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. Notes: The 2013 RAV4's top complaint is that the navigation screen is impossible to see in direct sunlight.

While certainly an annoyance, it's not a big deal in the world of car problems. Luckily the fix is a $10 anti-glare screen cover.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
16,318 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.

2013 Toyota RAV4 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2013 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #11

Jun 052016


  • 30,000 miles


Possible malfunction with the automatic braking system (ABS). Car fails to brake properly and slides when pressure is applied the brake. My wife was driving about 45mph and when she tried to stop, slid into the back of an 18-wheeler.

- Severn, MD, USA

problem #10

May 212016


  • 28,643 miles
While I was stopping in front of a red light, and my foot was on brake pedal, the car started to move, I pushed the brake down as low as possible, car kept on moving. I then used the hand brake to stop the car. Luckily, there was no car in front of mine, so no accident. This happened on last Saturday, May 21, 2016, early in the morning. After the incident, the car's brake functions as expected. But I always have a fear that it might do the same thing sometime someday, and I might not be lucky enough to be accident free.

- San Jose, Ca, CA, USA

problem #9

Apr 162016


  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Toyota Rav4. While attempting to park the vehicle in a parking lot, the brakes failed. As a result, the contact's vehicle crashed into a parked vehicle, which then crashed into a third vehicle. There was no warning indicator. A police report was filed and there were no injuries. The vehicles had minor damage. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 24,000.

- Manchaca, TX, USA

problem #8

Nov 012015


  • 30,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Toyota Rav4. While driving 55 mph, the brake pedal was depressed abruptly to avoid crashing into another vehicle. After the incident, every time the brake pedal was depressed, there was an abnormal noise coming from the rear brakes. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the brakes seized and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that both rear pads, rotors, and hardware needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 30,000.....updated 07/05/16

- Massena, NY, USA

problem #7

Dec 042014


  • 20,000 miles
The "power brake actuator" went out on my 2013 Toyota rav-4 three times while I was driving the vehicle. Every time this happened, all of the warning lights on the dash board would come on. At the same time all of the gauges including the speedometer, the vehicle stability control, anti lock brakes, traction control system and power steering would all stop working on the vehicle. This would make it almost impossible to stop or control the vehicle what so ever.

- Apo, AE, USA

problem #6

Aug 022015


  • miles
Hi, we (myself, my wife and daughter) had an accident dated 08/02/2015 due to brakes in our Toyota 2013 rav 4 didn't function. We were traveling at posted speed of 65/hr and there were 3 cars ahead of us that braked suddenly. There was enough time for all cars to stop including our car but inspite of full braking it failed to and happened to crash into the car ahead of us. Our car just could not come to complete stop. We strongly feel its not safe for our family to drive in that car any more. We have opened a case with Toyota as well, but its been 3 days have not heard back from them yet. All they did was email us saying they were unable to reach us when we did not received any calls at our end. We request you to please look into this matter and it might be a serious issue. Thanking you, shah family.

- Hackensack, NJ, USA

problem #5

Dec 232014


  • 25,309 miles


While driving down a bridge at approximate speed of 36 and before the red light I left my right leg from the gas pedal and pressed on the brake pedal to get ready to stop by the red light. At that moment the brake pedal did not respond to my leg pressing and the total braking system did not respond having cars stopped infront of me by the red light I had to turn the steering wheel to the right and hit a big tree. The damage reached almost to the middle of the front hood; however, no any air bag was deployed or activated due to the crash and I was transferred to the hospital by the ambulance and been hospitalized for seven days and for the first four days I lost any sensation in my both legs with a sever spine pain and until now my both legs hurt me and so does my back ( spine ). pictures are available. The car still under the manufacturer warranty and all the services were connected by the Toyota dealership service. The last was conducted at the dealership on Sep 15, 2014 at 13:25 - 14:39. I have always taken the car to the dealer's service exactly as the dealer recommended.....updated 01/23/15..........updated 12/15/15

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #4

Dec 272013


  • 200 miles
The Rav4 was purchased new from a dealer. While driving home, the brake pedal travel felt excessive, as if there was too much air in the system. With a moderate brake application, it felt as though the pedal was almost to the end of its stroke. I measured the pedal travel statically in my garage = with 25 pounds effort, the travel was 2.5 inches. But with 100 pounds effort, the pedal was about 1/2" from the floor, meaning that in the advent of a failed brake circuit, there would not be enough pedal travel to safely stop the vehicle. Also, the pedal effort V. travel felt linear, and not asymptotic as one would expect from a brake pedal. I took the Rav4 to the dealer service dept. They reported that they found no issues and no service was done. After the visit to the dealership, the brake pedal feel was completely different. The pedal travel at 25 pounds effort was now 1.5", which felt normal. Also, the pedal feel was now asymptotic and plenty of travel was left available to allow for a safe stop with a failed circuit. Since I have no idea what changed on the vehicle during its visit to the dealership, it leaves open the question of whether the unsafe condition of the Rav4 braking system in the brand new state is a systemic issue. On a separate issue, while measuring the brake pedal travel in my garage I noticed that the brake booster would deplete in the middle of a brake application if the brake pedal is modulated slightly (for example, pulsed up and down slightly without fully retracting it). I consider this unsafe as well because if an unusual event occurred, such as an unintended acceleration, then the brake booster would quickly deplete leaving the driver without brake assist and unable to stop the vehicle, unless he/she had the presence of mind to fully retract the brake pedal and reapply it firmly.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #3

Jun 072014

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 16,000 miles
Brakes fading and overheating. During a long descent on highway that required frequent application of brakes to maintain speed, I experienced significant brake fading and overheating. At the end of the hill brake effectiveness was significantly reduced requiring more pressure and pedal travel to achieve adequate braking action. Braking was also accompanied by vibration that could be felt in the steering wheel. Braking performance was restored after the brakes cooled down. After the incident I did a bit of research and found that Rav4 le is equipped with smaller front brakes than xle and limited models. Le front rotors are only 10.8", significantly smaller than 11.7" rotors on the xle and limited, as well as most competitive vehicle which come equipped with ~12" or bigger brake rotors. Based on the fading / overheating experienced and the fact that Rav4 le brakes are much smaller than most other small SUV, it appears to me that the brakes rotors are undersized for the size / gvwr of this vehicle.

- Wyoming, OH, USA

problem #2

Dec 132013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 5,343 miles
Brakes scrape loudly while backing and on turns. Took into dealer, rear pads glazed, rotors uneven dealer sanded and deglazed rear pads, apply finish cut/machine to rear rotors now AT0.455in new rotors0.472 not a good sign at 5343 miles.

- Hilliard, OH, USA

problem #1

Sep 252013


  • 4 miles
This vehicle has a faulty brake, it makes a sound every time you squeeze the release the brake. Moreover the brakes does not grip as tight as expected from a brand new car.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

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