Toyota recalls millions of RAV4s for battery fire risk

Toyota on Wednesday announced the recall of 1,854,000 RAV4 crossover SUVs fitted with a replacement 12-volt battery. The battery could become loose during hard driving, and the positive (red) battery terminal could hit a clamp and cause a short circuit, increasing the risk of a fire in the engine compartment.

The battery on the brand’s bestseller, and the bestselling non-truck in the U.S., should be replaced every three to five years. In 2013-2018 RAV4s, the replacement battery likely installed or recommended by the dealer was designed with smaller top dimensions than others, Toyota said in a press release. 

The current fifth-generation RAV4 was launched in 2019 and is not subject to the recall. 

If a small-top battery was installed and the clamp holding the battery in place was not tightened correctly, the battery could move “when the vehicle is driven with forceful turns,” Toyota said. 

The movement could result in the battery terminal hitting the clamp and short circuiting. Toyota didn’t disclose if it knew of any injuries or fires related to this issue. 

Owners can expect notification by mail by late December. Toyota dealers will replace the clamp, battery tray, and positive terminal cover at no cost to owners. For more info, call Toyota’s Brand Engagement Center at 1-800-331-4331, or visit Toyota’s dedicated recall page. 

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