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:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,000 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2002 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #1

Jan 082005

RAV4 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles


While driving a clicking noise came from front of the vehicle. The steering failed to turn properly, and the driver was unable to maintain control of the vehicle, and crashed into a concrete barrier. Upon impact, both air bags did not deploy. The driver refused medical attention and went to the hospital on her own. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The consumer was in the passing lane going at a rate of 56-57 mph when the click was heard, the vehicle started to glide to the left, the consumer tried to gain control of the steering but the wheel continued to go around. There was no steering power. The consumer was informed that the rack an pinion snapped.

- Merced, CA, USA

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