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The Toyota RAV4 is actively being dethroned as the most popular SUV in the world in 2023. Surprisingly, it’s being outsold by an electric SUV that costs thousands more than the RAV4. Furthermore, a new Toyota recall related to a fire risk may have just solidified the Tesla Model Y small electric SUV’s status for years to come.

Toyota RAV4 recalled over fire risks in 2023

New Toyota RAV4 recall presents fire risk to owners, like this white one parked outdoors.
The Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

Vehicles can be recalled for numerous reasons. Sometimes a recall can be over something as simple as an infotainment system malfunction. Other times, recalls are serious and need to be resolved quickly. Unfortunately for Toyota, its latest RAV4 small SUV recall is the latter.

Reuters claims that Toyota is recalling 1.85 million RAV4 small SUVs due to a potential fire risk. Internal combustion engines aren’t new to fire risks. That said, the fact that an ICE SUV is being subjected to such a large recall while the Tesla small SUV is thriving is ironic for one reason.

Aren’t electric vehicles supposed to be the ‘dangerous’ vehicles? EVs are more prone to battery overheating and thus fire risks than ICE vehicles. In this face, one of the Model Y’s greatest sales rivals, an internal combustion engine vehicle, is being recalled over a fire risk. Cue the quirky sitcom music. So, what does this recall mean for Toyota, Tesla, and, most importantly, the average American consumer?

Not every EV is a fire hazard

Range anxiety is one thing. Fearing that your car could catch fire and/or explode is a different level of fear entirely. In recent years, Chevrolet has been the brand most closely associated with a mass EV recall over fire risks. Every existing Chevy Bolt EV was recalled because of its battery.

What many average consumers fail to realize is the percentage of Chevy Bolt EVs that were confirmed to have caught on fire is astoundingly low compared to the number of vehicles recalled. By June 2022, GM announced that 19 total Bolt EVs had caught fire. Over 100K Bolt EVs were recalled.

General Motors made the right move by recalling its EV both for consumer safety and the preservation of the company. However, unfortunately, this massive recall reinforced existing stigmas surrounding EVs.

So, no, not every electric vehicle is a Hollywood blockbuster-level explosion waiting to happen. Instead, it’s much more likely that we, as a society, still don’t fully understand how to safely develop, own, and operate fully electric vehicles.

Toyota RAV4 recall: Music to Tesla’s ears

Toyota’s RAV4 recall proves that any vehicle could be a fire risk in no subtle matter. Does this recall mean that the Toyota RAV4 is unreliable or shouldn’t be trusted? Not in the slightest.

A black Tesla Model Y small electric SUV is driving in the sand.
The Tesla Model Y | Tesla

The RAV4 remains one of the best family SUVs that money can buy. Instead, the recall shows that mass recalls of this nature are not as novel as many consumers believe.

The Tesla small SUV’s position at the top could go uncontested going into 2024, thanks to this recall. Its ascension to the top almost seems like kismet at this point. The Tesla Model Y small electric SUV is disrupting Toyota’s multi-year-long SUV sales winning streak in 2023.


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