Toyota announced a recall Wednesday of more than 1.8 million RAV4 SUV models ranging from 2013 through 2018, due to safety hazards stemming from the installation of replacement batteries.
Specifically, the issue is a fire risk from some replacement batteries. The company said in a statement that because some replacement batteries aren’t the correct dimensions to fit in the vehicles, they have potential to shake loose and start a fire if the car makes a sharp turn.
"Some replacement 12-volt batteries of the size specified for the subject vehicles have smaller top dimensions than others," Toyota said. "If a small-top battery is used for replacement and the hold-down clamp is not tightened correctly, the battery could move when the vehicle is driven with forceful turns. The movement could cause the positive battery terminal to contact the hold-down clamp and short circuit."
Vehicle owners will be notified about a fix to the issue by late December. The company is planning to have Toyota dealers replace the battery hold-down clamp, battery tray, and positive terminal cover at no cost to owners.
In the meantime, those with vehicles that may be affected can enter the vehicle information number (VIN) or license plate information at either the Toyota website or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website for recalls.
Toyota is hardly the only carmaker who has dealt with safety recall woes. Earlier this year, Jeep announced a recall of over 130,000 Jeep Cherokee SUVs over a fire hazard risk stemming from a potential electrical short in the power gate lift module that could lead to fires, regardless of whether the key was in the ignition. In the meantime, vehicle owners were advised to park their vehicles outside and away from structures and other vehicles until the recall has been remedied.