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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
13 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,356 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.

2011 Toyota RAV4 engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #48

Feb 162016


  • 64,000 miles


I recently had the charcoal canister that filters gas fuels fail. This caused teh check engine light to come on. In addition though, this fault took out 2 safety systems due to this code. After the light came on my brake anti skid system and cruise control were inoperable. I complained to the dealer about this issue and was told this was normal. In my opinion, just because a check engine light comes on should not cause 2 safety systems to become inoperable! why no disable the airbags too. The anti skid system helps you maintain stability on wet road. I live in the pacific northwest where the roads are wet a lot. I see failure of the cruise control is also a safety issue. I use cruise habitually so keep me under the speed limit. I had to drive without these 2 systems for a month till parts were available.

- Ridgefield, WA, USA

problem #47

Sep 152015


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Rav4. When the contact depressed the brake pedal, the engine roared and the vehicle accelerated without warning. The vehicle was taken to a local dealer who was unable to replicate the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that there was no recall; therefore, they declined to help unless the dealer replicated the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 45,000.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #46

Apr 012016


  • 51,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Rav4. While driving 3 mph, the vehicle accelerated independently without warning. The vehicle was taken to be diagnosed and the contact was informed that there was no failure. The contact stated that the failure occurred twice. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 51,000.

- Sherkan Oaks, CA, USA

problem #45

Jan 012016


  • 51,000 miles


Car suddenly accelerated when slowing for a traffic light. Foot securely on the brake. Speed under 5 mph. No floor mats or interference with the throttle of any kind.

- Sherman Oaks, CA, USA

problem #44

Feb 152016


  • 119,000 miles
While driving 55-60 on a highway, my anti-skid warning light came on, the 4wheel drive light a half hour later, followed by the engine light aprx 1 hr later. The following morning, while driving, the cruise control went out on me, the car unexpectedly slowed and I noticed the cruise light flashing on and off. The remote start did not work on day #3, as I traveled to have the car repaired at serra Toyota, traverse city, mi. The service tech told me that "the mechanic literally poured water out of the evap canister, we have seen other rav's w this problem and we have a bulletin on it, so Toyota is aware. The canister is faulty, which allowed road water, (very wet, slushy roads at time), to get in and damage the wiring." The service tech also told me that the new canister/hose replacement system addresses this issue. I emailed Toyota Japan, they had "henry kerry of Toyota executive headquarters, torrence, calif call me. Mr. Kerry stated that the problem was related to overfilling the gas tank. I told him that the tech said "(they) literally poured water out and they had seen this problem previously." Mr. Kerry advised that "I should have talked to the service manager to get the factual info." Bottom line: I feel that I should have been notified that electrical failure could occur, due to canister/hose failure and that a new part had been developed which, once installed, would prevent (road) water from shorting out the wiring. (the work order receipt states: ("water intrusion into evap system") thanks much, scott mclennan 989 370-0122

- Boyne City, MI, USA

problem #43

Jan 252016


  • 67,259 miles
When braking, sudden acceleration occurred- seems to reset by letting up on brake and reapplying. Has happened on various locations and types of roads. While out of state dealership replace purge valve- seemed ok, but then on 1/25/16 was backing out of driveway had foot on brake and felt engine racing, put into park with racing engine, turned key off restarted and seemed ok had garage check could not find anything no codes showing currently back at dealership to put on their computer. This is an on-going issue for several months, but does not happen on any regular basis so it has not been identified by any garage yet. Please help

- Turnersville, NJ, USA

problem #42

Oct 052015


  • 55,500 miles


Four unintended acceleration incidents has occurred with my Toyota Rav4. Recent incidents on 9/1415 (college park, md when brake applied at a red light with vehicle ahead; passenger/witness in car). High RPM and engine rev occurred; both feet on brake in attempt to keep car from advancing; put car in neutral and then park and engine stopped revving. And on 10/5/15 (damascus, md when brake applied at stop sign with vehicle ahead). Both feet on brake, car to neutral then to park. Actions did not stop engine rps. Turned key to turn off vehicle. Rubber mat (on top of Toyota carpet mats) was removed before leaving the Toyota service center on 9/15/15. Proving on 10-5-15 that the unintended acceleration problem is not a result of floor mats which Toyota would like everyone to believe. Vehicle will be taken to darcar frederick md to filed second incident report on Monday, 10/12/15 (delay because I left on travel 10/5/15). Intent will be to determine trade-in value of car and most likely purchase another vehicle. It's time that Toyota recognize unintended accceleration problems with their Rav4S.

