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 1 of 2)

problem #39

Aug 042016


  • 64,400 miles


Backing my Rav4 out of the garage after an oil change, I did a three point turn in the drive way. When I put it in reverse again to get closer to my garage the side air bags deployed. Only the side bags and seat belts, and I did not contact anything. Toyota will not cover the repairs (or diagnosis), and insurance will not pay for the diagnosis!

- Homer City, PA, USA

problem #38

Mar 102016


  • miles
Takata recall. The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The contact was unable to schedule an appointment for longer than two months for NHTSA campaign number: 16V096000 (air bags). The contact was unable to determine when the second notice would be sent. The contact had not experienced a failure. VIN tool confirms parts not available. Updated 07/28/16

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #37

May 282016


  • miles
Takata recall

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #36

Jan 132016


  • 125,648 miles


The vehicle was taken in to replace a defective emergency break cable on 1/13/16. The vehicle was repaired at a local shop and when the vehicle was getting removed from the repair stall the side curtain air bags deployed. The vehicle was started and shifted into reverse, as the vehicle was shifted into reverse the side curtain air bags deployed. The vehicle was stationary on a flat floor at the time of the air bag deployment. I contacted Toyota and they inspected the vehicle ON1/27/16, they concluded that the air bag system was operating properly at the time of the incident. A safety recall boe-curtain shield air bag sensor was completed on the vehicle on 1/19/12 according to the letter I received from Toyota after there inspection. I realize that Toyota only read the event recorder. There have been a few times the stability control lights would inadvertently blink at inappropriate times but never when there was a chance to get a diagnosis from a computer reading at a service facility.

- Kaukauna, WI, USA

problem #35

Aug 042014


  • 28,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that the air bag warning light illuminated and remained on. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V166000 (air bags). The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 28,000.

- Springhill, MA, USA

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problem #34

Jun 142015

RAV4 4-cyl

  • miles
The contact owned a 2008 Toyota Rav4. While driving at approximately 45 mph, the contact's vehicle crashed into the rear of a truck. The air bags failed to deploy and the seat belt did not restrain the driver. The vehicle was destroyed and towed to an impound lot. A police report was not filed. The contact sustained unknown injuries that required medical attention. The failure mileage was unknown....updated 08/20/15

- Holly Springs, NV, USA

problem #33

Apr 162014


  • miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 14V168000 (air bags); however, the part to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Putnam Valley, NY, USA

problem #32

Feb 222015

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
I'm telling what happened with help of passengers in car with me. I was the driver and received approximately 3 inch laceration to back of forehead which required 10 staples. I lost consciousness and don't remember what happened. The passengers state I pulled out and truck was coming and it hit me. My car is totaled. I was hit on front passenger's side (the whole front of car was torn off. They say we spun around several times and was hit again by truck over the back tire and back end. Was told by trooper and tow guy the air bags should have deployed. It was a really bad accident.

- St. George, SC, USA

problem #31

Apr 072014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The contact received a recall notification for NHTSA campaign number: 14V168000 (air bags). The parts needed for the recall repair were unavailable. The contact stated the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Elkmont, AL, USA

problem #30

Aug 182014

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
I was driving on the West Virginia turnpike when the airbag light came on. The bag didn't open, but it scared me. There is no shoulder on the turnpike to get over and there is lots of truckers. The airbag light stayed on until I got off the turnpike and pulled over to a rest stop. I turned off the car and my son and I rested for about 30 minutes before starting the car again to drive home. When I turned on the car the light was off. It comes on every once in a while. Not sure why and not sure what is causing it to come on?

- Morrisville, NC, USA

problem #29

Jan 292014

RAV4 6-cyl

  • miles


Submission from constituent re recall on 2008 Toyota rav 4 (airbag). The consumer was involved in an accident, and the air bag did not deploy.

- Runnemede, NJ, USA

problem #28

Oct 202013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
Was parked at a rest stop, when I restarted the car, airbag light went on and has never turned off. Have not received a letter which was supposed to be sent in April, 2014 for the most recent recall.

- Taunton, MA, USA

problem #27

Apr 012014


  • 461,140 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that the air bag light illuminated when there was no passenger in the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the technician was unable to find a failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 46,140 and the current mileage was unknown.

- Carson, CA, USA

problem #26

Dec 202013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
Driver side air bag fault lite on. I was told it requires a new sensor and a spring. I own a 2002 Toyota corolla no trouble so far. The car has over 200000 miles on it. I have asked over 65 people with Toyota rav.4/ years 2008 -2009 and -2011 cars, if they have had any trouble with there cars. They all said not so far.

- Millsboro, DE, USA

problem #25

Oct 132013

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Air bag indicator light on when car started. Multiple attempts to get indicator light off failed. Contacted dealer for appointment and was told that it could take all day to resolve the issue. But it appears this is frequent failure with Rav4's and I now question sales person reliability at dealer. Will update this after dealer appointment.

- Highlands Ranch, CO, USA

problem #24

Jul 052011

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
Air bag warning light came on at approximately 71000 miles. This is a safety issue and should be corrected by a recall.

- Sandy Ridge, NC, USA

problem #23

Aug 152013

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
The airbag light came on and stayed on. Owner took car to dealer and was told that the spiral cable was defective. Also, the water pump is leaking. The Rav4 only has 86,000 miles. Owner has noticed there are multiple reported complaints on the airbag spiral cable defect. How many more "defects" have not been reported? this issue should be a recall. The repairs are very expensive. Owner used to think Toyota made a reliable car!!

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #22

Jan 012013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated the vehicle was included in and repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 11V245000 (air bags). After the recall repair was performed, the air bag warning light continued to illuminate. The technician stated that the spiral cable would have to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 85,000.

- Adams, NE, USA

problem #21

Jun 072013

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Traffic was stopped on the highway, I came to a stop, the SUV behind me did not realize we were stopped. He hit me at almost full speed, this pushed me into the car infront of me, and them into the car in front of them. Basically a 4 car pile up, the car that hit me and the car I was pushed into both blew their air bags. I was hit the hardest and my airbag did not blow, I had my car in the shop two weeks before for warranty work and recalls, nothing was ever said about the airbags. I hit my head on the steering wheel. I'm not sure why my airbag did not go off.

- Georgetown, TX, USA

problem #20

Apr 012013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Airbag warning light has come on and scan shows that it is a "spiral cable" that needs to be replaced. Unknown to me was that airbag wouldn't deploy while this light is on. Car hasn't been in any accident and this appears to be low mileage to have this event. This is a major safety issue and due to high frequency of this event being reported...it should be a recall!

- Tucson, AZ, USA

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