Toyota distributor recalls 7,800 cars to fix heated seats

Toyota distributor recalls 7,800 cars to fix heated seats

An independent company called Southeast Toyota Distributors has issued a recall that affects 7,749 cars in the United States.

The list of affected models is surprisingly varied. It includes 4Runners built between 2005 and 2011, Corollas manufactured in 1989 and from 2009 to 2010, as well as Camry sedans built between 1988 and 1990, and again between 2005 and 2010. Southeast Toyota Distributors — which is independent from Toyota — explains that it installed aftermarket heated seats in all of these cars.

The company found that the driver’s weight can compress the wiring of the heated seats over time, an issue that could potentially lead to a short circuit and, ultimately, a fire.

Southeast Toyota Distributors will notify owners of affected cars by mail starting next month. However, there’s a catch: the company that manufactured the heated seats is no longer in business so there’s no way to modify the design and build new parts. Instead, Southeast Toyota Distributors will simply disconnect the heated seats, and refund the purchase price.

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