The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2007 Toyota RAV4, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: Power Window Master Switch Fire

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA12006

    Component(s): Electrical System
    Unknown Or Other

    Summary: On October 10, 2012, Toyota initiated a safety recall of approximately 2.5 million U.S. vehicles involving the following models and model years:2007-2009 Camry and Camry Hybrid, 2009 Corolla and Corolla Matrix, 2008 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid, 2007-2009 RAV4, 2008-2009 Scion xB and xD, 2008-2009 Sequoia, 2007-2008 Tundra, 2007-2008 Yaris, and 2009 Pontiac Vibe.See NHTSA recall number 12V-491 for more details, including the affected vehicle manufacture dates for each vehicle model.Note that only early-production 2009 model year vehicles are included in the recall.Toyota and GM dealers will inspect the power window master switch (PWMS) assemblies and apply a specialized grease that inhibits heat build-up.The circuit board in the PWMS may be replaced with a new one if "notchy" or sticking feeling is observed during the inspection.The failure report summary above shows counts for the vehicles identified at the start of this Engineering Analysis, specifically the approximately 1.4 million vehicles that share an identical PWMS assembly design including, model year 2007-2009 Camry, Camry Hybrid, RAV4, and Yaris built from September 2006 through August 2008, as well as all 2008 Highlander Hybrid.Toyota subsequently identified approximately one million additional vehicles that have a slightly different PWMS design but contain the same defect condition.Note that the totals for complaints and fires shown above may include duplicative reports (between ODI and manufacturer reports).This Engineering Analysis is closed.See attached report for additional information.The ODI reports cited above can be viewed at under the following identification numbers: 10323848, 10360414, 10392622, 10394453, 10411328, 10429983, 10436663, 10446699, 10447416, 10447417, 10447419, 10447444, 10447515, 10447845, 10447947, 10449270, 10450133, 10450568, 10450606, 10450641, 10451821, 10455540, 10455614, 10456353, 10456438, 10457854, 10457955, 10459730, 10460166, 10460691, 10461220, 10462140, 10462200, 10462247, 10462404, 10462705, 10462761, 10464451, 10464769, 10465421, 10466279, 10466667, 10468126, 10468265, 10475230, 10470313, 10470684, 10471551, 10471824, 10472336, 10472910, 10473753, 10473967, 10473969, 10476921, 10477469, 10478563 and 10478657.

  2. INVESTIGATION: Unintended and Uncontrolled Acceleration

    NHTSA Defect Investigation #RQ10003

    Component(s): Electrical System: Software
    Vehicle Speed Control:Accelerator Pedal

    Summary: On February 16, 2010, NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened RQ10-003 to determine whether the scope of prior Toyota recalls relating to potential unintended acceleration were sufficiently broad, including, among others, Toyota recalls 07E-082, 09V-388, 10V-017, and 10V-023.NHTSA also requested information regarding potential electronic causes of unintended acceleration in Toyota and Lexus vehicles.I. Pedal Interference from Floor mats, Carpet Covers and Plastic Pads in Carpets.During the RQ10-003 investigation, ODI reviewed a large volume of documents to assess whether additional vehicles should be recalled.Following the agency's analysis, NHTSA requested that Toyota recall additional vehicles.Toyota complied with the agency's request.The details of these recalls are set forth more fully in Toyota's reports to NHTSA pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573.These recalls are as follows:Recall 11V-112: (1) model year (MY) 2004-2006 Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid; and, (2) MY 2004-2007 Lexus RX330, RX350, and RX400h (hybrid model). The total estimated population under this recall is 769,379 vehicles.This recall remedies potential accelerator pedal entrapment caused by a loose floor carpet cover (trim panel). Recall 11V-113: (1) MY 2003-2009 through 2009 Toyota 4Runner; (2) MY 2006-2010 Toyota RAV4; and, (3) MY 2008-2011 Lexus LX570.The total estimated population under this recall is 1,381,000 vehicles.This recall supplements recall 09V-388 and remedies potential accelerator pedal entrapment by an unsecured floor mat.Recall 11V-115: (1) MY 2006-2007 Lexus GS300 (all wheel drive vehicles); and, (2) MY 2006-2007 Lexus GS350 (all wheel drive vehicles). The total estimated population under this recall is 19,647 vehicles.This recall remedies potential accelerator pedal entrapment caused by inadequate clearance between the pedal linkage and a plastic pad embedded in the vehicle's carpet.II. Potential Electronic Causes of Unintended Acceleration.After NHTSA opened RQ10-003, NHTSA launched a ten-month study of potential electronic causes of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles.NHTSA launched the study in the spring of 2010 in light of concerns aired in Congressional hearings.NHTSA enlisted engineers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) with expertise in areas such as computer controlled electronic systems, electromagnetic interference and software integrity to assess whether electronic systems or electromagnetic interference played a role in incidents of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles.That study has concluded.Two reports are associated with the study and are available on NHTSA's website.NASA's report is entitled "Technical Support to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on the Reported Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) Unintended Acceleration (UA) Investigation, " NESC Assessment No. TI-10-00618 (Jan. 18, 2011).NHTSA's report is entitled "Technical Assessment of Toyota Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) Systems" (Feb. 2011).Both reports should be read in conjunction with each other. As stated in its report, NASA did not find an electronic cause of large throttle openings that can result in unintended acceleration incidents. NHTSA did not find a vehicle-based cause of unintended acceleration incidents other than the physical pedal interference causes that are being addressed by Toyota's recalls. This RQ is closed.

