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.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
13,631 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.

2009 Toyota RAV4 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2009 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #17

Dec 072011


  • 22,000 miles


I have ha the car back to the dealer for this brake problem and they said this is normal, what the problem is the brake pedal is soft and when braking you foot can hit the gas pedal this also the pedal will go down when you are holding at a stop, also its not leaking brake fluid as the car was service at the dealer.

- Skokie , IL, USA

problem #16

Aug 202011

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
Steering started creating occasional mild noise while turning at around 49000. At 53000 during maintenance service at burlington Toyota, Ontario I reported this incident along with a metallic noise when the brake pedal is pressed. They mentioned not to be able to reproduce the problem and hence did not make any fix. They refused to deal to brake noise and mentioned that my brake pad will last for much longer time and reason may be a little bit of rust. They will have to charge me for any further diagnosis even though it was within the warranty period. Later I have escalated this to Toyota Canada, as another Toyota dealer found that the shaft inside the steering column is cracked. Toyota Canada claims that to be a wear and tear and refused to cover that as my warranty was over even though I have reported this problem when my vehicle was within warranty period. Today November 10th, newspapers publish that more than 500,000 Rav4 are recalled for steering. I called the dealer and they mentioned, this recall is only for 2006 Rav4 and not for 2009. I strongly feel that Toyota Rav4 2009 has the same issue. I could not find an Ontario site. So I could not enter my province and zip code below.

- Burlington, NY, USA

problem #15

Sep 012011

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
I was driving up my driveway, applied the brakes and did not stop, but was forced forward until I hit my house. I searched for the brakes but could not find them, because the brakes were stuck to the floor. There was no brake light on. Before that the odometer was jumping between numbers (20,17, 54, ect.). I had my car to the Toyota dealership twice and they could not find anything. I had 5 boys in my house and hit my son's bedroom, someone could of been injured.

- Ada, MI, USA

problem #14

Aug 312011

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 64,000 miles


I have a 2009 Toyota Rav4. I have approximately 66,500 miles on my vehicle; however, when I stop, the brakes make a whushing sound as if they are full of air. As well, the transmission/muffler is making a whirring noise as well. I have kept up to date with each routine maintenance. The last time I took my vehicle in for maintenance, the brakes were making this noise and nothing was found.

- Weatherford, TX, USA

problem #13

May 312011

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 22,900 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that the vehicle accelerated while trying to avoid what she thought was an animal in the road, but it turned out to be paper. The contact was unable to stop the vehicle and the steering wheel locked as the brake pedal depressed to the floor. The vehicle continued to accelerate forward until crashing into a parked vehicle. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer where it was awaiting repairs. The manufacturer examined the vehicle, and stated that there was no failure. The failure and current mileages were 22,900. Updated 08/22/11 the consumer suffered a shoulder injury trying to exit the vehicle. Updated 06/22/12

- West Chester, OH, USA

problem #12

May 012011


  • 21,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that he received a notice from the manufacturer stating that in the event that the vehicle would possibly accelerate abnormally, that the brakes should be applied with the force of two feet to prevent incident. The contact stated that he believed the failure was a manufacturing defect because the pedal was entirely too small and he was unable to apply both of his feet to the pedal to stop the vehicle if it did accelerate. The dealer was contacted who advised that they were unable to alter the design of the brake pedal and suggested that the contact could use an aftermarket pedal to install in the vehicle. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure yet the vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 21,000.

- West Hurley , NY, USA

problem #11

Feb 012011


  • miles


2009 Toyota rav 4. consumer states the brakes ware out every 7000 to 9000 miles the consumer was informed the brakes wearing out prematurely was due to an environmental problem. However, the consumer received a second opinion and was informed it was due to poor design work.

- Baldwin, MI, USA

problem #10

Feb 222010

RAV4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Rav4. The contact was driving at approximately 15 mph when he noticed the brake pedal went to the floorboard when depressed. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealership. The dealer test drove the vehicle but could not find anything wrong with the vehicle. The failure mileage was approximately 2,000. The failure mileage was approximately 2,500. Updated 06/22/10. The consumer stated the brakes went to the floor numerous times, before reaching the dealership. The dealership told the consumer it was normal for the brakes to go the floor when stopping. The consumer stated eventually, the dealership fixed the vehicle and there has been no problems since. Updated 07/14/10.

- Whitehouse, TN, USA

problem #9

Aug 102009


  • 4,661 miles
On my '09 two wheel drive Rav4 I have a recurring cycle occurring approximate every 700 to 1000 miles. I have too much braking. The ABS system feels as if it gradually is applied to a certain point. At that point I have the wheels pulled and the ABS inspected along with the manual emergency brake. Usually, nothing is found. However, when the wheels are remounted and the vehicle is back on the ground, the problem goes away. The vehicle is in alignment. While the problem exists, on coming traffic pulls away from me to the right side of their lane. And traffic going the same direction as I am pulls to the left of their lane. My family has followed me and told me the vehicle tracks to the left in the front or "doglegs" down the road. It takes more gas pedal to maintain the same speed when the cycle occurs. When you lift your foot from the gas pedal (which I have had no problem with) the vehicle slows quickly. There is a rubbing in the wheels while the cycle is occurring. The delivering Toyota dealer will not check out the vehicle; the service manager indicating there is nothing wrong with the vehicle yet there has been several visits to the dealership where warranty repairs have been attempted. I believe they have given up as the problem is simply over their heads. If other drivers continue to see the vehicle is not tracking straight why can repairs be made by Toyota? the vehicle has appx 12,6010 and this has been occurring since 4661 miles. I now take the vehicle to independent tire & brake center during each cycle and pay myself since the dealer is no longer interested in the repairs and has indicated neither is the Toyota representative.

