1.4 Million Toyota Models Now Included In Door-Fire Probe

June 19, 2012

Yesterday, we told you about the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's beefed-up investigation of door fires in General Motors SUVs from the 2006 and 2007 model years. According to the Wall Street Journal, NHTSA has just announced a different probe into a different door-fire problem -- this time, on the Toyota Camry, Highlander Hybrid, and Yaris.

As you might recall, the Toyota investigation began in February and centered around the 2007 Camry and RAV4. Now, NHTSA has expanded the probe to include the 2007-2009 Camry, 2007-2009 Camry Hybrid, 2008 Highlander Hybrid, and 2007-2009 Yaris. That brings the total number of vehicles under investigation to 1.4 million, up from 800,000 in February.

NHTSA's investigation is focused on the power window master switch found in 2007-2009 model-year vehicles. Under certain conditions, that switch can overheat and cause a fire. All told, the problem has resulted in 161 complaints of fires and nine injuries. One of the complaints NHTSA received involved a RAV4 that ignited while parked and was completely destroyed.

This sounds curiously like the problem plaguing 2006-2007 vehicles built on the GMT 360 mid-size SUV platform that we reported yesterday -- right down to suspicions that the problem lies with the power window master switch.

Are the two related? Who makes that part? No one's saying for sure, but we wouldn't be surprised to learn that these vehicles have a supplier in common.

We'll keep you posted as this story progresses, and of course, you'll be the first to know if NHTSA's probe results in a recall.

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