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2003 Toyota RAV4
Problems & Complaints
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.
Worst 2003 RAV4 Problems by Category
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- transmission problems101NHTSA complaints: 109
- engine problems12NHTSA complaints: 67
- interior accessories problems3
- drivetrain problems3NHTSA complaints: 80
- electrical problems3NHTSA complaints: 40
- seat belts / air bags problems2NHTSA complaints: 15
- body / paint problems1NHTSA complaints: 7
- miscellaneous problemsNHTSA: 10
- brakes problemsNHTSA: 9
- windows / windshield problemsNHTSA: 3
- steering problemsNHTSA: 3
- fuel system problemsNHTSA: 3
- wheels / hubs problemsNHTSA: 3
- exhaust system problemsNHTSA: 1
- suspension problemsNHTSA: 1
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Compare Toyota RAV4 Model Years
Curious how the 2003 RAV4 compares to other years?
Check out our Toyota RAV4 overview to see the most problematic years, worst problems and most recently reported complaints with the RAV4.