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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
9,996 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #12

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 #11

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 #10

Feb 192016


  • 17,000 miles
Our Toyota 2013 Rav4 had a sudden acceleration. While driving on the highway, the gas peddle suddenly dropped to the floor, and the RPM's went from 3-8 instantly. Upon braking, the accelerator went back to normal, but as soon as the brake was released, the problem immediately happened again. At this point, the brakes were applied again, and the car was pulled over. The car was shut off, then restarted. At this point the car drove normal from then on.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #9

Dec 122015


  • 6,500 miles


While backing out of my garage, Saturday 12/12/15, my foot was on the brake, suddenly the engine speeded up radically and I sped backward to the end of my drive. I braked and shifted to neutral and switched off the engine. It stopped and upon restarting, was ok. This could be deadly if it happened in traffic.

- Aiken, SC, USA

problem #8

Nov 162015


  • 23,000 miles
On at least 5 different occasions since owning this Toyota Rav4 I have experienced a serious engine control problem. It happens in the economy mode of the car which is the default mode you start the car up in. What happens is when pulling into traffic and you push down on the accelerator to get fast speed to merge into traffic the engine stalls. You can have the accelerator pushed all the way down and the engine gives you no power. This creates a very dangerous condition on the road as my car is actually stalling when it should be accelerating. I have tested and done the same thing in the 'sport mode' of the vehicle and it does not create the same stall situation. Thus my conclusion is the problem rests in the 'economy mode'. I have asked the dealer about this and they say they do not know why. I am going back tomorrow to as them to take back this car, as it is dangerous and is not predictable or dependable in driving.

- Meridian, ID, USA

problem #7

Dec 162013


  • 50 miles
Within the first few months after purchase the engine of my vehicle would sometimes hesitate during a turn. It for a moment will loose power and then have a burst of acceleration. It seems that this happens most often after it has been driven, then parked for a short time and then started and turned but it may also have happened at other times. It seems to be happening more often lately and makes turning dangerous if there is a vehicle approaching across the curve of thee term. I know others have experienced this same problem with the 2013 Rav4. I asked the dealer's service department if then could fix the problem and was told no. This problem is dangerous.

- Western Springs , IL, USA

problem #6

Dec 182014

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles


While backing up, vehicle accelerated rapidly hitting a parked vehicle doing much damage. Wife driving many years, never hitting accelerator when she meant to hit the brakes. Do not know why rapid acceleration occurred. Has not happened moving forward.

- Hanson, KY, USA

problem #5

Aug 032013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,800 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled several times without warning. The vehicle was restarted, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 4,800. Updated 6/8/2015

- Longmeadow, MA, USA

problem #4

Aug 122014


  • 2,450 miles
I was preparing to make a right turn into an exit driveway. About 12 feet directly in front of me was a cement brick wall paralleling the driveway. As I took my foot off the brake, the car rocketed into the cement brick wall. Fortunately, , air bags deployed and I was not injured badly nor was anyone else. $ 13,000 to fix my car and I don't know if this will happen tome again. I will be like driving a time bomb. I plan to take the car to Toyota and have them check my systems and certify, this will not happen again. I am very fortunate that this did not happen in traffic.

- Northridge, CA, USA

problem #3

Apr 092014


  • miles
After reading several news stories today (04/09/14) about the recall of 27 Toyota models (including 2013 rav 4), for: ?cables for the driver air bag module that can be damaged, disabling the bag, though a warning light will come on (3.5 million vehicles, 1.67 million in the U.S.). ?seats that don't lock in place (2.32 million, 670,000 in North America) ?steering column brackets that may become loose or fail (760,000, europe and asia only) ?windshield wiper motor (160,000, asia only) ?starter motor fire hazard (20,000, asia only) I called the dealer where I bought my car - Toyota of rock hill. I was informed that recalls are "coming, " but they didn't have specific information from Toyota yet. I should be getting a letter in the mail and then I take the car in for service. Frustrating to see that the media has more information on the actual recalls than the Toyota dealer. So, if something happens between now and the time I get "my letter, " (my air bags fail or the seats become dislodged during an accident), I'm pretty much screwed.

- Rock Hill, SC, USA

problem #2

Jan 302014


  • 8,600 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Toyota rav 4. the contact stated that while driving approximately 65 mph, the entire instrument panel illuminated as the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was unable to be restarted. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer, who diagnosed that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 8,600.

- Wall Township, NJ, USA

problem #1

Mar 012013


  • 100 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that while driving at any speed, the vehicle accelerated then stalled without warning. The engine, the traction control, and the four wheel drive light illuminated after the failure occurred. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times for the failure. The dealer performed a diagnostic that was unable to locate a failure code. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 100 and the current mileage was 2,120.

- Woodhaven , NY, USA

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