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:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
0 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2001 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #4

Sep 152001

RAV4 6-cyl

  • miles


Brakes were applied vehicle suddenly accelerated., ...

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #3

Apr 102001


  • miles
Rear brake drums made a noise. When applying brakes, they grab and pull, making vehicle jerk. Also, front brakes would grind, and stopping distance increase when brakes are applied. Contacted dealer, and dealer stated there was a technical service bulletin on vehicle, but consumer can't get adequate information.

- Norco, CA, USA

problem #2

Oct 022001

(reported on)


  • miles
The brakes screetch when applied. The sound is particularly startling if the brakes are applied quickly. This sound is not the "wear sensor" sound (dealer checked brakes and said they are fine). This sound is different than the standard squeky brakes you hear on some cars and is very concerning. The windshield would rattle while driving (dealer put in a gasket and sound stopped).

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #1

Aug 242001


  • miles
While coming to complete stop by pressing ABS brakes, vehicle suddenly accelerated and hit a stonewall. Dealer has been contacted. Consumer has taken photographs of vehicle/ wall and ground, showing no tire marks.

- Springville, CA, USA

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