really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,588 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.

2006 Toyota RAV4 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2006 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Apr 012015


  • 132,000 miles


Transfer case noise; quelling noise is coming from engine ( I hear this noise at low speed between 20 miles and 40miles). When I push gas pedal vehicle don, T pick the speed, engine runs fast and it jumps to get its speed.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #23

Aug 012012


  • 60,000 miles
When placed in reverse gear car bolts or jumps. Loud noise. Either reverse gear or transmission is faulty. Has gotten worse over the years.

- Nampa, ID, USA

problem #22

Jul 202014

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
Bought used 2006 rav 4 from what I thought was a reputable Toyota dealer in lake city Florida.within 2 weeks of buying this car checked oil and it was 2 quarts low.now about every 1000 miles or less this vehicle is using nearly 2 quarts of oil.please help in this matter.this was supposed to be my daughters going off into the world vehicle but its turning out to be a piece of crap.and a waste of money.I know Toyota is aware of the problem and will do nothing to fix it.lake city Toyota are rude and have done nothing to help in this problem. And in hindsight buying this car they were very sketchy in the way they got us there to buy it in the first place.now I know why.I just want this vehicle repaired.we like everything else about it.but engine failure and or catalytic converter issues down the road is saddening for a vehicle we just paid 7000 dollars for.Toyota we will never buy again.

- Panama City Beach, FL, USA

problem #21

Jun 302012

RAV4 4WD 4-cyl

  • 81,000 miles


At approximately 81000 miles, rav-4 started to burn oil at a rate of two quarts per every 3000 miles. Now at 120,000 miles, it burns one quart every 1000 miles. By comparison, my 1987 Toyota Camry does not burn a drop.

- Chatham, NJ, USA

problem #20

Dec 312012

RAV4 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Letter from constituent regarding problems with his 2006 Toyota rav 4; he hoping that Toyota can be forced to repair the transmission and reimburse the cost of repairing steering shaft (full document not imaged). The consumer stated he has been trying to get the transmission replaced per Toyota tsb-0130-12, because of whining noise but he was informed the tsb was no longer in effect. It was confirmed, that an internal noise was coming from the transmission.

- Sun City West, AZ, USA

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problem #19

Feb 162014


  • 84,000 miles
Loud grinding sound at approx 40mph, easily replicated and sounds as if something is stuck underneath car. Dealer refuses to acknowledge faulty parts or cover any repairs.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #18

Feb 012012


  • 85,000 miles


Our 2006 Rav4 creates a growling sound from the rear differential area when driving at 35 to 40 mph. The sound goes away when accelerating above 40 mph. The noise is becoming more pronounced with time. Twice the vehicle was taken to a Toyota dealership and they were unable to identify the cause. Research online located technical service bulletin tsb-0080-13 which discusses symptoms very similar to what our rav is experiencing. A call to the Toyota dealership resulted in being informed that deterioration of the rear differential coupling due to contaminated bearing could be the problem, and that estimated cost of repair cost is $1,925. I asked if failure of the coupling could be catastrophic, causing loss of control. The answer was not likely unless driving on slippery surfaces. This vehicle is regularly maintained, and has not been in an accident. It is disappointing that we are looking at an impending failure of the drivetrain. Is this a flaw in the engineering/design that went into this vehicle" what else can be done beyond informing others in the interest of their personal safety"

- Kalispell, MT, USA

problem #17

Aug 162013


  • 66,319 miles
I have a 2006 Rav4, built in November, 2005. My check engine, vsc and 4WD lights lit up on August 16, 2013. After referring to the manual and following directions yielded no result, I kept driving and went to a Toyota dealer the next day. I was advised the transmission in my car had failed and I needed a new one. The transmission had been flushed on 9/18/12 with 59,767 miles on my car, the dealer marked the transmission fluid "good" on 6/17/13 with 65,143 miles and there were only 66,319 when the transmission failed in August, 2013. Being stranded out of town for three days allowed me to find numerous complaints about the transmission failing in Rav4's with low mileage. There was absolutely no warning that a huge problem and expense was about to occur (which is strange when an alarm bleats, requesting fastening of the seatbelt, when a gallon of milk is put on the passenger seat.) and there is nothing in the manual to even suggest the lights that lit indicate a transmission problem. I have filed case #1310310749 with Toyota and await their follow up on promises made. I will happily provide copies of any paperwork, should it be requested. I would ask for the transmission failures to be looked into as well as the total lack of clarity and/or direction in the manual. Thank you for your time.

