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 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #29

Feb 082010


  • 13,888 miles


While driving into my garage with foot on the brake the Rav4 started racing very badly, at that point I shut off the engine. I started the engine again and the car acted normal. We took the car to the Toyota dealer, they claim that my car is not on the recall list, and that they can not duplicate the problem. At this point I am terribly afraid to drive the car. What can I do?

- Suffern, NY, USA

problem #28

Feb 182010


  • 10,500 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. While driving 3 mph, into his driveway very slowly and as he applied the brakes his vehicle then accelerated on it's own with his foot on the brake pedal. The driver stated that he turned the vehicle off to stop the vehicle. The driver had 1 other passenger in the vehicle. The driver notified the dealer. The failure mileage was 10,400 and the current mileage was 10,500.

- Sandusky, OH, USA

problem #27

Jan 182009


  • 42,000 miles
Hello, on Jun 26, 2009 my wife and I purchase a certified Toyota Rav4. We have had nothing but problems. Electrical problems: ABS light, brake, and egf light remain lite. Repairs are: Brake switch replacement, igy relay replacment. In addition the cruise control would not function and sometimes the transmission would be stuck in reverse. Unable to shift out of this gear position. A local mechanic found the problem in that the connections in the wiring harness are filled with water. He was unable to determine how the water got there. A few days later, the same problem returned.. I am writing to share with you my concern of the electronic problems with the 2008 Rav4 from Toyota. Town Toyota service manager, wenatchee, wa told us not to worry aboutit as it is still safe to drivewith ABS, brake, and egf lights illuminated. I did contact Toyota (via emai) but no response. I question the validity of that statement in light of recent recall news and thought you should know.

- Ephrata, WA, USA

problem #26

Feb 152010


  • 9,500 miles


I have a 2008 Rav4, it has been accelerating on a small scale for the last three months. I took it in to my dealer and was told that my parts were made in Japan and not North America, and they found nothing. About a week later my husband, daughter-in-law and granddaughter were headed to a hockey game. I was driving, we were coming up on a red light when I started to apply the brakes, at the same time the vehicle started to accelerate. This was much more than had happened before. I stood on the brake and flew through the redlight, I screamed for my husband to put it in neutral, he had trouble doing so. I thought we were all dead. The person that had the green light must have seen we were having a problem, as he stopped to let us race through. It slowed after a bit, and went back to normal. When we were accelerating I noticed the rpms to be over 3, I couldn't watch it that closely for fear I would completely lose control of the vehicle. We returned the vehicle to the dealer and was told that we would have to call California and put in a complaint. We did that and were given a case number. After four days of no return call we called the dealer and asked for an update as to what would go on now. They said that someone would have to come and inspect the vehicle, I asked if we could have a loaner and I was told not until Toyota decides there is a problem. My car has been in the dealers hands for a week today and we have no car. Although Toyota reps have been pleasant, we don't feel that they really know what is going on. We have been told that it will be inspected tomorrow. We will wait for the call, but will not receive the car until it is fixed and there is a guarantee that it won't do it again. I will not kill myself or anyone else because of this issue.

- Centerville, MA, USA

problem #25

Feb 202010


  • 6,000 miles
I was driving uphill on a snowy driveway. The vehicle began to speed up. I applied the brakes (which caused the ABS to pulse very rapidly), but the car did not slow down. I shifted into neutral and the engine immediately revved to a fairly high RPM. I turned off the key and restarted the vehicle which now ran normally. This Rav4 does not have any optional floor mats and has only 6000 miles on it. This is a 2008 Rav4 and, as such, is not included in the current recall.

- Orion, IL, USA

problem #24

Nov 302008

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
During normal driving, my wife and father-in-law have experienced multiple incidents of unintended acceleration or surging on our 2008 Rav4 (AWD, 6-cylinder). This is typically occurring at highway speeds or light acceleration above ~25mph. This has been occurring since right after we purchased the vehicle in October 2008. Dealer could not verify problem and no error codes were found. The anti-skid control comes on randomly and applied the brakes also, usually while vehicle is stopped. When foot is removed from brake, vehicle stays stopped until accelerator is push and then system releases the brakes and anti-skid light goes out. Dealer could not find any error codes for this either. This is a vehicle with a VIN number beginning with J, which has been excluded from recent recalls.

