really awful
Crashes / Fires:
23 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
7 / 0
Average Mileage:
16,481 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.

2009 Toyota RAV4 engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2009 Toyota RAV4:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2009 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #62

Jun 162011


  • 19,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Toyota rav-4. the contact stated while driving, the vehicle accelerated on its own. The contact applied the brake pedal and the vehicle surged up to 5000 rpms. The contact shifted the vehicle in neutral; it stopped moving, but the engine began making a loud noise until the contact turned the vehicle completely off. The manufacturer recommended that the contact tow the vehicle to the dealership for inspection. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 19,000.

- Lake Mary, FL, USA

problem #61

May 052011

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
A 2009 Toyota rav 4 V6 limited. While driving at low speeds approximately 5 to 10 mph, vehicle suddenly accelerated upon braking without warning. This is very scarry since braking distance can not be determined and has caused near accidents. This has happend about 6 to 8 times and was reported to the dealer on 3 occasions near 5,000 and 25,000 and 27,000 miles. Applying pressure to the brakes in order to keep the vehicle from accelerating increased the acceleration. The Toyota service dealer reviewed and test drove the rav 4 twice. On the last occasion, the vehicle was kept over night for a Toyota regional manager to investigate at 27,000 miles. The regional manager, after our discussion, indicated he would file a report with Toyota. Neither the dealer service manager nor the Toyota regional manager were able to duplicate the acceleration when the brakes were applied. No repairs were performed, however the last acceleration upon applying brakes did occur after the pedal recall. The regional manager reviewed the pedal recall installation and assured me it was performed correctly. Both the dealer service manager and the Toyota regional manager informed me the acceleration could be user error since the brake is close to the accelerator. The brake and accelerator could be both depressed at the same time. They were both able to do this, hit the brake and the accelerator with one foot when braking. The dealer service manager the showed me how other models have the brake and accelerator further apart. When asked about a brake over ride, the regional manager stated the computer update on a 2009 Rav4 V6 could not be adapted to over ride acceleration when braking. The dealer service manager and Toyota regional manager offered no further assistance.

- Strongsville, OH, USA

problem #60

Feb 122011


  • 20,735 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota rav 4. while driving approximately 6 mph, the contact stated that the vehicle suddenly accelerated to 20 mph without warning. The contact had to use both feet to apply pressure to the brakes in order to keep the vehicle from accelerating. The dealer informed the contact that it was impossible and the incident did not occur. The dealer offered no further assistance. The contact did not inform the manufacturer and since the dealer was unable to duplicate a failure, no repairs were performed. The current mileage was 21,000 and the failure mileage was 20,735.

- Waltham, MA, USA

problem #59

Feb 142011


  • 20,735 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Rav4. While driving approximately 5 mph, the vehicle accelerated suddenly to approximately 25 mph. The contact applied pressure to the brake pedal and was able to control the vehicle and come to a stop. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The technicians were unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was contacted and stated the contact could file for arbitration but they could not provide further assistance. The approximate failure mileage was 20,735.

- Waltham, MA, USA

problem #58

Sep 152010


  • 16,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Rav4. The contact was driving at an unknown low speed when the vehicle abnormally accelerated, resulting in the contact crashing into a building. The contact was reported injured. A police report was available. The vehicle was towed by the contacts insurance company where the contact was awaiting repairs. The failure and current mileage was 16,000.

