The TMS(Thermal Management System) heater in a fuel cell vehicle has been developed to prevent a decline of fuel cell durability and cold start durability. Main functions of the COD(Cathode Oxygen Depletion) heater are depletion of oxygen in a cathode as heat energy and consumption of electric power for rapid warming up of a fuel cell stack. This paper covers subjects including the design specification of a heater, heater controller for detection of overheat and reliability assessment including coolant pressure cycle test of a heater. To verify the design concept, burst pressure and deformation analysis of plastic housing were carried out. Also, temperature distribution analysis of heater surface and coolant inside of housing were carried out to verify the design concept. By designing the plastic housing instead of a steel housing, the 30% weight lightening and 50% cost reduction were attained. A module-based design of a TMS system including a heater or reducing the watt density of a heater is a problem to be solved in the near future work.