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:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
17,000 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #1

Jan 292004

RAV4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles


I drive a 2002 Toyota Rav4. I was stopped at a stop light and when the light turned green I went but unfortunately the woman in front of me (2000 Dodge neon) didn't so I rear-ended her. Her car was unscratched, my front bumper plate was smushed. As a result of this collision...I was, maybe, going 10 car has been in the shop for almost 3 weeks. Apparently there are weak seals and connections in the rav, causing transmission fluid and oil leakage (as you can guess, 3 hours after the fender bender, when I went out to lunch, the car was smoking like crazy!). I don't think a 10 mph accident should cause that much damage. I can guarantee you I won't buy a Rav4 again...what if it had been a real accident" would I be dead"

- Fountain Hills, AZ, USA

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