really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
9 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,324 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2008 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #19

May 182011

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


Airbag light came on. Thought this was due to the recall about which Toyota sent out a recall notice. When the vehicle was taken in to have the 5 recall notices addressed, it was stated that the light was on due to a airbag spiral cable that needed to be replaced in the steering wheel. It was stated that this was not covered by the recall. Toyota wanted @ $500 to replace the cable.

- Hot Springs, AR, USA

problem #18

Feb 222013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Air bag light came on one day after turning the car on and the light never went off after that. I had this repaired under a recall in 2011. I brought the car back to the same dealership and they told me it was the spiral cable. The cost to fix this was $500. I feel that this is a safety issue with the air bag and is a faulty system given that this is the 2nd time it has happened to me. I see on the web that a lot of people who own this car are complaining about this too. My car only has 60,000 miles on it and this should not be happening on a car with that mileage. Please help in getting this through as a recall.

- Needham, MA, USA

problem #17

Feb 282013


  • 113,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that while driving approximately 75 mph, the air bag warning indicator illuminated continuously until the engine was turned off. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 113,000.

- Tyler, TX, USA

problem #16

Jan 192013

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 70,828 miles


Air bag light on...code B1801 see its a common failure on Toyota not covered on any recalls, driver air bag may not deploy.

- Livingston, MT, USA

problem #15

Jan 082013


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that the air bag warning light was illuminated on the instrument panel. The air bag warning light was not illuminated until the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 11V245000 (air bags). The dealer was contacted and advised the contact that a wire in the steering column would need to be replaced and that the air bag would not deploy in the event of a crash until the repair was completed. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 120,000.

- Paron, AR, USA

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problem #14

Oct 132012


  • 153,132 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that the air bag warning light remained illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and a diagnostic was performed. The failure was located as the air bag spiral cable. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer advised the contact that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 11V245000 (air bags). The failure mileage was 153,132 and the approximate current mileage was 153,136.

- Mooresville, NC, USA

problem #13

Aug 012012


  • 104,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds the air bag warning light illuminated and stayed on constantly. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who diagnosed that the spiral wiring in the steering wheel failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 104,000 and the current mileage was approximately 106,000.

- Plano , TX, USA

problem #12

Aug 142012

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
I was pulling into a parking space in a lot in front of a building. In a split second the car had jumped the curb up onto the sidewalk and crashed through the brick wall and window in front of me. I was applying the brake as hard as I could and tried and succeeded into shifting it into park. The airbags did not deploy and I was not injured and did not hurt anyone else - thank goodness. The only explanation other than unintended acceleration was that I hit the accelerator very hard and I do not believe I did that. I had not been distracted by anything and had no sense of my foot slipping from the brake or anything like that.

- Liberty Hill, TX, USA

problem #11

Apr 052012

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
Airbag warning light was on. We received notice that our vehicle was included in a general Rav4 / highlander recall for side airbag sensor issues.after receiving free dealership service for the recall, the warning light was still on. We called the service dept. And were told that it was just a glitch and they would reset it at our next scheduled service (oil change). 4 months later, at the oil change, we were told the airbag warning light related to a spiral cable airbag sensor (B1801 open in squib D) which needed to be replaced; also told this failure was completely unrelated to the original recall for side airbag issues. After complaining to the dealer, they offered to pay for the part (approx. $275) and we would be responsible for the labor charge ($109) the service and dealership managers never acknowledged that there was a known issue although many car forums are rife with complaints on this issue. Although the problem was resolved with little cost to me, I am complaining to add to the database so that others will know they are at risk and in the hope that enough complaints will cause Toyota to address the issue in public.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #10

May 182012

RAV4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,201 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that air bag warning lamp illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who diagnosed that the air bag spiral cable was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who filed a report and did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 78,201. Updated 08/07/12 the consumer stated the vehicle has since been repaired. Updated 08/16/12

- Santa Clarita , CA, USA

problem #9

Sep 062011


  • miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that the air bag warning light illuminated. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer where the dealer advised that a component in the steering wheel failed, and caused the illumination of the air bag warning light. The vehicle was not repaired. The current mileage was 88,143 and the failure mileage was unknown.

