Featured Articles

NHTSA To Tackle Heated Seat Crisis

Posted in Bizarre, Rants & Raves, Safety by Kurt Ernst | March 15th, 2011 | 7 Responses |

Your car may be trying to inflict serious injury on you, should you suffer from a reduced sensory condition and drive a car with heated seats. Have no fear, since the NHTSA is investigating this potentially serious situation, and will advise us on just how big a threat heated seats pose to the general populace. Regardless of their findings, one thing is absolutely certain: the owners manual for all cars that could be equipped with heated seats will grow by at least 30 pages, in order to contain specific instructions on their use (and plenty of legal disclaimer lingo advising against misuse). The fine print on the back of your sun visor just grew in length as well, unless manufacturers can get away with an adhesive label for the dash. New cars will probably creep up in price as well, just to cover this newly incurred expense.

Here are the facts: sustained temperatures above 105 degrees Fahrenheit can produce skin burns over time, and the NHTSA is investigating whether seat heaters in vehicles reach or exceed this temperature. Some drivers or passengers may suffer from a condition that gives them reduced sensory perception, so they may not feel if a seating surface is too hot. According to reports cited by USA Today, “dozens” of occupants have been injured by this bizarre combination of circumstances, which can only mean one thing in this country: either heated seats will be discontinued, or their temperatures will be reduced to the point of ineffectiveness.

I’ve driven a lot of cars with heated seats over the years, and never experienced anything close to a burn even with the setting on High. I hope that automakers find a way to satisfy the NHTSA without a radical redesign (maybe by including a master on / off switch for all heaters); I may live in Florida now, but I suspect I’m not done living in cold climates. I’d sure hate to give up heated seats in winter.

Source: Left Lane News

Our Best Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

7 Responses

  1. I’ve never driven a car with heated seats but always wanted to because my bum is freezing cold in the mornings. Had no idea they could pose a threat and be dangerous.

  2. […] and will advise us on just how big a threat heated seats pose to the general populace. […]Read more… Categories: Uncategorized Tags: All New Mercedes, NHTSA, Race Car, […]

  3. J D Stadler says:

    Look, I’m not trying to be insensitive, honestly, but I am beyond confused.
    A) If you have an issue with being able to properly sense temperature then wouldn’t you have the same issue if they were COLD? What’s the manufacturer gonna do then, paste a warning saying “beware, your butt may freeze to the leather if you DON’T use the heaters”??!
    B) Or better yet, maybe they’ll pop that warning on cars with cooled/vented seats like the new Optima.
    C) I get that *ahem* “burns” can occur if the temp is too high but…are you going to be burned THROUGH clothing? Are that many people wearing shorts that may enable said burns when the temperature is cold enough to warrant heaters?

    It just…it defies logic. But then, I guess that’s our litigious society. *headdesk*

  4. Jim says:

    Great, a few ruining it for the rest of us. If your too stupid to get burned by heated seats you deserve it. If it sounds like I’m being cold or insensitive. It’s because I am. Leave the stupid behind to rot and die, natural selection. Sorry if you don’t like the way nature works.

  5. Kurt Ernst says:

    This is another example of why other countries just laugh at us these days. If you have a medical condition that requires you to pay careful attention to your surroundings, it’s YOUR responsibility to do so, not someone elses.

    My guess is that <1% of the population has a condition like this, but they’ll change the requirements to impact the rest of us 99%.

  6. fast eddie says:

    good god – Idiots! Now here’s one for the books.recently having a water heater installed in my house,i turned on the hot water and it was as hot as it was going to get.i called and asked what it’s about … was told the installer sets it so if you have children, they wont burn their hands if they turn on hot only.reason they did this- take a guess -lawsuits.

    • Kurt Ernst says:

      fast eddie, I laughed when I read your post because I just went through the same thing. I’ve turned up the thermostat three times in the new water heater and the damn thing still isn’t hot enough. It’s safer for 1% of the population, though, which is all that matters to personal injury lawyers…