- Norwood, MA, USA

problem #16

Oct 122013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
Saturday, October 12, 2013 when my wife and two young daughters (ages 2 & 4) were coming home from shopping. Our vehicle experience catastrophic failure, endangering the lives my wife and my two young children. She heard a loud bang from the rear of the vehicle and she lost control. Luckily, she was not moving very fast and was able to stop quickly and pull to the side of the road. The failure occurred on the on-ramp to an interstate 71 with a posted speed limit of 70 mph and the car was not drivable. Had the failure occurred 20 seconds later, my family would have been traveling at a high speed in a rav 4 with absolutely no control. We cannot even fathom the potential outcome if that failure had occurred on a busy highway with trucks etc. We took the rav into the local Toyota dealership and they deemed the accident to be caused by the rear lower suspension arm. The rear lower suspension arm was recalled in the fall/winter of 2012, where we took it to the dealership to be fixed in Nov. 2012 with the so called "clip".

- Ashland, OH, USA

problem #15

Oct 222012

RAV4 4-cyl

  • miles
While driving from Maryland to Maine for a vacation, I noticed my transmission was slipping and grinding gears frequently in the range of 20-35 mph. I noticed it happening more frequently during slowdown for making a turn and then acceleration to resume driving. I did not have any accidents, but this has been happening more frequently. I had previously reported the problem, when it happened less frequently, to my dealership (darcars of frederick) and they told me that 1)they could not duplicate the sound during their test run and 2) if such a thing had happened, my ECU would have made a note of it and recorded it. Since there was no record of it happening, it was nothing. However, upon reading several complaints about the Rav4 02-03 models, regarding transmission problems, I find that their issues of hanging before slipping into gear, grinding gear and not finding the gear at all are the same ones I have been experiencing in my '06 Rav4. Could it be that my ECU is bad? yes, but my dealer won't acknowledge that possibility. They check my floor mats, but not the ECU for faulty issues. This is my primary vehicle and I Transport my daughter in it all of the time. I am worried one day I am going to be driving and get into a serious accident because of this issue. I have all of my maintenance records and recently had the transmission flushed and filled completely. I used oem fluid and am on schedule with all of my maintenance.

- Monrovia, MD, USA

problem #14

Jul 072013


  • 43,116 miles


While driving on a Suburban NJ road at around 30-40mph, the vehicle lost steering control out of the blue. The car veered into the left lane, I attempted to right the car and simultaneously hit the breaks. The ABS response kicked in, and the car veered drastically to the right, going off the road, across the sidewalk, and finally coming to a stop in the woods. The repair shop discovered that the cause of accident was a broken tie rod of the back right wheel, that had been broken for a while because the sleeve encasing had rusted over. The damage to the car totalled $10,000, and the shop would have totaled the car if the milage hadnt been so low.

- Princeton, NJ, USA

problem #13

Oct 132012


  • 91,738 miles
My truck has had 4 incidents of dangerously low oil levels. Toyota has service bulletins out regarding oil consumption and my model of the 2006 Toyota Rav4 regarding faulty pistons and rings. I have brought my truck to Toyota 4 times for this issue and Toyota refuses to fix the problem under my warranty stating that I am out of warranty even though my first complaint was 10/13/13 and my warranty expired Jan 2013 T-sb-0094-11 is the Toyota service bulletin.

- New Windsor , NY, USA

problem #12

Apr 252013


  • 74,400 miles
My power steering P/S warning light came on as I was backing out of a parking space. I noticed my power steering suddenly wasn't working. I drove home and then took it back out of my garage, in which the light then turned off and I had my power steering back. Is this a known defect of my car? I did receive one about the rear lower suspension arm #1 and a floor mat recall, but that's all.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #11

Apr 132013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
Drive shaft broke.

- Mt View, HI, USA

problem #10

Aug 012010

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Steering wheel "clunks" at relatively low speeds - clunking increases over time. Concern is if steering fails as a result. Toyota's fix is to replace intermediate driveshaft and an alignment. Apparently this is a pervasive problem on a number of Rav4 model years (based on hundreds of postings on internet discussion sites, at least one of which claims failed steering resulting in multicar crash). Per these online discussions, some Toyota dealers have stated it is a serious safety issue, some have not. Given this problem has existed for a number of years (Toyota has two service memos issued on the problem and even developed new replacement parts), if the NHTSA has investigated this issue and determined there is no consumer safety issues, is that conclusion available to the public? would appear this would be proper to disclose, as consumers get very concerned with a potential loss of steering and its potential crash ramifications.

