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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
8,646 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 2)

problem #25

Jan 042017


  • 30,000 miles


While stopped at a traffic light with the transmission in drive, the engine shut off without warning, and the steering wheel locked. The radio and headlights remained on. This the second occurrence within 6 weeks.

- Redondo Beach, CA, USA

problem #24

Mar 102016


  • 17,450 miles
The engine started on fire under normal driving conditions. The car was not involved in any accident. The Rav4 limited was totaled. It was less than 3 years old and had 17,500 miles on it. The car was serviced regularly by Toyota. The last service was about 4 months prior to the fire. Toyota has not honored their 3yr/36,000 mile warranty coverage on the car. Toyota has not offered a replacement car, rental or anything. Every time we call our Toyota case manager or legal department managers, we have to leave a message and they never return our calls.

- East Providence, RI, USA

problem #23

Dec 042014


  • 20,000 miles
The "power brake actuator" went out on my 2013 Toyota rav-4 three times while I was driving the vehicle. Every time this happened, all of the warning lights on the dash board would come on. At the same time all of the gauges including the speedometer, the vehicle stability control, anti lock brakes, traction control system and power steering would all stop working on the vehicle. This would make it almost impossible to stop or control the vehicle what so ever.

- Apo, AE, USA

problem #22

May 302015


  • 0 miles


Manufacturer: Toyota motor corporation vehicle identification no. (VIN): Xxxxxxx. Bought a Toyota certified at dealership, (push button) however in six occasions, car engine would not turn on. Indicator light for steering was on. After several tries, and once I pulled the steering hard then car started fine. Took car to dealer to check it, they said nothing was wrong with car. The last time, the car did not start even with the Toyota road assistance staff/towing, was unable to get it out of garage, area was too low. Ended up leaving car at garage overnight. Next day, I returned the car, did a trade in for new Toyota. However, dealer or Toyota co. Did not admit problems with car. Battery was functioning fine as everything else would turn on, ie, radio,, lights.

- Ashburn, VA, USA

problem #21

Jan 082015

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 7,490 miles
When making a legal U-turn on a busy road I rapidly braked the car (from 45mph to 2-3mph) to a partial stop rolling through the intersection while turning the wheels to a hard left. I pressed on the accelerator expecting to accelerate out of the U-turn and instead the car hesitated and slowed feeling like there was a momentary loss of power to the wheels. I pressed harder on the accelerator with no immediate effect in acceleration. Approximately 2-3 seconds passed as oncoming traffic approached in the lane I was drifting into when suddenly all acceleration resumed normally. This incident occurred just once. Eco mode was turned on and my Rav4 is an AWD model. I consider it to be a reportable incident since the hesitation was not expected and increased the probability of collision with traffic in the driving lane I was turning into.

- Sussex, WI, USA

problem #20

Jun 202014

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 4,085 miles
The navigation screen is totally unusable in daylight. Screen is flat and exposed to sun. Driver has to lean over and hold right hand over the screen to get any visibility at all. Even then you can barely see it, not to mention the danger of leaning over, using the right hand to screen, and staring at the screen rather than the road. Terrible terrible design. Toyota will not address the problem. $1500 mistake for anyone who purchased this add-on. You have to completely rely on the voice for navigation.

- Hope Mills, NC, USA

problem #19

Aug 252014


  • 6,000 miles


It is nearly impossible to see the navigation screen from the normal driving position in the sunlight due to glare. This causes the driver to take his eyes off the road for an extended time. This is unsafe and could cause and accident. Toyota service claims the system is operating as designed.

- Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA

problem #18

May 142014

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 963 miles
Car started actin G up on May 4th. Didn't want start right away it stated after 4 5 tires after 3 days of that I took the car to local dealer they told me battery was low and they charged it. I brought this car brand new it has only 14 mile and I brought in March 31 2014. This problem started again yesterday ( 05/18/2014).

