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.”