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Recall for battery size/fitment issue

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Found when I took my Rav4 in for routine mantenance yesterday that there was a recall or "Consumer Advisory" for the battery issue.

Here is the description:

Consumer Advisory 21TG01, Certain 2013-2018 Model Year RAV4, 12-Volt battery size and installation inspection.


* Fortunately mine was correct size and was secured properly (not sure what the details/specs of the inspection are *

There is a video that even mentions this, but it is a short video (no description either about what they check)
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Found when I took my Rav4 in for routine mantenance yesterday that there was a recall or "Consumer Advisory" for the battery issue.

Here is the description:

Consumer Advisory 21TG01, Certain 2013-2018 Model Year RAV4, 12-Volt battery size and installation inspection.


* Fortunately mine was correct size and was secured properly (not sure what the details/specs of the inspection are *

There is a video that even mentions this, but it is a short video (no description either about what they check)
I got a letter from Toyota this week about this issue. It said that the battery should be group 35 size. I did the inspection and found I have a size 24F. The brackets and everything seemed tight. They said if you have the wrong size they recommend replacing it, but they’re only offering a $32 discount on the price of a battery. Anyone have more insight on this to know if it’s ok to keep using the 24F?
 

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I checked my Rav4 and it also had a 24F battery in it. I checked the clearance from the posts to the hood. The Length, Width and Height of the two batteries are:
24F group is 10.3 x 6.8 x 8.9
35 group is 9.1 x 6.9 x 8.9

I checked the hold down bracket, side clearance and hood clearance. I could not find anything wrong. I'm going to leave the 24F. Just because some Bozo failed to secure his battery and caused a fire or something, I'm not going to change my battery. I will note that for my next battery, I will install a group 35, who knows, I might sell my Rav4 to a Bozo.
 

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I got a letter from Toyota this week about this issue. It said that the battery should be group 35 size. I did the inspection and found I have a size 24F. The brackets and everything seemed tight. They said if you have the wrong size they recommend replacing it, but they’re only offering a $32 discount on the price of a battery. Anyone have more insight on this to know if it’s ok to keep using the
 

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I would recommend following the instructions. My house burned down entirely from my 2014 RAV4. If you need more proof that you should do it. Read through the complaints on the NHTSA website about the 2014 Toyota RAV4. There are plenty of stories. Unfortunately mine is one of the worst.
So the fire can be proven it was started by a faulting battery in the rav4..... you have hired a lawyer & going after Toyota, home insurance company are doing the same I would imagine. Screw them to the wall, they have deep pockets.
...
 

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There have been issues with the hold-down attachment abrading a cable and causing issues. I believe it is on the back side of the battery as you look at it from the front of the car. IMHO that is worth taking a good look at every month or so to make sure it is safe and secure and not abrading the cable. Not sure if this has any relationship to the TSB or not.
 

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I checked my Rav4 and it also had a 24F battery in it. I checked the clearance from the posts to the hood. The Length, Width and Height of the two batteries are:
24F group is 10.3 x 6.8 x 8.9
35 group is 9.1 x 6.9 x 8.9

I checked the hold down bracket, side clearance and hood clearance. I could not find anything wrong. I'm going to leave the 24F. Just because some Bozo failed to secure his battery and caused a fire or something, I'm not going to change my battery. I will note that for my next battery, I will install a group 35, who knows, I might sell my Rav4 to a Bozo.
 

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Took my 2017 RAV4 for service yesterday and was advised my battery needed replaced with the correct size. I was told my battery could slide around and cause a fire - my new battery was a safety issue. I declined - a new battery was offered for $88 plus tax. The battery I had was new just several months old. The battery that I just recently purchased was a group 35 battery. I went back where I bought the battery and was told I have the recommended battery size and no alternatives were available to replace it. I checked the battery install and it was so secure I could ROCK the car. As others mentioned - it appears impossible for the positive post to come in contact with the battery holder which is in the middle of the battery. What gives??? I never received a letter from Toyota about this issue.
 

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In a review at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) here is what I found.

NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has received eleven complaints and additional Early Warning Report (EWR) data alleging a non-crash thermal event originating in the left side of the engine compartment of the fourth generation (XA40 platform, Model Year 2013-2018) Toyota RAV4 vehicles. A majority of thermal events occurred during driving conditions, with four taking place with the ignition off. Drivers experienced stalling prior to the thermal event in half of the instances where the vehicle was in motion. The twelve-volt battery was identified as the area of origin in a majority of the incidents reviewed. Improper battery installation or prior front end collision repair was a factor in the EWR Field Reports. Despite these external influences on the battery retaining method, the overall number of vehicle fire allegations with the battery as the area of origin is larger than its peer population. This Preliminary Evaluation has been opened to better understand the contributing factors and frequency of vehicle fires originating from the battery region of the subject vehicles relative to peer vehicles.

Current for the 2013 Toyota Rav4 there is 1 Recall, 1 Investigation, and 189 Complaints. The issue of Fire Originating from the 12v battery area is the current investigation. The 1 recall has to do with the trailer lights that may shut off due to the software and thus could cause an accident.

How many vehicles has had a problem with this? Eleven out of 1,862,103 (estimated by NHTSA). Keep in mind that for the 12v battery + terminal to short to the battery hold down frame, which could cause a sudden loss of electrical power, vehicle stalling and/or fire originating in the engine compartment your hold down bracket would have to be extremely sloppy and loose.

So basically, you should check the battery hold down to make sure it is secure, especially if your Rav4 has suffered any damage in this area.

I do my own maintenance and will now include checking the battery hold down every time the hood is raised.
 

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The whole group 24F vs 35 story is a "red herring" for Toyota to avoid responsibility. The dimensions that matter in this case (height and width) are the same for both.

The real issue is the design of the battery hold-down bracket. It's a defective design. The bracket is attached to different structural members - one extreme under the back side of the battery, while the other is the cross-member in front of the vehicle. From structural engineering design it's a big "no-no". The reason is that as the car's body flexes, the two structural members can shift with respect to each other, allowing the battery to become loose under the bracket. It's just a bad Toyota design. Other manufacturers, who do know how to design cars, make a proper bracket that is attached to the same structural member as the battery tray (see picture below). So the whole story is just a CYA attempt of Toyota to deflect blame (and gain money by convincing unsuspecting owner to buy a replacement battery from the dealer). Another example of Toyota's unethical behavior.

Vehicle Car Hood Motor vehicle Personal luxury car

good (Ford)

Motor vehicle Hood Automotive design Automotive exterior Auto part

bad (Toyota)
 

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There seems to be some conflicting information here. A Group 24F battery is larger than the OEM recommended Group 35 battery. It fits snugly in the tray, and is the proper height to hold tight under the clamp. It should work fine.

The problem seems to be fitment of smaller batteries, which can move under the clamp and result in a direct short to ground. QUOTING FROM TOYOTA ADVISORY 21TG01 (which is like a service campaign - something between a TSB and a Recall):

Overview
During a recent investigation of reported battery fires in 2013-2018 RAV4 vehicles with gasoline engines (excluding hybrid models), Toyota discovered that many non-Toyota retailers and others who sell or install replacement batteries were recommending a small size battery for replacement. Toyota specifies a particular size replacement battery for the RAV4 that does not include this small size. The smaller battery may not fit securely with the RAV4’s battery mounting parts, and, in some cases, can move around when the vehicle is driven, causing a short circuit. Using the wrong size battery, or not installing a replacement battery properly, can cause damage to the battery and the vehicle, and it could cause a vehicle fire.


BTW, to help remedy the situation, Toyota is offering a $32 discount off of the True-2 Group 35 battery. YOU DON'T WANT IT. It's the cheap step-sister to the Toyota OEM TrueStart Battery, with a short warranty and low tier specs.
 

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I have a 2018, not sure what battery was in there initially. When it died I replaced it. The battery that I replaced it with is taller. So much so that I ended up buying a plastic spacer to use on the bolt where the hold down bracket connects to the front of the vehicle. I didn't want to stack metal washers. I used the spacer because it seemed as though that if I didn't it put too much pressure on that front edge of the battery.
 

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I have a 2018, not sure what battery was in there initially. When it died I replaced it. The battery that I replaced it with is taller. So much so that I ended up buying a plastic spacer to use on the bolt where the hold down bracket connects to the front of the vehicle. I didn't want to stack metal washers. I used the spacer because it seemed as though that if I didn't it put too much pressure on that front edge of the battery.
Out of curiosity, what replacement did you buy?
 

