• Mar 14, 2011
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now looking into whether or not seat heaters pose an "unreasonable risk to safety," according to USA Today. The government agency is currently shuffling through dozens of reports of burns associated with overactive heaters, and Johnson Clifton Larson & Schaler, an Oregon law firm, says that it knows of at least 150 people injured by the convenience feature.

According to the report, those with lower-body sensory defects are in danger of being burnt by the seat heaters without their knowledge, and doctors have petitioned the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to disconnect the feature on vehicles owned by those with the sensory issues.

In one case, a paraplegic man was severely burnt after sitting in a Chevrolet Silverado with the seat warmers on high for two and a half hours. He accidentally turned on the heaters while attempting to roll down the window.

General Motors, meanwhile, says that it began printing warnings on seat-heater operation in its owners manuals in 2010, and all 2011 vehicle manuals now have the warning.

[Source: USA Today | Image: Damon Lavrinc/AOL]


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  • 41 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      I know when my seat is hot... My Focus ST170 burns my bum within 30 seconds.... I know how to turn it off....

      Yes people are dumber and dumber... Like horses, not knowing when to stop eating...
      • 3 Years Ago
      "The Other Bob
      4:29PM (3/14/2011)
      "'In one case, a paraplegic man..."

      In other words, he could not feel the burning, but it still injured him. They should not get so hot that they burn. They are to warm your butt, not cook a dinner."

      That's funny, I needed that after the day I'm having! It's true though, they should have a limit on how hot those seat warmers get!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Isn't it funny how everyone is blaming 'Stupid' drivers about this heater problem, but when the NHTSA were investigating anything to do with TOYOTA everyone turned the blame to them? I bet if the title read ''NHTSA reportedly set to investigate seat heater burns in TOYOTA CARS'' everyone would blame Toyota and not the 'Stupid' drivers! Just shows how quick people are to blame anything Foreign when they could just use their own common sense to see who's fault it was.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Strange.. my butt is burning for no reason... >.>
        • 3 Years Ago
        I'm more curious as to why this paralyzed man paid the price premium for heated seats...
      • 3 Years Ago
      People are so goddamn stupid.
      • 3 Years Ago
      So, one paraplegic gets his butt burned so it a hazard for everyone else? My butt works fine. Leave my seat heater alone.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I find it odd that all seat heaters are not on a timer, or have a temp override.

      My '03 Mazda Tribute had heated seats (same as Ford Escape), and they would shut off after 10 minutes.

      Manufacturers cannot design for the lowest common denominator, as it is a moving target................... basically, a target that keeps getting lower. While one feels bad for the burned paraplegic, one would have to surmise that he is also blind, to have not seen the indicator light being on. As such, he should not have been driving in the first place.

      One hopes that at some point, common sense will become the rule, instead of the exception.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Are cars getting more dangerous, or are drivers and passengers getting stupider? I'm going with the latter.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Pretty much. I've got seat warmers in my Jetta and it goes up to five. I don't ever see a need to go over 1, 2 if it's below zero. 3 is just TOO hot. I imagine the people burning themselves are just turning it up all the way in hopes of getting warmer quicker.
        • 3 Years Ago
        My 02 Jetta with cloth seats were that way. Never needed to go above 3. My 06 Jetta with leather I have used 5 on many occasions in the winter. It doesn't get near as warm as my 02 did. I think they've lowered the max temp bacause of reasons like this.
        • 3 Years Ago
        the concern is for people with lower body sensory disorders. did no one read the article?
        • 3 Years Ago
        They need a big warning right on the dash:

        CAUTION: DRIVERS MAY BE DUMBER THAN THEY APPEAR
      • 3 Years Ago
      You know that is too bad, but not paying attention is your own falt.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Paraplegic or not, you should always be aware of your surroundings.

      Another reason why America is known as the land of frivolous lawsuits.
      • 3 Years Ago
      its not the extreme heat I don't like, its the fact that when it gets past a certain temperature, you feel like you've pood yourself.
      • 3 Years Ago
      How ironic those knobs are from a G37 and I have a G37. I find seat heaters to be a great feature in the winter. I've had them in the last 3 cars I've owned, and I have no intention of ever skipping it as an option as long as they are offered.

      I wish people would stop being idiots. NHSTA should also investigate the idiots that burn themselves in the summer on leather seats and figure out why they're so stupid. Natural seat heaters?
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