Aftermarket Toyota Seat Heaters Could Short Circuit, Spark Flames

Owners of certain Toyota vehicles, equipped with aftermarket seat heaters, will have to take their rides back to the dealers, as these could burst into flames.

Announced by Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET), which is operating independently from the Japanese automaker, the recall will begin on July 14. The aftermarket accessory could be damaged under the driver’s weight, harming the copper strand-heating element, which could lead to a short circuit and even a fire, in extreme cases.

Almost 8,000 vehicles are affected in the United States and they include certain 1988-1990 and 2005-2010 Camry, 1989 and 2009-2010 Corolla, 2005-2011 4Runner, Highlander, Sequoia and Sienna, 2006-2008 Camry Solara, 2005-2010 Avalon and Tundra, 2006-2011 Rav4 and Tacoma, 2009-2010 Venza, 2007-2010 FJ Cruiser and 2010-2012 Prius.

If you happen to own one of the above vehicles, then you should expect a letter from SET to schedule an appointment with a local dealer, which will disconnect the seat heaters, free of charge, and refund the purchase price of the aftermarket accessory. Concerned owners can contact the Southeast Toyota Distributors customer service at 1-866-405-4226 or the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236.

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