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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
91,000 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.

2002 Toyota RAV4 accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2002 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #1

Jul 012009


  • 91,000 miles


In the beginning of June I noticed my Rav4 would slightly pause when I pres the gas pedal and would jerk when it's suppose to automatically shift gears, my registration is due & of course I need a smog certificate. The "transmission would slip" only sometimes. I'm just guessing it's the transmission. Not sure yet... of course my "extra care" expired 05/30/08 mileage 100,000 but my mileage is only 91,000. I figure this is going to cost me a load of money that I don't have and this car helps me get to work. With the economy being so bad this doesn't help out much at all it's always one thing after another especially when I thought I was buying a car that is actually worth it and I thought since I was buying it brand new I was making a good choice. My fiance and I were driving home and I was on the hwy 880 sb going about 65 mph my RPM seem a little high but I was on cruise control so I thought it was normal. When all of a sudden my engine light came on, than my car starting making a noise, than my oil light came on, battery light came on and something from underneath my car flew off and as I look in my rear mirror I saw pieces of an object went flying and I notice cars swerving to move from the flying objects that were burning and I was sooo scared as my fiance said to pull over slowly. I cut cars off and I couldn't press the gas pedal no longer the engine shut off and I stopped in the middle of the slow lane I called aaa and towed my car to my house and unfortunately I can't take it to the dealer/mechanic yet B/C I don't have that kind of money. I find it very strange that I had no warning lights before hand or no sensor. For example the oil light comes on when I need oil/change, etc. What type of paperwork do I need to send B/C I haven't took it to the shop yet and may I add that the lighter doesn't work. Once I find out what the actually problem is than I will mail copies.I I truly believe it's a manufacturer problem.

- Newark, CA, USA

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