Toyota has filed a petition with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asking for a waiver to avoid recalling about 206,271 2012–2014 Camry, Avalon, Corolla, Sienna, Tundra and Tacoma vehicles, some of its most popular models. The affected vehicles contain seat heaters that might not meet government flammability standards. Toyota says in the waiver that "the chance of fire or flame induced by a malfunctioning seat heater is essentially zero," according to The Detroit News. The automaker notes the part makes up less than one percent of the seat's weight.

Initial reports of the problem arose in late January when Toyota issued a stop-sale order for 2013 and 2014 model year versions of those vehicles. The automaker says that there have no been reports of fires or injuries in the affected cars, and the problem was discovered during testing by the South Korean government, according to The Detroit News.

We've reached out to Toyota for comment on this development and are awaiting a reply. We'll update this post if and when we hear back.


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  • 52 Comments
      Cruising
      • 9 Months Ago
      @Michael No I'm not a Toyota lover I've never even owned a Toyota. I'm just calling it how I see it. There have been no reported incidents of fires and likely hood of fire is minimal. Meanwhile Jeep has had two reports of fire for a different issue that could lead to a potential recall of many Chrysler products and they get off the hook after investigation? http://m.autoblog.com/2014/03/16/nhtsa-closes-investigation-into-jeep-liberty-fires/?post=1&icid=autoblog_river_article " After canvassing 265 warranty claims related to the master switches, NHTSA concluded that the rate of fires compared to the "large population of vehicles" was rather low, and that there was no trend pattern behind the few issues it did find." This is exactly what Toyota is claiming.
        Cruising
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Cruising
        I'm not a fan of biased views. You can't treat one company one way and the other differently, they deserve a fair review just like Jeep got.
      1guyin10
      • 9 Months Ago
      Wow, a lot of ill-informed comments. This is not much more than a technicality. The Korean government (who really would prefer Toyota not import these cars from the US) found the material to burn at a slightly higher rate than what is allowed. The material's supplier claims their tests show it is within limits. Keep in mind this is burn rate test. This doesn't mean the seat is at risk of bursting into flames. It simply means if there were a fire in the heating element (which has happened zero times) it could burn a little faster than regulations allow. I'm fairly sure that if your seat catches fire you wouldn't really care whether it takes 2 minutes or 2 1/4 minutes for it to flame up good. You would get out and call the fire department and your insurance company - or visa versa depending on how well the thing is insured.
      John
      • 9 Months Ago
      No Wavers allowed!! If a company buys and install inferior components they need to replace that part. IF you can't replace the vehicle. Start going after the upper executives and deduct the cost from their salary and benefits. GM is pulling the same crap. The customer suffers
      Klinkster
      • 9 Months Ago
      Old news. Where the heck was AutoBlog 2 months ago... asleep?
      normc32
      • 9 Months Ago
      It's getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes!
      owen brown
      • 9 Months Ago
      You guys realize this won't solve GM's death traps problems right? In my opinion this is a none issue . It's so comical to see all these fan girls hunting for a Toyota story.
        john96xlt
        • 9 Months Ago
        @owen brown
        LOL I've heard that " this is a none issue" phrase from several people about this very issue. Why are you Toyotaphiles so adamant that this be swept under the rug and ignored? Oh wait, you're all (Larry +) like that about virtually every Toyota recall, going so far as to make up facts to try to persuade somebody who doesn't know any better that Toyota isn't at fault and never could be! It'd be hilarious if it weren't so sad! You all gloss over how uncompetitive Toyota Tundra is with domestics for example. You just keep raving on about Consumer Reports (just try not to do it with your retort in between down-voting me and talking about GM's recall fiasco) which doesn't usually ask/rate fleet vehicles, which a lot of F-Series work trucks are used as. The company I associate with owns DOZENS of work trucks. The smallest, lightest duty truck they have is a base model Ford F-150 2WD 5.0 ex-cab with steelies. There are NO Tundras. All the trucks were bought individually, not as a "fleet" or group with special pricing. Virtually NO Tundras are used in that manner. They might pull a light-ass 14' boat to the lake every weekend (that a 3.0L V-6 Pathfinder or 4.0L Explorer could pull easily), but other than that, they're used overwhelmingly as COMMUTER CARS! Of course they're "reliable", if the absolute worst part of their day was a bumpy bridge expansion joint (over which they are rougher/louder than a comperable newer F-150 or new-style Silverado). If you treat your pickup like a Corolla and commute to work with it and carry light loads with it every once in a while, of course it'll be "reliable". The thing is, domestic trucks are WORKED everyday, people beat the snot out of them and they still put in 18 hours and beg for more the next morning at 4 AM.
