Saturday, 19 March 2011

Heated seats come under fire by the NHTSA (U.S)

The 2011 Nissan Murano facelift is a vehicle
that features heated front and rear seats as
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will probed into the affects of heated seats by all car manufacturers to see if they present “an unreasonable risk to safety” after complaints of some experiencing burns.

Following complaints that “dozens” of people were suffering from partial paralysis or other reduced sensory conditions from heated seats, the NHTSA will examine heated seats to find out if they cause any widespread risk towards humans.

In men, seat warmers tend to raise the temperature of the genitalia, causing long-term damage to the testicles.

Heated seats are available from superminis to large SUV's,
including the new Kia Optima
Two men; Sean Kane, a safety advocate and burn specialist, David Greenhalgh spoke to the NHTSA request they reconsider what represents a defect for heated seats. Dr. Greenhalgh said a heated seat surface temperature mustn't surpass 105°F (41°C), otherwise the occupants risks some burning. Greenhalgh efforts date back to 2003, when he conducted a study and one participant sustained third degree burns after being exposed to a 120°F (49°C) seat for 20 minutes.

Essentially, Kane and Greenhalgh both want several changes, including the ability to disconnect the feature, the ability to set a maximum temperature and to install automatic shut-off timers in all vehicles.

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