really awful
Crashes / Fires:
10 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
17,179 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.

2012 Toyota RAV4 engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Sep 052013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 3,872 miles


On three occasions during 2013, the car accelerated and jumped forward as the brake was being applied to stop the car. On September 5, 2013 the acceleration and movement forward was more pronounced and was accompanied by a noticeable sound of the engine. This occurred as the brake was being slowly applied during an approach to an intersection. There was no movement or involvement of the floor mat on the driver?S side and no possibility that the driver's foot could have hit the accelerator at the same time as his foot was placed on the brake. We requested that the car be examined by the Toyota dealer in order to determine the nature of the defect and the corrective action needed. The dealer reported that it could not identify any problem.

- Panama City Beach, FL, USA

problem #17

Sep 032013


  • 8,400 miles
I was slowly maneuvering into a parking space when the car revved up, jumped over the concrete barrier, over the curb and sidewalk. I was headed directly toward a building and a large plate glass window. The brakes did not stop the car, and felt squishy when I pushed them all the way to the floor. I swerved to the right, turned off the key and hit a parked car in order to stop. I also want to mention that the tire pressure gauge light would come on any time I was driving on the highway at speeds over 50 mph.

- Wake Forest, NC, USA

problem #16

Sep 142013


  • 2,552 miles
Accelerating from a stop light, the car lost power. The electric motor stopped and the check ev system warning came on. There was no engine power, power steering or power brakes. The car was stopped in the middle of the street.

- Cupertino, CA, USA

problem #15

Sep 052013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Toyota rav 4. the contact stated that the vehicle suddenly accelerated without warning while driving 1 mph. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and the dealer stated the sudden acceleration was a normal occurrence. The failure mileage was 10,000. Updated 10/17/13

- Cherry Valley, IL, USA

problem #14

Aug 102013


  • 15,000 miles
The latest incident was the 8th time this has occurred since purchased new in Sept. 2012. After highway driving approached a traffic light and when brake applied car revved up and lurched forward. Since nothing stops this except turning off ignition this was done again and car restarted and no further incident. Contacted dealership and after having car there for 2 days was told no replication could be made. I contacted the Toyota office in California and after more delays have not been given a rental. Car is still at dealership and the service manager said he is doing nothing until he hears from California that may approve super tech to look at car. Very dissatisfied with Toyota dangerous situation and they are in deny mode until someone is seriously hurt or killed. Will never buy another Toyota after this poor run around service on both coasts.

- Gilmanton Ironworks, NH, USA

problem #13

May 312013

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 6,650 miles
Vehicle was slowing down from original speed of 45mph approaching a traffic light. After applying the brake the vehicle's engine started to rev up and accelerate with foot on the brake. The harder the brake pedal depressed the higher the rpms and foot was not touching the gas pedal. After a few seconds and brake pressed as hard as possible the engine quit running and the car was totally shut off after jolting forward. After getting car restarted it was running rough at 45 mph and short distance from home. This was a Friday night. Called Toyota dealer next morning and made appointment for them to check it out on Tuesday June 4. had to use the rav on Sunday June 2 to pick up a part at the hardware. Ran fine for the 4 miles or so to the hardware. Upon starting the car, after leaving the hardware, it revved up to a very high RPM then dropped back to normal. Drive back home was ok. On the way to the Toyota dealer on June 4 I could watch rpms fluctuate in an abnormal manner after hitting the brake for a stop at traffic light. While at the dealer I filed a case with Toyota. I sat there for about 4 hours before they told me they did not find anything. I said I was not going to take the vehicle home if they had not tried anything to fix the problem. They put a call in for the local Toyota rep and they are waiting for a response.

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #12

May 202013


  • 9,500 miles


I was driving approximately 20 mph. When tried to stop at the traffic signal and pressed the brake then instead of stopping the car was going forward. It almost hit the car at front of me. There was a sudden acceleration and RPM went upto 9000. I pressed the brake pedal multiple number of times then the car engine stopped. Once the vehicle was restarted, it resumed as normal. It was really scary.

- Rexford, NY, USA

problem #11

Mar 062013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 7,600 miles
2012 Rav4, second incident, 1st was dismissed. Was driving approx 20 mph in a 35mph business district on 4 lane street. Pressed brake with right foot to decelerate for stop light & car in front of me, car suddenly surged forward with engine revving. I depressed brake further with more strength and took left foot and place on top of right foot. Had the feeling the accelerator pedal was moving as well but wasn't touching it. Car continued to jerk forward, engine revving, with brakes partially engaged for approx. 20 feet. Then engine shut off completely and brakes fully engaged stopping the car. Was inches from car in front. Restarted car and finished drive home. Checked car mats but still in place on brackets. Had car towed to Toyota dealership. They found no unintended acceleration but did find that both brake and accelerator pedals had been depressed. Suggested I must have stepped on both accidentally. Not a chance. Was well aware of foot/feet placement. Service mgr showed me what to do "should this happen again." Excuse me?! told to shift into neutral for brakes to engage or another gear to stall the engine and stop the car. 1 wk later, regional inspector spent day w/car and reported nothing wrong. Did show both pedals depressed at same time long enough to trip sensor but nothing was wrong. Dealer suggested I report to Toyota. Reported incident to Toyota customer experience center. Not happy. 2 incidents, other reports online, and it's a 2012 that wasn't supposed to do this. Feel lucky I didn't rear end someone, especially as the car didn't slow very much until it died. Scared silly for next time. Do not want my rav. Am being told car is perfectly safe but no one at dealership would sign statement saying I was safe and this wouldn't happen again. Hmmm. Want them to take car back! purchased new in Oct. 2012 w/less than 10 miles on it.

