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Sometimes recalls are dangerous and even involve fire risks. One teen driver narrowly escaped a burning Toyota RAV4 model on a busy expressway two weeks before a substantial recall was issued. The family had no idea that their used Toyota RAV4 was dangerous.

One Toyota RAV4 fire was almost deadly before its recall

Tyler Kustuch, 18, of Deerfield Chicago was driving a used Toyota RAV4 model one night to a volleyball tournament when it suddenly stalled and burst into flames on the crowded expressway.

He shared that flames rapidly emerged from the hood and he got out before fire engulfed the entire vehicle. He didn’t even have time to grab his bag and lost $1,500 of volleyball equipment.

According to ABC Chicago, Tyler called his mom via Facetime to say that his car was on fire and she panicked, screaming for him to get to safety.

When the family purchased the 2013 Toyota RAV4 they were unaware of the consumer advisory that was issued two years before their purchase was made due to a fire-related battery problem. They only had the SUV for five days before the disaster struck.

Then two weeks later a recall was issued for roughly 1.8 million 2013 – 2018 RAV4 models due to fire risks involved with replacement batteries.

If a battery was replaced in the RAV4 then it might not correctly fit in the casing if the hold-down clamp wasn’t properly tightened. As a result, the battery could move and short circuit, increasing the risk of fire.

Toyota is currently working to remedy this issue by replacing the hold-down clamp and other related parts. But Tyler and his family are out of luck because the consumer advisory warned buyers to carefully inspect and secure the batteries.

This warning can easily be found online via service bulletins and product updates. It’s the consumer’s responsibility to research vehicles before making a purchase.

Tyler and his family are out of luck as their insurance company offered a payout that’s much lower than what they paid for the vehicle. Also, Toyota hasn’t offered any compensation.

While the family needs a vehicle for going to work and school, Tyler is thankful to be alive. Currently, automakers do not have to inform customers about warnings or recalls, but the Center for Auto Safety and other advocacy groups hope to make this required by law.