Sunday, December 18, 2016

Cheap Chinese seat heaters will burn you and everything you love

About a year ago, I installed some cheap seat heater kits I got off of Aliexpress in our Prius. Today, one of them burned a large hole in the seat:

 Hole in my wife's jacket. 

It goes all the way through.

Yeah, Problem. Burned a hole clean through my wife's jacket and started to singe her sweater before we smelled smoke and realized what happened. I should have known better- this happened right after I replaced the  fuse that fed the heaters, which had blown. I assumed it had blown because these were added to the cigarette lighter accessory circuit and we'd accidentally overloaded it- I guess not! There was obviously a defect in the heater. Furthermore, the bottom heating element had previously burned a small hole in the seat fabric about a month ago- see the small (6mm) hole in the seat fabric in the third photo above. Since it was less severe and the only example, I'd chalked it up to a one-time defect and resolved not to buy again. I disconnected that element and continued to use the others. Evidently, there is a big design or manufacturing problem here! Buyer beware: think twice before buying cheap seat heater kits from China, and definitely not from this seller. (EYESAUTO ELECTRONICS)

I'm messaging the AliExpress seller to see how we can resolve this- I doubt I'll be made whole, given the nature of a trans-pacific factory-direct transaction, but I can hope. Buyer beware!