Toyota has asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for a waiver to avoid having to recall some 206,000 of its most popular vehicles.
The reason for the potential recall is that there is a seat component that does not meet federal flammability requirements. Toyota filed the petition to avoid the recall back in January of this year but it has only been made public by the NHTSA this week.
If not granted a waiver, the recall would affect 206,271 Toyota vehicles. The affected models are the 2012-2014 Camry, Avalon, Corolla, Sienna, Tundra, and Tacoma. Toyota is not arguing that the part actually does meet flammability standards, but rather that it believes the chance of a fire due to a malfunctioning seat heater is essentially zero.
Toyota did choose to stop selling 36,000 of its 2013-2014 Avalon, Avalon Hybrid, Camry, Camry Hybrid, Sienna, and Tacoma as well as the 2014 Corolla and Tundra back in January. Their current petition would allow them to sell all those vehicles without making any kind of repair in addition to avoiding a recall of those that have already been purchased by consumers.
Although no complaints or fires have been reported since the issue was first discovered in testing conducted by the South Korean government, Toyota is looking into a replacement fabric for affected seats. This would allow dealers to repair the vehicles on their lots so that they could be sold.
Check out our 0-60 MPH Quick Take Review of the 2014 Toyota Avalon…
Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole also writes for NerdApproved and GeekMom.