Toyota said it would recall around 1.9m RAV4 compact SUVs in the US to fix a defect that allows batteries to become dislodged during sharp turns, posing a fire risk.

The RAV is a key model for Toyota in the US, accounting for 367,000 of the company’s 2.1m vehicles sold there last year. The model is currently produced at the Georgetown plant in Kentucky and in Ontario, Canada.

The recall affects RAV4 model years 2013 through to 2018. Toyota said a problem can occur because the 12 volt batteries fitted to RAV4 models sold in the US are slightly smaller than those produced for other markets. If the clamp is not tightened properly, the battery can shift allowing the positive terminal to contact the clamp resulting in a short circuit. The automaker did not say if the problem had caused any fires or injuries.

Toyota said it was still working to fix the problem and dealers would notify owners when a new clamp, battery tray and positive terminal cover were available. Owners were expected to be notified by late December.