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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 1
Average Mileage:
46,000 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2001 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #3

May 142005


  • 50,000 miles


I believe that the clearance between brake pedal and accelerator on the Toyota rav 4 2001 and perhaps other years is inadequate. A while back my foot became trapped between the two pedals and I was unable to apply the brake. A small accident occurred. I suspect that the problem is aggravated by the height difference of the two pedals..

- Riverhead, NY, USA

problem #2

Mar 302008

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
Paint defect on hood and R/F fender. Clear coat peelng off.

- Albemarle, NC, USA

problem #1

Mar 102002


  • miles
The consumer loss control of vehicle going 65mph on a straight path, the vehicle was rapidly thrown to the right and left several times after it rolled over 8-10 times.

- Savoy, IL, USA

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