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:
24,600 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 wheels / hubs problems

wheels / hubs problem

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2003 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #2

Aug 212005

RAV4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,000 miles


While driving 60 mph on the dry highway there were funny noises coming from front of the vehicle. Left front drivers side tire blew out. Consumer pulled to the side of the road. The sidewall blew out at 16,000 miles, there w 40,000 miles on the tires. There were no previous problems with these tires. Consumer had to change tires. Did not report to the dealer, but did report to dunlop manufacturer. Dunlop said there was nothing they could do because it was a sidewall blowout and there was no warranty. Dunlop, ST20, grantrec 215/70/R16, dot# euyn2V94002.

- Owings Mills, MD, USA

problem #1

Jul 212003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,200 miles
Had just got on the freeway a couple of miles ago, was going about 70 miles and hour and had the rear driver's side tire blowout in two locations along the sidewall. The tire is a Bridgestone dueler H/T 687 (it wasn't listed as a model in the menu).

- Bellevue, WA, USA

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