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Toyota's Earlier Fix Didn't Work and It Now Finally Recalls The RAV4

Certain people knew that Toyota's earlier battery fixes were not right and at least one of them is now glad Toyota is finally recalling the RAV4 SUV again to fix batteries that can move during hard turns and cause a fire.

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Some of you may already heard the news that Toyota is recalling around 1,854,000 Toyota RAV4 SUVs in the U.S. to resolve a battery issue that comes with a fire risk. 

But perhaps not many of you know that Toyota has tried a fix for this issue several times in the past and some new that the fix wouldn't work.

Look what I found in the RAV4World forum today. A user, named SMS Artemis, writes that he knew Toyota's earlier battery fixes for the same fire hazard issue wouldn't work. 

"I knew that Toyota's earlier fix in regards to the battery issue wasn't right. Even made a complaint on the NHTS website explaining explicitly what the issue was and how Toyota's fix didn't fix the issue at all. Even though Toyota (local dealer) said there was nothing wrong with mine. Several different articles in various places about it. I did put my VIN in and it isn't registering yet. I know for certain mine isn't right. Now if we can get them to fix their paint. Recall is for hardware securing battery," Artemis writes.

I did a little investigationa nd checked to see what recalls Toyota has done in the past about the battery fire hazard issue and look what I found out.

Prior to the November 2023 recall of nearly 1.9 million RAV4s, Toyota has issued a few other recalls related to 12-volt battery issues:

1. In 2021, Toyota recalled over 1 million vehicles in the United States, including the Camry, Corolla, Prius, and RAV4, due to a potential fire hazard caused by a defect in the 12-volt battery's positive terminal. The recall affected vehicles from the 2016-2019 model years.

2. In 2018, Toyota recalled over 1.3 million vehicles in the United States, including the Camry, Corolla, Prius, and RAV4, due to a potential fire hazard caused by a defect in the 12-volt battery's cable. The recall affected vehicles from the 2013-2017 model years.

In both of these cases, the defect could cause the battery to overheat and catch fire, increasing the risk of injury to occupants and/or damage to the vehicle. Toyota advised owners of affected vehicles to contact their local Toyota dealer to schedule a free repair.

Last year, I remember the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid from 2019 to 2020 experienced an unusual series of failures related to the high voltage wire harness. Then Toyota started to investigated the corroded cabel issue in its Hybrid RAV4s.

In addition to these recalls, Toyota has also issued a number of Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) related to 12-volt battery issues. TSBs are issued to Toyota dealers to provide them with information about known problems and how to repair them.

Some of the TSBs related to 12-volt battery issues include:

  • TSB 18-003: "12V Battery Discharge - 2013-2019 Camry, 2014-2019 Corolla, 2016-2019 Prius, 2013-2019 RAV4"
  • TSB 18-002: "12V Battery Overheat - 2013-2019 Camry, 2014-2019 Corolla, 2016-2019 Prius, 2013-2019 RAV4"
  • TSB 17-036: "12V Battery Cable Corrosion - 2013-2017 Camry, 2014-2017 Corolla, 2016-2017 Prius, 2013-2017 RAV4"

These TSBs provide Toyota dealers with information about the known problems, how to diagnose them, and how to repair them.

Dear Torque News readers, if you own a Toyota vehicle, it is important to check the Toyota website regularly for recall information and TSBs. You can also contact your local Toyota dealer to inquire about any open recalls or TSBs that may affect your vehicle.

A battery hold down recall is a recall issued by a vehicle manufacturer to notify owners of certain vehicles that there is a defect in the battery hold down hardware. This defect can cause the battery to move during hard turns or other driving maneuvers, which can lead to an electrical short, vehicle stalling, or even a fire.

In the case of the recent Toyota RAV4 recall, the defect is in the battery hold-down clamp, battery tray, and positive terminal cover. These parts can become brittle and crack over time, allowing the battery to move. Toyota will replace these parts free of charge for all affected vehicles.

If you receive a letter from Toyota about a battery hold-down recall, it is important to contact your local Toyota dealer to schedule a free repair. The repair will take approximately 1 hour to complete.

Here are some tips for preventing battery hold-down problems:

  • Regularly inspect the battery hold-down hardware for signs of wear and tear.
  • Tighten all battery hold-down bolts to the manufacturer's specifications.
  • Replace any cracked or damaged battery hold-down hardware immediately.
  • If you notice any signs of battery movement, such as a rattling sound or a loose battery cable, have the battery hold-down hardware inspected by a qualified mechanic.

By following these tips, you can help to prevent battery hold-down problems and keep your vehicle safe and reliable.

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Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded TorqueNews.com in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News TwitterFacebokLinkedin and Youtube. He has more than a decade of expertise in the automotive industry with special interest in Tesla and electric vehicles.

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