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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,000 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 #2

May 122008

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


Purchased used 2002 Toyota Rav4 in Oct 2004. Both visors were already sagging a bit and were a hazard to driving within 8 months. I purchased the replacement visors from the dealer in July 2005 for a total of $131.27. They told me the original owner must not have been careful and I needed to be very careful when using the visors. I took their word and was gentle when I put the visors up and down. Less than 3 years later and I already need to replace them again!! I have small children who only sit in the back seat, so the passenger visor doesn't get used very often and it is just as bad as the driver's side visor that gets used every day. I had my last vehicle for 13 years and both visors were still in perfect condition when I traded the vehicle in for this one. Based on my research, this is a known problem with several different Toyota models. I can't find any solutions and the dealer has told me that all I can do is purchase another set - with no guarantee that they won't break again.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #1

Dec 122005


  • miles
The bolts in the roof rack fall out. We have never used the roof rack. Over the past 3 years, we have lost 4 bolts. Fortunately, the loss of the bolt causes rattling. Otherwise, over time, it could have fallen off!

- Boise, ID, USA

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