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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,000 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #2

Feb 212006

RAV4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


The car suffered mechanical defect and the front end bar was broken, when front end bar broke it lost direction and hit another car in front. The highway patrol came to take the accident report. We were driving at 25mph on freeway number 405. I have called my auto insurance and I was given a case number. I have full cover. I am waiting for a response from my auto insurance to fix the car. I have contated Toyota and I also have a case with them. The case number is 200603011457. I have Toyota and the claims representative is christy. Christy have said to wait at least 60 days. I can't wait 60 days. I need my car. The auto insurance has not given me a rental. I have complaint to the commissioner of auto insurance in California. They will conduct and investigation. The case number with my auto insurance is 10000148757. My auto insurance carrier is infinity. What I want is Toyota to replace my car. The car is a total loss. I feel this broken bar should be recall.

- Van Nuys, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 222002


  • miles
Engine compartment caught on fire right after consumer parked vehicle. Contacted dealer, and the dealer was not willing to do anything.

- Lincoln, NE, USA

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