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:
36,701 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 windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2003 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #3

Aug 262010

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles


This sun visor drivers side will not stay up in the closed position, there is no adjustment which can be made to fix it. According to Toyota dealer in newark de a new visor is needed. I understand from the dealer this is a very frequent and common problem, with many model years.'

- New Castle, DE, USA

problem #2

Oct 012009

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
The sun visor drops suddenly causing momentary loss of visual contact with the road ahead.

- Richland, MI, USA

problem #1

Aug 152009


  • 102 miles
I have a 2003 toy rav 4 and the drivers side sun visor lost all of its elasticity and no longer stays in the up position. I was driving West on a busy highway around sun set when traffic came to an abrupt stop. My visor slammed down and I nearly hit the veh in front of me as I could not see. I have tried velcro of all kinds and glue. I have a friend with a 2003 rav 4 and the exact same thing has happened to her car. (will provide her info upon request). I tried complaining to Toyota and they want to charge me $125 for a new visor when it is clearly defective. 2 rav 4's that I know of have faulty visors. I will keep taping it but I am afraid it is going to keep coming down at the most inappropriate times. Can you please help me, as a consumer, find out if this should be recalled. Thank you

- Toms River, NJ, USA

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