Last week, Toyota let it be known that a number of its more-popular vehicles were subject to a "stop-sale" order due to faulty seat heaters on these vehicles. No injuries were reported, but the problem affected a lot of models, including the 2013 and 2014 Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid, Sienna, Corolla, Tacoma and Tundra. Toyota originally said 50,000 vehicles were involved, but Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales, knocked that down to 30,000 during an interview at the Chicago Auto Show this week and said that the problem is not going to have a big impact on Toyota's sales.

"It's an important situation but it will have a very minor impact on February sales," he told AutoblogGreen. "Dealers will start receiving new heating elements this week and then we have a process to take out the heating element that was put in and exchange that for the new fabric. It's very simple. It's a quick repair." Quick in this situation means about three hours to swap out the heating elements in two seats, according to Toyota's John Hanson. Since the Avalon also has heated rear seats, that car will require a total of six hours in the shop. Hanson said there was no official timeline for when the exchange program would be completed, "but new vehicles are arriving at some dealerships with the new seat heaters already installed."

With a fix already in place, Carter would not comment on whether a recall is likely, saying only, "I'm not the expert on that. We're working with the NHTSA and ultimately it's their decision. We believe it's an inconsequential compliance error that was made by one of our suppliers and we're going to correct it."


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  • 53 Comments
      george
      • 10 Months Ago
      More jahpcrahp on our streets. Wonderful. I bet sales will shoot up because of this. people are sooooo smart
      DaveMart
      • 10 Months Ago
      Make it hot for all those bums who buy Toyota, I say! :-)
      Samuel Look
      • 10 Months Ago
      Sorry completely misread what you wrote
      carfan
      • 10 Months Ago
      now I know why Toyota is in first place in Consumer Reports brand recognition poll: who on Earth would not recognize the name of the most recalled (what...5-6 million just in 2013?) most problematic car brand, with the highest ever fine of $16 Mil. imposed on a car company for procrastinating on recalling their garbage, leading with the most fatal injuries resulting from their SUA problem, settling for allegedly a billion or more dollars for their SUA problem etc, etc...who would not remember such a name???
        normc32
        • 10 Months Ago
        @carfan
        Carfan recieves the post of the day! You know you non-ownwers are finally catching on.
      normc32
      • 10 Months Ago
      Liar-liar pants on fire!
      • 9 Months Ago
      Almost 1 month later and no LA area Toyota dealers have fixed this 'problem'. Say they haven't gotten the kits yet. Interesting coincidence that suddenly the 2014.5 models are appearing, which now pass the insurance institute front safety test " and can now be recommended by Consumers Reports " and are not affected by the seat heating element 'problem' - of which there were no reported incidents.
      the.fog
      • 10 Months Ago
      Typical Toyota... Blame someone else for their incompetence.
      Joe K
      • 10 Months Ago
      Simple? Does every dealer have some who specializes in upholstery? Last time I tried to do one of these it was far from simple. I was trying to do it on a junk Subaru seat and man it was not easy to do.
        normc32
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Joe K
        Disassmbly is difficult enough. They all will never to reassmbled properly.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Joe K
        Swapping out seat fabric is not complicated. A few clips, a few dogrings, maybe a zipper. I think the time they quote (3-6 hours for 2-4 seats) is pretty much what it would take me. More to Joe K's point, after doing their second car, I'd say *every* dealer will soon have an expert seat dissembler/assembler.
      Marco Polo
      • 10 Months Ago
      Each time there's a recall, no matter how minor, it's an opportunity for a certain type of malcontent to fan the flames of discontent. The auto-industry in the US, is still paying for the ill-will created by the callous and even criminal practices of some auto-exec's of the 1970's. It was during that era that the boards of auto-corporations became dominated by financial controllers and executives more interested in maximising shareholder return, than producing better auto-mobiles. It was the era when the nature of shareholders also changed. It became the era of the 'take over' and 'asset stripper'. Huge investment funds, and banks, driven solely by maximising short term profits, with little regard for future growth or industry sustainability, created unsustainable expectations on a global scale. Ethical behaviour wasn't just overlooked, it was actively, and cynically derided. On the one hand, like all predators, they did create some efficiencies, and eliminated dead or moribund enterprises, but left unchecked, they also devoured fledgling or irreplaceable industries. Like the barbarian tribe of old, these modern day Vandals wreaked indiscriminately, in an orgy of greed for short term glory, and departed with the loot. America, and the UK, industrial rust belts, bear witness to the damage these vandals created. For almost three decades, they destroyed the old ethics and pride in responsibility of previous generations, tearing the heart and spirit out of Western business, leaving behind a moral wasteland of greed and manipulation. The new entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley and some old family owned business that survived, were left to rescue what remained and build for the future. A new generation of more principled, and hopefully, long sighted executives, has emerged. Hopefully, this new generation of executives will build on the ethics and vision of what remains of previous generations of dedicated corporate builders. It's sad, but understandable, to encounter so little respect for executives that lead today's major industries. It's very heartening to see the admiration and appreciation for Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steves Job's, Bill Ford Jnr, etc. It will take many decades before suspicious consumers, once again trust the large corporations completely,...and that's possibly a good thing.
        Levine Levine
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        you were doing so well until you added Bill Ford Jr to the mix.
        Grendal
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Well said. It's hard not to be cynical about the modern world. There are many equally exciting things to be happy about though.
      pmpjunkie01
      • 10 Months Ago
      Inconsequential as in: We will continue to build cars with the most recalls and don't give a damn?
      mikemaj82
      • 10 Months Ago
      What's the difference you're all going to keep buying these deathtraps and make Toyota #1 again this year.
      normc32
      • 10 Months Ago
      Bubbles?! This is epidemic! Now 1/3 of a mllion Tacos recalled: http://www.nbcnews.com/business/autos/toyota-recalls-342-000-trucks-seat-belt-issue-f6C10867723
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