Nearly 2 million Toyota RAV4's are being investigated for catching fire
The problem causes the SUV to throw an engine light, stall and promptly catch alight.
Toyota never fails to top the charts in reliability, but even some of the most dependable cars don't come without their problems. The latest issue is currently under investigation by the American National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and it affects nearly 2 million units of the world's best selling SUV.
1.9 million Toyota RAV4's are at risk of being recalled after the NHTSA discovered a possible fire hazard traced to the 12 volt batteries used in some affected models. 11 seperate instances of “non crash thermal events” have occured in the United States which has sparked the investigation into the issue.
Reports of incidents have been widespread, but point to the same symptoms. Some cars have caught fire whilst stationary, while others in more dangerous circumstances, including a Reuters report from one RAV4 owner in Colorado who claimed he was travelling “50 miles per hour when the check-engine light came on, and then white smoke emerged from beneath the hood.”
Half of the reported incidents noted the car stalling and throwing a check engine light before bursting into white smoke - a similar symptom to a recall from just last year that affected brand new 2019 and 2020 model RAV4s, when 1.5 million units had to be recalled for faulty fuel pumps that caused cars to stall whilst driving.
NHTSA is still evaluating the case, and no injuries have been reported from incidents linked to this - thus no recall notice has been sent out (yet). It's also unclear whether or not this issue affects RAV4s in other markets such as Australia, but we hope to find out at a later stage.