Toyota RAV4 class action lawsuit alleges back hatch hinges are defective.

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Toyota RAV4 Liftgate Lawsuit Alleges Hinge Problems
Toyota RAV4 class action lawsuit alleges back hatch hinges are defective.

— Toyota RAV4 liftgate problems involving hinges have caused a class action lawsuit which includes 2014-2021 Toyota RAV4 SUVs equipped with power liftgates.

The lawsuit was filed for more than $5 million because a RAV4 owner asserts the back door hinges are defective and cause problems with opening and closing the liftgates.

The 2014-2021 Toyota RAV4 power liftgate hinges allegedly also cause the rear doors to stay open and cause constant warnings about open liftgates.

The "defectively designed and/or manufactured hinges" can allegedly damage the power liftgate struts, actuators and the RAV4 body.

The class action lawsuit alleges Toyota dealers may replace the hinges, but the replacement hinges are allegedly defective.

Toyota allegedly knew the RAV4 liftgate hinges were defective but concealed the information from consumers, failing to inform customers their RAV4 hinges allegedly decrease the vehicle values.

According to the plaintiff, Toyota is unwilling or unable to properly repair the RAV4 liftgate hinge problems.

Toyota RAV4 Liftgate Hinge Lawsuit — The Plaintiff

The RAV4 hinge class action was filed by California plaintiff Zach Hughes who purchased a new 2019 Toyota RAV4 in November 2019.

In April 2021 when the RAV4 had about 25,000 miles on the odometer, the power liftgate did not open and close as intended. When he pressed the button on his key fob to open the power liftgate, he says he heard metal cracking sounds coming from the struts and/or hinges as the power liftgate tried to open.

The plaintiff contends the RAV4 liftgate would open halfway, close, then open again and repeat this cycle numerous times.

He took the RAV4 to a Toyota dealership and was allegedly told to lubricate the struts, which he did.

From 2021 until 2022, the metal cracking sounds that occurred when operating the power liftgate had improved but only marginally from lubrication.

The RAV4 liftgate allegedly continued to have problems opening and closing, and "would open and close at unpredictable frequencies when Plaintiff Hughes attempted to load and unload cargo from his vehicle."

According to the class action, the plaintiff saw the RAV4 liftgate hinges and struts had snapped in October 2022 when the vehicle had about 39,000 miles on it.

The plaintiff also contends he saw a large gap in the left hinge and strut area.

The plaintiff says he learned there was no RAV4 liftgate hinge recall, but in March 2023 the dealer told him the side hinge was torn and not lining up with the RAV4 body.

The RAV4 owner says he was referred to a body shop for liftgate hinge repairs.

Toyota allegedly declined to pay for repairs because the RAV4 warranty had expired, so the plaintiff paid more than $2,000 for liftgate repairs.

According to the class action, the RAV4 "power liftgate still fails to open and close, and/or opens and closes at unpredictable rates. He has further observed cracks in the hinges and heard loud noises when the power liftgate opens and closes."

The lawsuit also references a technical service bulletin issued to dealerships about Toyota RAV4 back door hinge problems.

"Some 2013 – 2017 model year RAV4 vehicles may exhibit corrosion around the rear hatch hinges. The corrosion may be present in varying degrees, ranging from paint blisters to red surface rust with perforation." — Toyota RAV4 T-SB-0120-18

According to the lawsuit, Toyota should recall the vehicles, offer a free replacement program or buy back the RAV4 SUVs.

The Toyota RAV4 liftgate hinge class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California: Zach Hughes v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. et al.

The plaintiff is represented by Nye, Stirling, Hale, Miller & Sweet LLP, and Sauder Schelkopf.


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