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.

7.3

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$1,317.00
Average Mileage:
86,089 miles
Total Complaints:
9 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. replace catalytic converter (3 reports)
  3. replace catalytic converter and oxygen sensor (2 reports)
  4. replace a $700 catalytic converter and 2 oxygen sensors (1 reports)
2002 Toyota RAV4 exhaust system problems

exhaust system problem

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2002 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #9

Aug 212011

RAV4 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

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

1-2010: So because of

(A). 5-12-2007 -- TSB ECM recall ECM Reflash-Rav/ High W 49TOz60I, and

(B). 8-9-2008 -- ECM replacement (extra care warranty)

(C). 9-09-2008-- new transmission (because of bad ECM ruined the original transmission)

(D) I had to replace the cat converter (when the engine light came on) code p0141 oxygen heater code p0420 and p0430 (replaced all oxygen sensors downstream) because the super-crappy ECM had been sending a "too rich" mixture for like "ever" and broke my cat. converter. Yea, toyota (clap, clap, clap, clap, clap). Thx. Love , your toyota rav-4 citrus-fruit owner.

Btw, my roommate said we can "see" the o2 sensors ourselves under hood and thinks we could've installed parts personally.

- , Tucker, GA, USA

problem #8

Oct 082009

RAV4 4CYL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,229 miles

1-2010: So because of (A). 5-12-2007 -- TSB ECM recall ECM Reflash-Rav/ High W 49TOz60I, and (B). 8-9-2008 -- ECM replacement (extra care warranty) (C). 9-09-2008-- new transmission (because of bad ECM ruined the original transmission) (D) I had to replace the cat converter (when the engine light came on) code p0141 oxygen heater code p0420 and p0430 (replaced all oxygen sensors downstream) because the super-crappy ECM had been sending a "too rich" mixture downstream and this (maybe) caused the c.c. to fail. not sure.

Btw, my roommate said we can "see" the o2 sensors ourselves under hood and thinks we could've installed parts personally.

I got an independent quote for maybe $100 less (on labor) but could not save much more b/c the Cat. Converter and O2 Oxygen sensors had to be Toyota, are only available OEM from Toyota parts.

- , City Name, State, USA

problem #7

Oct 012009

RAV4 GTI 2.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 80,000 miles

TOYOTA SHOULD RECALL THIS CAR FOR THIS COZ A LOT OF PEOLPE ARE HAVING THIS PROBLEM

- , Nottingham, UK, UK

problem #6

Sep 062006

RAV4 V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

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

I bought a new Rav4 2002 in Jan 2002. After about 60,000 miles I constantly had trouble with my check engine light staying on. At about 83,000 to get my inspection I had to replace catalytic converter and 2 oxygen sensors ( cost was 2300.00). The next year to pass inspection I had to replace more oxygen sensors and by this time the transmission was slipping bad. I could hear a clunk noise when I put it in gear. Now I have about 130,000 mile on car and it is taking oil. This past year it needed oxygen sensors again to pass inspection.

I decided I was not putting anymore money in this lemon. I did not have the heart to sale it to and individual so I took it to carmax and told them the history of the car and dumped it. In the past I had always owned hondas since I got my license in 1982. I advise everyone never buy a toyota. I will always drive a honda and never stray again. I had driven hondas until the had 200,000 mile on them with only minor repairs. Toyota should have placed a recall on this piece of crap. I hope this week they get what they deserve. I think they tried to save money by not placing recalls on problems they knew about. BUY HONDA PEOPLE..........

- , Cameron, NC, USA

problem #5

May 072005

RAV4 4DR 2WD 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

Check engine light. Codes P0420 & P0430, indicating Catalytic Converter problem. Toyota of Concord (NC) recalibrate the car's computer, resetting the threshold, thereby masking the Cat problem and allowing the check engine light to stay off for a while.

- , Charlotte, NC, USA

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problem #4

Sep 112008

RAV4 4DR 2WD 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

Check engine light. Codes P0420 & P0430, indicating Catalytic Converter problem. The Catalytic Converter was replaced by Toyota of Concord (NC). In Sept of 2006 (71K miles) the check engine light came on again with the same codes (P0420 and P0430). At this point, the dealership replaced the catalytic converter, which was under warranty. However, when the converter was replaced, three of the four sensors that fit into the converter were damaged when they attempted to remove them and had to be replaced, costing me $545.00.

- , Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #3

Nov 102008

RAV4 4DR 2WD 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,568 miles

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

The check engine light came on again with the same codes (P0420 and P0430) that originally occurred in in May of 2005, along with a rattle in the tail pipe. My mechanic checked the car over and determined that the rattle was due to the converter, that had been replaced at 40,000 miles (two years ago), coming apart and leaving debris in the tail pipe. I contacted the Service Manager at Toyota of Concord (Tracy Wease) who informed that, because the converter had been replaced under warranty in September of 2006 (71,000 miles), it only was guaranteed for one year, and the guarantee had run out. She added that if the converter had been replaced OUT OF WARRANTY, it would have been guaranteed for 8 years or 80K miles. I have been a licensed driver for over 50 years, owning many cars during this time span and have never had a problem with a catalytic converter. To have two defective converters in a two year time span is amazing to me and I believe the dealership or Toyota should have replaced the defective converter, at their expense. I spoke with the Toyota of Concord (NC) Customer Relations Manager (Vernita Reveron) a number of times, prior to paying for the repair work, and she told me there is nothing that the dealership or Toyota can or will do. I not only had to purchase another converter, but also one of the four oxygen sensors, which cost $200. Toyota should be ashamed of this obvious design problem with the 2002 RAV4. A search of the internet indicates this problem is widespread.

- , Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #2

Mar 172008

RAV4

  • Manual transmission
  • 85,000 miles

This was a recall and I took it in to get fixed and now in August it is happening again.

- , Lodi, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 282008

RAV4 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

A 2002 Toyota with 87,000 miles on it flunking an emissions test is pathetic especially when you consider they only warranty the emissions system for 80,000 miles. The last 2 years I had to put this vehicle in the shop to have the state inspection done because the check engine light was on. They had to reboot the computer to get it to turn off, and when I asked about why the light was on, they said it was a generic code and couldn't specify a problem. Now that the emissions system is out of warranty, they miraculously know what the problem is. My problem is not only with the vehicle, but also with the dealer. The emissions system on a Toyota of any kind should not be failing with only 87,000 miles on it. Toyota is supposed to be one of the best built vehicles on the road. I'll never buy another one.

- , Lewisville, TX, USA

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