- Placerville, CA, USA

problem #23

Dec 012007


  • 4,000 miles


My 2008 Rav4 SUV suddenly goes to full throttle on its own. I have to put both feet on brake pedal while trying to get the car out of gear. This has happened intermittently since purchasing this SUV new. I have been back to the dealership several times and they can't find a problem. They said that they need to see the car while it is racing up, but I don't know when it will happen and I can't make it happen on will.

- Layton, UT, USA

problem #22

Oct 132007


  • 19,754 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. Whenever he drove the vehicle at various speeds and removed his foot from the accelerator pedal, the speed and the RPM's would not decrease for 10 seconds. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealership and there were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 19,754.

- Deerfield, IL, USA

problem #21

Nov 202009

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
Mother was driving home from work when her 2008 Toyota Rav4 suddenly veered left and accelerated head on into a tree. Witness statement that she was driving normally previous to accident. No health issues to explain events. Updated 9/21/2011

- Haverhill, MA, USA

problem #20

Jul 152009


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota rav 4. the contact stated that while driving at 25 mph when she accelerated to get on to another lane the accelerator petal became stuck. She put her foot on the brake and it slowed the vehicle down a bit, then she put it in neutral. She then proceeded to drive and the petal came back up. This failure had occurred 2 times at the time of the complaint.the vehicle was taken in to the dealer where they could not duplicate the failure. There had been no repairs done to the vehicle to date. The failure mileage was 40000 and current mileage was 46628.

- East Amhurst, NY, USA

problem #19

Feb 122010


  • 15 miles


Continuous brake and acceleration problems on my 2008 Rav4 that is not being addressed. I've had several near misses and IżM afraid to drive passengers in my vehicle.

- Roosevelt , NY, USA

problem #18

Oct 012009


  • 250,000 miles
I have a Toyota 2008 rav 4. in October of 2009 I had the first of several intermittent sudden acceleration incidents, almost taking out a parking garage gate. After accelerating, then removing my foot from the gas, the car will occasionally have a burst of sudden acceleration and lurch forward. I contacted the dealer in October of 2009- they said it must be user error or the floor mats. I removed floor mats, still had the problem. The dealer said there is no problem, but adjusted the electronics. Problem continues intermittently. I contacted the dealer again in January and February 2010, they said they acknowledge the problem but it isn't covered under the recall- they won't do anything to fix it. I received the same answer from the Toyota hotline.

- Enfield, CT, USA

problem #17

Feb 082010


  • 37,600 miles
Was parking the car in a small congested commercial parking area. I turned a corner and saw a space, but had to back up to pull in straight. As I proceeded very slowly, I was only a few feet from the parked car facing my car. Suddenly, as I was about to stop my car, the engine raced and my car jumped forward into the front of the other car. As I was only a very short distance from the car, my car did not have time to accelerate to any great speed.

- Brevard, NC, USA

problem #16

Aug 202009


  • 15,300 miles
Last August I experienced a stuck accelerator on my 2008 Toyota Rav4. It happened only once and hasn't repeated. It was while approaching an intersection red light fortunately with no cars in front of me. I was able to overcome the acceleration by standing on the brake and shifting into neutral. When Toyota came out with the recall for floor mats my car was not one of the models with those typr of floor mats and the mats in the car are fastened down. Toyota's current recall does not include this model and a check of the accelerator pedal confirms that this is not one of the current pedal replacements. My vehicle was produce in Japan not the usa. I suspect that this was more of an electronic problem than a pedal problem. I'm concerned that it could happen again. Since my year and model is not on the recall how can I get help before I or my wife experience it again?

