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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
23 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
7 / 0
Average Mileage:
16,481 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

problem #82

Apr 112016


  • 47,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that while reversing at approximately 5 mph, the vehicle independently accelerated without warning. The vehicle was able to be stopped. On another occasion, the contact stated that after switching into the drive position, the vehicle suddenly accelerated without warning. As a result, the contact crashed into a tree. The air bags did not deploy. A police report was not filed. The contact sustained neck and back injuries that required medical attention. The vehicle was not diagnosed however, the body damage was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 47,000.

- Hinsdale, MA, USA

problem #81

Apr 052016


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Rav4. While coming to a stop and placing the vehicle in park, the vehicle accelerated independently once the brake pedal was released. The vehicle crashed into a building. A police report was not filed and there were no injuries. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the cause of the failure was undetermined. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 90,000.

- Floyds Knobs, IN, USA

problem #80

Jun 112015


  • 76,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Rav4. While exiting a fuel station and attempting to depress the brake pedal, the contact's foot became trapped between the rug and the accelerator pedal. The vehicle accelerated and crashed into another vehicle. There were no injuries and a police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where the damage was repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 11V113000 (vehicle speed control). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 76,000.

- Holden, MA, USA

problem #79

Aug 022012

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 37,000 miles


Coming to a red light I applied my brakes to slow the car and the brake felt a little hard and were very slow to react. Because I had allowed enough distance to the light I was able after a moment or to feel the car begin to stop. Very frightening because it felt like I was not going to be able to stop the car before the reaching the traffic light at the intersection. I reported the incident to my Toyota dealer and they thought they needed to reset the computer. After checking it out they could not find any problem. Over the next two years this anomaly occurred several times and each time I had them check but no resolve was found. On 8-17-14 the dealership had me complete their survey of these occurrences and performed a series of diagnostics. Their conclusion was that my foot may have been hitting both the accelerator and brake simultaneously on those occasions plus they ask me to remove a rubber mat which had been over the car's accessory carpet mat. That rubber mat has remained out of the car ever since. I felt that both of those remedies could not have been the cause as if that were the case these incidents would have happened more frequently. My suspicion is that it is either electrical or mechanical anomalies that only occur rarely. I believe I have been fortunate to date that when these prior episodes have taken place the conditions were manageable. My primary concern is what if conditions were not so.. I.e. highway travel at greater speed, heavier traffic, and wet or icy road conditions...a scenario that begs very serious, if not tragic, results...very frightening circumstances to ponder indeed. This unintended acceleration mystery needs to be more deeply addressed.

- Rockaway, NJ, USA

problem #78

Apr 172014

RAV4 4-cyl

  • miles
2009 Toyota rav 4. consumer writes in regards to accelerator pedal problems. The consumer on March 17, 2014, she took the vehicle to the dealer for a noise in the fan heater. The technicians also addressed a recall for the accelerator pedal. The recall required reprogramming the ECM with smart stop technology. However, on April 17, 2014, while turning a corner at a very low speed, the RPM's raced high as if the accelerator pedal was stuck. When she removed her foot from the accelerator and applied the brake, the RPM's continued to race, and continued, even when the vehicle was put in neutral. When she stopped, she shifted the gear into park and the RPM's were still racing. The accelerating only stopped when she turned the vehicle off. The consumer went back to the dealer. However, they were unable to find anything wrong. Toyota engineers concluded and reported, pedal mis-application.

- Pewaukee, WI, USA

problem #77

Jun 082014

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 70,500 miles
On June 8, 2014, while driving my 2009 Toyota Rav4, I began to slow for a stop light. Several cars were already stopped. Suddenly, and unexpectedly, my car began to accelerate causing me to crash into another vehicle, and forcing it into a second vehicle. After the initial impact; my engine continued to rev-up, even though my foot was off the accelerator and hard on the brakes. Finally, I shifted into park and turned off the ignition. All three vehicles were damaged, two significantly. A passenger in the second vehicle expressed personal anxiety due to a ┐┐heart condition┐Ł and possible neck injury. Both drivers filed claims on my insurance, but no damage estimates or injury claims are available as yet. A police report was filed. During 2013, I had two previous accidents and several incidents while driving this Rav4, caused by sudden and unexpected acceleration. Damage of about $3,000 was incurred; however, no other vehicles were involved. One accident report was filed. On several other occasions, while driving on the interstate highways, the Rav4 suddenly and unexpectedly, accelerated. In each instance, I regained control of the vehicle and no accident or damage occurred. Prior to owning the Rav4, I purchased a new 2008 4-door Toyota Camry. On numerous occasions, during the eight months I owned the vehicle, I experienced sudden and unexpected acceleration, especially at cruising speeds on the highway. Becoming very uncomfortable driving it ┐┐ I traded the Camry on the then new 2009 Toyota Rav4. As a 68 year old single working widow, I am afraid of driving the Rav4 to work or on weekends. In January, 9013, a legal claims administrator for Toyota motor sales, advised by letter that based on their inspection of the 2009 Rav4; the 2013 accidents were ┐┐not the result of any type of manufacturing or design defect.┐Ł

