If you own a 2013-2018 Rav-4

… it might be a good idea to NOT park it in your garage or even very close to your house, until this issue is sorted-out:

Toyota RAV4 Under Investigation Over Battery Fires - Consumer Reports

1 Like

Not just Toyota:
Kia Tells Owners Of Nearly 380,000 Recalled Cars To Park Outside, Because Fire (jalopnik.com)

I live in tract housing with the garage part of the building. I am thinking about moving to an older neighborhood and see most garages are detached. Wife was complaining about the design and I had to mention that it is actually probably safer to have the garage separate.

1 Like

I did not expect this from Toyota. i know that Ford had the same problems with some Europeans cars

At least on the Toyota it sounds like a fairly simple fix to the battery hold down frame:

“NHTSA cites that improper battery installation or prior front end collision repair was a factor. A 12-volt battery terminal can cause an electrical short on the battery hold-down frame, which may result in the sudden loss of electrical power, vehicle stalling, and/or a fire originating in the engine compartment.”

The Kia problem sounds more complicated:

" The electrical circuit in the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU) may short-circuit, which can cause a fire in the engine compartment."

That must be distinctly unpleasant and noisy on Track Day.


Thanks for the update, took a look at our 2017, the positive cable is very snug against the hold down clamp, I read the article but it is not clear if that is the problem.


That sure looks like the problem to me, the cable must be wearing through at the hold-down in some cases, causing a short. There’s no metal near the positive battery clamp, right?

It do not see any other potential problems in my shade tree mechanic view. I may stick a piece of cardboard between the 2 in the meantime. Save an inch of cable and save millions? Probably got missed in the final review, it is wound up tighter than a toy drum at christmas! I cannot move the cable a tad!

At least if the Kia or Toyota catch fire, they can be extinguished before they burn the house down…

Can’t say that for an electric vehicle battery fire. That suck’as gonna burn 'til there’s nothing left and take the house with it. No matter how many hoses the fire department brings, the garage is gone. If they don’t come quick, the house is going up as well.


@Barkydog I think you are right on. My guess is some nummies but the positive cable between the battery and hold down bolt. The stress and abrasion from the hold down bolt rub through and you get hot to ground = arcing and sparking. My theory anyway. I already put a piece of insulating tubing on the bolt. I am going to make an L shaped piece of plastic to put under the bracket and over the cable to further insulate.

1 Like

I wonder how the recall will deal with the issue!

Rerouted/longer cable?


S shaped hold down nut?

I wonder why they just didn’t use the base clamps that eliminate that whole over battery holder? At any rate not to minimize the issue but so far just 11 vehicles out of 1.8 million. But yeah I’d put a rubber hose on the bolt in addition to the plastic coil on the cable. Park outside, lose your cat, park inside lose your house.

Already lost my cat, Mr. Boogie was his name :wink:

Is it just Rav 4 ICE’s or the Hybrids too? I didn’t see in the article that they specified…

My 06 Sienna has the same positive cable routing, but it’s resting loosely against the hold down bolt. No sign of wear on the cable loom around the pos. cable. To be on the safe side I’m going to slide a length of fuel or vacuum line onto the hold down bolt.

Ed B.


Electrical tape on the battery cable. Actually, you should unclamp the battery and inspect the insulation at the rub point. If it’s abraded at all, you should wrap it with electrical tape. That will wear away, and you can replace it before there is a full cut through the insulation on the cable.


So sorry to hear that. Card in the mail-no money. I remember scraping my cat off the road and giving him a proper burial.

I meant the wire “loom” on the battery cable not coil, and rubber hose on the bolt should prevent a short. Maybe the battery could be shifted a little to provide more play in the wire.