In the middle of one of the coldest winters in decades, Toyota has told its dealers not to sell light truck and car models with heated seats because the seat fabric does not comply with U.S. safety codes.
Affected are about 36,000 cars, trucks and minivans on dealer lots. These include 2013 model-year Tacoma pickup trucks, Camry and Avalon cars and the Sienna minivan, and 2014 Tundra pickup trucks and Corolla cars. All the vehicles were made in U.S. factories.
The company cannot legally sell the units because one of the materials used to make the seats does not meet the U.S. safety standards, a company spokesman said. New materials are being used on new seats at the factory and dealers will make corrections for vehicles on dealer lots, Toyota said.
Toyota has petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to call the issue “inconsequential”, and thus avoid a recall, because no fires or injuries have been reported. NHTSA said it is monitoring the risk from the problem and will accept comments on the petition.