- Mandeville, LA, USA

problem #9

May 152012

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
There was a rumble in the rear @ 40 mph. I had maplewood Toyota check it 2-3 times, they said they couldn't hear it, car was fine; they checked the trans oil once and said it was fine. It's a closed system-you never need to change its oil. (I had asked this question several times over the years and they always told me that I never needed to change the trans oil & the manual does not list it either). They took it for a drive and checked it good-said that 1st gear was going, but it was fine to drive-come back when I couldn't stand the noise and they'd put in a new trans for $4,500. I was going out of town, they said ok, car will be fine. Since the rumble was so loud, 3 days later I got a second opinion at a transmission specialist's shop recommended to me by several friends. They put it up on a rack and tested it with a stethoscope type device. They said that the bearing was very bad and that I should not take the car out of town or drive it as it was not safe to drive and could stop at any time. They replaced M, w/S, U240/24E 00-up (cork); filter; bushing, A40 series pump; tc, Rav4, med stall, ink 14; center gear bearing, etc. When the Toyota technician checked the trans oil, I realized that it was not "a closed system"! also, the oil was black and I now know that it should be red. I think I should have been changing the trans oil all along and my transmission probably would not have failed. I think they should order a recall on all these transmissions - and pay for the work that I had to have done before my car failed on a freeway somewhere. A transmission should last forever, especially since half of the miles have been freeway miles and I drive my car very gently. I just put in new brake pads for the first time recently and there was still 20-30% left on them. Previously I had to pay Toyota $400 to repair the steering column-another defect that should be a recall.

- North Oaks, MN, USA

problem #8

Apr 282006


  • 1,000 miles
When first driving my new 2006 Toyota Rav4, I noticed at slow speeds it would sometimes accelerate when I hit the brake. I attributed this to big feet and a new car where I did not yet master the relative positions of the pedals. I started driving with two feet, just as I was taught as a teenager in drivers ed. Occasionally, this has happened again in the ensuing 3 years. Until this unintended acceleration problem came to light in 2010, I thought it was just "operator error." Now, I am beginning to think there is some defect - maybe it's hardware linkages, but I suspect there is a software problem in the electronic computer of the car. I also had the steering mid-shaft problem after warranty and screamed until they fixed it under warranty for $50. There was also a "runaway" fuel pump service bulletin I made them cover as well. I have worked with Toyota quality engineers since the 1980S and am disgusted by their responses reported in this ODI site. Toyota's claim to fame was there quality and customer Focus. Looks like the current generation of Toyota people have lost this, and that points directly to top management there. Shame, shame, shame. As they say in Japanese, they are "on shirazu" (do not understand their obligation to their customers).

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #7

Sep 122009


  • 31,700 miles
The power steering in my 2006 Toyota Rav4 went out suddenly when I was driving this month. I pulled over and turned off the motor. When the car started again the power steering was working. The Toyota dealer had reports of this problem on this car from Toyota. The power steering goes out suddenly. Toyota would not reimburse me the cost of fixing this safety defect. It costs about $1000. Had I been on a highway, I could have been in a serious accident. Toyota should recall these cars and fix this safety defect.

- Mendham, NJ, USA

problem #6

Jul 252009

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
2006 Toyota Rav4 V-6 engine. Sudden and massive loss of all engine oil. Dealer is aware that this is caused by a defective oil hose. No recall issued yet. Dealer states "we're just fixing them as they come in". I was fortunate I was close to home. Engine was bone dry of oil in less than 3 miles. Should this have happened further away; 1. engine would have seized. 2. potential fire - the underside of vehicle was covered in oil and could have easily ignited. Toyota needed to recall this defective part. Not "just repair as they come in."

- Schwenksville, PA, USA

problem #5

Jul 142009


  • 61,000 miles
2006 Toyota rav 4 rubber oil hose (part no. 15707-31010) rupture spewed oil all over engine and road. Vehicle has 61000 miles. The 2008 and later model rav 4's now use a different metal part (part no. 15772-31030). Luckily I was able to get to the breakdown after noticing engine smoking from excess oil. The dealership will only install original part number for the 2006 and 2007 rav 4 models, even though apparently the 2008 metal part is superior.

- Allen, TX, USA

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