- Baldwinville, MA, USA

problem #57

Sep 212010


  • 12,500 miles
I am writing to complain about two acceleration problems recently experienced with my 2009 Toyota Rav4 vehicle. One involved rapid acceleration experiences and the other a sticking accelerator. (12,500 miles) (I previously complained about a sticking accelerator after only 1000 miles and involved in the accelerator recall.) on September 21st, I had a rapid acceleration with my 2009 Rav4 while my foot was firmly on the brake pedal. My wife was also present and was very frightened by the experience since it occurred when turning a corner near a person holding a pizza sign. I was thankfully able to control the vehicle with firm braking. The sudden burst of acceleration stopped after about a 2 second period of time. Due to this experience, my wife now refuses to drive the vehicle. On September 22nd, I again had a rapid acceleration on two different occasions.in both occasions I was beginning to go straight so I was able to continue after the 2 second burst of speed. On September 23rd, I experienced a sticking accelerator pedal even after the accelerator was repaired through a recall on the vehicle. I was traveling around 45 mph when approaching a stop sign and was able to control the vehicle with steady, firm braking. On September 24th, the vehicle was examined by the dealer. I was met with considerable resistance and defensive comments. The service manager sharply stated to me that there has been no evidence of any acceleration problems with Toyota vehicles and all the problems were due to driver's faults. He continued that all the lawsuits will be thrown out of court soon. A worker performed a brief drive of the vehicle and computer examination of the systems. They found nothing to indicate any system was defective. Due to the attitude of the service manager and the fact that the vehicle was not repaired, we have traded the vehicle to a different dealer and purchased another vehicle after a considerable financial loss on this vehicle.

- Auburn, NY, USA

problem #56

Jul 172010

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 11,350 miles


On July 17, 2010 husband and I were driving our "leased" 2009 Toyota Rav4 on busy highway leading to and from the beach. We were in weekend traffic, moving a car length every 10 minutes. This should take us 5 minutes to drive on this road but this day it took us over 30 minutes! sitting in traffic, my husband's foot on brake, car makes grinding noise (like we had car in neutral revving the engine). Car lunged forward hitting car in front of us, bounced back, lunged forward a 2nd time hitting car. Realizing damage we turned car off. 911 called. Took car immediately to dealership, informed them of mishap, showed them our slight damage to the car, got loaner car till 9/8/10 when investigating company took out black box. Investigator ruled it "driver error". we were made to remove car from their lot. Husband nor I will drive car - it is a death trap (even though we took it to dealership when recalled in the spring). Will not let anyone drive as passenger in this dangerous car. We continue to pay our $280 monthly payment. Wrote to Toyota president and Toyota investigator. We would take a replacement (this is a leased car). We are "deathly" afraid of this car. We were not even moving and this car accelerated. Now we are charged for this accident. I would not be able to go on if my husband should one day decide to drive this car and it accelerated while he was driving. He may be killed and take other peoples' lives with him! this was definitely "sticky gas pedal" problem with a Toyota vehicle!!! updated IVOQ 10/15/10

- Millville, NJ, USA

problem #55

Jan 122010


  • 5,900 miles
2009 Rav4 Toyota was traveling about 30-35 mph when the vehicle rapidly accelerated. The engine rpms increased significantly and a loud sound was heard from the engine revving. The brake pedal was immediately depressed firmly and the vehicle was able to slow down. The vehicle was stopped and the engine shut down. After turning the car back on there were no further incidences. The vehicle was taken to the dealership of purchase. An inspection was done by Toyota representatives and the inspection came back with no unusual report. The vehicle that I purchased in new condition is unsafe and I am stuck with a car that I do not feel comfortable driving. It has been parked since January and is no longer being used.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #54

Jul 152010


  • 6,000 miles
Sudden acceleration 2009 Toyota Rav4. Pulling out of a hotel parking lot towards stop sign, very low speed, took foot off gas pedal and placed on brake pedal. RPM's increased dramatically. Slammed gear to neutral, kept foot hard on brake pedal, shut off engine. Situation repeated once following day in similar scenario. Both events during first long road trip in car (over 500 miles driving before incident). Second incident - foot released gas pedal but resting on gas pedal - could sense gas pedal pulled down like when vehicle accelerating after resume when using cruise control. I never use cruise control.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #53

