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Spotlight on Burn Injury Risks from Defective Car Seat Heaters

During some of the freezing winter days that Atlanta personal injury lawyers and residents suffered over the past few months, cars with seat heaters seemed akin to a blessing from above.However, there are serious burn injury risks linked to the car seat heaters found in many popular auto models.The burn injury risk is especially significant for the disabled and physically challenged persons. Car accidents may happen, but this is a preventable injury.

In fact, just about every other auto manufacturer has, at some point, recalled car seat heaters for malfunctioning.However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has never found the need to act on incidents where the car seat heaters have heated to levels beyond human tolerance.Now, a group of safety advocates has asked the federal administration to look closer at defective and malfunctioning car seat heaters that have caused serious burn injuries.

The risk of burn injuries from defective car seat heaters is the highest among the disabled and physically challenged.These people may have limited or no sensation in their lower limbs, which means that when a car seat heater heats up to dangerously high levels, the person only finds out that he’s being burnt when it is too late.Some of these people have ended up with third-degree burns.Currently, there are no federal standards in place for car seat heaters, and that has meant consumers are using seat heaters that are not required to meet any safety standards.Very often, car seat heaters do not come with a switch on/off mechanism that allows a person to switch off the heater when it is warming up to intolerable levels.

Now, safety advocates have sent a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, calling on them to treat this issue with the seriousness it deserves.They are specifically calling on the AAM to establish a maximum temperature for car seat heaters, and install automatic timers that switch off the heater when it becomes too hot.