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:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,800 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.

2002 Toyota RAV4 accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2002 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #5

Jan 012010


  • miles


The actuator in left & right front door for 2002 Toyota Rav4 not working.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #4

Apr 052009


  • 70,000 miles
The lock for my passenger door and drivers door is defected. With the passenger door, it will not lock or unlock using the key tag; the drivers door does the same, however once locked you can't unlock the door with the key. You have to get inside through another door and unlock it from within.

- Belmont, CA, USA

problem #3

Oct 012008


  • 85,000 miles
Driver side front door power lock fails to lock or unlock with auto lock button. Has to be locked or unlocked by hand. Passenger side front door lock also starting to fail.

- Bedford, MA, USA

problem #2

Aug 012008


  • 94,000 miles
Actuator for driver side front door lock failed to work with in car electronic button.all other locks work correctly.

- Bedford, MA, USA

problem #1

Nov 222003

RAV4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The rear luggage cover does not stay up and numerous times it has slipped and hit me or one of my family on the head. This weekend, it slipped again and caused a cut on my head. I asked the dealer about a fix for this and he stated none noted and they have had similar complaints but no tsb or recalls issued. This luggage compartment cover is dangerous and needs to be re-designed.

- Medina, OH, USA

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