- Damascus, MD, USA

problem #41

Mar 032015


  • 23,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Rav4. At a stop light with the brake pedal depressed, the engine suddenly began to rev very high and the RPM's increased. The contact quickly shut the engine off. After restarting the engine, the vehicle operated as normal. The contact indicated that the failure had recurred on multiple occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but the failure was not able to be duplicated. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 23,000.

- Vero Beach, FL, USA

problem #40

Apr 152014

RAV4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Rav4. When attempting to stop the vehicle, it lunged forward and crashed into another vehicle. A police report was filed and no injuries were sustained. The vehicle was able to be driven away and was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 25,000. The VIN was unavailable. Updated 5/19/15

- Bell Flower, CA, USA

problem #39

Dec 042014

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 20,501 miles
I had 3 incidents of unintended acceleration (ua) with my 2011 Rav4 within 3 weeks of each other in Mar/Apr 2014, 1 resulting in a minor accident. A complaint was made with NHTSA at that time. I went thru Toyota's complaint procedure, including inspection by their field technician. They found nothing wrong with the vehicle. On Dec 4 & 12th, 2014, I experienced 2 more ua incidents. Each time I was coming to a stop at an intersection & I stepped on the brake, but my vehicle kept moving forward, and I could hear the motor revving up very loudly. I had learned from the previous 3 experiences last spring to keep a distance behind vehicles whenever possible when coming to a stop, so as to avoid ramming into the vehicles in front of me by veering to either side of the vehicle if possible. I should not have to be afraid every time I drive my Rav4, but I am. My Rav4 has only 20500 miles on it and is like new. It makes me livid that Toyota can just ignore/deny that there is a problem, especially after seeing all of the other similar complaints regarding ua on the NHTSA site...kind of like General Motors covering up their little ignition problem for 10 years, while so many people were injured or died.

- Roseville, MN, USA

problem #38

Sep 222014


  • 80,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Rav4. While driving downhill at an unknown speed, the vehicle independently accelerated. The contact shifted into neutral in order to slow down the vehicle. The gear was shifted back into drive and the vehicle resumed normal operation. The failure occurred twice. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Wonsocket, RI, USA

problem #37

Jul 142014

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 21,100 miles
Car failed to decelerate while brakes were being applied. Car continued to push forward while I was braking. Car had to be turned off to come to a complete stop. This is the second time this phenomena occurred. Both times the vehicle was taken immediately to the local Toyota dealership. They claimed they found no issues with the car or its computer systems. Since Toyota inspected the car and claimed they found no ABS event in the car's systems and claimed they could detect no computer system malfunction, I elected to trade in the car. I am reporting this because I want any potential future owner of this vehicle to be aware of these events.

- Conroe, TX, USA

problem #36

Aug 202014


  • 37,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Rav4. While driving approximately 5 mph, the brakes failed to respond when the brake pedal was depressed. The vehicle accelerated independently and crashed into a building. The air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed and there were no injuries reported. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic for repair. The front bumper, the passenger side headlight, and the front grill were replaced. The technician was unable to diagnose the cause of the failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 37,000.

- Joppa , MD, USA

problem #35

Jul 172014

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
While approaching an intersection on a busy thoroughfare, the light turned yellow and at the last minute I decided against running the yellow light and applied my brakes very hard. The vehicle started to slow down but as I approached the stop line my vehicle continued to slowly move forward no matter how hard I pressed on the brake pedal. At first I thought my brakes had failed, but then I heard the whine of the engine and I realized that I was fighting against an accelerating engine. I put the vehicle in neutral which I thought would kick the accelerator back to normal but the engine was still revving quite high, but I was no longer moving forward. I then shifted to reverse and the vehicle started to back up even though my foot was still on the brake. At that point I placed the vehicle back into neutral and turned the engine off. After about 10 seconds, I restarted the engine and it performed normally. I drove 6 blocks to my destination, parked the car, called the dealership and had the vehicle towed there. I did not feel safe driving the vehicle, as I thought Toyota had solved the problem of unattended acceleration. Obviously not. The car is currently at the dealership and I am waiting to hear from them as to what they find. From the reports I have read, I'm not holding my breath. They mentioned that they might have to call for an independent engineer to assess the vehicle, and that might take up to a week. I have no grudge against Toyota, as I also own a 2002 Camry which has been a fantastic car with no problems. I just don't believe that all the reports out there are because of loose floor mats, sticky accelerators or con artist trying to get money out of a big corporation. Please look into the electronics of these cars as something is not communicating right. Thank you.

