Toyota Recalled More Than Two Million RAV4s for 12-Volt Battery Fire Risk

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague
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toyota recalled more than two million rav4s for 12 volt battery fire risk

Toyota is recalling a significant number of RAV4s for an odd problem with replacement 12-volt battery sizes. The automaker recently announced a recall of around 1.85 million units in the U.S. and an additional 306,000 vehicles in Canada and Mexico. Vehicles from between 2013 and 2018 are involved in the action.

The automaker’s recall announcement stated that “some replacement 12-volt batteries of the size specified for the subject vehicles have smaller top dimensions than others. 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, increasing the risk of a fire.”

A spokesperson declined to answer whether Toyota was aware of fires or accidents related to the issue. The automaker will notify owners of affected vehicles by late December, and the fix includes replacing the battery tray, positive terminal cover, and hold-down clamp with revised components.

Before this action, the RAV4 from those model years only had a couple of minor recalls related to incorrectly numbered vehicle weight rating labels. Toyota and Lexus are also among the least recalled automakers, with several models earning top spots in reliability rankings. The action also more than doubled the number of vehicles Toyota has recalled in 2023, as its previous total was around 1.4 million.

[Image: Toyota]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

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12 of 27 comments
  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Nov 02, 2023

    I'm puzzled by this recall. How is it Toyota's fault if someone mounts an incorrect sized battery?

    • See 3 previous
    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Nov 03, 2023

      @FreedMike - Toyota is more proactive than the competition.

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Nov 02, 2023

    Agree that this one sounds odd/weird. Anyone replacing a super-sparky 12V battery (high amperage connections right out in the open) should be shaking the newly-installed battery around to be sure it is securely connected to the vehicle.

    Dear Toyota, since we are here now, go ahead and replace the heavy lead-acid starter battery with a lighter more modern chemistry. Then your funky brackets go away too. The fuel savings will cover the cost difference.

  • The Oracle The Oracle on Nov 02, 2023

    Toyota is on a roll lately. Bumpers falling off, 12V battery thermal events, ugh.

    • See 1 previous
    • Sayahh Sayahh on Nov 03, 2023

      Wasn't the one recent Mustang model prone to a door falling off? Didn't a steering wheel falling off cause a recall from another manufacturer? Toyota could and should do better, though, whether these are QC issues or design and engineering ones.

  • Carlson Fan Carlson Fan on Nov 02, 2023

    So who installs a battery of different size than what the vehicle was originally built with and doesn't do something as simple as checking to make sure check it is mounted securely? I mean, WTF?

    No wonder I do this type of stuff myself. I'm not a certified mechanic but am still better at repairing vehicles than 90% of the hacks out there that do it for a living. Thank god for YouTube & car/truck forums!

    • See 1 previous
    • Jeff Jeff on Nov 04, 2023

      Some use bungee cords to hold batteries in place.