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Government expands investigation into Toyota fires

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Safety regulators have expanded an investigation into vehicle fires originating in the door of Toyota vehicles.

On Monday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) expanded an investigation of a potentially faulty Power Window Master Switch in certain Toyota brand vehicles that may be causing vehicle fires, more than 1.4 million Camry, RAV4, Yaris and Highlander vehicles may be at risk of fire.

In February 2012, the NHTSA opened a Preliminary Investigation into driver door fires in 2007 Toyota RAV4 and Camry vehicles. Yesterday, the agency upgraded this Preliminary Investigation to an Engineering Analysis (EA12-006) to further study the alleged defect and its consequences. The number of vehicles with the affected Power Window Master Switch is 1,424,747. Those include:

  • 2007-2009 Camry
  • 2007-2009 Camry HV Hybrid
  • 2007-2009 RAV4
  • 2007-2009 Yaris
  • 2008 Highlander Hybrid

Toyota is aware of 129 reports of fires related to this potential defect. According to the NHTSA, Toyota owners reported 32 more incidents of fire to the agency, bringing the total number of reports to 161. Resulting from an NHTSA information request during the preliminary investigation, 49 additional warranty claims were identified for fires or thermal events.

Boston.com reports that nine people have suffered injuries.

While an engineering analysis can lead to a recall, there is no recall of these vehicles at this time.