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Toyota and GM Drivers Beware: NHTSA Investigating Complaints of Fires in Certain Models

Craig McClellan

Just when Toyota thought that turmoil over claims of sudden acceleration was finally behind them comes an announcement that certain models might be prone to power switch problems that can result in fires.

In February, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched in an investigation into Camrys and RAV4s built in 2007 after receiving a number of complaints about the cars starting on fire. NHTSA has since expanded their investigation, adding some Camrys from 2008 and 2009, as well as Yaris models from 2007 to 2009 and all 2008 Highlander Hybrids to their list. The automotive defect investigation now involves over 1.4 million vehicles manufactured by Toyota.

The investigation has revealed that in a number of models, the power window switch in the driver's side door has overheated and caused a fire. Toyota has received over 161 complaints of fires in their vehicles - and at least nine people have been injured in those fires.

A spokesman from Toyota said that Toyota owners who smell smoke or feel heat in their doors should immediately call their local dealer or take their vehicles in for an inspection.

Toyota is not the only vehicle manufacturer that NHTSA is currently investigating for fire complaints. General Motors' Chevrolet TrailBlazer SUV is also under scrutiny. Over 242 complaints have been filed with the government and GM. It is believed that the fires in GM's vehicles are also originating from a power window switch, but the switches GM uses are different from Toyota's, so the fires are not connected.