- Oregon City, OR, USA

problem #34

Aug 152013

RAV4 6-cyl

  • miles
2011 Toyota rav 4. consumer writes in regards to vehicle unintended acceleration. The consumer stated she experienced sudden acceleration on August 15, 2013. She stated there was a car in front of her at a light, and she attempted to brake, but due to the unintended acceleration, she hit the vehicle in front of her. She suffered a fractured pelvis. Repairs to the vehicle exceeded $8,000 and thousands more in medical care. On Feb 2, 2014, her husband attempted to park the vehicle, but when he applied the brake, the vehicle instead accelerated, and he crashed into a building. There were no injuries, but costly damage to the building and $2,000 damage to the vehicle. The consumer went to the dealer for help, and the service manager replicated the acceleration problem four separate times in the parking lot. He stated there was a software program called "smart stop" available for the 2006-2010 models and the same software was on the 2012-2014 models. An inspector was sent to examine the vehicle, and he stated there was nothing wrong with the vehicle, and the accidents, were simply their fault.

- Penfield, NY, USA

problem #33

Apr 082014


  • 15,785 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that while the vehicle was stationary with the brake pedal being depressed, the engine rpms suddenly increased as the vehicle accelerated forward. The vehicle crashed into the rear of another vehicle. No injuries were reported and a police report was not filed. The contact also indicated that the failure was recurring. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified and no solution was offered. The failure mileage was 15,785.

- Roseville, MN, USA

problem #32

Feb 172014

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
On 2/17/14 I had an "unintended acceleration" event and hit a car. No one was hurt. I took my car to Toyota and filed a report. On 2/22/14 Toyota retrieved data from the vehicle chip and emailed me a copy. Data shows that I was braking during the entire 4.7 sec prior to collision. Upon braking, the motor RPM dropped to 800, then suddenly increased to 2000 while I continued braking, and stayed at 2000 until collision. A Toyota case manager said that Toyota had 30 days to respond. That has passed and I have received no response. My car may be unsafe. I cannot drive it for fear of harm to myself or others since nothing has been to correct the problem. My car is idle, causing me significant financial difficulty.

- Topsfield, MA, USA

problem #31

Mar 022014

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 10,710 miles
I was traveling down city street behind several cars & we were approaching a traffic light at intersection, my foot off the gas pedal letting car slow naturally. I heard the motor start revving up quickly, suddenly accelerating by itself. I pushed on the brakes, but car continued to rev up & lurched forward hitting the car in front of me. I pushed harder on the brakes, even trying to pump them but my car hit the car in front of me again & then my car finally stopped & I turned off the motor. What a scary situation!! thank god no one was injured only damage to both vehicles! we filed a police report & I had the rav towed to the Toyota dealer where it remains parked. I will not drive it again because I am scared to death of what could of or what might happen. A claim was filed with Toyota headquarters, claim # [xxx]. a third party, engineer, came out to dealer's to inspect, check black box, etc. Of course, with an 18 page report & extensive checking he could not recreate problem, found nothing on black box, etc. & claims he feels safe to drive it. I am waiting to hear from Toyota headquarters for their official word, which I doubt will be any different than the inspector's. besides I could not get a copy of the report because he was hired by Toyota! not sure where to turn now. This was not the first time, the unintended sudden acceleration had occurred. On 3 or 4 other occasions, my rav did the same thing & luckily did not cause an accident. One time I threw the car into park as to stop it. The gas pedal & the brake were working fine, no sticking or no me putting my foot on the wrong pedal! the floor mats were original to vehicle & firmly attached to hooks. I had reported it to concord Toyota on one occasion when I had an oil change, but they could not simulate the problem, so they stated there was no problem!! obviously, there is a problem!! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Antioch, CA, USA

problem #30

Feb 202014

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 42,531 miles
Came to stop sign and put my foot on the brakes - the engine began to accelerate and move the car forward. Had to put my foot hard on the brakes and put the car into neutral - and the engine stopped accelerating. This is the second time in a two week period that this has happened. Afterwards, the vehicle operated as expected with no problems. However, it is a very scary situation. I checked the floor mat and it was anchored correctly and away from the accelerator. And "no" my foot did not slip from the brake to the gas peddle. I had both feet hard on the brake to avoid jolting forward and hitting the vehicle in front of me.

- Fort Mill, SC, USA

problem #29

Feb 102014


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that while traveling various speeds, the vehicle erroneously accelerated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure could not be replicated. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 30,000.

- Northport, NY, USA

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