Federal safety regulators have opened a probe into nearly 1.9 million 2013–2018 Toyota RAV4 vehicles after receiving 11 reports of vehicle fires.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that in most of the incidents, the fire came from the 12-volt battery. In half of the cases where the vehicle was in motion, drivers reported stalling before the fire started.
The agency said that the number of fires starting in the battery area is larger than for other vehicles. Improper battery installation or previous repairs for front-end crashes may have been a factor in these fires.
NHTSA said it opened the investigation to “better understand the contributing factors and frequency of vehicle fires originating from the battery region of the subject vehicles.”
In one report, a 2017 Toyota RAV4 hybrid was driving 50 miles per hour when the Check Engine Light came on. White smoke escaped the hood, after which the RAV4 caught fire.