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:
No data
Average Mileage:
50,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. trade it in (1 reports)
2003 Toyota RAV4 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #1

Aug 082012

RAV4 LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


The Toyota Dealership in Vancouver Washington documented the excessive (at least 1qt per 3k miles) for about 12 months. They told us that the engine was under warranty and that they would probably need to rebuild it, but needed to document the problem. After 12 months we started feeling that they were putting us off. Sure enough in August of 2012 they told us that they were no longer monitoring it, and the company told them that it was "normal". We got rid of it like a hot potato.

- , Camas, WA, USA

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