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.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
68,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. install a bypass switch (1 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
2002 Toyota RAV4 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #2

Jun 172010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles


Just driving my Rav4 the other and suddenly it will not move, i brought it to the dealer and said I have to pay 1800 USD for the car to be fix. I think it is very unfair since they already know the problem since 2006. It is very unsafe to drive. I will never buy Toyota again....

- , San Jose, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 142008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

woke up to go to work one morning and car would not start, never had this problem before. had battery and other things checked and they were fine. went inside to call a tow truck to take me to a mechanic and while I waited just decided to try again and it started. drove to mechanic who found nothing. next day same issue except after giving it time it still did not start. got towed to mechanic who did not find anything with my starter itself but said my wire harness was bad. to save me some money he did a fix around by putting in a "bypass switch"(forgot exactly what its called right now). i have not had problems with it not starting since then but a week ago my check engine light came on (which had happened once or twice before but always went off) this time it hasn't gone out. My mechanic today told me there's a problem with either my catalytic convert or the wiring to it so he would like to replacing the neutral safety switch (wiring) firt since replacing the catalytic converter is more expensive. cost of neutral safety switch and labor $328.00.

- , Laurel, MD, US

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