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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
14,909 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.

2010 Toyota RAV4 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2010 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #11

Mar 152011


  • 6,200 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that the vehicle rolled backwards when he removed his foot off of the brake pedal in the drive position. The contact stated that the vehicle responded as if it was in neutral. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who stated that the failure was normal. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The current and failure mileage was approximately 6,200.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #10

Nov 062010


  • 406 miles
While driving my Toyota rav 4 build Sep/2010, compliance Oct 2010 at 20km per hour, automatic, I was beginning to brake gently and move into neutral when the engine rev up at 8000 RPM. I completed the maneuver to put the car in neutral (within milliseconds of the problem happening) and after watching the clock showing 8000 RPM for 1 second I turned the car off. I did not suffer any injuries, but I have bad dreams about it. My wife was in the car at the time and she also witnesses the event. Toyota is investigating...

- Nsw 2151 - Australia, 00, USA

problem #9

Oct 012010


  • 800 miles
Vehicle was at the stop sign for the high speed train. The vehicle was rearended by a truck. Brakes were applied, the brakes failed and the vehicle continued to go towards the railroad crossing with approach of the high speed train. The driver in desperation made a U-turn still trying to stop the vehicle. In desperation the gear was shifted to park and the key removed, the vehicle continued to roll jumped the curb and fortunately ran into tree which stopped the vehicle. The vehicle body damage is being repaired.

- Sandy, UT, USA

problem #8

Sep 242010

RAV4 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,500 miles


My vehicle is a 2010 Toyota Rav4-V6 with automatic transmission. While coasting or maintain a low speed of approximately 5mph, I press the accelerator and the vehicle hesitates about 3-5 seconds. During the hesitation, the engine revs high and the car does not accelerate. At the end of the hesitation, the transmission goes into gear with a thud and a jerk to the car. I was involved in three near-miss accidents while trying to merge into traffic since the vehicle would not move for the 3-5 seconds of hesitation. I searched the problem on the internet and found similar problems with other Rav4 owners.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #7

Sep 092010


  • 148,603 miles
After 148,603 miles on my 2002 Rav4, the transmission began shifting back & forth between 1st & 2nd gear with violent shaking. Shifting from drive to reverse also caused violent/loud clunking. A scanner was used to retrieve trouble codes which yielded a P0755 code (shift solenoid malfunction). Upon research on various Toyota Rav4 forums I found many others with same symptoms.

- Gloucester, VA, USA

problem #6

May 042010


  • 20 miles
2 days after the purchase of our 2010 Rav4 my wife discovered when stopped on an incline, the vehicle rolls backward when foot is removed from brake, stepping on throttle to correct it causes the vehicle to surge forward. Service dept. Said just use two feet to drive.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #5

Feb 152010

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 30 miles


Purchased new Toyota Rav4 2010 4-cylinder model in February. When at a stop on mild incline (driveway made of woodchips...good traction), the vehicle rolls backwards when foot is off the brake pedal. Dealership insisted this is normal for these vehicles and demonstrated this anomaly with another Rav4 to prove it. The engine doesn't produce enough torque for the transmission during idle to engage the converter apparently, especially when the transmission is hot. No one told me of this problem during sales. A 'hill-assist" option is available that I did not know about. This merely prolongs the braking when switching from brake to accelerator pedal when the pressure changes. Since I didn't know about all of this stuff when purchasing, the first time it happened I almost rammed into the truck behind me. Then when stepping on the gas the vehicle lunges forward in response to the RPM change. This is a hazard to the unwitting buyer and needs to be clearly discussed with all buyers. The dealership blows off this incident as 'normal' for this car. What they don't say is that it is bad engineering...that the car computer should raise rpms until the transmission is working properly on incline. The software cannot be changed so the car is considered 'normal'. I was disgusted with the explanations, even from a mechanic there I respect, he said this is 'how they are'.

