really awful
Crashes / Fires:
20 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
9 / 1
Average Mileage:
33,509 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.

2008 Toyota RAV4 engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #49

Apr 192010


  • 6,230 miles


-the contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. While driving approximately 2 mph entering a parking space the accelerator pedal was engaged. Suddenly, the engine began to revv high. The contact applied excessive body force to the brake pedal before the vehicle came to a complete stop. The failure occurred on three separate occasions. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the technician was unable to locate a problem. The failure and current mileages were 6,230.

- Saugus, MA, USA

problem #48

Jan 142009


  • 13,631 miles
I was driving my 2007 Toyota rav 4 and I was stopped at a traffic light. When the light turned green, I turned left and the car started to race and accelerated to 40 mph and stuck there. I tried pressing on the brake pedal and nothing happened. I swerved to miss two cars and the car kept going. I tried putting it into neutral and nothing happened again. I then called my father who is familiar with cars and told him the story and he told me to try the emergency brake and that didn't work either. He instructed me to try it again and this time the car jolted forward and slowed down. I pulled over and turned the ignition ff and was very shaken and quite upset. I had the car towed to lia northampton Toyota and informed them I would not be driving this leased car again unless they looked at it thoroughly and repaired it. The tech verified a high idle. The tech found a throttle plate was mechanically sticking. They replaced the throttle body. I also had them document it and give me paperwork. I did contact them when the recall was announced and they told me that 2007 was not part and they would not look at my car again.

- Northampton, MA, USA

problem #47

Mar 302010

RAV4 6-cyl

  • miles
S10 appropriate handling re incident of sudden unintended acceleration fm owner of a 2008 Toyota Rav4 on 1/17/2009. The consumer stated while backing out of the garage, the vehicle suddenly accelerated out of control. The vehicle went 150 feet, before he was able to bring it a stop. Two days later, the vehicle accelerated again and crashed into the garage. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. Upon an inspection, they could not find anything wrong with the vehicle.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #46

Aug 152008


  • 5,000 miles


I was attempting to pass a semi on an uphill in my new 2008 Rav4 when the accelerator became stuck. I had floored the gas pedal since I was going uphill and passing, but when I eased my foot off the pedal remained pressed to the floor. I had entered a single lane construction zone and was accelerating rapidly. I stomped on the accelerator hoping to spring it loose and tried the brakes, to no avail. As I was reaching speeds well into the 90's and within seconds of plowing into the traffic ahead of me I reached down and grabbed the gas pedal and pulled up on it. It did come up then and I was able to slow the car down in time to avoid crashing. I was terrified and thought I would die. I took it to the dealer we had purchased it from and they insisted it was caused by my floor mat and that it was my fault since it was not a Toyota floor mat. I told them there was nothing obstructing the pedal when I reached down for it, it was simply stuck. They continue to blame the floor mat, my car has not been put on the recall list and it scares me every day to drive it. I never, ever floor it and now know to put it in neutral should it happen again---although I have heard some people crashed because they could not get the car in neutral. I am very upset that Toyota blameshifts and Dodge the issue by blaming the mats and refuses to do anything about it. Their recall hotline told me it is my problem since my car is not on the recall list. I did buy their mat after the incident, only to be told later that I should remove it since it could cause accelerator entrapment. My dealer still blames the whole problem on my non compliant mat even though they recalled their own mats, too. It is very disturbing to find out that this has been happening to so many others and going on for a long time. So many deaths and accidents, and I easily could have been one. We have bought 5 Toyota from this dealer and have had no support and have been treated rudely.

- Waukee, IA, USA

problem #45

Apr 012009


  • miles
Fax fwd ltr fm re sudden unintended acceleration in a 2008 Toyota Rav4, reply to utica, NY ofc. Each time the consumer experienced sudden acceleration, she was approaching an intersection with several cars stopped at a red light. The consumer stated the only way to stop the vehicle, was by turning it off.

- Rome, NY, USA

problem #44

Oct 102009


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The contact was driving approximately between 55-65 mph. There was a sudden increase in acceleration. The vehicle failed to slow down when the brake pedal was engaged. The ignition key was turned to the auxiliary position and the vehicle came to a complete stop. The engine was restarted after two seconds; the vehicle was able to resume normal operation. The identical failures occurred on a separate occasion. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer. The vehicle has not been repaired for the malfunction. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Prescott, AZ, USA

problem #43

Nov 302008


  • 1,000 miles


2008 Toyota rav-4 surges. Since purchasing the vehicle in November 2008, my vehicle has sporadically surged when coming to a stop and also when driving with foot on accelerator. I will have my foot on the brake and the car will surge as if I am pressing on the accelerator. When I am driving, it surges as if I am pressing the gas pedal up and down, although my foot remains steady. I complained about this the first time that I took my vehicle in and each time I have an oil change. I have been told that there is not a problem. I think that there must be more to the Toyota recall because my vehicle that is not subject to the recall appears to be having similar issues. I complained about this long before this recall was announced.

