CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2013 RAV4's top complaint is that the navigation screen is impossible to see in direct sunlight.

While certainly an annoyance, it's not a big deal in the world of car problems. Luckily the fix is a $10 anti-glare screen cover.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
19,322 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.

2013 Toyota RAV4 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2013 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #45

Apr 202022

RAV4

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I turned the key and started the RAV4 parked in my driveway. It immediately made unusual noices (gurgling, spitting, etc.). Within a minute, there was a loud "BOOM" under the hood and fire began coming out from underneath the car. I got out of the car and got a safe distance from it. My neighbors came running over as they heard subsequent explosions and saw black smoke billowing from my direction. Within a matter of a few minutes, the entire car was engulfed in flames. The fire department came and extinguished it. There is nothing left! BTW, I am 91 years old. This could have had a very different and sad outcome!

- Crewe, VA, USA

problem #44

Jan 282022

RAV4

  • miles
The battery on my 2013 Toyota Rav4 burst into flames while the engine was going and I was at a traffic stop/intersection. The electrical system failed, car died in place, luckily while at a stop and smoke from the engine compartment filled the car. I had just pulled off the highway and had come to an intersection in a residential neighborhood of a densely populated city center. Residents came from the street to help put the engine compartment fire out. Driver and passenger (a dog) were able to get out safely, police and fire department came to the scene and asked people to move away from the vehicle in case of explosion. Fire was extinguished. Car was towed to local Toyota dealership, Car insurance agent has done preliminary inspection as well as dealership service manager. Both state that the battery did catch on fire. Battery installed was correct size as per service technician's initial report. At this time, total damage to the car is unclear, as a full inspection of the vehicle and electrical system has not been done. two or three times sporadically over the two days prior, the lights on the dashboard flickered on momentarily as though there was some kind of electrical short circuit happening somewhere. At present the vehicle remains at the dealership awaiting full Toyota inspection, since as a result of this office's investigation of numerous battery fires, Toyota has issued a Consumer safety recall.

- Kent, CT, USA

problem #43

Jun 012021

RAV4

  • miles
Note: This is a fully electric vehicle. It was made by Toyota, but the drive train (electric motor, battery, etc.) is made by Tesla. Earlier this summer (Around June 2021) while starting the vehicle from a stop, the vehicle either shifted to neutral (halfway through an intersection) or stalled. The vehicle displays a message saying "Check EV System". We have since taken it to two Toyota dealerships. The first (Toyota of Tacoma in Tacoma WA) said the 12V battery needed to be replaced, but the issue happened again almost immediately after we took the vehicle off the lot and completely stalled in the middle of a busy intersection. We brought it back to the same dealership who then said nothing was wrong with the vehicle. We also took the vehicle to a local auto repair shop that specializes in electric vehicles where they were able to recreate the issue but unfortunately were unable to work on the car as Tesla had locked the codes needed to diagnose the issues. The second dealership (Titus Will Toyota in Tacoma WA) was able to reproduce the issue, but they didn't have the equipment to work on the vehicle. They said that they spoke to the Toyota engineering team who told them that the speed sensor had moisture on it, and the coolant on the right side was low which indicates that coolant was leaking into the electric motor and the vehicle needed a new drive train. Toyota said that since the drive train was made by Tesla, they are unable to work on the vehicle and we would need to figure out how to get the vehicle from Washington to California to find a shop that could service the vehicle and completely replace the entire drive train - a diagnosis made and given over the phone. We purchased the vehicle just over a year ago in Washington and now it has a dangerous safety issue that neither Toyota nor Tesla is wanting anything to do with and that local repair shops cannot address.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #42

Jun 012021

RAV4

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Note: This is a fully electric vehicle. It was made by Toyota, but the drive train (electric motor, battery, etc.) is made by Tesla. Earlier this summer (Around June 2021) while starting the vehicle from a stop, the vehicle either shifted to neutral (halfway through an intersection) or stalled. The vehicle displays a message saying "Check EV System". We have since taken it to two Toyota dealerships. The first (Toyota of Tacoma in Tacoma WA) said the 12V battery needed to be replaced, but the issue happened again almost immediately after we took the vehicle off the lot and completely stalled in the middle of a busy intersection. We brought it back to the same dealership who then said nothing was wrong with the vehicle. We also took the vehicle to a local auto repair shop that specializes in electric vehicles where they were able to recreate the issue but unfortunately were unable to work on the car as Tesla had locked the codes needed to diagnose the issues. The second dealership (Titus Will Toyota in Tacoma WA) was able to reproduce the issue, but they didn't have the equipment to work on the vehicle. They said that they spoke to the Toyota engineering team who told them that the speed sensor had moisture on it, and the coolant on the right side was low which indicates that coolant was leaking into the electric motor and the vehicle needed a new drive train. Toyota said that since the drive train was made by Tesla, they are unable to work on the vehicle and we would need to figure out how to get the vehicle from Washington to California to find a shop that could service the vehicle and completely replace the entire drive train - a diagnosis made and given over the phone. We purchased the vehicle just over a year ago in Washington and now it has a dangerous safety issue that neither Toyota nor Tesla is wanting anything to do with and that local repair shops cannot address.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #41

