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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
76,675 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.

2004 Toyota RAV4 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #4

Dec 272008


  • 104,000 miles


I noticed a coolant leak between 2nd & 3rd cylinder coming from head gasket.the leak and the cause was confirmed by my mechanic.

- Laval,Quebec,Canada, 00, USA

problem #3

Jun 012009


  • 121,050 miles
On June 1, 2009 I was driving my 2004 Toyota Rav4 with 121K miles when all of a sudden the temperature gauge went hot, the check engine light & vsc trac light came on. Discovered coolant level was low. Took to dealer next morning who quoted me a "head gasket" repair for $1500 out of pocket because warranty expired. After a month of not driving it (to come up with funds for repair), I returned to dealer on July 1, 2009. Dealer advised after taking it apart that the head gasket was leaking and the bolts were "stripped" and I also needed a new engine block which would run about $6,000+. I had never had any other problems with my vehicle until this incident & completed general maintenance regularly. Dealer called Toyota warranty who agreed to pay for engine block (parts & labor for everything below the head) but that I still had to pay the original quote of $1500 for the head gasket, water pump & S belt. I have found several complaints with same exact problem, obviously since Toyota agreed to pay for part of this they know something is defective but will not make a recall. I feel they owe me the head gasket repair as well since it is all part of the same problem and will file a product complaint with Toyota.

- Columbia, TN, USA

problem #2

Jun 082009


  • 80,250 miles
Car was serviced May 28, 2009, then driven across country, from New York state. About two hours outside of austin, Texas, the car began to overheat, was found to be completely empty of coolant. Car brought to Toyota dealership where no radiator or other cooling system leaks were detected, but the head gasket was blown. When they tore down the engine to replace the head gasket, they stated that "the bolts are stripped" and now the engine had to be replaced -- at a cost of $7000 +. the mechanic stated that he had seen other Toyota with this problem and there might be a tsb out on it -- but it was past warranty and so were "stuck". no one can explain why the bolts would have spontaneously "stripped". the car has been sitting at the dealership for three weeks while we try to figure out what to do with it. The head mechanic says it isn't worth anything but he'll take it off our hands for the cost of the partial repair bill ($600). We're not getting the straight story, Toyota refuses to cover the repair, but there are postings all over the internet with very similar stories, including that Toyota has selectively "participated" in the repairs. There is no tsb for this car apparently -- but there are for cars with the same engine.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #1

Mar 092004

RAV4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,400 miles
When I accelerate, there is a whistling/rattling noise coming from the engine or front of the car. The dealership claims that this is a normal noise associated with the intake, but no new car should rattle/whistle this loudly!the noise becomes more audilble as the engine gets warmer or the temperature (weather) is hotter. I will file this complaint under "unknown" because this is my very first car and I am not familiar with cars and how they work. I am smart enough to know that this noise isn't normal.

- Harbor City, CA, USA

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