Toyota has requested that U.S. dealers stop selling particular models due to the latest safety concern to impact the automaker's reputation.
The Toyota Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Sienna, Tacoma and Tundra models have all been affected, among others. These cars, all of which are equipped with seat heaters, are no longer being sold.
The world's largest automaker says that a section of the seat fabric might "burn at a rate faster" than U.S. regulations allow. In a statement, Toyota said that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been informed of the sales changes due to the "non-compliance" issue. Seat heaters in the vehicles do not retard fire well enough, and while there have been no reported incidents relating to the seats, Toyota is working on a modification to cover all vehicles currently held by dealers.
Approximately 36,000 vehicles in the keeping of dealers are affected, but this number does not include those already sold. However, Toyota representatives feel that there is no safety risk and by fixing the issue with dealers now, it will save a costly and reputation-hurting recall later on.
In the past two years alone, Toyota has been forced to recall almost 20 million vehicles worldwide.