Toyota told its North American dealer network to stop selling 2013 and 2014 Tundra and Tacoma pickup trucks equipped with seat heaters. According to Automotive News, a seat fabric supplier was changed in August 2012 and a faulty component has been identified. The special notice went out to all Toyota dealers and retailers that the new fabric could catch fire because it does not meet current fire retardation standards.
The total number of vehicles affected could be as many as 36,000, and the safety problem is found in six other Toyota models. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been notified of the problem even though no reports of any accidents or fires have been reported, according to a Toyota spokesman. To date, there is no word as to whether a recall will be issued by the federal government. The issues were discovered by the Korean Automotive Test and Research Institute when testing the seat fabrics. Unsold vehicles that are in the pipeline to dealerships will be repaired in port or at other stages on the way to dealers.
To date, Toyota does not think a recall will be necessary, but ultimately that decision will be made by NHTSA. Concerned owners can call Toyota at 800-331-4331.