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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Toyota recalls 1.8 million RAV4 SUVs over potential fire risk

By Orlando Mayorquin

Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, recalled more than 1.8 million RAV4 sport utility vehicles spanning several model years this week because a replacement battery could pose a fire risk.

The voluntary recall covers 1.85 million vehicles from model years 2013 to 2018, the company said in a statement. Some of the vehicles may be equipped with replacement 12-volt batteries that have dimensions that are too small, it 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,” it said.

Movement from a strong turn could create a short circuit that could potentially ignite a fire, the company said.

It was unclear if there had been any fires or accidents related to the recalled batteries. An inquiry sent to Toyota was not immediately returned.

The company’s recall filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which usually contain information about such incidents, were not yet available in the agency’s recall listings Wednesday night.

Toyota said it expected to notify affected owners by late December, adding that dealers would replace the hold-down clamp, the battery tray and the positive terminal cover for free. The company asked owners to visit the highway traffic agency’s website or Toyota’s recall website to check if their cars were under recall by providing their vehicle identification numbers.

The RAV4 recall announced Wednesday was the second one announced by Toyota in a week. On Oct. 26, the company recalled 814,000 Highlander sport utility vehicles because the front bumper could fall off.

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