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #15

Feb 052010


  • 19,500 miles
Acceleration incident parking. Driving into a parking space in chelsea mi, doing a little under 5 mph the car suddenly surged forward. I applied the brake even harder and the ABS engaged. Fortunately I missed the BMW parked in front. Been driving this car for 19 months and nothing like it occurred before. Toyota dealership I had just been to for a lube change said that my model was not part of the recall but to bring it in if it recurred.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #14

Jan 062010


  • 14,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota rav 4. while the contact was driving 25 mph the vehicle suddenly accelerated, after applying the brake pedal the acceleration stopped. The vehicle was taken to the dealer informed the contact that the failure could not be reproduced. There were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 14000.

- Warsaw, NY, USA

problem #13

Aug 142009


  • 17,510 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that the accelerator pedal stuck when she depressed it on two occasions. She depressed the brake pedal which seemed to release the accelerator pedal. She took the vehicle to the dealership and the dealer modified the floor mat. She had no problems with the vehicle since that failure. She called the manufacturer and was told that they could do nothing to assist her. The current mileage was approximately 26,000. The failure mileage was 17,510.

- Mentor, OH, USA

problem #12

May 012006


  • miles
I purchased a new Toyota Rav4 (2008 ls) in the summer of 2008. I quickly realized that there seemed to be a problem with acceleration. I reported it then and the first several times it went in for scheduled maintenance. The response has been the same - that's just what Toyota do. The problem - when accelerating from a stop when the car has been idling, the car hesitates. There is a second or 2 during which there is no power. Then, the power kicks in and the car jumps forward, not because the pedal is sticking but because the car suddenly "catches up" with the gas pedal. The explanation given by two dealers is this: In the Toyota, there is a delay between when the pedal is pressed down and when the car's computer sends the information to the carburetor, or whatever passes for it in new engines. That causes the sequence - press the gas pedal, hesitation, then surge. This is most dangerous when trying to merge into heavy, fast moving traffic. Openings in the traffic are usually small but adequate if the car responds. However, when the car hesitates, then surges, the opening can be missed and the car and driver are at risk for a significant accident. The problem is also intermittent so that the driver can be caught off guard, even when experienced with the car. I'm filing this because I see that your department has gone past the sticking pedal to look at possible problems with the electronics and computer systems in the cars. So I thought this might be helpful. Ps-I have been fortunate that the problem has not caused an accident. However, there have been situations where a little luck and a quick foot to the brake pedal was all that prevented one. Psps-I will gladly provide the VIN # but I do not have it available now.

- Cordova, TN, USA

problem #11

Dec 052009


  • 35,000 miles
Sudden acceleration of a Toyota rav 4 engine. When the vehicle was stopped at a red traffic light with the brake pedal depressed, no foot on the accelerator and the gear shift in drive - the engine increased speed rapidly. The car lurched forward. The operator slammed both feet on the brake pedal. When the car was stopped, the operator put the gear shift in neutral. The engine continued at high speed for about a while, then went to idle. After the engine returned to idle, the operator kept both feet on the brake pedal and cautiously shifted the gear shift to drive, parked the car and turned the engine off. The operator got out of the car. Everything seemed normal. After meditation on the problem, the operator turned the engine on and drove off. There have been no problems since then.

- Huron, OH, USA

problem #10

Oct 212009


  • 34,500 miles
On 10/21/09 I was stopped at an intersection in my 2008 Rav4 while waiting for two cars to go by. My foot was fully planted on the brake. Suddenly the engine revved uncontrollably and the car lurched forward. I pressed as hard as I could on the brake. This happened twice. I barely managed to keep the car out of the intersection. There were no warning lights. I was able to drive home without another incident. The floor mats were firmly clipped into place causing no interference with the accelerator. I had the repair shop at my dealer check it over. They could not find any problem with it and no repairs were made. I wrote a letter to my dealer documenting my safety concerns. The dealer then brought a Toyota field specialist in to look at it. He too was unable to find any problem. Since then Toyota has announced two recalls associated with floor mat interference and faulty gas pedals. I've found out that my Rav4 was built in Japan and, therefore, not subject to the faulty gas pedals. This leads me to believe that the problem is due to an electronic glitch most likely associated with the computerized electronic throttle system. I believe Toyota needs to roll-out a "brake override system" to truly resolve this problem. Fortunately, I have not had another "sudden acceleration" event since 10/21/09.

- Bangor, MI, USA

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