really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
25,140 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2011 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #10

Nov 092013


  • 68,489 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Rav4. While driving 30 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact observed that there was leakage from the front of the vehicle and the transmission oil was very dirty. The failure occurred twice. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact changed the fluids twice, but the failure was persistent. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 68,489.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #9

Oct 052013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
At 34,000 miles I brought my 2011 Toyota rav 4 in for service at victory Toyota of canton, mi 48188 for a regular service. The vehicle was still under the two year warrant. My complaint is that the auto transmission side cover was leaking very badly and every service representative was stunned, as they had never seen that occur so early in any vehicle. They repaired it, however I am concerned for the future manufacturing stability of the vehicle to have such a major issue at such low mileage. We bought the vehicle brand new from victory Toyota of canton, mi. I will also be filing a separate complaint about my 2010 corolla which has an issue that is stunning, to say the least.

- Canton, MI, USA

problem #8

Dec 182013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
Our 2011 Rav4 was totaled in December 2013 when a BMW 5 series crashed into us while my wife was making a left turn. The impact was to the front tire on the passenger side and it was so severe, the entire wheel assembly was ripped out of the transmission and ended compressed against the passenger door; however incredibly none of the airbags deployed. My son, who was sitting in the front was unharmed, however my daughter in the back was sitting behind the driver seat and flew across the car smashing violently against the rear passenger door, loosing consciousness. As she woke up she vomited and per recommendation of the emergency crew on the scene, we took her to the er. I have written several Toyota groups about this incident and they have not even acknowledged my request. I am entitled for a 100% refund on the er expenses and my daughter should be placed on a watch list, as any repercussion out of these types of accidents show up years afterwards. When she develops a back or neck condition as a result of this vehicle not functioning as engineered and promoted, Toyota should cover all expenses related to their lack of quality; which is evident since the acceleration issues and the more recent (and precisely) massive air bag recall.

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #7

Aug 052011


  • 1,000 miles


Loud bang which sounds like a hammer hitting the bottom of the vehicle. Problem first noticed around 1000 miles and happens frequently. It happens typically when passengers are in the middle and or 3rd row seats at speeds usually above 25 miles per hour. This is an ongoing problem with my 4 wheel drive, 3rd row seat Rav4 now at 73K miles. It can happen within a few miles of each incident or go hundreds of miles before it happens again. Very alarming. I have taken it into the dealer several times yet every time their technicians take the vehicle for test drive, they can not replicate the problem.

- Cherry Hill, NJ, USA

problem #6

Jan 062014

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
On 1/6/14 I was coming to an intersection and I was slowing down. I noticed that the engine was raving and was trying to pull me forward. Because I was pressing the brakes the car was able only to jerk forward. I had to switch to neutral to prevent car jerking forward. Then the engine returned to normal RPM. This actually happened the second time. The first time it happened in October 2013. On 1/9/14 I gave the car to a Toyota dealer. They said that they will take this matter very seriously and the Toyota engineers will come to read the computer data and review the vehicle. After one week it appears that nothing happened. I wrote to Toyota. They opened case #1401231137. After that the dealer kept the car for another week but "could not duplicate the problem". they opened the case #140230518. Finally, today 1/25/14 they gave me the car back with a stupid advice "not step gas and brakes at the same time". they said they test drove the car, but the mileage in and out is the same (6,085). I bought the car new and it never was in any accident. Now I believe to every claim of unintended accelerations of Toyota vehicles. I hope the federal Agency will do something about this.

- Lake Forest, CA, USA

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problem #5

Nov 092012


  • 31,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that after shifting into driver from reverse, the vehicle erroneously accelerated. The vehicle crashed into a pole and then crashed into another sign before stopping. The contact was not injured. The contact also stated that the clamp that held the transmission failed and the transmission had to be replaced. The police were notified and a report was filed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The manufacturer was notified and a representative inspected the failure before the vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 31,000.

- Stroudsburg, PA, USA

problem #4

Jan 262013


  • 30,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Toyota rav 4. the contact stated that while driving 25 mph and depressing the brakes, the contact activated the four-wheel drive system for assistance with driving through a snowstorm. Upon activating the system, the lights flickered and the four-wheel drive deactivated independently. The vehicle was not taken for inspection. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure and current mileages were approximately 30,000.

- Chester , VA, USA

problem #3

Sep 012011

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
There is a hesitation at low speeds, causing engine to intermittently loose power for 1.5-2.5 seconds. This is an extremely dangerous when accelerating onto interstate highways where cars going in the same direction are already traveling 70-75 M.P.H. and where making turns at intersections with oncoming traffic and other situations where power is necessary to avoid a collision. This condition has already resulted in several near miss accidents making the vehicle unsafe and not suitable for normal driving. This hesitation also seems to be noted in the related NHTSA report examining the Toyota electronic throttle control that may have resulted in unintentional acceleration and at the Toyota dealer where the car has been serviced, they have advised me that I am not the only one complaining about this issue. The problem seems to be one that does involve the programming of the etc and selection of a forward gear.

- Broomfield, CO, USA

problem #2

Apr 062012

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 31,212 miles
This is an incident involving sudden vehicle acceleration. I was stopped with my foot on the brake in the where great mall parkway turns onto eastbound montague expwy in milpitas, ca. Despite having my foot on the brake, the vehicle began to creep forward. I responded by pressing the brake pedal harder. This caused the vehicle stability control system to engage and the brake pedal pushed through the resistance point as is typical when the vehicle stability control engages. The vehicle began to accelerate so I quickly moved the transmission selector from drive into park in order to stop the vehicle. I reported the failure to Toyota motor sales usa and the complaint was assigned case number [xxx]. I followed the recommended procedure of having the vehicle inspected by the local Toyota dealer, piercey Toyota, on April 13, 2012. The service manager completed an inspection and submitted a report to Toyota technical services. Today, May 2, 2012, I followed up with both the piercey Toyota service manager and with Toyota motor sales. Anthony of Toyota told me, essentially, that Toyota refuses to acknowledge the failure and refuses to give me a formal written response. Anthony continued by saying that if this response was not satisfactory to me, then I should get an outside counsel. I submit that the sudden unintentional acceleration problem still exists with Toyota--at least with my vehicle--and that it needs to be fixed. It is my opinion that Toyota is 'giving the finger' to the problem and to the United States and that Toyota's failure to properly address the problem will likely kill innocent people if Toyota does not find a real solution. I am prepared to submit more documents and details regarding this incident and the problem. I would like to be put directly in touch with an officer at your office so that I can enter a full and formal complaint. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #1

Nov 032011

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 700 miles
While driving about 30 mph, the car suddenly increased speed on its own, I applied brakes, the braking did not slow the car, the car continued to increase in speed, I then shifted the gear into neutral, the engine noise roared loudly, and I pressed the brake hard, the car stopped, while the engine continued to roar loudly for another 30 seconds.

- Blaine, WA, USA

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