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US investigates door fires in 2007 Camrys, RAV-4s

By Tom Krisher

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Feb. 10 2012 8:25 a.m. MST

FILE - In this Feb 20, 2007 file photo, a Toyota RAV-4 is shown at Consumer Reports Auto Test Center in East Haddam, Conn. Federal safety regulators are investigating reports of fires in the driver's side doors of 2007 Toyota Camry sedans and RAV-4 crossover SUVs. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday, Feb. 10, 2012, the problem could affect 830,000 vehicles.

Mark Lennihan, File, Associated Press

DETROIT — Federal safety regulators are investigating reports of fires in the driver's side doors of 2007 Toyota Camry sedans and RAV-4 crossover SUVs.

The probe could affect as many as 830,000 vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday in documents posted on its website. The vehicles have not been recalled.

The fires appear to start in the power window switch on the door. Six fires have been reported to the agency, but NHTSA has no reports of anyone being hurt. The agency said it started the investigation on Monday.

Toyota's reputation has taken a hit over the past three years due to a string of huge recalls that have ballooned to more than 14 million vehicles worldwide. Millions were recalled for acceleration problems, and Toyota replaced floor mats that can trap gas pedals and pedal assemblies that can stick and cause cars to take off by surprise. But after an exhaustive probe, U.S. safety regulators, aided by NASA engineers, found nothing wrong with Toyota's electronic throttle controls.

Still, the latest investigation is troubling for the automaker because the Camry is consistently is the top-selling car in the U.S., and the RAV-4 also is a big seller. The probe also includes the Solara, which is a coupe version of the Camry.

Toyota said in a statement that it is cooperating with NHTSA in the investigation.

In December, the 2012 Camry received a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the agency's top rating.

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