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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,800 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2001 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #5

Jun 012001


  • 0 miles


Takata recall - I am the original owner of a 2001 rav 4 with 224,000 miles on it. This car is primarily used in Nevada in the reno/lake Tahoe area and also in seattle wa. I am very concerned about the possibility of an exploding air bag. Please advise about the safety of continuing to drive this car and how soon the air bags can be replaced! from all I read these cars should be taken off the road immediately! please respond so I can protect my family.

- Incline Village, NV, USA

problem #4

May 082016


  • miles
Takata recall I drive my 2001 Rav4 that I inherited from my mother. The car is 15 years old but only has 56,000 miles on it. I am fearful about the airbag exploding since I plan to drive this car for several more years. I want the airbag replaced.

- Livingston, TX, USA

problem #3

Apr 062016


  • 114,000 miles
Takata recall I am the original owner of. 2001 Toyota Rav4. I have lived in the state of Hawaii for the last 9 years. As you might imagine the humidity is high here. Since Toyota does not appear to want to replace the airbag in my vehicle should I disconnect the airbag so it does not inflate and injure or kill me??

- Kihei, HI, USA

problem #2

Oct 052009


  • 90,000 miles
I was traveling on a highway to work and it had been raining when I pressed my brakes to stop ( I barely pressed them) and my brakes locked and I couldn't stop. I tried to press a couple of times and even pumped them. I tried to get onto the shoulder and my steering locked. I was traveling 55 mph before I tried stopping, and was never able to stop, and when I hit the car in front of me my airbags never deployed. My front end was smashed end and my vehicle was totaled. The lady I hit had just a dent in her bumper. I didn't have major injuries but I had some bruising and a knot on my knee. I never went get checked out but I still have pain sometimes in my neck and back. The police did file a report and even though the lady I hit told the officer that I wasn't close to her and had plenty enough time to stop he gave me a ticket for following too close. It took me way longer than 4 seconds to hit her.

- Breaux Bridge, LA, USA

problem #1

May 012002

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer states while driving 40 mph vehicle was involved in a head on collision, and the air bags not to deploy.

- Orlando, FL, USA

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