Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
FILE - In this Aug. 2, 2013 file photo, the emblem of a Toyota car shines at Toyota Motor Corp.'s showroom. The car manufacturer recalled 1.9 million Prius cars built between March 2009 and February 2014 due to a software glitch. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye, File)
Toyota tells dealers to stop selling 6 models
First Published Jan 30 2014 11:40 am • Last Updated Jan 30 2014 02:43 pm

Detroit » Toyota has told North American dealers to stop selling six popular models with heated seats because the fabric doesn’t meet flammability standards.

One soft material beneath the seat covers does not comply with U.S. safety standards, company spokesman John Hanson said.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

No fires or injuries have been reported, but Toyota can’t legally sell cars that don’t comply with U.S. safety codes, Hanson said. The company is still totaling how many vehicles are affected, but it will be in the thousands, according to the spokesman.

The stop-sale order could mean trouble for Toyota and its dealers because it covers the company’s top-selling vehicles. Dealers can no longer sell certain Camry, Avalon, Sienna and Tacoma models from the 2013 and 2014 model years, as well as Corollas and Tundras from 2014. The Camry, for instance, is the top-selling car in the U.S. with more than 408,000 sales last year.

It depends on how long the repairs will take. Hanson said the company already has a new material that’s being installed at factories and will be put in cars that are on dealer lots.

"We don’t think it will take long to get the parts and make the changes," Hanson said, without getting more specific.

As for vehicles already on the road, Hanson says Toyota has reported the problem to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which will decide if the sold vehicles should be recalled. A NHTSA spokesman said he would check into the matter.

"We don’t believe that there is a safety issue here because there have been no reports of any problems," Hanson said.

The stop-sale order affects cars and trucks distributed to dealers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. In addition, some vehicles were exported outside North America, Hanson said.

The problem was discovered by safety regulators in South Korea, who disassembled seats and tested individual fabrics, Hanson said. U.S. safety standards require fabrics to resist flames at a certain rate, but the one fabric didn’t meet the standard, Hanson said.


story continues below
story continues below

Toyota spokesman Naoki Sumino in Japan said the affected vehicles were sold since August of 2012, when the fabric supplier was changed.

Toyota has been struggling to regain its once sterling reputation for quality after announcing massive recalls over several years, starting in 2009, for a variety of defects including braking, accelerators and floor mats.

The company was fined for being slow on recalls, which affected more than 14 million vehicles, and faces lawsuits.

Toyota, the top automaker ahead of General Motors Corp. and Volkswagen AG in global vehicle sales, has promised to be quicker with recalls and more careful with model development to avoid a recurrence of its troubles.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.