Class action lawsuit alleges 2019-2021 Toyota RAV4 electronics and airbags are damaged by water.

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Toyota RAV4 Roof Rail Leaks Lead to Class Action Lawsuit
Class action lawsuit alleges 2019-2021 Toyota RAV4 electronics and airbags are damaged by water.

— A Toyota RAV4 roof rail leak class action lawsuit alleges Toyota knew water could leak into the vehicles and damage them beyond repair.

It includes all persons who purchased and/or leased a 2019-2021 Toyota RAV4 in the U.S.

The Toyota RAV roof rail leak lawsuit was filed by plaintiffs Todd and Judith Fishkind who purchased a new 2019 Toyota RAV4 in April 2019.

In October 2022 with about 28,000 miles on the RAV4, the vehicle suddenly began experiencing electrical problems. The vehicle was brought to a New York dealership where technicians said the dash cluster was malfunctioning and could not be used.

The RAV4 remained at the dealer for weeks while parts were ordered.

On December 20, 2022, the dealer said parts were available and technicians tried to make repairs, but the very cold temperature caused the wiring to become encased in ice.

The plaintiffs say they were told water entered the RAV4 A-pillar and covered the airbags, eventually leaking into the dashboard.

The dealer allegedly said Toyota would not cover any of the cost because the RAV4 warranty had expired. And the plaintiffs say an extended warranty they originally purchased would not cover expenses because the problem was “not a mechanical failure.”

The Toyota RAV 4 roof rail lawsuit alleges as of February 21, the vehicle remained at the dealer for 129 days and remains unusable on the dealer lot.

The class action alleges Toyota refused to repurchase the RAV4.

What Causes Toyota RAV4 Roof Rail Leaks

"Specifically, the Class Vehicles are manufactured with roof rails that use a white plastic stake and rubber gasket to affix the rails to the Class Vehicles’ roofs. To accomplish this, Toyota drills holes in the Class Vehicles’ roofs and then mounts the racks using the plastic stakes. Unfortunately, the rubber gasket used on the plastic stake is manufactured using a thin material that rapidly degrades allowing water to infiltrate the vehicle and short its electrical system."

The thin rubber gasket allegedly degrades and allows water from rain, snow, ice, a car wash or other sources to leak into the drilled holes and into the RAV4 pillars which contain the airbags. But the roof rail leak lawsuit also asserts water will ultimately move into the dashboard area which houses critical electrical components.

Several holes are drilled into the roof to install the roof rails on the Toyota RAV4, as seen in the above photo.

According to the roof rail leak lawsuit, Toyota knew in 2019 the 2019-2021 Toyota RAV4 vehicles were defective.

The class action lawsuit points to a September 2021 change Toyota made with the design of the rubber gaskets. Instead of using a thin material, Toyota allegedly now uses a far thicker material that does not degrade from basic exposure to water and other elements.

The plaintiffs contend Toyota has not issued a RAV4 roof rail leak recall to repair the alleged problems.

The Toyota RAV4 roof rail leak class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California: Todd and Judith Fishkind v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., et al.

The plaintiffs are represented by Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P., Saltz, Mongeluzzi & Bendesky, P.C., Gustafson Gluek PLLC, The Miller Law Firm, P.C., and Moon Law APC.


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