- Chesterfield, MO, USA

problem #76

Oct 142013


  • 62,215 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that the vehicle engine raced as the rpms increased. The vehicle then accelerated independently. The contact was previously serviced under NHTSA campaign number: 11V113000 (vehicle speed control). The manufacturer was not alerted of the failure. The vehicle was not diagnosed. The failure mileage was 62,215. The vehicle was not repaired.

- Kent, WA, USA

problem #75

Jul 012013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
We have a loud, intermittent grinding or rattling noise that occurs usually during acceleration but often when cruising as well. We checked online and others have had a similar problem but dealer claims they do not know what it is.

- Dover, DE, USA

problem #74

Jan 062014


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that he started the ignition and shifted from park into drive when suddenly, the accelerator pedal became stuck to the floorboard with a rapid increase in engine rpms. In addition, the vehicle abnormally accelerated. The contact mentioned that there was a huge pile of snow that stopped the vehicle however the wheels were still spinning. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 98,000.

- Chicago , IL, USA

problem #73

Apr 062013


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Rav4. The contact was driving approximately 50 mph with the cruise control activated. The contact approached a traffic stop and applied the brakes but the vehicle continued to accelerate. The gear was shifted into neutral in order to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The technician was unable to detect a trouble code. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 75,000.

- Circleville, OH, USA

problem #72

Jul 162012


  • 16,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that while attempting to engage the brakes, the engine RPM failed to decrease. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who decided to send out an engineer to inspect the vehicle. The engineer was unable to determine what was causing the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 16,000 and the current mileage was 22,000.

- New Kensington, PA, USA

problem #71

Aug 292012

RAV4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Rav4. The contact started the ignition and shifted from park into drive when suddenly, the vehicle began to accelerate with a rapid increase in engine rpms. In order to stop the vehicle the gear was shifted into neutral and the brake pedal was engaged. The engine was turned off and restarted five times however, the failure persisted. On the sixth attempt, the vehicle operated normally. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The vehicle had not been repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 32,000. Updated 10/11/12

- Brookfield, IL, USA

problem #70

Jun 062012


  • 17,124 miles
On June 6 2012 driving into a parking lot I had an un-intended acceleration on my 2009 Toyota Rav4 and the car only stopped because I hit my doctor's office wall. Even though I pressed the brake pedal, the car wouldn't stop. It was a very scary moment. I filed a claim with Toyota manufacturer, they inspected the car on June 19,2012. I got a letter July 30 2012 from Toyota motor sales usa Inc. That says they didn't find anything wrong with my car and that it is "operating as designed, within factory specifications" "however the inspection of your vehicle revealed no evidence of any sort of a manufacturing or design defect and we are unable to offer additional assistance". I thought my car was safe but now (thank god nobody was hurt) I don't trust this car and I lost confidence on Toyota cars. I'm afraid to drive this car. This car is defective and they know it. It was a horrible experienced! I didn't make this up, this really happened to me. On Aug 1st 2012 on press release tyt recalled Rav4 subs and Lexus to fix the suspension of Rav4S from 2006 to 2011 models. Other law firms have told me that the un-intended acceleration has to happen several times to be considered as complaint/recall per lemon law and that if tyt says there's nothing wrong with it, there's nothing they or I can do. I'm outraged to say the least! can you help? thanks for your time.

