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:
1 / 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

Apr 182002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


When braking at slow speeds there is a grinding and a howling noise, also extended braking distance. Dealer found no problem.

- North Brunswick, NJ, USA

problem #3

Dec 252001


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Premature wearing of brake pads, making vehicle hard to stop. The vehicle makes noise. At first the dealer turned pads, second the dealer installed updated front brake pads, then replaced both rear drums but the problem remains unsolved. While driving with the A/C fan on there was a vibration in dash area. The roof rack screw was loose and fell out. The center seat belt was missing trim piece. The rear door rattles while closing.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #2

Jan 152002


  • miles
While driving 35mph down a hill, had applied brakes, and vehicle failed to slow down. Vehicle jumped the sidewalk, and hit a cement wall. Driver suffered injuries.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #1

May 192001

(reported on)


  • miles
Vehicle experienced brake problems.

- Livonia, MI, USA

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