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I got a letter from Toyota this week about this issue. It said that the battery should be group 35 size. I did the inspection and found I have a size 24F. The brackets and everything seemed tight. They said if you have the wrong size they recommend replacing it, but they’re only offering a $32 discount on the price of a battery. Anyone have more insight on this to know if it’s ok to keep using the 24F?
It's so happened with my RAV4 2013. They have no clear reason for their recall. I am worried about the recall. They may want to sell the group 35 battery, don't they? :(
 

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It's so happened with my RAV4 2013. They have no clear reason for their recall. I am worried about the recall. They may want to sell the group 35 battery, don't they?
I'm sure some dealers will use it as an excuse to try and sell some customers something they really don't need. They will probably do a load test, and a lot of older battery installations will likely show they are getting marginal. Especially if the original battery is the JIS 55D23L or lower grade, which were rated for 330-400 CCA (or something like that). My daughter's 2018 has a factory 65D23L rated at 550 CCA / 90 minutes Reserve, so is starting out with plenty of power.

On Friday I inspected my daughters setup and it's in fine shape. But her battery is over 4 years old and given the consistent single digit nights I might proactively change it this spring anyhow. She carries a Lithium jump pack just in case it quits early. I told her to go ahead and get it inspected, but to NOT authorize any work without calling me. There are plenty of better choice batteries out there, and I wouldn't pick a True-2 given that it's not considered by Toyota to be a 'warranty grade' replacement. For that you need to step up to their TrueStart. For a lot less money I'll go to Walmart and get her an EverStart Max.
 
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So the fire can be proven it was started by a faulting battery in the rav4..... you have hired a lawyer & going after Toyota, home insurance company are doing the same I would imagine. Screw them to the wall, they have deep pockets.
...
I also had a brand new Rav4 catch fire while parked at a restaurant— totaled the car. Toyota said it was not their fault but it was started where the battery is located. I’ve been trying to figure out what is Toyota going to do for the people who have already suffered from the recall already. Have you reached out to Toyota since the recall? I’m so sorry to hear about your home. I had just had a 3 week old and it was pretty traumatizing.
 

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I also had a brand new Rav4 catch fire while parked at a restaurant— totaled the car. Toyota said it was not their fault but it was started where the battery is located. I’ve been trying to figure out what is Toyota going to do for the people who have already suffered from the recall already. Have you reached out to Toyota since the recall? I’m so sorry to hear about your home. I had just had a 3 week old and it was pretty traumatizing.
Toyota won't move a finger. They have a history of denying, delaying, victim-blaming in safety recalls. Only an intervention by proper authorities and a massive fine would make a difference. Remember the sudden unintended acceleration case. People died, there were hundreds documented cases over many years, yet Toyota did everything they could to hide the problem, and one they couldn't hide it anymore, they to blamed the drivers. It wasn't until the government fined them $1 billion dollars that Toyota reacted and made a recall.
Toyota only cares about profits, a few dead people is just "collateral damage".
 

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The whole group 24F vs 35 story is a "red herring" for Toyota to avoid responsibility. The dimensions that matter in this case (height and width) are the same for both.

The real issue is the design of the battery hold-down bracket. It's a defective design. The bracket is attached to different structural members - one extreme under the back side of the battery, while the other is the cross-member in front of the vehicle. From structural engineering design it's a big "no-no". The reason is that as the car's body flexes, the two structural members can shift with respect to each other, allowing the battery to become loose under the bracket. It's just a bad Toyota design. Other manufacturers, who do know how to design cars, make a proper bracket that is attached to the same structural member as the battery tray (see picture below). So the whole story is just a CYA attempt of Toyota to deflect blame (and gain money by convincing unsuspecting owner to buy a replacement battery from the dealer). Another example of Toyota's unethical behavior.

View attachment 176945
good (Ford)

View attachment 176946
bad (Toyota)
That really looks like a strange bracket design.
They did a better job with the RAV4 Hybrid where the 12V battery is in the trunk.

In my 2019 Corolla they also did a better job with the clamping mechanism clamping the bottom ledge of the battery. A very common clamping arrangement.

 
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