Common Electrical Problems

  1. 4th Generation RAV4 Battery Fires

    The 2013-2018 RAV4 is being investigated for a potential battery defect that can cause the SUV to lose all of its electrical power and, in some cases, start an engine compartment fire. …

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  2. Rodents Chew Wires

    Somewhere in the mid-2000's there was an industry-wide push by automakers to replace plastic and glass-based wiring insulation with a more eco-friendly soy-based coating. It's biodegradable, commendable, and a complete disaster for owners. …

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Where Electrical Complaints Happen

Sometimes it helps just to tally up the complaints and see where the biggest stacks are. Use this information to learn about troublespots or to run for the hills.

Recent Electricals News

There's a lot of news out there, but not all of it matters. We try to boil down it to the most important bits about things that actually help you with your car problem. Interested in getting these stories in an email? Signup for free email alerts over at CarComplaints.com.

  1. Toyota is recalling 2.4 million Prius and Prius v vehicles worldwide to fix a problem with the hybrid system’s “limp home” mode.

    The Prius and Prius v are designed to enter limp mode, also called fail-safe mode, when the hybrid systems have faults. Toyota says the recall is necessary because the cars can fail to enter limp mode as intended when the hybrid systems have problems. Instead of limping home the cars will suddenly lose power and stall out. Toyota insists that power steering and braking will still work, but even with those systems on a stall at high speeds can be very dangerous.

    If “limp home” problems sound familiar, you may be thinking of recalls made in 2014 and 2015 for similar problems. Toyota says previous recalls did not anticipate this new condition remedied with this recall. Geez. The fix is a simple software update. Let’s hope it’s the last one needed.

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  2. The threat of electrical fires has led Toyota to recall a million Prius cars worldwide

    , with 192,000 of those vehicles in the United States. An exposed portion of one of the engine’s wiring harnesses is likely to wear down and short-circuit in the 2016-2018 model years. A short circuit can create a spark → a spark can create a flame → a flame can created a charred mass where your Prius once stood.…

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  3. When Toyota switched away from using plastic or glass-based inulation in favor of soy, it invited in some very unwelcome Toyota loyalisits.

    According to the plaintiff, she learned the hard way about the soy wiring when her Avalon wouldn't start and a look under the hood showed wires chewed, so she had the car towed to a dealer. Toyota told her rodents had caused the damage and it would be no problem to repair the problems as long as she could cough up $6,000 to cover the bill.

    The soy-based wiring is allegedly attracting in rodents, who love to chew it up and use it for nesting material. The lawsuit, Heidi Browder vs. Toyota Motor Corporation, et al. follows a similar lawsuit filed against Honda earlier this year.

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