- Penn Hills, PA, USA

problem #10

Feb 072013


  • 190 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Toyota Rav4. The contact was driving approximately 5 mph and approaching a stop signal when there was an abnormal increase in acceleration. The engine rpms increased rapidly. The contact shifted into neutral and the engine was turned off. Once the vehicle was restarted, it resumed as normal. The failure recurred eight times. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis and they were unable to detect a failure code. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 190. The VIN was unavailable.

- Scranton, PA, USA

problem #9

Jan 112013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 5,012 miles
While attempting to roll the vehicle forward to clear a doorway, the vehicle jumped forward about 6 feet. At that time I pulled my foot off the gas and pushed the brake pedal to the floor. The vehicle stopped momentarily, then began to accelerate picking up speed rapidly as evidenced by the revving of the engine. I continued to pump the brake since holding it to the floor was doing nothing. By this time I had gone through a chain link fence, through a ditch over a curb and continued to pick up speed to pass through a concrete block wall and into the back of a parked R.,the vehicle impaling itself on the steel pipes of a motorcycle carrier attached to the back of the R.V. the vehicle could not move any further but the engine was still revving. Needless to say the Rav4 was totaled and amazingly I suffered only minor bumps and bruises. At no time did any of the air bags deploy.

- Apache Junction, AZ, USA

problem #8

Mar 052012

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 305 miles


Abrupt speed changes in normal speed and cruise control, radio and clock flashing occasionally, low tire pressure constantly, damage in air conditioning.

- Antioch , TN, USA

problem #7

Jan 072013


  • 7,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that while driving approximately 10 mph, the contact attempted to decelerate and the vehicle erroneously accelerated. The contact also stated that the rpms increased greatly. The brakes failed to respond to deceleration attempts and the vehicle crashed into the proceeding vehicle. There were no injuries. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and stated that an investigator will inspect the vehicle. The approximate failure mileage was 7,000.

- Rockaway, NJ, USA

problem #6

Oct 302012

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 250 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that while driving approximately 5 mph, the rpms increased drastically. The contact decelerated and shifted into neutral. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure could not be diagnosed. The technician informed the contact that the vehicle was manufactured correctly and to place the vehicle in neutral whenever the failure occurred. The technician also informed the contact that the failure only occurred at low speeds. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 250...updated 01/16/2013 the consumer stated the vehicle was traded in. The consumer no longer owns the vehicle. Updated 1/25/2013

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #5

Oct 172012

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 200 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Toyota rav 4. the contact stated that the vehicle abnormally accelerated as the brakes were depressed. The contact applied the brakes harder and the vehicle stopped. The contact stated that the failure recurred several times later. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection but they could not duplicate the failure. The vehicle was not repaired and the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified and sent someone to further inspect the vehicle but they could not determine the cause of the failure. The failure mileage was 200. The VIN was unavailable. Updated 12/19/12 the consumer stated the vehicle was traded in. Updated 1/9/2013

- Panama City, FL, USA

problem #4

Nov 022012

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 2,621 miles
I was stopped at a stop sign waiting to make a right hand turn. A car was coming from the left. With my foot on the brake, the car felt as if it were going to take off. I pushed my foot on the brake pedal as far down as I could. Luckily, the approaching car turned down the street I was stopped on and I was able to turn right. As soon as I took my foot off the brake the car surged forward like the gas pedal was stuck. This happened about one quarter mile from my house. I made it home safely. After I got in the driveway, I turned off the engine and restarted the car back up again. I drove it up and down the driveway a few times and it was fine. My husband checked the floor mat and it was in place. Very scary!

- Endicott, NY, USA

problem #3

Jun 272012

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 1,500 miles
I pulled into a left turn lane to make a turn. As I was waiting for oncoming traffic to clear the car suddenly surged forward. I slammed on the brakes. That stopped the car. Fortunately there wasn't a car in front of me, otherwise I would have had an accident. I was riding with my cousin and we were traveling about 25 miles an hour on a busy street. The car surged, my cousin asked if I had stepped on the gas, I hadn't. I immediately took the car to the Toyota dealership. I told the tech what had happened, he said that was impossible. Took the car for a short drive and said there was nothing wrong with the car. It continues to happen periodically. I have also noticed this week that the transmission seems to lug down when it shifts. I am concerned about the overall performance of this car, not to mention the defect in the paralyzed white paint. One trip through the car wash with normal dirt and the top layer of paint came off in one area. The dealership is to call me when the rep comes in to look at the paint that was weeks ago and no one has called.

- Pleasant Hill, CA, USA

problem #2

Jun 112012

RAV4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,620 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Toyota rav-4. the contact stated that after attempting to drive in reverse out of a parking space with the brake pedal engaged, the vehicle suddenly accelerated and crash into a parked vehicle. A police report was filed. The driver sustained bruises to her leg. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to diagnosed the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated they would contact her at a later date. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 4,620. Updated 07/25/12 the consumer stated the vehicle changed gears on its own, and the gas pedal went to the floor on its own as well. Updated 08/08/12

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #1

Feb 242012


  • 1,009 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that upon shifting into drive, there was a rapid increase in the engine rpms and the vehicle began to surge forward. The contact applied excessive pressure to the brake pedal, but the engine continued to rev. Another individual opened the doors and turned off the ignition. The vehicle was then towed to an authorized dealer and they were unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 1,009.

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

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