Mar 232021

RAV4

  • 2 miles
Indicates a malfunction in the ev system. High battery temp show malfunction on evsystem while on road and sudden power loss may be create deadly accident. While charging it show malfunction in ev system.

- Wyile, TX, USA

problem #40

Feb 012021

RAV4

  • 101,000 miles
I saw article in usa today. Exact same thing was happening to my Rav4 a month ago. I brought back to dealer and they changed the battery- but I paid for it.

- Lagrangeville, NY, USA

problem #39

Nov 212020

RAV4

  • 60,352 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

After not having used the car for a while, I decided to see if things were good. I couldn't turn the car at all, so I decided to jump start it. The car turned on but there was a warning saying "problem with ev system, take to dealership". on my way to the dealership, I felt the acceleration of the car had been reduced significantly. When I arrive at the dealership, they say leave your car here and we take a look at it. I left it there and start to head back home. As I am going back, the dealership contacts me and says "we can't work on this car because we don't have anyone who is experienced with this. Come back and pick it up." So I head back to the dealership. On the phone, I made sure they knew it was a fully electric car and they said we would take a look at it. Anyways, as I am driving back home, the acceleration is still very poor. It takes 30 seconds to go from 0 to 40mph. I get a different warning saying "battery overheated, limiting energy supply". there also is this nasty rotten egg type smell as well. I am kind of scared now because battery powered car have been known to catch on fire. So far no one has been able to help me with this issue.

- Wylie, TX, USA

problem #38

Sep 282020

RAV4

  • 61,000 miles
Drove the car 8 blocks on city street to the filling station, while turning into the filling station from access road the car shut off and the dash went completely black just short of fuel pump. Stopped the car and restarted, drove 50 ft. To fuel pump. Shut car off to fill with gas. Went into station to pre-pay for fuel. Returned to the car, filled with fuel and tried to start. When trying to start the car it was completely black, no electronics at all, called my wife to get a tow truck to have it removed from the gas station, then went in to station to tell attendant the situation. While exiting the store I noticed sparks and glowing embers dropping to the ground from inside the left front wheel area. I turned back and asked the station attendant for a fire extinguisher, returned to car, with 5 lb extinguisher, hood would not release so sprayed extinguisher up under wheel, around hood cracks, and by this time the head light had a hole where the flames were shooting out, so sprayed fire repellent into the hole. After about 10 sec extinguisher was empty. Told gas station attendant to call fire department as the vehicle was going up in flames. Approximately 5 minutes later the fire department arrived to extinguish the flames.

- Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #37

Aug 042020

RAV4

  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that the door locks were inoperable. The contact stated that the locks were unable to be locked or unlocked from inside the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an unknown dealer and the contact was provided an estimate of $1,800 for the repairs. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 59,000.

- Bristol, RI, USA

problem #36

Jul 052020

RAV4

  • 95,000 miles
While driving, the vehicle started to shut off while driving with all lights coming on on the dash board. It cuts on when you put car back in park then turn the key, but still turns off again when you take it past a certain speed or when stopping to hard.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #35

Mar 062020

RAV4

  • 62,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I was driving on a local road. As I turned into the parking lot of a store, the vehicle shut off and smoke and fumes began to fill the cabin. I pulled to the side, got out of the car, and raised the hood. There was a fire in the area of the battery. A person nearby noticed the fire and came to put it out before the entire vehicle was engulfed. Local police and fire also responded.

- Beachwood, NJ, USA

problem #34

Feb 172020

RAV4

  • miles
I am entering a safety complaint regarding the headlights on my Toyota 2013 Rav4. Today, I went to my local car repairman to fix a headlight that blew out. This is the 3rd time in 6 months. In September, we had to completely change both headlights because parts in the headlights were melting. Yet, less than 6 months later, my passenger headlight blew out and needed to be replaced. There is something systematically wrong with my headlights. According to my car mechanic, it looks like they are going to continue to burn out. This creates hazardous driving conditions for me and my passengers.

