The order affects 36,000 cars, trucks and minivans, about 13 percent of the inventory on dealer lots in the U.S., spokesman John Hanson said. Also affected are additional vehicles in Canada, Mexico, Korea, Israel and other countries, but no total number was available.
No fires or injuries have been reported, but Toyota can’t legally sell cars that don’t comply with U.S. safety codes, spokesman John Hanson said. Dealers can no longer sell certain Camry, Avalon, Sienna and Tacoma models with heated seats from the 2013 and 2014 model years, as well as Corollas and Tundras from 2014. The Camry is the top-selling car in the U.S. with more than 408,000 sales last year.
One soft material beneath the seat covers does not comply with U.S. safety standards, Hanson said. As for vehicles already on the road, Toyota contends a recall isn’t necessary since there have been no fires or incidents. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will decide if a recall is needed.
All the vehicles affected by the order were made at U.S. factories.
Toyota has struggled to regain its once sterling reputation for quality after announcing massive recalls over several years, starting in 2009, for a variety of defects including braking, accelerators and floor mats.