— Toyota RAV4 battery issues have caused a class action lawsuit to be filed by four owners who claim the vehicles have dangerous defects.
Toyota RAV4 battery fires are currently under investigation by the federal government after reports of stalled engines and fires allegedly from areas of the 12-volt batteries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened the investigation in February into about 1.9 million model year 2013-2018 Toyota RAV4 SUVs after at least 11 fires were reported. Seven vehicles caught fire while driving and four RAV4s caught fire while parked with the vehicles turned off.
Safety regulators know some of the RAV4 vehicles had been damaged and the fronts of the SUVs had been repaired. NHTSA also says some of the RAV4 batteries may not have been installed properly.
NHTSA says the fires apparently started at the 12V battery B+ terminals which may be experiencing electrical short circuits at the frames that hold the batteries in place.
According to the RAV4 class action lawsuit, Toyota refuses to recall model year 2013-2018 RAV4s and refuses to replace the batteries.
The plaintiffs say Toyota has been aware of and concealed the battery issues, and allegedly none of the 2013-2018 RAV4 owners would have purchased their vehicles, or they would have paid less for them, if Toyota would have told customers about the battery problems.
Toyota RAV4 Battery Problems Caused by Electrical Short Circuits
The Toyota RAV4 lawsuit says the battery is supposed to be secured in the battery tray which is used to hold the battery in place and help to protect it from vibrations. The tray also should prevent the battery from moving around and making contact with other components that could cause a short-circuit.
The RAV4 battery problems are allegedly caused when the B+ terminal come into contact with the battery hold-down frame itself, causing the short circuits which lead to a loss of power, stalling and fires.
"Short circuits are extremely dangerous and can damage electronic components, set the check engine light, blow fuses, drain the battery, and leave drivers stranded. Short circuits can also cause excessive heat to wiring components and can result in smoke and fire. It is common for the object which caused the external short circuit to melt or fuse to the battery due to the heat produced." — Toyota RAV4 class action lawsuit
According to the plaintiffs, the Toyota RAV4 battery problems can easily cost owners thousands of dollars to repair.
The Toyota RAV4 battery issue lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California: Guevara, et al., v. Toyota Motor Corporation, et al.
The plaintiffs are represented by Capstone Law APC, Berger Montague PC, and Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman LLP.