  3. INVESTIGATION: Rear Suspension Arm Assembly Failure

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE12013

    Component(s): Suspension

    Summary: In a letter dated August 1, 2012 Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. (Toyota) submitted a Defect Information Report (NHTSA Recall No. 12V-373) to the NHTSA identifying a safety defect regarding possible separation of the Rear Suspension Arm No. 1 Assembly ("arm") at the threaded portion (shaft and turn buckle) of the component in MY 2006 through MY 2011 Toyota RAV4 vehicles built from October 2005 through September 2010 and in MY 2010 Lexus HS250h vehicles manufactured from July 2009 through August 2010.According to Toyota, if the adjustment nuts for the rear wheel alignment are improperly tightened when alignment is performed in service, backlash may develop at the threaded portion of the arm, followed by rust formation.The threads may then wear causing the arm to separate, which may result in a loss of vehicle control.In analysis of both Vehicle Owner Questionnaire (VOQ) data submitted to the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) and consumer complaint data submitted to Toyota, ODI identified 131 non-duplicative reports alleging failure of the subject rear suspension arm (Note:some of the complaints and related service records refer to the arm as a rear "tie rod").Six of the complainants allege the failure resulted in some loss of vehicle control.For purposes of this analysis, loss of control events involve alleged complete or partial departure from the intended lane of travel.An additional four complaints reported difficulty maintaining control of the vehicle when the arm failed.Recalled vehicles will be inspected for proper torque of the adjustment nuts and replaced as necessary.In addition, Toyota will take several actions to reduce the potential for improper torque in future alignment procedures.This includes:(1) providing proper tightening sequence and torque specification information to two major wheel alignment equipment manufacturers, who would disseminate the information to alignment shops using their equipment; (2) installation of a clip on each arm with an instructional label showing proper tightening sequence and torque specification (the clip must be removed to perform a wheel alignment); (3) installation of additional labels on the front and back vertical surfaces of the Rear Suspension Arm No. 2 assemblies; and (4) providing an instruction booklet to owners to place in the glove box.This investigation is closed.

  4. INVESTIGATION: Power Window Master Switch Fire

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE12002

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: February 06, 2012
    • Date Closed: June 14, 2012
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Electrical System
    Unknown Or Other

    Summary: ODI has identified certain Toyota vehicles experiencing a higher rate of fire and thermal event incidents among all Toyota vehicles that use the same power window master switch design.They include a total of approximately 1.4 million model year (MY) 2007 through 2009 Camry, Camry Hybrid, RAV4 and Yaris vehicles built from approximately September 2006 through August 2008, as well as all MY 2008 Highlander Hybrid vehicles.This Preliminary Evaluation has been upgraded to an Engineering Analysis (EA12-006) to further study the alleged defect and its consequences.The ODI reports cited above can be viewed at under the following identification numbers: 10461220, 10460691, 10460166, 10459730, 10457955, 10457854, 10456438, 10456353, 10455614, 10455540, 10451821, 10450641, 10450606, 10450568, 10450133, 10449270, 10447947, 10447845, 10447515, 10447444, 10447419, 10447417, 10447416, 10446699, 10436663, 10429983, 10411328, 10407290, 10394453, 10392622, 10360414, 10323848.