Car-Seat Heater Burns Lead to Auto Industry Action image

The Society of Automotive Engineers committee will release recommendations to avoid car-seat heater burns.

The NHTSA requested the Society of Automotive Engineers committee to come up with solutions to avoid car-seat heater burns. The request was made in 2011 after the USA TODAY reported that hat safety advocate Sean Kane and several doctors were planning to ask NHTSA to develop less dangerous seat heaters to those with sensory deprivation, such as paraplegics and quadriplegics.

In May 2011, NHTSA chief David Strickland said that the “rate of alleged injury due to seat heaters is extremely low” and didn’t demonstrate “an unreasonable safety risk.” Still advocate Sean Kane believes that this issue should be considered a defect which could even lead to recalls. Since 1984 there have been 1,260 seat-heater complaints, from which 287 related to injured people. Since then automakers have made 9 seat-heater recalls.

“As heated seats become more common, the industry will have to make more durable systems, because they pay a fortune for heated-seat quality issues,” said Tommy Fristedt, founder of Michigan-based consulting firm Automotive Seat Climate Craft. “This will hopefully drive the industry to take heated seats more seriously.”

  • john g.

    The articles I read on injuries from heated seats never tell about the absolute trauma that heated seats can cause for people that can’t feel their buttocks. When a seat heater burns someone that’s paralyzed, it creates a deep, third degree burn. For those of us that can walk, a burn like this on out buttock woukd be painful, but it wouldn’t prevent us from getting up and moving about. For a paraplegic – their butts are their feet. They have to rely on sitting down to have any mobility at all, wheelchair bound folks. When a paraplegic suffers a burn such as this on their rear, the healing process can take up to 6 months. That’s 6 months being bed-ridden. To lose one’s mobility is a very serious matter indeed. Something shoukd be done to prevent this sort of catastrophe from happening.

  • Cecelia Peterson

    My brother in law was burned like this to. He had to have a skin graft and was in the bed for over 4 months. Had to conduct bowel movements IN BED! It was like he was in his own prison. There is no since in a heated seat getting that dam hot!

  • nanna forsyth

    All the car componies want is more money

  • Dave Sewell

    Does the car companies care if they burn people? They burn us up on the prices then burn our asses again!

  • mini repair

    The report says about the request of NHTSA to the Society of Automotive Engineers to make more durable systems to avoid car seat-heater burns. This being a big issue which can make much more problem in the any accidental incidents to the car buyers and car users. So they needs to take proper steps to over come it.