really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
30,111 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.

2011 Toyota RAV4 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2011 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #29

Feb 162016


  • 64,000 miles


I recently had the charcoal canister that filters gas fuels fail. This caused teh check engine light to come on. In addition though, this fault took out 2 safety systems due to this code. After the light came on my brake anti skid system and cruise control were inoperable. I complained to the dealer about this issue and was told this was normal. In my opinion, just because a check engine light comes on should not cause 2 safety systems to become inoperable! why no disable the airbags too. The anti skid system helps you maintain stability on wet road. I live in the pacific northwest where the roads are wet a lot. I see failure of the cruise control is also a safety issue. I use cruise habitually so keep me under the speed limit. I had to drive without these 2 systems for a month till parts were available.

- Ridgefield, WA, USA

problem #28

Sep 012015


  • 40,000 miles
2011 Toyota Rav4 brakes have not much stopping power. Brake pedal has to be pressed very hard. The brake pads were replaced with other brand (wagner), but still there is the same issue. The braking power of Rav4 is significantly less than the other cars. It feels that only front brakes do the work. Brake performance is inconsistent. Compare to other cars, my 2011 Toyota Rav4 feels like have no brakes. Brake performance of 2011 Toyota Rav4 is poor and inconsistent. When car is parked outside for a week, there is so much rust accumulated on brake rotors, that the car is shaking during braking. Shaking typically disappears after two days of driving, but the rotors are still rusted and pitted.

- Whitby, MI, USA

problem #27

Mar 012016


  • 113,000 miles
When applying brakes at slow speed under 20 mph in snow there is no braking action and the car rolls to a stop. The brakes act as if they are not working at all. I am a retired police officer with multiple driving schools. Even when you let off the brakes and reapply it's as if the brakes have been disabled. Needless to say it makes for a difficult stop in snow. I know how anti-lock brakes work these are not. On dry pavement I have had no issues.

- Bay City, MI, USA

problem #26

Dec 302011


  • 13,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Rav4. While the vehicle was reversing out of the driveway, there was a loud thump while attempting to stop. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the brakes were rusted and the vehicle needed to be driven more to remove the rust. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 13,000. Updated 09/03/15

- Niagra Falls, NY, USA

problem #25

Apr 222015


  • 51,000 miles
On 4/22/2015, I had been driving my 2011 Toyota Rav4 limited edition at highway speed for about 2 hours. After leaving the interstate I was braking and completing a counterclockwise U-turn going about 10 mph when the engine began to race uncontrollably. Based on my previous experience with this problem (this is the fourth time this has occurred) I threw the shifter into park while continuing to brake. This quickly brought the engine speed down to idle. I had my wife confirm that I had my right foot on the brake pedal only. There was no "pedal misapplication." The floor mats were securely in place and there were no loose objects on the floor. The road was dry and the temperature was probably in the 50S. The odometer was about 51,000 miles. This was the first recurrence of this problem since 12/26/2014. I brought the car to my Toyota dealer. They could not identify the problem and said they would charge me if I brought the car in again for a recurrence of the problem.

- Morgantown, WV, USA

problem #24

Jan 062015


  • 36,000 miles
This rav 4 has had two separate instances of sudden acceleration. One time while approaching a stop light, and the brake was applied, the engine started to rev, and the vehicle had "extended stopping distance". luckily, there was no car in front of us, otherwise there would have been an accident. It occurred a second time while pulling into a parking spot at work. Again, luckily, there was a snow bank in front of the space (and not another car!). the car is a 4cyl., and cert. Pre-owned. It's scary to think there is this unpredictable problem with the car. Dealer claims they know nothing about it. I will be showing them the 56 or so complaints from this NHTSA site for merely the 2011 Rav4. I haven't even looked at the other years yet! more than 50% of the complaints in here are for this very same problem! isn't it about time for a recall on this dangerous "feature"" how many more lives need to be at risk? or is the govt. Trying to preserve "Toyota quality"" it could be as simple as replacing the brake pedal -- space it further away from the accel. Pedal and make it "taller" so that there can be no iteration between the two. Or, simply allow the brake light signal to interact with the ECM to inhibit any "throttle increase" command to the engine.

- Ashland, MA, USA

problem #23

Mar 152015

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 22,968 miles


I was driving to church in Maryland. From newark Delaware--I was traveling about 30 miles per hour--I came to a stop sign on a small hill intersecting with elkton road, md. I stepped on the brakes. The car was still trying to accelerate forward--there was a tractor-trailer truck coming down elkton road--I stood on the brakes. After it passed I came off the brake it jumped forward. I cannot trust this car with my wife kids or grandkids --it is a safety hazard. I just bought in on 3/9/15.

