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Toyota under investigation for car fires

Toyota under investigation for car fires

February 16, 2012

Toyota is taking some heat as federal safety groups investigate reports of fires in the driver’s side doors of the company’s 2007 Toyota Camry sedans and RAV-4 crossover SUVs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as many as 830,000 vehicles could be affected, though an official recall has yet to be issued.

Accounts claim that fires have started in the power window switch, located in vehicles’ drive side doors. The NHTSA launched an investigation on February 6, 2012 after six incidents were reported – one in which the entire vehicle was consumed in flames. There are no reports of any injuries as a result of the fires.

The investigation has the potential for significant repercussions for the automaker since the Camry has remained one of the top-selling cars in the U.S. and the company’s RAV-4 is a popular model. In December, the 2012 Camry received a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the agency’s top rating.

The current investigation also includes Toyota’s Solara – a coupe version of the Camry. Toyota is currently the top-selling automobile in Hawaii according to the Hawaii Automobile Dealers.

In a statement, Toyota has said that it is cooperating with NHTSA in the investigation and that concerned customers should call Toyota at 800-331-4331.

Over the last three years, Toyota’s reputation has come under fire due to a large string of recalls that include more than 14 million vehicles worldwide. Most recently, in November 2011, Toyota issued a voluntary recall for the company’s V6 models which had a faulty crankshaft pulley. The recall affected an estimated 283,200 Toyota and 137,000 Lexus vehicles nationwide.

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