Toyota’s RAV4 compact crossevr and Camry sedan are getting a little bit of heat -- some literally, some figuratively -- after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received multiple complaints of smoldering or burning front power window switches.
NHTSA has received six complaints from customers driving either 2007 model year RAV4s or 2007 Camrys. All six customers reported either smoke, flames, or both coming from the driver’s door panel, where Toyota puts electric switches for all four power windows, but that all flames and smoke would end shortly after the car was shut off. Multiple complaints said that the master power switch assembly had a dime-sized hole burnt through it. Thankfully, NHTSA hasn’t heard of any injuries as a result of the fires, although at least one car was “declared destroyed” according to the report.
At the moment, NHTSA’s investigation is limited to 2007 model year Camrys and RAV4s, which means that the problem covers at least 830,000 vehicles. It’s unclear at the moment which cars from that time period used the same window switches, but considering that Toyota frequently shares parts between its models, this problem could affect more than just the RAV4 and Camry.
It’s not an excellent start to Toyota’s 2012, especially after a 2011 in which the automaker recalled about 14 million vehicles, enough to score it a second-place finish in the dubious contest of who can recall the most cars.