Notes: If you're looking for a vehicle with one of the most complained about transmission on the road, look no further than the 2001-2003 Toyota RAV4.

In 2001 Toyota completely redesigned the popular SUV. While some enjoyed the new look, they did not enjoy the harsh shifting, jumping from gear-to-gear and eventual transmission failure that cost owners well over $3,000 to fix. The problem stems from a malfunctioning Electronic Control Module (ECM).

Consumer outrage coupled with pressure from different agencies led Toyota to extend the warranty nationwide back in 2010. The previous power train warranty only covered 5 years/60,000 miles, while the extended warranty now covers the transmission and ECM for 10 years/150,000 miles. Toyota also pledged to reimburse any owners who had previously paid for repairs, if they had "proper proof". Good luck collecting on that one.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
31,000 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.

2001 Toyota RAV4 accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2001 Toyota RAV4:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2001 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #1

Mar 212005

RAV4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,000 miles


While driving my 2001 Toyota rav 4 ( 31000 total mileage ), with the heater motor on high, I heard aloud whirling noise. After a short time ( 5 or 10 minutes ) the heater fan stopped working and the smell of burning wiring filled the vehicle. I immediately shut the fan switch off. A wisp of smoke came out of the dash vent. Examination of the fuse box showed that the fuse for the fan had not blown. I believe that if I had not turned the fan off there would have been a vehicle fire. After further inspection I discovered the dashboard was covered with fine particles of an undetermined origin which I assumed came out of the windshield defroster vent. Repairs have not been made.

- Troy, MI, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

Not what you are looking for?