- Newark, DE, USA

problem #22

Feb 052015

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 38,620 miles
I was driving down Suburban road at approx 20-25 mph before attempting to come to a complete stop at a red light. The brakes lost power and engine quickly redlined to 6000 RPM. It was only by immediately shifting into neutral that I avoided running a redlight and plowing through an intersection. I placed in park and shut off engine within 3-5 seconds to avoid engine damage. I waited about 10-15 seconds stuck at a red light before restarting engine and limping it back home less than half a mile away.

- Eagan, MN, USA

problem #21

Jan 252015


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Rav4. While driving 5 mph, the brake pedal was depressed and failed to respond. As a result, the contact crashed into a tree and the air bags failed to deploy. Neither the contact nor the passengers sustained any injuries. A police report was not filed. The VIN was not available. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 15,000.

- Oakdale, PA, USA

problem #20

Dec 262014

RAV4 4WD 6-cyl

  • 48,484 miles
1. after having driven my Toyota Rav4 limited edition for about 3 miles, I was turning left into a parking space at the morgantown airport. I had my right foot on the brake pedal to slow down. When I was about 25% into the space, the car lurched forward and the engine began to race spontaneously. I increased pressure on the brake and shifted from drive to park. This caused an immediate decrease in the engine speed. My wife was with me and I told her to look to verify that my foot was on the brake, not the accelerator. I went directly to the Toyota dealer. After 3.5 hours Toyota concluded that the problem was "pedal misapplication" and no further action was required (case#-[xxx]). 2. at about 8:12 pm this evening, we were driving around looking at christmas lights. I was doing about 5 mph in front of 937 riverview drive, morgantown. I depressed the brake pedal with my right foot to slow down for a better view. The engine began to accelerate spontaneously. I shifted from drive to neutral, which solved the problem. I had my wife verify that my foot was on the brake only. 3. this is the third occurrence of the same problem I first reported in ODI number 10667543 (Toyota case#-[xxx]). this vehicle has a dangerous defect which Toyota has not been able to correct. This is a problem in the control system. It is not a "pedal misapplication". information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Morgantown, WV, USA

problem #19

Dec 152014

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 48,300 miles


After driving my 2011 Toyota Rav4 limited edition for several minutes, I came to a complete stop waiting for an opportunity to turn left. I turned left and accelerated to about 15 mph. I then noticed pedestrians entering a crosswalk so I hit the brakes a bit harder than normal, but not in a panic mode. As the car decelerated, the engine began to race. I increased my pressure on the brake pedal and when the speed was almost zero shifted from drive to park. This immediately cured the problem. The distance from stop to stop was less than 100 feet. I believe that the pavement was damp, but it was not raining and the temperature was in the 40S. I drive with one foot, and my foot definitely was on the brake, not the accelerator. The floormat was securely in place and there were no loose objects on the floor. I brought my SUV to the Toyota dealer. They tested the vehicle and contacted the company. They could not find the problem and attributed the problem to "pedal misapplication" (tas case#-143510469). As it is geometrically impossible to press the accelerator and brake pedals at the same time in a Rav4, I conclude that Toyota cannot find the software/hardware bug in their product. I feel that I am driving a vehicle that could turn on me at any time. I would like to sell it, but how can I pass such a serious defect on to an unsuspecting buyer?

- Morgantown, WV, USA

problem #18

Dec 042014

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 20,501 miles
I had 3 incidents of unintended acceleration (ua) with my 2011 Rav4 within 3 weeks of each other in Mar/Apr 2014, 1 resulting in a minor accident. A complaint was made with NHTSA at that time. I went thru Toyota's complaint procedure, including inspection by their field technician. They found nothing wrong with the vehicle. On Dec 4 & 12th, 2014, I experienced 2 more ua incidents. Each time I was coming to a stop at an intersection & I stepped on the brake, but my vehicle kept moving forward, and I could hear the motor revving up very loudly. I had learned from the previous 3 experiences last spring to keep a distance behind vehicles whenever possible when coming to a stop, so as to avoid ramming into the vehicles in front of me by veering to either side of the vehicle if possible. I should not have to be afraid every time I drive my Rav4, but I am. My Rav4 has only 20500 miles on it and is like new. It makes me livid that Toyota can just ignore/deny that there is a problem, especially after seeing all of the other similar complaints regarding ua on the NHTSA site...kind of like General Motors covering up their little ignition problem for 10 years, while so many people were injured or died.

- Roseville, MN, USA

problem #17

Dec 082014

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 22,000 miles
While Toyota was happy to sell me a 2011 rav 4 in Dec of 2014 with 18,000 miles on the odometer 3 months later when I had a problem with the brake system they were not as friendly. While waiting at a signal or a stop sign the brake pedal would fade to the floor.this happened time and time again. I called the local stealer ship and was told brakes are not covered under warranty. I feel this is a defect somewhere in the brake system. I have read on line of numerous Rav4 owners with the same problem.why does Toyota refuse to fix this.

