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The 2014 Toyota Corolla (Autoblog)
Toyota has told North American dealers to stop selling six popular models with heated seats because the fabric doesn't meet flammability standards.

One soft material beneath the seat covers does not comply with U.S. safety standards, company spokesman John Hanson said.

No fires or injuries have been reported, but Toyota can't legally sell cars that don't comply with U.S. safety codes, Hanson said. The company is still totaling how many vehicles are affected, but it will be in the thousands, according to the spokesman.

The stop-sale order could mean trouble for Toyota and its dealers because it covers the company's top-selling vehicles. Dealers can no longer sell certain Camry, Avalon, Sienna and Tacoma models from the 2013 and 2014 model years, as well as Corollas and Tundras from 2014. The Camry, for instance, is the top-selling car in the U.S. with more than 408,000 sales last year.

It depends on how long the repairs will take. Hanson said the company already has a new material that's being installed at factories and will be put in cars that are on dealer lots.

"We don't think it will take long to get the parts and make the changes," Hanson said, without getting more specific.

As for vehicles already on the road, Hanson says Toyota has reported the problem to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which will decide if the sold vehicles should be recalled. A NHTSA spokesman said he would check into the matter.

"We don't believe that there is a safety issue here because there have been no reports of any problems," Hanson said.

The stop-sale order affects cars and trucks distributed to dealers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. In addition, some vehicles were exported outside North America, Hanson said.

The problem was discovered by safety regulators in South Korea, who disassembled seats and tested individual fabrics, Hanson said. U.S. safety standards require fabrics to resist flames at a certain rate, but the one fabric didn't meet the standard, Hanson said.

Toyota spokesman Naoki Sumino in Japan said the affected vehicles were sold since August of 2012, when the fabric supplier was changed.

Toyota has been struggling to regain its once sterling reputation for quality after announcing massive recalls over several years, starting in 2009, for a variety of defects including braking, accelerators and floor mats.

The company was fined for being slow on recalls, which affected more than 14 million vehicles, and faces lawsuits.

Toyota, the top automaker ahead of General Motors Corp. and Volkswagen AG in global vehicle sales, has promised to be quicker with recalls and more careful with model development to avoid a recurrence of its troubles.



