Failure to Meet Flame Resistant Standards in Heated Seats Causes Toyota to Halt Sales on Certain Models

Toyota is hoping to prevent a recall on certain models because of a problem with heated seats, some of the models impacted include: 

  • Corolla;
  • Camry;
  • Tacoma;
  • Avalon;
  • Tundra; and
  • Sienna. 

For now, sales have stopped while they find a remedy. The issue lies with the material used to make the seats. It fails to meet flame resistant standards as required by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

The company’s petition to prevent a recall is based on the argument that it’s not a motor vehicle safety problem. A decision concerning a potential recall is still under review by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

How a Motor Vehicle Safety Defect Could Lead to an Injury Claim

According to the NHTSA, recalls are typically required when there is noncompliance with a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, and the defect in the vehicle or equipment is safety-related (which certainly appears to be the situation). But it will ultimately be up to the agency whether Toyota will be mandated to issue a recall on the affected vehicles.

However, with or without a formal recall, whenever a vehicle or its parts causes serious or fatal injuries, the manufacturer could potentially be liable for the resultant damages. The first thing that claimants and plaintiffs would need to establish is there was a defect. The second is that it was the cause of injury. And lastly, that the claimant suffered damages financially, physically and/or emotionally.

Recalls can make it easier to demonstrate a manufacturer’s liability for a defective product. But that isn’t the only form of proof necessary. So even without a recall, it might be possible to file a product liability claim if a defective product has led to serious injury. To discuss a specific case, contact an attorney with Gacovino, Lake & Associates today – call 800-550-0000.

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