- Harbor City, CA, USA

problem #4

Mar 192010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 68 miles
We were driving a 2010 Toyota Rav4 limited with approximately 68 miles and with an automatic transmission. We were stopped on an incline with the vehicle in drive. When the brake was released and before the gas pedal could be pressed, the vehicle rolled backwards as if in neutral almost hitting a vehicle approaching from the rear. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the problem was duplicated more than once on an incline. The dealer(service supervisor) stated that this is a normal operation with the automatic transmission and further stated that the left foot should be kept on the brake or the hand brake applied while stopped on an incline. I felt that the vehicle was unsafe to drive and since the vehicle was only two days old, they took back the vehicle. We were told that Toyota offers a hill assist item on certain Rav4's with a V6 and 4cyl Rav4's with a third row seat only. In the vehicle hand book there are no cautions or warnings about the vehicle rolling backwards while stopped on an incline and in drive or any other warnings or cautions about the transmission that I could find.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #3

Feb 172010

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 300 miles
Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) I am writing because I just experienced sudden acceleration in reverse in my new 2010 Toyota Rav4, 6 cylinder. This is a vehicle I was told by the dealer was not affected by the recall. Here are the details: I purchased the vehicle about a month ago from irwin Toyota in New Hampshire with VIN# [xxx]. I had contacted the dealer before the car was delivered to see what the recall meant for me. They said that the vehicle was made in Japan and was not affected by the recall. On February 17th I put the Rav4 into reverse to back down my driveway. I was cutting the wheel to the left to make a reverse K-turn when it began accelerating vigorously in reverse. I did not have my foot on the gas because it was idling in reverse down a 7% grade. The engine raced way up and it took all my leg power to bring it to a stop. I did stop the car just before hitting a tree on the side of my driveway. I had my wife and my infant son in the car and they were both terrified. When I called the dealer the service manager said he would be happy to look at it, but that it was probably ┐high idle┐. I have degree in physics and electrical engineering and I own a company that builds acceleration sensors for vehicles. This car has a serious, potentially deadly problem with one of its sensors or with electrical interference causing the computer to misinterpret the sensor data. There is no way a dealer is going to find this, let alone fix it. What can I do at this point?

- Lebanon, NH, USA

problem #2

Dec 212009

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 26 miles
I bought a 2010 rav 4 2W drive 4 cyl automatic from nwa Toyota on dec18 2009. Immediately discovered that when starting off from a stop(brake on) and going to the accelerator the vehicle is in a freewheel mood. Even on just a modest incline dive ways, exits onto streets and highways, or anywhere except dead level, this vehicle rolls backward with no drag whatsoever, at first quite alarming and after a couple more incidents I deem it very dangerous and really not normal. Took it back to the dealer and from the salesman servicemanager costumer relations person and G.M. all agreed that it was unsafe "an engineering defect " but all the new Toyota are like that" I was told that had I purchased a more expensive model that it would have a "hill holding feature" and eliminate the problem.however my 25000 Rav4 does not have that feature available. It gets better. There suggesting for me were and I quote service manager said use your handbrake when putting it in D from any stop on a incline" due to no "stall speed " drive two footed on any incline' or the salesman suggestion, "put it in park on the incline and then go to drive. Like what? I was a equipt.operator for 50 yrs and have never seen a more convoluted way of screwing up something a simple as a push and go automatic transmission (also the reason I bought it.we traded in a 5 speed car in to get away from all the. This is worse as you don't expect a automatic to roll backwards when you are simply going from stop to go. They can't possibly rent this model as it would take 2 days to explain its idiosyncrasies plus all the wrecks that would happen when it rolls back on the uninformed. I'm sure you will be getting more complaints on this issue so I'll give it a rest.

- Rogers, AR, USA

problem #1

Oct 262009


  • 51 miles
2010 Rav4 limited delivered 10/26/09. Constant transmission whine at speeds from 10 mph to 45mph. This whine appeared immediately after taking delivery of the vehicle. Took it back to dealer who said this happens in all Rav4's. wrote letter to president of Toyota usa on 12/17/09 and have received no response. Called him also, and no response yet.

- Collegeville, PA, USA

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