No matter how small, a loose part left unchecked can lead to catastrophic failure for any mechanical device. This is the crux of the matter with Toyota’s latest recall, involving improperly secured batteries.
The automaker is recalling about 1.9 million of its RAV4 small SUVs to fix a battery problem. According to Toyota, the affected vehicles from the model years 2013 to 2018 have 12-volt batteries with smaller top dimensions compared to others. If the hold-down clamp securing these batteries isn’t tight enough, the battery could suddenly move during hard turns.
In the worst cases, a loosened battery would make its positive terminal touch the hold-down clamp, causing the battery to short-circuit due to the unintended connection.
Toyota announced that it is working on a fix for the issue and is expecting to notify affected RAV4 owners by late December. Once it’s ready, the company’s dealers will replace the faulty parts with new ones.
The dangers of a car battery short-circuit
Short-circuits are dangerous, especially when they happen to automobile batteries. If it happens during driving, the engine could stall, raising the risk of an accident. Short-circuits also pose an electrical shock and fire risk. Drivers and passengers could sustain injuries from the electric shock, and the excessive current can also cause overheating, leading to engine fires.
Injured drivers can seek damages
If you’ve suffered injuries from a short-circuiting battery caused by a manufacturing defect, you may be able to seek recompense from the manufacturer through a product liability lawsuit.
Each automobile sold in the U.S. is supposed to meet safety standards. Under the strict liability doctrine, consumers can hold automakers directly liable for injuries without the need to prove their negligence.
Consider legal consultation before filing a lawsuit to learn if you have a solid case.