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
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
114,400 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (1 reports)
  2. replace head gasket (1 reports)
2002 Toyota RAV4 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #2

May 312012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,800 miles


Original thought was to replace engine for $8000 ( a rebuilt engine with 123,000 miles); later, decided to replace head gasket with an estimated $2,700 to $3,400 in repair costs. I had to repair, otherwise, the car had no worth, maybe $500. I have no idea if this will work but I didn't want to replace the engine. It isn't known what caused the head gasket to blow.

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #1

Dec 062010


  • Manual transmission
  • 130,000 miles

The mechanic told me that the head gasket was going to cost $800.00. But today he called me and said that he could not get the head bolts off.He told me that he could put the put it back together for 600.00 without fixing the problem. Or I could get a new engine for 2400.00

I thought toyota stood for quality. I bought 3 new toyotas within the past ten years one just recently 2010 4-runner. I called up toyota about the problem and they told me that it was my problem .I take care of my cars and I dont understand why this would happen espeically when you take good care of your car.

- , Lancaster, PA, USA

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