Toyota has told dealers in the US and Canada to halt sales of six 2013 and 2014 models of popular vehicles. The cars affected are only those with heated seats in the Camry, Avalon, Sienna, Tacoma, Corollas and Tundra 2013-2014 models. The number of cars affected is about 13 percent of dealer inventory, approximately 36,000 cars, trucks and minivans. It was discovered that material beneath the seat cover was flammable and could catch on fire.
Although no injuries have been reported it is illegal to sell a car that does not pass US safety standards. Even though the cars were originally manufactured at US factories, some were shipped to South Korea and that is where safety inspectors found the problem. Toyota announced that new material is being manufactured but there is no indication as to when the repairs could be made. Because of the cold weather in the US, more owners of cars already purchased are probably going to use their seat heaters. Toyota has asked US regulators to consider this an insignificant problem and not in need of a recall order. This represents another in series of vehicle issues the car manufacturer has had since 2009.