NHTSA investigates almost 1.9 million Toyota RAV4s over fire risks

by SpeedLux
Toyota RAV4

U.S. auto safety regulators on Monday said they have started an investigation into almost 1.9 million Toyota RAV4 sport-utility vehicles over possible fire risks.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the initial evaluation looking at 2013-2018 RAV4 vehicles comes after 11 reports of fires.

The agency said that some drivers experienced stalling before the fire in half of the instances where the vehicle was in motion. The 12-volt battery was identified as the area of origin in most of the incidents reviewed, the agency said.

“Toyota is aware that NHTSA has opened this investigation and we are cooperating with the agency,” said Toyota spokesman Ed Hellwig.

The RAV4 is the best-selling vehicle of the automaker in the United States.

The NHTSA said that inappropriate battery installation or previous front-end crash repair was a factor in fire reports. But the agency said that, regardless of these external influences on the battery retaining method, the number of vehicle fires reported with the battery as the area of origin is larger compared to the other similar vehicles.

NHTSA said the investigation has been started to better understand the contributing factors and frequency of vehicle fires originating from the battery region of the subject automobiles.

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