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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,000 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.

2003 Toyota RAV4 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #1

Mar 012006


  • 35,000 miles


I bought a used 2003 Toyota Rav4 in 2006. Shortly after I purchased the vehicle I noticed it did not stop very easily when I was driving on even mildly slipper roads. It also makes a horrific chattering noise when I depress the brakes (only with slippery conditions). I contacted the Toyota dealership back in 2006 or 2007 where I purchased the vehicle and was told this was normal and that was how the brakes were designed. This braking issue has continued. I have even checked in to buying new tires (last fall and again this winter) and the mechanic said my tires were fine. I have sort of learned to live with this braking issue by making sure whenever there is even a small amount of snow that I slow down by downshifting to 2nd or 1st rather than using the brakes.

- Marshall, MI, USA

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