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Toyota made the announcement today that it will recall 2.16 million RAV4 compact crossovers over battery fires. Now, we mostly associate battery fires with EVs, but the RAV4 does not have an all-electric version. Instead, this recall is over replacement 12-volt batteries catching on fire, which is a bit unusual.

This recall is for 2013 to 2018 RAV4s and includes models also sold in Canada and Mexico. “Some replacement 12-volt batteries of the size specified for the subject vehicles have smaller top dimensions than others,” Toyota said in a press release. “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.”

What is the fix for this Toyota RAV4 recall?

Silver 2018 Toyota RAV4 on white background
2018 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

So, oddly, this recall is about replacement 12-volt batteries not being bolted down tightly before going out the service door. For a dealership service tech, not bolting down the battery clamp all the way puts into question what else they are not bolting down snugly.

Toyota will fix any situations like this by replacing battery hold-down clamps, the battery tray, and the positive terminal cover. Recall notices will go out by late December. Should you have questions or concerns about this latest recall, you can contact either the Toyota recall website or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website for more information. Be sure to have your VIN handy, as you’ll need it to get into their systems. 

Does the Toyota RAV4 have a lot of recalls?

2018 Toyota RAV4s in white and red
2018 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

This is the second recall of Toyota’s popular RAV4 this year. In July, Toyota issued a recall over improper installation of tire valve stems. Toyota found that some 2023 vehicles had valve stem damage. Toyota dealers were to change out any damaged valve stems as well as tire load capacity labels. 

In 2022, the RAV4 had two recalls. One was over airbag sensor issues, while the second was for defective control modules for the electric stability control system. 2021 saw no RAV4 recalls, but in 2020 there were five. 

What were RAV4 recalls in 2021 and 2020 for?

Blue 2018 Toyota RAV4 on pavement
2018 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

3 Most Common Toyota RAV4 Problems Reported by Hundreds of Real Owners

The first was over issues with steering columns on both the Avalon and the RAV4. In November 2020, a large number of different Toyota and Lexus models saw recall notices. This was for high-pressure fuel pump issues. Then 2019 to 2020 RAV4s also were recalled over water getting into electric power steering assist systems.

The same 2019 to 2020 RAV4s also got a recall for cracking lower suspension arms. Finally, several Toyota models got recalls for engine blocks, allowing coolant into internal components. Toyota replaced engines found to have this issue.