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:
22,369 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #3

May 192007

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 59,494 miles


May 19th of 2007, my 2002 Toyota rav 4 4X4 was in an accident. It was hit in the front passenger side doing 25-30 mph. After struck, I applied the brakes twice, while the car continued to accelerate at an increasing high speed, resulting in hitting a glass bus stop ending up hitting a brick school. It continued to accelerate although I was unable to go anywhere. No injuries reported.

- Richmond, IN, USA

problem #2

Feb 282002

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 112 miles
The contact 2002 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that the brakes have made a noise when applied since the vehicle was purchased. The speed varies whenever the failure occurred. The dealer diagnosed he failure several times and there was never a resolution. The contact has service records for the brakes. The contact stated that the vehicle is not safe. The vehicle had 112 miles at the time of failure. The current mileage is 63,530. The consumer stated the brakes continue to squeak. Updated 04/30/10

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #1

Nov 112003

RAV4 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,500 miles
When shifting from drive to reverse and vice versa a clanging sound is heard from the front. I took car to dealer and was told front brake pads need replacing and rotors need to be resurfaced at a cost of $250.+ tax. Car had only 10,250 miles. The problem is still present. I was finally told this is normal. Problem was not there until the car reached 7500 and the first tire rotation was performed by the Toyota dealer.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

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