Part in heated seats does not comply with safety standards
According to Automotive News, Toyota has an issued a sales halt for popular models and notified the NHTSA of a non-compliance issue over a heated seat part. Toyota Canada will continue sales of the models stating there is no risk of injury to passengers.
The affected vehicles – Camry, Camry hybrid, Avalon, Corolla, Sienna, Tundra, and Tacoma – represent a large swath of models sold by Toyota in Canada and the US. Vehicles built after August 2012 are affected by the issue.
The issue could trigger a recall in both Canada and the US, however Toyota does not feel a recall is necessary as compliance is met when the seat assembly is tested as a whole.
Toyota Canada issued the following statement:
On January 29, 2014, Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) notified Transport Canada of a technical non-compliance with Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) 302 in 2013-2014MY Avalon, Sienna and Tacoma vehicles, certain 2012-2014MY Camry and Camry Hybrid vehicles and certain 2014MY Corolla and Tundra vehicles.
The seats in the subject vehicles are designed to provide a comfortable seating surface for the occupant, and are constructed of several layers of soft material mounted on a steel seat frame.
One portion of the seat heater assembly when tested independently, does not comply with CMVSS 302. The seat heater is a very small portion of the overall mass of the entire seat assembly (less than 1%). When tested as an entire seat assembly (consisting of cover, cushion and pad) as installed in the vehicle, the CMVSS 302 criteria are met.
Toyota believes that this technical non-compliance is inconsequential to safety in that it does not, and is not likely to, affect the safety of any person.
As a result, TCI has also requested that Transport Canada confirm that this non-compliance is inconsequential to safety and that no further action is required.