Mar 012010


  • miles
When I lift my foot off the gas pedal of my Rav4 Toyota, there is a noise and grinding that occurs. It has progressively gotten worse, after 3 levels of service dept. Looking at it, the determination was that this is a characteristic of the Rav4. No explanation as to what it is, but that the car if safe and to continue driving it. Why then, if it is characteristic of a Rav4, do they not have an actual explanation as to what is happening when the noise occurs, why did it take 3 months and a special technician to determine this, you would think that with all the Rav4S they have sold, that they would be seeing numerous cars doing this. My car was purchased brand new and this little characteristic had never been discussed, where has it been for the 9 months prior" what happens to make it appear, and why can't they fix it, whether they think its dangerous or not? they have informed me that my only recourse at this time, as if I should be my problem at all, is to take it to another dealer, and have them drive it, another dealer who more than likely, since they travel from one Toyota dealer to the next, will give me the same result. I am outraged that they are not taking responsibility and dealing with this. It is not okay to sell someone a brand new car, have something go wrong within a year, and have a legal document, which they keep throwing in my face, saying because their very own technician determined that it is a characteristic, I should just have to live with this noise and vibration. My 7 year old is afraid to get in the car. How dare they treat their customers like that" it make noise, it vibrates, we can't give you an actual explanation, we can't fix it, so just go back, get into your brand new car, and deal with it.

- Pennington, NJ, USA

problem #52

Jul 222010


  • 7,600 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that while driving 3 mph, he depressed the brake pedal and the vehicle suddenly accelerated. He crashed into a vehicle in front when the brakes failed to stop the vehicle. There were no injuries. A police report was filed. The contact called the manufacturer who stated that they would investigate the failure. The vehicle in the dealers possession when the complaint was filed. The current and failure mileages were approximately 7,600.

- Bramford, CT, USA

problem #51

Feb 232010


  • 5,500 miles
2009 Rav4 Toyota was traveling about 30-35 mph when the vehicle rapidly accelerated. The engine rpms increased significantly and a loud sound was heard from the engine revving. The brake pedal was immediately depressed firmly and the vehicle was able to slow down. The vehicle was stopped and the engine shut down. After turning the car back on there were no further incidences. The vehicle was taken to the dealership of purchase. An inspection was done by Toyota representatives and the inspection came back with no unusual report. The vehicle that I purchased in new condition is unsafe and I am stuck with a car that I do not feel comfortable driving. It has been parked since February and is no longer being used.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #50

Jul 152010


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Rav4. While the contact was driving approximately 5 mph, the brakes were engaged to the floor. Suddenly, the vehicle accelerated without warning. The vehicle would not slow down. The gear selector was shifted into the park position, and the vehicle crashed into the proceeding vehicle. There were no personal injuries. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer where the technician was unable to locate a problem. The front end damages were not repaired. The insurance company was in the process of appraising and inspecting the vehicle at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was 15,000.

- Freehold, NJ, USA

problem #49

Aug 152009

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 600 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota rav 4. the contact was at a full stop with her foot depressing the brake pedal when the vehicle abnormally accelerated. As the contact attempted to brake, the vehicle would continue to idle at extreme rpms and would not stop. The contact shifted into neutral and was able to stop the vehicle. The dealer advised the vehicle was not on the recall list. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated she had experienced the failure three times after taking the vehicle to the dealer. The failure mileage was 600 and the current mileage was 12,000. Updated 08/11/10. Updated 08/17/10

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #48

Jun 102009


  • 1,000 miles
When coming to a stop, the car increases idle to 1500 -2000 and the brakes sometimes become "squishy" and the brake pedal will feel like there is no pressure. The car will stop, but the idle will continue to rev up. I have to ensure I do not release the brake until the car in front of me is a very safe distance away. The dealer could not replicate the problem. This has continuously occurred since the car was new, it now has approximately 17000 miles. This vehicle, per the VIN was not included in the recall.