- Tustin, CA, USA

problem #69

Aug 022011

RAV4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,500 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that while at a complete stop, the vehicle accelerated abnormally. The contact applied pressure to the brake pedal to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was then taken to an authorized dealer where it was inspected but the dealer was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was inspected three times with no solution to the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 16,500 and the current mileage was 20,000...updated 04/11/12 updated 06/15/2012

- Gallatin, TN, USA

problem #68

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 #67

Aug 282011


  • 19,750 miles
On Sunday, August 28, 2011 at approximately 12 in the afternoon, I was driving my family's 2009 Toyota Rav4 with my wife and infant son, eastbound on highway 44 between winner, sd and platte, sd. With the vehicle's cruise control set at the speed limit of 65 mph, I changed lanes and began to pass the truck ahead of our vehicle on this two-lane country road. Increasing the vehicle's speed to 70 mph to complete the pass of the other vehicle and return to the eastbound lane, the Toyota Rav4 unintentionally accelerated to speeds in excess of 85 mph. At the time of the sudden unintended acceleration, the pedal area was checked and confirmed to be clear of any obstructions, including the vehicle's driver-side floor mat. With the cruise control off and the brakes cautiously applied, the Toyota Rav4 would not slow down from its state of sudden unintended acceleration. It was determined that the only way to take back control of the vehicle was by completely pressing the brakes to the floor; however, the decrease in speed was gradual at best, and the engine continued to rev out of control. The vehicle's brakes were fully engaged in this way until the vehicle stalled out, partially onto the shoulder of the road at a speed just under 10 mph. Again at this time, the pedal area was checked and confirmed to be clear of any obstructions, including the vehicle's driver-side floor mat. Over the last two years, the vehicle has had three accelerator pedal recall repairs and one floor mat recall repair completed and is not reprogrammable for the brake override system that is being installed in the newest Toyota models. With no crash resulting from the Aug. 28 incident, the vehicle was rejected for an inspection or any further services. As this was a very scary and traumatic situation for my family, the Toyota Rav4 has not been operated under the same driving conditions since the incident.

- Sioux Falls, SD, USA

problem #66

Aug 142011

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
On 8-14-2011 my husband was driving our Rav4. We had just left a residential house and had been driving through the neighborhood at approximately 30 mph (maximum). As we approached the red stoplight at the neighborhood exit, he took his foot off the accelerator to gradually come to a stop. The vehicle was then moving at less than 5 miles per hour. When he pushed his foot more firmly on the brake to come to a complete stop, the engine starting racing wildly. He then put the vehicle in neutral and turned off the engine. When he restarted the car everything worked fine. A visual inspection verified that the floor mat was nowhere near the gas pedal and the gas pedal moved perfectly (not stuck). Considering the circumstances, I cannot believe that either the floor mat or a stuck gas pedal caused this acceleration. Fortunately (at least this time), the warnings from Toyota and discussions on the internet had mentally prepared us to safely respond in the event that this type of situation occurred, but if an uninformed driver had been driving the car, it is very likely that they would have slammed into the car in front of them.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #65

May 312011

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 22,922 miles
2009 Toyota Rav4 leaked fluid. I lost control of car, steering, brakes & car accelerated at a rapid pace on its own. I was turning left at about 20mph hit another car accelerated fast with no control was headed for a building when right tire went over a concrete parking block left side was on grass when the left front wheel snapped off & the car stopped. The car was repaired & paid for by my insurance co. As well as the other car involved. The car had extensive damage to the suspension. I was not cited by police because it was obvious the fluid followed my car until it stopped. I don't agree with the NHTSA findings on Toyota's acceleration problems. The people "testing" the problem should drive one of these Toyota when it accelerates & feel the fear I had during this accident. Thank the lord I was not on the expressway. I want to enter a class action suit against Toyota because I am a senior citizen & living on a fixed income. I live in Ohio. I have driven 52 yrs. & have received 1 ticket 15 yrs. Ago for failing to stop at a stop sign. I am disappointed our government is ignoring this complaint against Toyota acceleration. I hurt my shoulder trying to get the jammed door open but it is getting better with therapy. Toyota took their "event data recorder" out of my car gave me a flash drive with the codes on it but Toyota is the only one who can decipher their codes. You must take their word for the coding decipher. My car had 22,922 miles on it still under 3 yrs warranty & they denied my claim. I received a letter stating this but the letter had wrong information in it. They had the wrong Toyota dealer I used on the recalls the wrong date I took my car for the recall. The dealer isn't even in my area. This was a form letter that someone used for someone else & failed to change the fields in the letter. I need anyone's help whether it be class action or a lawyer to do contingency work. Please post if anyone has had this acceleration problem. Lets not let toy. Get by.

- West Chester, OH, USA

problem #64

Jul 022011


  • 53,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota rav 4. the contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph, the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The contact removed the floor mat which disengaged the accelerator pedal. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where they were unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 53,000.

- Faribault, MN, USA

problem #63

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

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