America's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will be investigating whether seat heaters pose a risk to personal safety, namely, your derriere.
According to USA Today, dozens of people have reported burns to their flesh from seat heaters. Those most at risk are paralysis victims, or those with sensory issues. Sean Kane, a safety advocate, and a burns specialist, Dr David Greenhalgh, have both requested the NHTSA to consider adding seat heaters to the car defect list, citing seat heaters "that exceed human tolerance" are unsafe.
Dr Greenhalgh, who is chief of the burns unit at Shriners Hospital for Children in Northern California, says 40 degrees is the maximum temperature a seat should ever become. In one instance, he treated a patient who experienced third degree burns after the seat heater reached 49 degrees in one area. After ten minutes of exposure to a 49 degree temperature, burns can occur.
Greenhalgh and Kane are currently urging manufacturers to install timers to seat heaters, and some have responded. General Motors now includes warnings for all new cars sold in America that are fitted with seat heaters.
If you've ever been burned by bum warmers, please let us know in the comments section.