The rare problem could make for a very hot ride.

Southeast Toyota Distributors, which is independent from the automaker Toyota, will recall 7,749 vehicles in the United States because a short circuit in the seat heater could be a potential fire hazard. The affected models include:

  • 2005-2011 4Runner
  • 2005-2010 Avalon
  • 1988-1990, 2005-2010 Camry
  • 2006-2008 Camry Solara
  • 1989, 2009-2010 Corolla
  • 2007-2010 FJ Cruiser
  • 2005-2011 Highlander
  • 2010-2012 Prius
  • 2006-2011 RAV4
  • 2005-2011 Sequoia
  • 2005-2011 Sienna
  • 2006-2011 Tacoma
  • 2005-2010 Tundra
  • 2009-2010 Venza

Southeast Toyota Distributors installed aftermarket seat heaters in these vehicles, but the group found that over time a driver's weight compressing the parts could damage the wiring. The problem can eventually cause a short circuit, which could burn a hole through the seat cover and injure the occupant.

In November 2014, the distributor recalled vehicles for this same issue, and at that time the company had three reports of these short circuits. In May 2016, the group found another instance of the problem in a 2007 Sequoia. There were no injuries in this incident. Upon further research,Southeast Toyota Distributors then discovered a population of vehicles that it didn't include in the original safety campaign.

The distributor doesn't have a true repair for this issue because the component supplier is no longer in business. Instead, the dealers will disconnect the affected seat heaters and will refund the original purchase price to owners. In July, the group will send a letter to customers that will inform them of the recall.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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RECALL Subject : Seat Heater Electrical Wiring

Report Receipt Date: JUN 02, 2016
NHTSA Campaign Number: 16V396000
Component(s): SEATS
Potential Number of Units Affected: 7,749

All Products Associated with this Recall

Vehicle Make Model Model Year(s)
  • TOYOTA 4RUNNER 2005-2011
  • TOYOTA AVALON 2005-2010
  • TOYOTA CAMRY1988-1990, 2005-2010
  • TOYOTA CAMRY SOLARA 2006-2008
  • TOYOTA COROLLA 1989, 2009-2010
  • TOYOTA FJ CRUISER 2007-2010
  • TOYOTA HIGHLANDER 2005-2011
  • TOYOTA PRIUS 2010-2012
  • TOYOTA RAV4 2006-2011
  • TOYOTA SEQUOIA 2005-2011
  • TOYOTA SIENNA 2005-2011
  • TOYOTA TACOMA 2006-2011
  • TOYOTA TUNDRA 2005-2010
  • TOYOTA VENZA 2009-2010
Details
 
Manufacturer: Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC
SUMMARY:
Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC (SET) is recalling certain 2005-2011 4Runner, Highlander, Sequoia, and Sienna, 2005-2010 Avalon and Tundra, 2006-2008 Camry Solara, 2006-2011 Rav4 and Tacoma, 2007-2010 FJ Cruiser, 2009-2010 Venza, 2010-2012 Prius, 1988-1990 and 2005-2010 Camry, and 1989 and 2009-2010 Corolla vehicles equipped with aftermarket accessory seat heaters with a copper strand heating element. The electrical wiring in the seat heaters may be damaged when the seat cushion is compressed.
CONSEQUENCE:
If damaged, the copper strand heating element may short circuit, increasing the risk of a fire.
REMEDY:
SET will notify owners, and dealers will disconnect the seat heaters, free of charge, and refund the purchase price of the seat heater accessory. The recall is expected to begin on July 14, 2016. Owners may contact SET customer service at 1-866-405-4226. SET number for this recall is SET16B.
NOTES:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
 

 

Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC Aftermarket accessory seat heaters with a copper strand heating element.

Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC (SET) is recalling certain 2005-2011 4Runner, Highlander, Sequoia, and Sienna, 2005-2010 Avalon and Tundra, 2006-2008 Camry Solara, 2006-2011 Rav4 and Tacoma, 2007-2010 FJ Cruiser, 2009-2010 Venza, 2010-2012 Prius, 1988-1990 and 2005-2010 Camry, and 1989 and 2009-2010 Corolla vehicles equipped with aftermarket accessory seat heaters with a copper strand heating element.

SET has determined that it is possible that substantial compression of the seat cushion could cause damage to the electrical wiring of the seat heaters with a copper strand heating element.  Damage to the copper strand heating element may result in a short circuit which could burn a hole in the seat cover and injure the occupant of the seat.

The manufacturer of the aftermarket accessory seat heaters with a copper strand heating element is no longer in business and SET does not have a replacement seat heater. Therefore, your local Toyota dealer will disconnect the seat heaters at no charge and SET will refund the purchase price of the seat heater based on the MSRP of the seat heater at time of purchase.

SET will notify owners beginning July 14, 2016. Owners may contact SET customer service at 1-866-405-4226 concerning this recall if they have any questions.