— A Toyota RAV4 battery class action lawsuit in Georgia alleges a recall should have been issued long ago for 2020 RAV4 SUVs that suffer from drained batteries.
The lawsuit asserts the battery will drain when the RAV4 is shut down and will prevent the owner from starting the vehicle.
Currently the RAV4 battery lawsuit includes Georgia owners and lessees only:
"All persons who purchased or leased in the State of Georgia a 2020 Toyota Rav4 in all configurations and trim levels, including the LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure, TRD Off-Road, Limited, LE Hybrid, XLE Hybrid, XSE Hybrid, and Limited Hybrid."
In addition to a drained battery, the class action alleges electrical system components and safety features are affected, including the alternator, the headlights, tail lights and the power steering mechanism.
Toyota RAV4 drivers and occupants can become stranded when the battery fails or when the RAV4 engine stalls.
According to the battery lawsuit, the battery will drain due to the electronic control modules and from the drainage of electricity by the electrical systems the modules control.
The plaintiff says an electronic control module prevents excessive battery drain while the RAV4 is turned off. But the Toyota module allegedly fails to prevent parasitic drain on the battery.
Toyota allegedly conceals the battery drain problem even though the automaker says the battery life is three to five years.
The Toyota RAV4 battery must be recharged once it is drained, but the recharge is allegedly temporary because the battery will drain again.
The lawsuit claims some RAV4 batteries drained within days of purchasing the vehicles.
Owners of 2020 Toyota RAV4s complain about damaged alternators and how Toyota allegedly does nothing to warn customers. With no Toyota RAV4 battery recall, the plaintiff claims the automaker has suppressed the alleged battery drain problem and has done so since at least 2019.
"As Defendants were commencing delivery of the Class Vehicles to their dealership in January 2019, they told their dealers, on a pre-release basis, that the Vehicles suffered from parasitic drain, and instructed the dealers to test the Vehicle battery no more than two days before delivering the Vehicle to the lessor or purchaser, and to disconnect the batteries from the Vehicles in storage if they were not driven for as little as one week."
The RAV4 battery lawsuit says this proves Toyota knew about the battery drain problem and how a battery could completely drain in just two days.
In addition, owners and lessees allegedly must pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for RAV4 battery replacements, diagnostic services, roadside assistance, towing and battery chargers.
Toyota RAV4 Battery Bulletins
According to the class action lawsuit, Toyota issued to dealers the technical service bulletin T-SB-0095-20 which says multiple models may experience “Depleted 12V vehicle battery when in IG-OFF,” and advises that a “DCM reset and firmware update” will fix the problem.
Toyota also issued Tech Tip T-TT-0625-20 entitled, "12 Volt Battery Discharge Diagnostic Recommendations." The Tech Tip applies to “2020-21 MY Vehicles Equipped with LG DCM” with discharged batteries.
"A '12V Battery Discharged and / or Dead condition can be due to multiple causes. In order to properly diagnose and determine the root cause it’s important to follow a structured process to identify any contributing issues and determine the proper remedy.'”
The RAV4 battery lawsuit also alleges T-SB-0095-20 has been revised and superseded at least three times.
The Toyota RAV4 battery lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta Division): Nick McClure vs. Toyota Motor Corporation, et al.
The plaintiff is represented by the Carroll Law Firm LLC of Georgia, and Migliaccio & Rathod LLP.