really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,794 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.

2004 Toyota RAV4 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #9

Dec 292016


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Rav4. While driving at any speed and when the gear shifter was placed into the drive position, the vehicle hesitated and all of the instrument panel indicators illuminated, along with "take the vehicle for service" message appeared. The vehicle was driven to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The transmission was replaced, but the failure recurred. The dealer diagnosed that the computer was faulty. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000.

- Cedarburg, WI, USA

problem #8

Apr 012016


  • 112,000 miles
The power of the car is in trouble at start, jumps like is locked, or lose power, than, when I give gas is running ok in the street or ighway, till stop and renew running the car.every time that I stop is the problem. The profetional mechanis look at it, and he say the transmition (selenoid) is not working.

- Coral Springs, FL, USA

problem #7

Jul 252015


  • 136,600 miles
As my family and I were leaving my house to go to the coast, my 2004 Toyota Rav4 suddenly, without any prior warning or indication, jerked and sputtered and felt as if it were downshifting, as if the transmission were slipping or not engaging or maintaining gear. Upon taking it to the dealership, I was told that the diagnostic revealed that the transmission had to be replaced. I was also informed that Toyota would not allow it to be opened up, only replaced. I mentioned the ECM and was told that they found nothing to indicate anything other than the transmission needed to be replaced. Were it not a higher power caring for me and my loved ones that day, I believe it could have become an even more dangerous situation than it already was.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #6

Aug 152014


  • 39,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Rav4. While driving approximately 40 mph, the vehicle accelerated independently without warning. After stopping, the vehicle jerked forward. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 39,000.

- Manahawkin, NJ, USA

problem #5

Nov 302005

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
I was starting to make a K-turn in a parking lot. I put on the brakes to shift into reverse. I moved back in reverse a little bit. Then I stopped the car and put it in drive, when the car suddenly lurched forward out of my control crashing into a garbage dumpster, frightening me and damaging my vehicle severely. I am certain I did not give the car any gas to make it go forward and cause that accident. I feel very fortunate that I suffered only minor aches and pains as I was 75 at the time. I still own the Rav4 and have had no other accidents or problems since that time. Now that I see there are recalls on later year vehicles, I wonder about the safety of the 2004 Rav4. I hope NHTSA can help me.

- Bellmore, NY, USA

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problem #4

Jun 042012

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 101,500 miles
I have a 2004 Toyota Rav4. The check engine light and vsc light came on while driving at 30 mph. Noticed that as I continued to drive home at approximately 65 mph, the car was not shifting into overdrive and the RPM's were very high. Took it to the dealer, and they said the code showed that the solenoid was bad. The part was replaced at a cost of $750. Then told that did not correct the problem, needed a new transmission and another $4300. I know there was a class action lawsuit for the 2001-2003 Toyota Rav4 transmissions, think it should have been expanded to include the 2004 as the problems seem to be the same. This problem is dangerous and could have caused serious accident and damage to myself or others. Bought a Toyota for reliability and what I thought were great vehicles. Very sad when I read all of the complaints with this vehicle. I know what my next car will not be.

- Charleston, WV, USA

problem #3

Apr 262012


  • 94,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Toyota rav 4. the contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the vehicle shifted from fourth gear to neutral independently. The failure recurred the following day. The manufacturer was notified and the contact was advised that there were complaints on the vehicle and provided no further assistance. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who replaced the transmission. The failure and the current mileage was 94,000. Updated 8/29/12

- South River, NJ, USA

problem #2

Apr 142009


  • 94,046 miles
Vehicle was not shifting properly on the highway. The rpms were above 3000. Had to slow down to 50 -55 miles per hour and remain in the slow lane. Rest of the traffic was traveling at 65 mph.

- Greenwich, NY, USA

problem #1

Nov 122009


  • miles
2004 Rav4. Accelerator has become erratic in the last 3 months. Car will leap ahead with virtually no pressure on pedal. Only does it occasionally. Pedal is mounted quite high, above the brake pedal, and cannot contact floor mats. While pulling into a right angle parking spot at low speed and with foot on brake, vehicle suddenly surged ahead. I was only 5 feet from a brick wall and could not respond quickly enough to brake the vehicle. Impact with wall plaster (about 1 foot wide) crushed the bumper, grill and buckled the hood. Apparently speed was not great and the airbags did not deploy but seatbelts caused chest injury to both my passenger and myself. Perhaps fortunate that the wall was so close or my passenger and myself might have been more seriously injured. Will be trading this car in as soon as it is repaired.

- Romeoville, IL, USA

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