- Chantilly, VA, USA

problem #33

Nov 302017

RAV4

  • miles
2013 Rav4 limited w/ 63,000 miles. Vehicle equipment with smart key push button start. For two years this vehicle has had a intermittent ignition failure. Scenario: Car is unlocked, key fob is recognized, foot on brake, push start and nothing happens. The anti-theft column lock will not release and the car will not respond to its start command. Then it will. There is no consistent pattern to when it will fail or when it will "fix" itself. Recently it has reached a level of failure that its too risky to take any place and expect to start and get home safely. The car has been in and out of dealer service 12 plus days in the last 30. Dealer has experienced the issue and has done extensive diagnosis, conclusion is, its normal. I purchased the extended warranty in 2013 and what Toyota has proven is they are unwilling or unable to repair. I now resort to disconnecting the battery before putting car in park or closing the doors so the anti theft won't lock. Doors and steering wheel won't lock so when I reconnect the battery it will start. It however runs really badly until it recalibrates. A related concern of mine is this intermittent unlock problem may suddenly lock while driving. I have reported this to Toyota corporate and have a claim. I have reported to local attorney general claiming violation of service contract. I have read on line other Toyota owners have experienced this but I've not read of a solution. I service records, emails and related claims documents. This first occurred in 2017 and has grown from an annoyance to unacceptable. Thank you

- Hampton, NH, USA

problem #32

Dec 012016

RAV4

  • miles
Mechanism that allows doors to lock and unlock started failing one by one. I am the first owner of my car and it was only 3 years old when this began. I can no longer open several doors from the inside. I have taken it to the dealership and apparently this is a known issue.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #31

Nov 152018

RAV4

  • 45,000 miles
Car won't start. Panel turns on but it won't engage the starter. Can hear a buzz noise, like a magnetized coil going off. Shifter is locked. Steering wheel is locked. Brake impossible to push down. Only way I can start the car is with the emergency procedure pushing the start button for 15 seconds. But still the shifter is blocked in parking and to be able to drive the car I need to use the little switch under the button size cover next to the shifter. Toyota has no clue what is going on. Vehicle has 45K miles

- Los Gatos, CA, USA

problem #30

Nov 012017

RAV4

  • miles
Both power locks for the driver and passenger side have stopped working. The fuses are fine. It seems it's an actuator issue common with Toyota.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #29

Nov 122017

RAV4

  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Toyota Rav4. While driving approximately 2 mph and slowing down to park, the vehicle accelerated. The maintenance required and horseshoe warning indicators illuminated. The contact quickly cut off the engine to stop the vehicle. While driving approximately 60 mph on the highway, the failure recurred. The dealer was not contacted. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure recurred twice. The contact also stated that the key intermittently did not unlock the doors. The failures were not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 72,000.

- Rockhill, SC, USA

problem #28

Dec 012015

RAV4

  • 36,000 miles
La pintura de la guagua SE esta saliendo. Las puertas delanteras tienen problemas cuando quieres abrir O cerrar las mismas con el llavero. SE le dao a ambas puertas delanteras el motor O lo que le llaman "actuator" a una semana de diferencia Y cuando intento abrir la puerta desde adentro para bajarme SE queda cerrada Y no me permite abrirla tengo que estar dndole lock/unlock hasta que me deja quitarle el seguro para poder bajarme de la guagua; esto asunto en particular me preocupa en caso de algn accidente no pueda abrirla. Otro problema que tiene ES que cada 3 meses, ES que las bombillas de "stop" del lado derecho SE daa Y tengo que estar cambindola. Esto ha sucedido desde aproximadamente diciembre 2015. The paint is coming out. The front doors have problems when you want to open or close them with the key ring. Both front doors damaged the what they call the actuator a week apart and when I try to open the driver's door from the inside to get out the car it is closed and I can't open it I have to be hit the lock/unlock button until it lets me remove the lock to get off the car; this issue in particular worries me because in case of an accident I won't be able to open the door fast. Another problem that has is that every 3 months, the bulbs light for stop on the right side has to be change because it damage and I have to be changing it. This has been appening sing around December 2015.

- Arroyo, PR, USA

problem #27

May 122017

RAV4

  • 62,000 miles
In may, 2017 the front passenger door lock actuator quit working. I paid over $600 to have it fixed. This week, the front driver's side actuator has quit. On both doors, they will only lock if I manually push the lock. We have had many cars over the years and have never had this problem. I do some research online and find out it's a common problem with Toyota. Not happy! I can upload a picture of the invoice from the first lock if you need it, but that's all I have.

- Tecumseh, KS, USA

problem #26

Mar 102017

RAV4

  • miles
Squirrels crawled into the hood and chewed the battery cable wire and turn signal wire, this happened 2 days in a row after repairs were done the first time. The soy based coating of the wires is attracting a swarm of squirrels.

- Glenview, IL, USA

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