Looking for a new Toyota and need it to have heated seats? If so, you may be waiting a little while to make a purchase. South Korean safety officials discovered in testing that some seat material does not meet fire retardation standards. As a result, a select number of Toyota models built on or after August 2012 have seen its sales halted for the time being. This same material doesn't comply with U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards that require materials to retard flame at a certain rate either, hence the sales stoppage.
Toyota has given orders to every North American dealer asking each to halt the sale of any 2013 Avalon, 2013 Avalon Hybrid, 2013 Camry, 2013 Camry Hybrid, 2014 Corolla, 2013 Sienna, 2013 Tacoma and 2014 Tundra models that feature heated seats and haven't left the lot yet. The automaker has not issued a recall but it has alerted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In all, about 36,000 vehicles are affected or about 13 percent of Toyota's U.S. inventory. All will need new fabric before they get the green light to be sold again. Toyota could still face a mandatory recall of all the vehicles that have already been sold.
The NHTSA hasn't received reports of any incidents pertaining to this material and Toyota hasn't issued a recall yet. The automaker is, however, prepping a solution for the unsold vehicles. There's no word yet on how long this fix will take or what, exactly, it entails. According to data compiled by Kelley Blue Book, around 26 percent of all 2013 and 2014 Toyota vehicles sold feature seat heaters.
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