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Old 03-14-2011, 09:02 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default NHTSA to look into burns from car seat heaters

Quote:
USA TODAY reported last month that dozens of people with paralysis and other sensory issues have been severely burned by car seat heaters. Safety advocate Sean Kane and burn doctor David Greenhalgh asked NHTSA on Feb. 22 to reconsider how it decides a vehicle has a defect because seat heaters "that exceed human tolerance" are unsafe.
Greenhalgh, chief of burns at Shriners Hospital for Children in Northern California, says 105 degrees is the maximum temperature a seat should ever reach.

Greenhalgh, co-author of a 2003 study on the issue, has treated a patient who received third-degree burns after 20 minutes in a car seat where the heater reached 120 degrees in one spot. Medical literature shows these burns can occur within 10 minutes at 120 degrees.
NHTSA said in a statement that although Kane didn't quantify the problem, it would do an analysis of its own data to "determine what actions, if any, are needed to address this issue."

Kane, of Safety Research & Strategies, is still combing through burn incidents and would say only that he knows of "dozens." But an Oregon law firm, Johnson Clifton Larson & Schaller, said Wednesday that it has been involved with about 25 cases of burns from seat heaters and knows of at least 150 people burned this way.

Kane and Greenhalgh have also asked the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to urge members to disconnect seat heaters for those with lower-body sensory deficits, set a maximum temperature for heaters and install timers that automatically turn them off, as some automakers already do. Alliance spokesman Wade Newton says it is discussing its response with members.

Susan Heygood, a Fort Worth lawyer, says her client, Clayton Ford, was severely burned in a 2005 Chevrolet Silverado after he turned on the seat heater by mistake while operating the window. Ford, a paraplegic, sat in the car for two and a half hours with the heater on high.

General Motors, Chevrolet's parent company, says it started to put seat-heater warnings in 2010 model year vehicles' owners manuals and has them in the manuals for all 2011 models with seat heaters.
http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/...tm?csp=usat.me
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:42 AM   #2
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If you're paraplegic you simply shouldn't turn on the damn seat heaters. After all, you can't derive any benefit from them anyway.

We have too many lawyers here...
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:22 AM   #3
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At the same time, seat heaters should not have the ability to give a person 3rd degree burns.
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVANTI R5 View Post
Build a few common sense safety features into seat heaters.

Stop with the bullnonsense frivilous lawsuits.

DONE.

Seriously America, everything is now a "public health hazard."
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:20 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by White_Rex View Post
At the same time, seat heaters should not have the ability to give a person 3rd degree burns.
Why not? If you've got layers of clothes on in the winter you will need a much stronger heater to get warm. Next people will complain that the heat coming out the vents is too hot and it's burning their hands if they point the vents at the steering wheel.
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shikataganai View Post
If you're paraplegic you simply shouldn't turn on the damn seat heaters. After all, you can't derive any benefit from them anyway.

We have too many lawyers here...
They did say it was an accident. And in case people were wondering about why he bought a car with it, they sometimes come grouped with other interior options.

That said, I don't think it should happen. I don't know about GM, but i think so. At Chrysler, our seats only stayed on for a set period of time. it would cycle to low after a certain amount, then cycle to off.

The dumb thing in the article is a note saying GM puts the warning in the manual now. That right there identifies this as a lawsuit-only issue. You can sue for stupidity and they can say they did the legal requirements of a warning. if they took this seriously, they would put a warning near the button, or set the timers as required by FMVSS law, or some other standard.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:26 AM   #7
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I could see how it could accidentally get turned on by the paraplegic guy. I haven't been in a Silverado of that vintage, but the last Tahoe I was in had the heater switch on the door panel near the window switches, which is what it says he was reaching for. I gave them a try and those things got uncomfortably hot.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White_Rex View Post
At the same time, seat heaters should not have the ability to give a person 3rd degree burns.
He consciously turned it on. He should be conscious that he is devoid of feeling in his lower body due to a condition that the vast majority of humans on this planet do not share.

Put these two facts together and I fail to see how any negligence can be attributed to anyone but him and him alone.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:35 AM   #9
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I burned my junk when I spilled a hot coffee on my heated seat while I was driving around buck naked flashing high school girls at the bus stop, all the while trying to take pictures of their expressions with my cellphone camera and I hit a tree because I was distracted.
There was no warning in the owner's manual about driving around on heated seats buck naked, the coffee cup didn't warn me about the coffee being hot, there were no signs at the bus stop saying I shouldn't flash, my cellphone manual didn't say I shouldn't take pictures with it while driving, and the town failed to post a "Don't Hit Me" sign on the tree.
As soon as I get bailed out, I'm gonna sue everybody.
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