Third-Degree Burns from Heated Seats
Once considered a luxury item, electric heated car seats are now commonplace and have been known to malfunction and become dangerously hot, which can cause third-degree burns. An increasing number of people with paralysis or sensory deficits have suffered serious and even life-threatening burns from cars seats that have overheated.
Some seats have been known to malfunction and reach temperatures beyond the maximum 100-105 degrees the car manufacturers' service manual states. 111 degrees fahrenheit is hot enough to cause a burn, and 120 degrees is hot enough to cause a third degree burn in just 10 minutes. Some seats have measured as high as 160 degrees.
Seat Design Defects
In many instances, the seat is inadvertently turned on, and those with lower body sensory deficits due to diabetes, vascular disease or physical disabilities do not feel that the seat has become dangerously hot until it is too late. In other cases, users turned on a heated seat without knowledge of the potential dangers of these seats.
Car Seat Manufacturer Liability
- The National Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) received complaints as early as 2001 of heated car seats catching on fire
- The car manufacturers do not post warnings in their owner's manuals of the danger of potential burns to paraplegics, quadriplegics or those suffering from lower body sensory deficits
- The seats can overheat and have no safety mechanism to detect and shut down a seat that is overheating
- The same few manufacturers seem to be responsible for many of the defective car seats
- The car manufacturers promote sales of heated car seats to quadriplegics, paraplegics and those suffering from sensory deficits
Some of the makes and models of cars with seats that have been reported to overheat:
- 2003, 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee
- 2004 BMW 5-Series
- 2003 Infiniti G35 Coupes equipped with 6-speed manual transmissions
- 1999, 2001 Chrysler Town and Country minivans
- 1999 Rolls Royce Seraph
- 1999 Rolls Royce Bentley Arnage
- 1996, 1997 Volvo 850
Injured by a heated car seat that has malfunctioned?
If you or a family member has suffered from burns from a heated car seat, then please contact us right away.
All of our attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means you will pay no up-front out-of-pocket money.