In the United States, an investigation has been opened for potential fire risks: nearly 1.9 million copies of Toyota RAV4s could be affected.

Released in 1994, the Toyota RAV4 is a compact SUV that has already had five generations to date, and it is the Toyota’s best-selling vehicle in the United States. These are the fourth generation models, produced between 2013 and 2018, which are currently under investigation by NHTSA, the US federal agency responsible for road safety, following a series of eleven fires that were declared.

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Toyota RAV4: the battery causing the fires?

These are potentially close to 1.9 million copies of the Toyota RAV4 which would be affected by fire risks. In half of the cases where the vehicle was in motion, drivers saw their car stall before the fire broke out. But a few other owners have also reported a fire with their engines off. According to NHTSA, the 12 volt battery could be the cause of the malfunction, in the majority of cases: a non-conforming installation or a poorly carried out repair following a frontal impact, could have caused these fires.

One case of Toyota RAV4 fire occurred in Lyons, Colo., On a 2017 RAV4 hybrid, where the driver was traveling at 80 km / h when the engine fault light suddenly came on, then he drove off. Quickly observed smoke coming out of the engine cover.

The investigation is continuing in order to understand the other factors that could have caused the fires of the batteries in question. Toyota has not yet carried out a recall campaign, but may well be forced to do so by NHTSA, depending on the investigation’s findings. According to Ed Hellwig, responsible for safety and quality communication at Toyota in North America, “Toyota has been made aware of this NHTSA investigation, and we are cooperating with the agency”.

Source: Reuters

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