Atlanta Accident Attorneys Report Story of New Toyota Seat Heater Fire Issues
Although any Cobb County car accident can result in serious injury, vehicle fires pose a particularly dangerous hazard because of the risk of explosion posed by the proximity of gasoline and a source of ignition. While vehicle fires are by no means the most common cause of injury in motor vehicle accidents, they can be caused by the force of impact or even vehicle defects. Toyota just announced that it was halting sales of thousands of its vehicles because of the risk of fire associated with seat heaters in the vehicles, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The vehicle manufacturer indicated that it was suspending the sale of all of its specific motor vehicles that have warming devices in the seats. The suspension on sales of new vehicles applies to several models of trucks including the Tundra, Tacoma and Sienna and sedans including the Avalon, Avalon Hybrid, Camry, Camry Hybrid and the top selling Corolla. The halt on sales only applies to the segment of these vehicles that are equipped with seat warmers.
Toyota made its announcement in the wake of a failed safety test that revealed that the a portion of the seat assembly in the applicable vehicles failed to comply with U.S. safety standards mandating that materials used in the seats meet certain flame retardant thresholds. The problem was discovered when South Korean safety regulators tested the seat in the applicable vehicles. Toyota notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the failed test results, but the vehicle manufacturer also indicated that it has not receive any reports of vehicle fires related to the heat warming issue.
While Toyota has imposed a global moratorium on the sale of all of the affected vehicles in dealer inventory, they have not indicated that they plan to recall vehicles already traveling the roadways of Georgia and the rest of the U.S. The manufacturer has indicated that it does not believe a vehicle recall is necessary because it has not received any reports of fires or injuries to date. However, the NHTSA is looking into the fire risk associated with the seat warmer assemblies and will make an independent determination about whether a recall is warranted.
Despite Toyota's predictable position dismissing the need for a recall, some traffic safety experts have weighed in on the potential scope of the risk posed by the problem. "This is an issue that if not addressed properly could be hazardous," Dave Sullivan, manager of product analysis for the consulting firm AutoPacific Inc. told the Los Angeles Times. "This is an electrical current that is going through your seat." Sullivan told the Times that the vehicle manufacturer should provide more information to consumers about the problem and fix vehicles already sold to protect the public.
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If you or someone close to you is injured in a vehicle accident caused by a negligent driver or a defective vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Vehicle manufacturers have a legal duty to provide vehicles without product defects that can cause accidents or increase the severity of injury incurred during a collision.
Our Atlanta Accident Attorneys at Montlick and Associates have been representing those who suffer serious injuries or wrongful death for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.