In the hot seat
Special Report: In the hot seat
Wendy Bryson, Boxborough, Massachusetts
"There was this smoke coming over my shoulder, and then it was followed by searing pain in my leg."
It sounds strange. But what Wendy Bryson of Boxborough experienced last November is becoming common for those with heated car seats.
Diana Bos, Victim
"It just was like very very hot."
Diana Bos also experienced horror while on the highway.
"I looked and saw red marks and starting of blisters."
The two are not alone. We found hundreds of reports about faulty heated seats filed with the n-h-t-s-a. In fact several of the largest car manufacturers have already issued recalls!
The problems occur when the heating mechanism malfunctions - - heating up so much that it actually burns a hole through the seats fabric.
Mary-Liz Bilodeau, Mass. General Critical Care/Critical Nurse Specialist, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
"The hotter the temperature and the longer you're exposed to it, the greater the propensity for a burn."
So how hot can they get? When we checked...Wendyís reached 101.5, this seat 120! And this heated seat reached 114.0 degrees!
The easy advice, if its too hot, turn it down that way you can stay warm without getting hurt, but unfortunately that can't work for everyone...
In a report from the American Burn Association doctors say those with diabetes, vascular disease, and physical disabilities may not feel the burn in till its to late.
"By the time that person might feel anything, that person might have full injury"
Thatís what happened to paraplegic, Matt Beller. He drove for two hours, unaware his seat warmer was on.
"Next morning when I woke up I had third degree burns."
Wendy was lucky, receiving only burns on her jacket and seat. But she wants others to know how bad it could be...
"There should be a warning that its a possibility that it has happened and it might happen to them!"
If you think your heated seat heats up to much - - check with your cars manufacturer to find out if there has been any recalls. Itís a simple call you can make that could keep you out of the hot seat... Phil Lipof 7News.
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