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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
46,576 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2002 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #3

Jun 162009


  • 67,729 miles


Found fuel leaks on my 2002 Toyota truck Rav4. My car was towed in to Toyota dealer. They fixed it and stated "secure the fitting" on the invoice. They charged me $ $62.50. I always sent to my car to the dealers for maintenance. II do not perform any mechanical maintenance on my car.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #2

Nov 172006

RAV4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles
November 17, 2006 - after being parked in my driveway for approximately 30 minutes the engine caught on fire. The Rav4 engine compartment and entire interior was demolished, tires exploded, glass exploded over at least a 20 foot radius. Two engine trucks and 10 responders later the fire was out. 63,000 miles, no prior problems, 50K maintenance completed by dealer Jan 2006. VIN has zeros and letter O which are indistinguishable. Try both.

- Santa Fe, NM, USA

problem #1

Feb 152002

RAV4 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,000 miles
When the brake was applied, the vehicle surged foward due to fuel throttle leakage. Dealer notified.

- Crystal, MN, USA

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