Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

CarComplaints.com Notes: If you're looking for a vehicle with one of the most complained about transmission on the road, look no further than the 2001-2003 Toyota RAV4.

In 2001 Toyota completely redesigned the popular SUV. While some enjoyed the new look, they did not enjoy the harsh shifting, jumping from gear-to-gear and eventual transmission failure that cost owners well over $3,000 to fix. The problem stems from a malfunctioning Electronic Control Module (ECM).

Consumer outrage coupled with pressure from different agencies led Toyota to extend the warranty nationwide back in 2010. The previous power train warranty only covered 5 years/60,000 miles, while the extended warranty now covers the transmission and ECM for 10 years/150,000 miles. Toyota also pledged to reimburse any owners who had previously paid for repairs, if they had "proper proof". Good luck collecting on that one.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,415 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Toyota RAV4 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #3

Nov 172006

RAV4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

November 17, 2006 - after being parked in my driveway for approximately 30 minutes the engine caught on fire. The Rav4 engine compartment and entire interior was demolished, tires exploded, glass exploded over at least a 20 foot radius. Two engine trucks and 10 responders later the fire was out. 63,000 miles, no prior problems, 50K maintenance completed by dealer Jan 2006. VIN has zeros and letter O which are indistinguishable. Try both.

- Santa Fe, NM, USA

problem #2

Dec 192005

RAV4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles
Was driving on the freeway when my oil light turned on an seconds later white smoke started coming out of the engine. Had car towed to dealership. After looking at the car the dealership determine that the radiator had cracked due to the sludge in the engine. Said I would need to replace the entire engine. Told them I had a 100,000 mile 5 year warranty. My car had about 85,000 miles on it at the time. Toyota dealership said that they doubted that the warranty people would cover that and they rarely saw people get coverage for sludge in the engine. Reported to warranty people and they told me that my car was "very poorly maintained" and because I did not change oil or maintain my car they would not cover. I told them that I had changed my oil several times since I owned the car. They said I need all receipts. I had a few receipts but not all. Took my car to a private shop and got rebuilt engine. Still have not been able to get car out because I am financially strapped. It costs $3500. Toyota said I would have to pay $8000 for a new engine and $5000 for a used engine. Had to rent car that has cost me $1100. Must take car back because I cannot afford it. Won't have transportation. I am disappointed because one of the reasons I bought a Toyota was because of its reputation for manufacturing dependable, long lasting cars. I am a single mother and have so much on my plate to worry about broken down cars.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #1

Oct 072005

RAV4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,100 miles
I have a 2002 Toyota rav 4. I have taken my car to the dealer for the changes of oil and filter. Twice they suggested a wynns system engine cleaning which we paid for. The last one was done on April 2005. Last October 7, 2005 I was driving my car on the expressway and all of a sudden the oil light lit up and the car stopped. The car was towed from the highway to our house and the next day was towed to the dealer adriel Toyota in rio grande, puerto rico. About two hours later they called me and stated that the motor stalled and the warranty was not going to pay since I had not taken the car to them for the last oil change. I reminded them that just nine months earlier a wynns motor engine cleaning had be done by them and that it was impossible for the motor of the car to have sludge if they had done the job correctly. The Toyota company of puerto rico called to tell me the same thing. I made a complaint at the consumers affairs in puerto, I am waiting for a decision. Today I showed the pictures to an automotive expert who states that the motor have not had any oil changes and the worst was that there was no way that the engine had be cleaned. The dealers states that they have not had any motor sludging on any rav 4 in puerto rico but consumer report states that Toyota has this problem most commonly with Camry's. today I found out that rav 4 have the same engine Camry's have. Am I supposed to be punished for whatever problem Toyota engines have?

- Carolina, PR, USA

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