- Dover, NH, USA

problem #17

Apr 242014


  • 6,500 miles
While I was driving, the car's electric system started rebooting itself a few times, and the car eventually stalled on a busy street! the power was completely shutdown and I couldn't even turn the flash light on. I had to have police officer come to the location where the car stopped to protect other drivers (until a towing track arrived). This incident appended on 4/24/12 on eastbound carmel valley road right before the intersection with el camino real. I had a similar issue with the electric system two months prior, and had a Toyota dealer look at the issue. However, they couldn't identify the root cause and simply updated the system software. As of today, 4/25/14, the car is still at a Toyota dealer and being repaired.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #16

Feb 262014

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 6,025 miles
The installed navigation screen is impossible to see in the driver's normal driving position and in almost any daytime lighting condition. Bought a new Toyota rav 4 limited July 2013 with navigation. Ambient glare through the vehicle windows and/or sun roof wash out the display, this is definitely a distraction while driving and trying to view the screen when it is in navigation mode, borders firmly as unsafe. There is no way to safely use that item and its functions located there without significant distraction. My 2011 Toyota rav 4 limited with navigation did not present this problem.

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #15

Jan 122014

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 270 miles


When driving at any speed, under any condition, it is impossible to see the navigation screen, causing the driver to look, rather than glance, at the screen to determine driving instructions, road hazards, warnings, etc. The glare is almost blinding at times.

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #14

Aug 282013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
The instruments (speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge) of the car do not light up if the headlights are off. This can be dangerous when driving under underpasses or in the shadow of trees, etc., since one unexpectedly cannot see the speedometer or tachometer under those conditions.

- Redwood City, CA, USA

problem #13

Nov 102013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 1,150 miles
Engine control module wiring is exposed to elements. This is a crucial part and in climates where salt is used, loss of control due to failed stability control or engine problems could result. See photos and description of the problem at

- Southborough, MA, USA

problem #12

Oct 182013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 114,146 miles
Vehicle hesitated when shifting into gear. No power and then a surge causing the car to jerk. Happens when accelerating from stop into first and second gear. The ECM is defective and Toyota was forced to address this after class action suit see, although this resulted in an extended warranty rather than a recall. My car is 4 months passed the 10 year warranty although it has low mileage. The faulty ECM can cause the transmission to fail. This is a dangerous and unfair situation for thousands of owners. Toyota did not notify me of this issue.

- Belmont, MA, USA

problem #11

Sep 112013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 6 miles
When driving at any speed, under any condition, it is impossible to see the navigation screen, causing the driver to look, rather than glance, at the screen to determine driving instructions, road hazards, warnings, etc. The glare is almost blinding at times.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #10

Aug 012013


  • 25 miles
The installed navigation screen is impossible to see in the driver's normal driving position and in almost any daytime lighting condition. Glare from the screen and dashboard borders on unsafe. There is no way to safely use that item and the 12 or so functions located there without significant distraction. Notified the service manager 2 times and both times was told they were not aware of the problem. Because of the potential distraction this will cause accidents and some will be fatal.

- Jeffersontonton, VA, USA

problem #9

Sep 092013


  • 258 miles
On local road, accelerating from stop. Vehicle suddenly "shut-off" going into neutral and unable to put back into drive. Steering went "limp". vehicle drifted right, power steering was effected, steering difficult. Vehicle coasted into parking lot to the right, fortunately no vehicles happened to be passing on the right at that precise moment, therefore no accidents. But there could have easily been one. Attempts at restarting vehicle resulted in "take ev to nearest dealership" message and several warning indicators on dash. Vehicle was towed to originating dealership which it continues to be diagnosed and unresolved. Vehicle was purchased on 9/3/2013 < 6 days prior.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #8

Jul 232013


  • 320 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that when the sun would shine on the dashboard, it would produce a blinding glare that caused the information panel and the navigational system to become unreadable. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 320.

- Hotchkiss, CO, USA

problem #7

Jun 122013


  • 7 miles
I have a 2013 Toyota Rav4 limited. In any significant ambient light level, the navigation screen is not visible. The glare on the screen is horrific. Notified dealership. They checked it out and confirmed that I did, indeed, have a problem. Dealership made an appointment with me to meet with a factory rep. I met with the rep, and he agreed this is a real problem, however he had no immediate solution. I contacted the Toyota "hotline" and they referred me back to the dealership. This is a very dangerous situation, trying to position my head so that I can try to get a clear view of the screen. (which is still not possible) I feel like I have spent in excess of one thousand dollars for an option that is unusable. Please help! Toyota does not seem to be listening to me.

- Harrisburg, IL, USA

problem #6

Jul 012013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
At any speed in any weather it is impossible to see the navigation system in this vehicle...this needs addressed by the manufacture as is a paid for upgrade and due to people working to see the system accidents are going to happen.

- Chicago, IL, USA

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