really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,099 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 EV drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2012 Toyota RAV4 EV Owner Comments

problem #3

Mar 052016


  • 33,000 miles


My 2012 Rav4 ev has an unsafe condition where the electronic transmission does not actually engage from R to D, or D to R when stationary, even though the vehicle instrumentation indicates so. The vehicle instead moves inadvertently in the wrong direction. It has been a chronic issue with the vehicle, and I have reported it to the Toyota dealer on several occasions. Each time I was told that the technician could not duplicate the condition, but that a software update would be installed and might correct the matter. It has not, and my wife and I continue to experience the problem randomly. On March 5, 2016 however, the condition caused an accident as I was leaving a parking spot on the street. I initially had trouble getting the car to engage in reverse or drive. I turned the car off and restarted it (rebooting the software). This time reverse engaged and I moved the car backward to make room to exit the parking space and came to a complete stop. I then put the car in drive, heard the reverse 'beep' stop, visually checked the instrumentation cluster to verify the indicator was on 'd', applied the hill-assist function, and pushed the accelerator to drive forward. The car instead lunged backward and slammed into the car behind me. This is a serious and dangerous condition. It could have easily been a pedestrian behind me instead of a car. I can no longer drive this car and feel safe with my family, or for the people around the vehicle. Checking the owner forums at www.myrav4ev.com/, I am not the only owner that has experienced transmission issues.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #2

Oct 172015


  • 20,296 miles
On October 17 shortly before 2 pm pst in clear weather, I was pulling into a parking spot on private property at about 2 to 3 mph. I turned the vehicle into the spot and applied the brakes but the car surged over the curb, hit a tree, went over an embankment and crashed onto a parked car. (the airbag did not deploy, but there were no injuries.) the ignition would not turn off after repeated attempts. Finally I depressed the ignition button for about 10 seconds and it turned off. Just 5 days earlier, the car had undergone a safety recall repair to the electronic circuitry. Toyota had issued a safety recall due to a software defect which affected "components in the electric vehicle traction motor assembly." We informed Toyota this appeared to be an unintended acceleration incident. They promised to assign an engineer to thoroughly inspect the vehicle and download information from the event data recorder (edr). The engineer inspected the car and prepared a 22 page report. However he was unable to download the edr information due to a data communication error. Toyota claimed it was due to a low battery. The engineer confirmed to me that it was a data communication error and that the vehicle was half charged when he drove it. Toyota refused to share the engineer's report. They stated in six short sentences that the acceleration and brake pedals both worked. They did not address the recall, the incident with the ignition switch, or the data communication error, all of which signal possible problems with the electric circuitry/software. When we wrote them a detailed letter with all the attachments to document the recall, they simply responded that the acceleration pedal and brake pedal worked.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #1

Oct 062014


  • 13,000 miles
I was driving in the parking garage at work and the yellow exclamation light appeared on the dash with a message that says "check ev system. Have you vehicle checked by a dealership immediately." I was able to stop and the car started after several attempts. The dealership replaced the ECU.

- Englewood, CO, USA

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