- Apache Junction, AZ, USA

problem #47

May 302010


  • 15,800 miles
Toyota 2009 rav 4. coming off freeway to stop light. I coasted then applied the brakes and the car engine started to rev up. As I applied the brake pedal harder the engine keep revving up. By pushing on the brake with all my force the car came to a stop. It was up to 7000 RPM's. I shoved the shift lever into park and the auto went immediately went back to normal RPM's. my foot was not on the gas pedal. I took the car to Toyota and did a claim form with national Toyota. The dealer could find no problem with the car. Both the dealer and national Toyota said there is nothing else they could or would do. The car is not safe to drive and I have not picked it up from the dealer.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #46

May 112010


  • 12,432 miles
As I drove into our parking lot at work after lunch, I was idling engine with foot on brake as I pulled into a parking spot. I was already making my turn into the parking spot with foot on brake and engine idling when my car began to rapidly accelerate. I responded by applying foot brake and grabbing and pulling the emergency brake but only had about 15 - 20 feet before hitting a concrete wall at the bake of the parking spot. I managed to not hit hard enough for the air bags to deploy but there is damage to my front bumper and hood. This is the only time my car has done this. I bought it new last Aug. 09 and it has approx 12,432 miles. Toyota took it to quality imports Toyota and "investigated" it and has found no defect. I talked to the inspector over the phone and he explained that he spent a few hours going through a series of tests attempting to find or reproduce a malfunction with no success. He told me that while my report is quite common he has never found a defect to explain sudden unexpected acceleration and that he thinks my car is safe and "he would let his daughter drive my car." I attest to the fact that a sticking accelerator and/or a slowly returning accelerator cannot explain this experience and is no "fix" for my accident. My education is in mechanical engineering and I have been an equipment mechanic on machinery for 15 years. I do not believe that just because you cannot reproduce an electronic problem in a matter of hours that the conclusion should be that there is no defect. It does not excuse the fact that there is a major problem and nothing serious is being "investigated."

- Santa Rosa Beach, FL, USA

problem #45

Apr 092010


  • 3,600 miles
2009 Toyota rav-4driven by owner with wife as passenger. Coming down off ramp from two lane road to stop sign in order to turn onto a town street. Although braking hard, car failed to stop and engine decidedly accelerated. Driver able to turn corner and, since no car coming in his lane, was able to pull to side of road. Driver decided to proceed 2-3 blocks to a gas station. Drove slowly to station, pulled in, car refused to stop, in fact it was jerkily accelerating, and bumped into a car whose driver was putting gas into it. No damage to either car or persons. (pressed yes for crash, but was only going about 5 mph or less and driver's car pushed other car into a street.) driver was able to put car in neutral and car stopped. Driver had car towed to Toyota dealer whose service manager, after telling driver his rav-4 was made in Japan and not eligible as a recall car, finally agreed to have car tested. Nothing found and Toyota has refused to replace any parts saying there is nothing wrong with car--to them the incidents did not truly occur. After testing, twice, driver picked up car and was driving home, had to stop for a school bus and while stopped felt engine surging forward again but was able to keep car steady by putting on brakes and put car in to neutral. Only drives car on back roads now. These three incidents are the only ones that have been experienced thus far.

- Walpole, NH, USA

problem #44

Aug 152009


  • 800 miles
As I was leaving a parking lot I depressed the brake as there was ongoing traffic coming on the road I was entering. The car accelerated and continued to race as I put increasing pressure on the brake and the car did move forward slightly. This happened twice on a car that had less than 900 miles. I have stopped driving the car, a Toyota 2009 rav 4. it was picked up by a Toyota dealer just recently and is being tested. Based on their comment that in the past they have been unable to reproduce this problem even though there are more and more reports of this problem. I currently have 3 other cars and have never experienced this problem. In fact in over 40 years of driving this have never occurred before. It is obviously a car failure not a driver problem. This is a serious accident waiting to happen.

- Stow, MA, USA

problem #43

May 092007


  • 5,404 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Rav4. The contact was approaching a traffic stop and while attempting to apply the brakes, the engine exhibited an unusual increase in engine rpms. The vehicle attempted to accelerate but did not because of steady pressure to the brakes. The dealer performed a diagnostic but could not duplicate the failure. The manufacturer would not provide any assistance. The failure and current mileages were 5,404.

- Westerville, OH, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?