of accidents, fires or injuries related to the issue in North America. He stated that Toyota didn’t feel that a recall will be necessary. Hanson also said that Toyota will handle requests by individual owners to replace the part at no cost on a case-by-case basis.
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Source [Automotive News]