          john96xlt
          • 9 Months Ago
          @john96xlt
          @clquake Thanks for making my point for me, idiot. Your neighbor's Silverado might as well be a Cruze. But, America's construction and work sites are FILLED with hard-working Domestic trucks, NONE are Toyotas. But, it's much easier to just ignore that part of the equation and stare at your neighbor's truck, because he represents ALL of the millions of truck buyers in this country, doesn't he?
          john96xlt
          • 9 Months Ago
          @john96xlt
          @ Bruce. Well, GM's ignition switch in the Cobalt is not exposed to the elements. Toyota's door fire issue was due to components that were not exposed to the elements. Ford's Pinto gas tank was not exposed to the elements and had to be hit just right to cause devastation. So, they're all non-issues as well?
          Bruce Lee
          • 9 Months Ago
          @john96xlt
          It's a non-issue because it's a component that isn't even exposed to the outside, it's inside of the seat so the flammability of the material is a non-issue. You need oxygen to have fire, and the inside of a seat has almost no oxygen, or did you miss elementary school chemistry? It's a low power seat warmer so unless your entire car is already engulfed in flames, whether or not the seat warmer sheet (it's literally a sheet inside of the seat) is flame proof is completely irrelevant, and if your car is engulfed in flames the last thing you would care about is the flammability of the seat heater sheet. Furthermore, this seems to be some technical foul that the South Korean government dug up, I'm sure there's no conflict of interest here at all right?
          RM
          • 9 Months Ago
          @john96xlt
          Though I don't agree with your hatred toward Toyota you're right. The tundra is not used as often as the ford or GM. I work in government and we are only allowed to purchase ford or gm fleet vehicles. Most would rather have the tundra after all the issues with the fords. The GM arent that bad. Fleet prices are cheaper so of course the government and most corporations go with the lowest bidder. With that being said I have seen more Titans being work abused than Tundras. Of course ford and gm are used more. The one issue i see is the tundra has very low payload capabilities compared to Nissan Ford or GM. The new Rams are worse than the Tundra. A limited tundra 4x4 can only haul 1400 pounds compared to around 2000 for a Titan F150 or Silverado.
          clquake
          • 9 Months Ago
          @john96xlt
          The fact you actually believe only domestics are at work sites leads me to believe you're just one of those morons with their heads in the sand. I help secure financing for many builders and commercial construction companies, and when I look at their tax returns, I find a lot of Tundras be used, much more than even the most hard core Toyota fan would believe. I've asked several of them, and their answer is always the same. They just work, very little maintenance required. Yes, they're not as hardcore as some of the domestics, and they don't have the much heavier duty side, but if you think only domestics are used, you really need to open your eyes and join the real world.
      john96xlt
      • 9 Months Ago
      I hope they get the waiver and then a few people get burned (literally) by their Toyotas and they sue the pants off them. It'll be more public and they'll be on record as having asked for a waiver unlike GM who played stupid.
      Mchicha
      • 9 Months Ago
      Oh!, what a feeling!
      DarkKnight67
      • 9 Months Ago
      Where is the outcry for Toyota attempting to avoid this recall?
      Famsert
      • 9 Months Ago
      I can't wait to read the dozens of comments from normc32 bashing Toyota... not.
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Famsert
        [blocked]
          normc32
          • 9 Months Ago
          Moving Forward, off the heated seats!
      normc32
      • 9 Months Ago
      Baptism by fire.
      Cruising
      • 9 Months Ago
      I don't believe Toyota is trying to put aside their responsibility but rather trying to get a waiver as to not to inconvenience all parties involved with the recall like the consumers. Akio and Toyota would not do this deliberately if they knew there was a true danger. Toyota is no stranger to recalls and after the past few years I don't believe they would want to go through that much bad PR again.
        normc32
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Cruising
        Toyota contunues to recall almost every model except for Scion even as they are only a few years old to 2014 models.
        Michael
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Cruising
        Wow, you must be a Toyota lover. Toyota knows that they have placed a component in the seat that does not meet the safety standards of the US. Asking for a waiver shows that they are more concerned with bad PR, and the cost of replacing the component that comes with a recall than the safety of their customers. This is not about the inconvenience it would cause. As you stated Toyota is no stranger to recalls over the past few years, and it is tarnishing their brand.
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