- Cheektowaga, NY, USA

problem #16

Dec 192013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
2011 Toyota Rav4 brakes have not much stopping power. Brake pedal has to be pressed very hard. At low speed around 5-10 mph, the front brakes make grinding noise. Car was at the dealership three times, mechanic test drove car, heard the noise and said could not find anything wrong with the brakes. The braking power of Rav4 is significantly less than the other cars. Brake filling and performance is inconsistent. When I drove 2015 Toyota corolla, 2014 Honda civic, 2012 Honda CRV, 2014 Hyundai elantra, 2014 Nissan Altima, 2013 Mazda 3, 2014 Chevy Malibu, 2014 Chevy Malibu, 2014 Hyundai tucson, 2015 Chrysler 300 and other cars, when start driving my 2011 Toyota Rav4 I feel this car cannot stop. Brake performance of 2011 Toyota Rav4 is poor and inconsistent. As a separate issue when I park a car for a week at the airport, there is so much rust accumulated on brake rotors, that the car is shaking during braking. Shaking typically disappears after two days of driving, but the rotors are still pitted.

- New Britain, CT, USA

problem #15

Sep 212014

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 26,000 miles
I had a brake to the floor experience that required taking my Rav4 back to the dealer. The only way I could get the vehicle to stop was by pumping the brakes. The dealer had the car one day and when I returned they stated they could find nothing wrong with the brakes, question: Is there a cover-up on a brake problem with Rav4's " there is no way that my brakes fixed them self's before taking the vehicle to the dealer I had another person drive the vehicle to confirm the problem. Question: Is this vehicle safe to drive after the dealers claim that nothing was wrong, they did nothing to repair the problem & now the brakes are working properly"

- Littleton, CO, USA

problem #14

Dec 032012

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
Brake pedal will depress almost to the floor allowing the possibility of accidentally pushing the gas pedal while attempting to stop. This incident involved a slow speed crash on an icy road when the vehicle continued forward no matter how hard the brake was applied. The vehicle now has 26,000 highway miles and I experienced total loss of brakes, pedal to the floor, while driving in the mountains.

- Littleton, CO, USA

problem #13

Jul 142014

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 21,100 miles
Car failed to decelerate while brakes were being applied. Car continued to push forward while I was braking. Car had to be turned off to come to a complete stop. This is the second time this phenomena occurred. Both times the vehicle was taken immediately to the local Toyota dealership. They claimed they found no issues with the car or its computer systems. Since Toyota inspected the car and claimed they found no ABS event in the car's systems and claimed they could detect no computer system malfunction, I elected to trade in the car. I am reporting this because I want any potential future owner of this vehicle to be aware of these events.

- Conroe, TX, USA

problem #12

Aug 202014


  • 37,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Rav4. While driving approximately 5 mph, the brakes failed to respond when the brake pedal was depressed. The vehicle accelerated independently and crashed into a building. The air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed and there were no injuries reported. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic for repair. The front bumper, the passenger side headlight, and the front grill were replaced. The technician was unable to diagnose the cause of the failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 37,000.

- Joppa , MD, USA

problem #11

Jul 172014

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
While approaching an intersection on a busy thoroughfare, the light turned yellow and at the last minute I decided against running the yellow light and applied my brakes very hard. The vehicle started to slow down but as I approached the stop line my vehicle continued to slowly move forward no matter how hard I pressed on the brake pedal. At first I thought my brakes had failed, but then I heard the whine of the engine and I realized that I was fighting against an accelerating engine. I put the vehicle in neutral which I thought would kick the accelerator back to normal but the engine was still revving quite high, but I was no longer moving forward. I then shifted to reverse and the vehicle started to back up even though my foot was still on the brake. At that point I placed the vehicle back into neutral and turned the engine off. After about 10 seconds, I restarted the engine and it performed normally. I drove 6 blocks to my destination, parked the car, called the dealership and had the vehicle towed there. I did not feel safe driving the vehicle, as I thought Toyota had solved the problem of unattended acceleration. Obviously not. The car is currently at the dealership and I am waiting to hear from them as to what they find. From the reports I have read, I'm not holding my breath. They mentioned that they might have to call for an independent engineer to assess the vehicle, and that might take up to a week. I have no grudge against Toyota, as I also own a 2002 Camry which has been a fantastic car with no problems. I just don't believe that all the reports out there are because of loose floor mats, sticky accelerators or con artist trying to get money out of a big corporation. Please look into the electronics of these cars as something is not communicating right. Thank you.

- Oregon City, OR, USA

problem #10

Oct 012013

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 25,900 miles
While driving at speed the vehicle's stability, antilock brakes and traction control functions stop functioning and the indicator light for all turn on. The cruise control disengages which caused the car to decelerate rapidly. I was in traffic and was able to accelerate to avoid an accident. The accelerator and braking appear to work properly but I am unable to reengage the cruise control. This is exactly the same symptoms in the recall of the 2012 Rav4 but the 2011 is not included.

- Arlington, VA, USA

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