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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,000 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 exhaust system problems

exhaust system problem

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2001 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #1

Sep 152001

RAV4 4WD 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 20,000 miles


2001 Rav4 catalyst system fail. Many owners for 2001-2002 are having problem getting engine error code PO420/430 (catalyst system efficiency below threshold) I had this error since new. They changed converter and rebooted software, but never got fixed. I just found out that there is tsb EG010-02. It shows software was updated 4 times. "misprogammed fuel map". I went to dealer with copy of tsb. I spent $80 for soft update because over warranty. It came back 2 days later. I checked "" everybody talking about same issue and they are saying catalytic converter is on back order about 2500. Dealer tell you that they don't know when you can get. Some have waited 2 mo.the cost is more than $2000.

- Pine Mtn Club, CA, USA

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