- Canyon Country, CA, USA

problem #8

Dec 172011

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Was at a complete stop at a signal. Had foot on the brake. Engine surged to approx 6500 RPM plowed into the vehicle in front of me. I climbed on the other vehicle. Car would not stop moving until I turned and pulled out the key from the ignition. Airbags did not go off. Reported incident to tarpon city officer, while the accident report was written up. My daughter and I were pretty banged up. Don't know if the other vehicle reported injuries. The rav was not drivable. Had to have it towed to suntoyota for repairs. Reported incident to sun Toyota service and body shop Dec 22, they asked me what I wanted done about the problem. Called Toyota 800 331-4331 case #[xxx], 12/22/11 promised to call back in 24 hrs case worker [xxx]. talked to [xxx] at Toyota headquarter in California. Still waiting for a response from Toyota. I don't feel safe in this vehicle now. I can't sell it in good faith, because of the product liability. I am thankful there was a car in front of me. The tarpon springs christmas parade was in progress and there were a least a dozen kids in the crosswalk in front of us. What a christmas present my rav would have given some parents if my car had hit these kids. Just an fyi. I had a perfect driving record for 35 years until this happened. Thank you Toyota! Toyota needs to man up before innocent people are killed. I forgot this is big corporation, they don't care, as long as it doesn't effect their bottom line. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Palm Harbor, FL, USA

problem #7

Oct 082011

RAV4 4-cyl

  • miles
I received a safety recall notice in the mail about my warning light for my air bag. The warning light for my airbag is always on, and it can't turn off. I went twice to my dealer (interstate Toyota) on October 8th 2011 and October 12th 2011 to get the light fixed, but they couldn't help me.

- Spring Valley, NY, USA

problem #6

Jun 072011


  • 28,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that the vehicle was included in NHTSA recall campaign id number 11V245000 (air bags:side/window). An authorized dealer was made aware and informed the contact that the parts necessary to remedy the failure were unavailable. The vehicle was never repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 28,000.

- Carmel, IN, USA

problem #5

Aug 202011

RAV4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,288 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that the air bag warning light remained illuminated. The local mechanic performed a diagnostic that located the failure at the air bag sensor. The dealer advised the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 11V245000 (air bags: Side/window). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 88,288. Updated 09/21/11 updated 09/30/11

- Hallieford , VA, USA

problem #4

Oct 112010


  • 88,000 miles
Air bag ECU on 2008 Rav4 needs replacing. Starting at 52000 miles dashboard airbag warning light would randomly come on. Recently it would stay on (82000 miles), after dealer inspection it was declared that a new airbag ECU is needed at a cost of $670.

- Oakham, MA, USA

problem #3

Aug 282010


  • 38,000 miles
My air bag light was on off and on for two years on my Toyota rav 4. everytime I brought it in the mechanic would run a test and say that it was just a glitch in the system. We asked them if it was ok to drive and they said it was fine. On the day the airbags really messed up my friend and I were sitting in my car, I turned the ignition on and the side air bags on both sides exploded. It felt like someone had put a bomb in my car. My friend fractured her sternum and I had a severe closed head injury, a hole in my ear drum, and the muscles in my neck were messed up. The rav has been in the shop and they are waiting for someone to come out and do a final check on it.

- Wheat Ridge, CO, USA

problem #2

Feb 142010


  • 60,000 miles
Problem with my 2008 Toyota rav-4. the air bag sensor light comes on randomly while driving and after starting the car and stays on. Owners manual says to take to dealer immediately. I was told by one Toyota dealership that this means the air bag is disabled, but no local dealer will be able to get me in right away. If this is as potentially serious as it sounds, I wish they would take it more seriously. I took first available appt, but it seems like this is a common problem, looking at rav-4 forums.

- Gainesville, VA, USA

problem #1

Jan 152010


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. While driving approximately 60 mph, he tried to apply the brakes and the vehicle began to slide. The brakes did not respond when he tried to slow down which caused him to crash into the rocks opposite side of the road. At that point, the rpms began to increase and he turned the ignition off. The air bags did not deploy; therefore, the contact experienced minor injuries. A police report is was taken. He called the manufacturer but he was offered no assistance. The vehicle was currently being repaired for the damages. The vehicle identification number was not available. The current and failure mileages were approximately 50,000.

- Marlborough, MA, USA

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