- South Hadley, MA, USA

problem #42

Feb 202010


  • 17,000 miles
Approaching a traffic light, approximately 10-15 mph, with the brake applied, the engine of my 2008 Rav4 (VIN [xxx] ) accelerated for 3-4 seconds. Because my foot was already on the brake pedal, I was able to keep the vehicle under control during the unintended acceleration. This has occurred only once, 3 weeks ago. After taking the Rav4 to the local Toyota dealer, the dealer found no computer codes stored, test drove the vehicle, but was unable to duplicate the acceleration condition. The vehicle was not covered by any of the existing acceleration recalls. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Aston, PA, USA

problem #41

Mar 092010


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota rav 4. while driving 5 mph slowly into a parking space her vehicle abnormally accelerated and proceeded onto a nearby curb, the vehicle continued to accelerate until it crashed into a brick building. The engine continued idling as the passenger placed the vehicle into the park position and exit the vehicle. The driver also got out of the vehicle on the passenger side. The wheels on the vehicle continued to move as if it wanted to continue accelerating. The driver and passenger both suffered minor injuries from the crash. The vehicle was destroyed. The failure mileage was 38,000.

- Hatfield, PA, USA

problem #40

Feb 052010


  • 13,889 miles
Dated: March 10, 2010 I own a 2008 rav 4WD. On three separate occasions when driving the car engine began to accelerate badly, we took the car for service to the interstate Toyota, in monsey, NY on two separate occasions, first on February 17th and then on February 23rd, 2010. Interstate Toyota claims that they can not duplicate the problem, therefore they do not know how to fix our racing situation. The dealer informed us that they obtained a case number for us and that we should contact the manufacturer at 1 800 331 4331. Our complaint is that in as much as we called the manufacturer we could not get thru to any one. The dealer will not make any repairs unless they are ordered by the manufacturer. What should we do? in anticipation for your assistance, we thank you.

- Suffern, NY, USA

problem #39

Jan 012008


  • 943 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. While driving 5 mph in reverse up a hill the vehicle began to idle excessively and the rpms increased between 1,500 to 2,000. When the cruise control was activated, the over drive engaged without warning or assistance. She took the vehicle to the dealer for the failures several times. The dealer was able to recreate the failure. The dealer told her not to use the cruise control and that whenever she drove in reverse, the normal RPM should be between 700 and 900. The dealer also stated that since there was no software created to correct the failure they were unable to repair the vehicle. The failure mileage was 943 and the current mileage was 24,000.

- Helena, Mt 59601, MT, USA

problem #38

Mar 032010


  • 14,000 miles
As I was coming to a red light, I applied my brakes, but they were not working as usual- not stopping the car quickly. I had them all the way to the floor, finally got the car stopped, but the engine was running so fast and loud. I put the car in neutral, rpms dropped momentarily, went back up. I kept switching back to drive, then to neutral, till the engine began to run normally, not racing.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #37

Oct 082008


  • 3,000 miles
The contact owns 2008 Toyota rav 4. the contact depressed the brake pedal and the vehicle came to a halt. Suddenly, the vehicle abnormally accelerated and crashed into a preceding vehicle. The vehicle did not halt and proceeded to crash into the preceding vehicle 2 additional times. The brake pedal was depressed with such force in an attempt to stop the accelerating vehicle that the actual brake pedal fractured. The police and ambulance arrived to the scene and occupants from the foregoing vehicle suffered unknown injuries. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where they could not duplicate the failure. The dealer advised the cause of the crash was due to floor mat interference. All repairs were covered by her insurance company. The manufacturer was contacted and currently, she was awaiting a response. A police report was available. The approximate failure mileage was 3,000 and the current mileage was 14,500.