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  • 110 Comments
      wfathertime
      • 1 Year Ago
      A lot of years ago I laughed at people that bought Toys and believed that America could build a better car. Well guess what we could, but we got lazy. We did not want to be bothered. I am not one sit around and do nothing, but age has a way of changing your life. What I can tell you about cars most of you would not believe. GM cars was once a great car. Chevy is no longer a American car, the company is now owned 100% by Fiat. The 1950 Dodge Power wagon was the toughest truck ever built in the day. Toyota's built in this country do not come close to those built over seas when it come to gas mileage. Senna the only toyota build in this country, and the small pickup made toyota great. The Dodge Ram I believe will save Dodge. Looks power to do a job and models people can use. Ford is right in line. Tundra is in line. Chevy is gone, But GMC is catching up fast. Sports cars are in a class of there own. Not a single car out there at the minute, I want to buy. As far as a truck at the minute the Rams may be my choice. I'll wait a bit longer, but my feeling is still the Ram may win out. I have been a die hard Ford man for years. Lincoln was always my first choice in cars. Still is, but the small ones do nothing for me. Recalls happen on all cars, it is just what the company does about it that really counts.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @wfathertime
        SEEMS LIKE THIS LAST GUY NEEDS TO BE PUT IN A RUBBER ROOM....GM IS NOW PRODUCING BETTER VEHICLES THAN ANY ONE ELSE ON THE PLANET.....AS FAR AS DODGE IS CONCERNED...I AGREE THAT POWERTRAIN AND POWER PLANT STILL NEED SOME WORK.....HOWEVER THAT STILL DOES NOT TAKE AWAY FROM THEIR COMMITMENT TO THE WAY THEY LOOK.....IMPORTS ALIKE....THE AMERICAN WAY WILL ALWAYS PREVAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        rodnut54
        • 1 Year Ago
        @wfathertime
        Just a point of information Dodge is owned by Fiat.
        JOHNNY
        • 1 Year Ago
        @wfathertime
        Chevy is no longer a American car, the company is now owned 100% by Fiat. You got that Wrong Fiat ownsChrysler not Chevy .So your Dodge ram is a Fiat!
        • 1 Year Ago
        @wfathertime
        You do realize you got everything completely 100% wrong. Fiat owns Dodge,
        richard
        • 1 Year Ago
        @wfathertime
        Chevy is owned by Fiat? Go back and check your facts.
      pdbliz
      • 1 Year Ago
      I agree,,,the Corolla is getting ugly and ugly and larger and less gas milage also....not counting,,,,costly.!!! BUT,,,ALL CARS ARE BEGING TO LOOK ALIKE............WHY DO WE NEED SO MANY CARS AND KINDS. CARS ARE GETTING TO LOOK LIKE AMERICANS,,,,,,,ALL LOOK ALIKE.!!!!
      richard
      • 1 Year Ago
      Another giant recall?? Those Asians must be choking on their tiger genitals and shark fin soup!
        seabasskj
        • 1 Year Ago
        @richard
        A recall for the material in used in heated seats? If this is bad what do you think of the 2.7 million jeeps that Chrysler had to recall due to the hazard of catching fire after being rear ended? This was done after more than 50 people had died by fire after being rear ended. I think I'll take my chance with a warm tush instead of risking my family in an inferno.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I just bought a Tundra 2014 and nothing was ever said to me about this.
      glj49469
      • 1 Year Ago
      Toyota..Recall King
      RMS
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have been driving for 40 years and have owned over 50 vehicles in that time, not one was a foreign make. Except for two or three, all were GM products. None were terrible, though a 1990 Jeep Cherokee had it's share of electrical problems. Among the best vehicles were several Cadillacs. Anything that is mass produced is bound to have issues.
        jwemrw
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RMS
        Government Motors does not build a domestic product, so you have owned foreign makes whether you choose to admit it or not.
          richard
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jwemrw
          So what exactly are all these GENERAL MOTORS plants in the US building, John Deere tractors? Get a job, Bozo.
      • 1 Year Ago
      That's why I've been driving Honda's for the last 10 years. Purchased a brand new Corolla 11 years ago - cash. 3,000 miles in, I needed service on the brakes. I pulled into Toyota, hit the brakes and they fell out of the car onto the garage floor. I explained that I knew there was a brake problem. Management came back a week later telling me it was "driver error".....WHAT?? I've been driving for almost 40 years and never had a problem with any other car I've owned. I wouldn't drive a Toyota now if they gave me one for free. Their product is terrible and their customer service is even worse.
      Leon who loves D
      • 1 Year Ago
      where the hell are the 6 models not to sell.............. this happens so ofthen .....GIMMICKS.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Leon who loves D
        The fourth paragraph of the article lists the affected vehicles.
      richard
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ahh,hahaha, more Asian failure. Better check those Hondas too. Hey all you Toyota drivers, maybe you should smoke more cigarettes in your cars, ahhahahaha...
        defensearms
        • 1 Year Ago
        @richard
        you should check yourself in guy...if you are not a retarded, than no excuse for you
          richard
          • 1 Year Ago
          @defensearms
          Go ahead, light one up, defensearms.
        Oyster
        • 1 Year Ago
        @richard
        Failure - duh, dicky, there have been no incidents reported - nor will there be. The chance of a Toyota heated seat starting a fire is the same as you graduating from high school.
          richard
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Oyster
          OK, Asia Oyster. Have a cigar.
      blbsmurf
      • 1 Year Ago
      New cars are grotesquely overpriced.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well that's a cost of changing suppliers.....It really hurts me.... I don't buy a car but every 10-12 years and keep it. I had just picked out a new Sienna and would have gone to pick it up today.....BUT the dealer can't sell it to me... Hopefully, this will be resolved and can get it before 18 Feb when my wife returns home from China.... Was hoping to surprise her with "next decade" vehicle....lol....
      Danny
      • 1 Year Ago
      Toyota is totally obsessed with selling more cars than Honda, at any cost.
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