- Pewee Valley, KY, USA

problem #8

Mar 012010


  • 4,500 miles
To begin, my car has already had the Toyota recall "fix" and should have been fine. I was driving my Toyota Rav4 (2009) and approaching a four way stop. When I went to hit the brakes, there was a slight grinding noise. The car slowed a bit but did not stop and kept on moving through the stop sign. I ended up going through the intersection (luckily no one was coming) and coming to a stop almost 50 feet past. My husband drove the car home and we later took it to the dealer (no other incidents then). The dealer inspected the brakes and acceleration but could not find a cause. They kept the car for several days but ended up returning it to us and saying it is fine, as they could not find a specific cause to this incident. I am 8 months pregnant, and currently will not drive the car until I can be reassured this will not happen again.

- Fanwood, NJ, USA

problem #7

Mar 042010


  • 1,234 miles


My 2009 Rav4 has an ineffective and dangerous braking system. When I apply the brakes, the engine, at times, runs at a higher than normal speed when approaching a stop light or stop sign. Often I feel that I must move the transmission lever into neutral to avoid an accident. The engine revs at about 1500 or 2000rpm when shifted into neutral. Keeping the shift lever in ┐D┐ sometimes can cause excessively long stops. This problem happens sporadically and I don┐T know when it will happen. This problem started soon after, within a week, of delivery of the Rav4. The vehicle was brand new with 8 miles on the odometer. I called the dealer and the service manager told me that there was no mechanical adjustment to correct the idle speed. I hoped that the idle issue would resolve itself in time. It has only gotten worse from the frequency prospective. I am a realtor and need to take my clients to see homes. I am concerned about anyone who may in the vicinity of this dangerous vehicle and have stopped using it for my real estate activities. I brought the vehicle to the dealer for the accelerator "shim" repair on 2/26/10 within 15 miles of the service "fix" the excessive idle speed problem was still there.

- Stamford, CT, USA

problem #6

Dec 072008


  • 1,500 miles
I bought a 2009 rav 4 with 12 miles on it. I took it back to dealership with 1500 miles because of grinding in rotors, they told me that there was rust on it. I asked for paperwork stating this and they told me that they did not do any. I then took it back with 3200 miles on it and the same answer to rust and no paperwork again because they grounded it off. It now has 8000 miles on it and the rotors are grinding so bad that metal shavings are coming out and I am afraid to let me wife drive it. I called preston motors the dealership I bought it at and they told me they would put me on the waiting list because they have so many recalls they are handling now. What is it going to take a severe wreck to get this fixed?

- New Castle, PA, USA

problem #5

Jan 092010


  • 0 miles
New Toyota electronics problems my Rav4 sometimes does have intermittent accelerator 'sticking┐ problems, even though the accelerator pedal has fully returned to idle conditions. During the winter I often where sorels. I thought that because of my boots I was hitting both the brake and accelerator. One time I even had to push the transmission into neutral to make a stop, cursing the Toyota designer who put the brake pedal so close to the accelerator (another pedal design flaw?). from then on I was very careful to keep my foot on just one pedal. However, I still noticed problems sometimes, and now this "pseudo recall" has solved a dilemma I had. The problem is not with unintended acceleration, it is with impaired deceleration. The engine is fighting against the braking system because the engine does not return to idle soon enough. With the old manual accelerator linkage systems, you could feel when you let off the gas. Now instead the computer is deciding how to slow the engine. This is where the problem lies. What "bone headed" Toyota engineer allowed both the accelerator and brake to work at the same time on a "drive by wire" system? there is no mechanical linkage to undo, so hitting the brake should defeat the accelerator (I.e. quickly return the engine to idle mode). That is all that was needed to prevent this problem. This is at least one problem with the Toyota electronic throttle system. It is a Toyota ┐myth┐ to insist there is(are) no electronic problem(s). What other more complex problems are there in the electronics, if this basic problem was not accounted for?

- Lakewood, CO, USA

problem #4

Jan 142010


  • 2,200 miles
On 2 occasions I have had the brakes on my Toyota Rav4 go away. I put on the brake and there is nothing there. It goes down to the floorboard. If you reapply the brakes they come back with the pedal stronger than before. I went to the Toyota dealer and they appear to know what it is but discouraged me from putting the car in for repair. First they lost my "appointment" then they told me I had to leave the car for several days. Now I worry whenever I have to stop.

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #3

Nov 142009


  • miles
Hi, my friend has a 2009 Toyota Tundra that the brake pedal drifts to the floor in under 3 minutes and under 1 minute in most instances. In November of 2009 I was rear-ended by a 2009 Rav4 in philadelphia, pa that had similar problems. The other driver claimed he was braking but the vehicle would not stop and he had the pedal to the floor. There was no sound of screeching tires before being rearended.

- North East, MD, USA

problem #2

Sep 182009


  • 85 miles
1. purchase of 2009 Toyota Rav4 limited edition 2. poor response in braking. Requires almost twice the distance to stop. The consequences are that you almost inevitably panic as if you were going to rear end another vehicle. 3. returned vehicle to dealer who said brakes were working properly.

- Franklin, NC, USA

problem #1

Sep 092009


  • 650 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated the brakes and the position of the brake switch in relationship with the pedal interfered in braking whenever he step on the brake pedal. Contact stated he almost had two accidents because of the operation of the brakes. Contact call the Toyota manufacture because he just purchase the vehicle in September 4, 2009 they inform him to take the vehicle back to the dealer so they can check if there was any altering of the brakes or are all original equipment. Contact stated he took the vehicle back to the dealer and they stated they could not find the problem of the brakes. The failure mileage was

- Wadsworth, OH, USA

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