- Spokane, WA, USA

problem #36

Mar 042010

RAV4 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,800 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated as she was parking, the vehicle accelerated and she hit another vehicle's bumper and almost ran into a wall. She was pressing on the brakes as hard as she could until the vehicle stopped. The police was called and there was a police report filed. The Toyota manufacturer was called and they stated they will return her call within two days. He failure mileage was 9,800. Updated 04/15/10. The consumer no longer owns the vehicle. Updated 05/10/

- Long Beach, NY, USA

problem #35

Nov 012008


  • 6,963 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The contact started the ingition. The vehicle was positioned into the selected gear, followed by an unexpected increase of acceleration. The contact was able to stop the vehicle. The identical failure occurred on three separate occasions. The vehicle has not been repaired for the malfunction. The failure mileage was 6,963. The current mileage was 29,000.

- Derry, NH, USA

problem #34

Apr 082009


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that her vehicle had unintended acceleration which occurred intermittently. The contact was driving approximately 30 mph. When the failure occurred, the contact had to put the vehicle in neutral in order to slow it down and the rpms increased rapidly. The vehicle was diagnosed by the dealer three times and they were unable to diagnose of duplicate the failure. The Toyota manufacturer was also called and a claim was filed. The VIN on her vehicle begins with a "J" and they have stated that since it was made in Japan; therefore, the failure should not have occurred. The failure mileage was 35,000.

- Rome, NY, USA

problem #33

Dec 032009


  • 17,000 miles
I have a 2008 Toyota Rav4. I had an incident in the fall of 2009 where, as I was braking and slowing down, my engine revved up without my touching the gas pedal, and I stepped on the brake and put my car in neutral. Didn't understand what had just happened but thought it was maybe my fault somehow. In early Dec. I pulled into a parking space, front end forward, and there was another parked car opposite my car, facing mine. As I was slowing down and braking, the engine revved and I had to slam my foot on the brake to avoid hitting the car in front of me. I called my dealership immediately from my cell phone, right there in my car, and told them what happened. They asked me if I was wearing "heels", did I step on the accelerator by mistake, did the floor mat get caught"...and I said no to all of that. I went in the next day to service, and they spent several hours looking at my car, checking things out. When they were finished, they said they "couldn't make my car do what I told them it did". could not find a problem. Asked again about shoes, wrong pedal, etc. Since then, I had one more experience with acceleration at the top of a hill where took my foot off the gas and the motor continued to accelerate. Right about that time the news of the Toyota problems was beginning. I called my dealership and asked why I had not received a letter about a recall. I was told that my Toyota had been built in Japan and therefore it does not have the accelerator problem and is not on the recall list. What do I do now?"

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #32

Mar 022010


  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The driver was traveling approximately between 30-35 mph, on normal road conditions. The vehicle was rear ended and rolled over three times, and crashed into four vehicles. The front end of the vehicle landed in an upward 90 degree angle position. There were no personal injuries. The police was called to the scene. The vehicle was towed to a collision center. The failure mileage was 20,000.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #31

Feb 152010


  • 24,000 miles
I am the owner of a 2008 Rav4. I was traveling with cruise control at 50 mph as I approached a down grade toward a traffic light I manually took the car out of cruise control expecting to slow some. I realized that I needed to slow more and applied the brake pedal. However, I could feel the car fighting the brakes. I put the car into neutral and was able to stop for the lights. When I did this the engine was racing while stopped. When the light changed I put the racing engine into drive. I jerked forward and has been ok since. I reported this to the dealer. I was told that another owner of the same year and model reported a similar event that day. This is different than the runaway cars reported in the news, as the car did not accelerate to max speed. Toyota seems not to be responding to cars made before 2009. I think this is a computer problem where the cruise control did not turn off and the stepping on the brakes did not take it out of cruise control either. On Feb 19 I reported this to the Toyota dealer and was told that another person had reported this same type of thing that same day. They look for error codes but found none.

- New Hampton, NH, USA

problem #30

Feb 132010


  • 12,000 miles
On Feb. 13th 2010 I experienced a near accident due to an unintended sudden acceleration on a 2008 Toyota Rav4. I initially released brake and hit it again and vehicle stopped just short of a toll booth barricade. I later investigated and upon related search on internet came across the sudden unintended acceleration problem. In my case I was paying a toll when car accelerated, I believe I hit the accelerator pedal and brake at same time. I am very concerned that the NHTSA has not mandated a brake override for all small vehicles where pedal error can easily occur. I believe the majority of sua incidents I have looked at that serious (sudden), that pedal error is being under reported as most drivers deny it. I am not. But is serious human factors issue in all small cars driven by large americans.

- Olathe, KS, USA

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