Broken Vehicle Speed Control Still Plagues 2018 Toyota RAV4 Models

When buying a popular vehicle, you might think all the bugs have already been worked out. But that isn’t the case with the 2018 Toyota RAV4. Some owners have experienced scary or dangerous speed control problems. Here’s what we know.

The 2018 Toyota RAV4’s problems

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2018 Toyota RAV4 owners have reported speed control problems to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), CarComplaints.com reports. Owners posting their concerns on CarComplaints.com have mentioned various speed problems. Several RAV4s accelerated even with the driver’s foot on the brake. One owner had trouble getting the SUV to accelerate past 60 mph on the highway. Another experienced extreme acceleration, causing the RAV4 to speed off the road and up a hill.

Similarly, a driver slowly pulling into a driveway had the SUV lurch forward, hitting the garage. To remedy the situation, the driver reversed, but the SUV accelerated into the street. Trying again to park, the driver shifted into drive, only to have the RAV4 accelerate and crash next to the garage. Adaptive cruise control also caused concerns, causing the SUV to continue to accelerate despite other vehicles ahead.

In an unrelated issue, a new class-action lawsuit alleges 2013–2018 Toyota RAV4 SUVs have battery defects that can cause electrical power loss, stalling, and fires, CarComplaints.com reports. The NHTSA is investigating these RAV4 fires.

How dangerous is the 2018 RAV4’s speed control problem?

The 2018 RAV4’s speed control problem is serious enough to have caused four reported crashes, CarComplaints.com reports. Though none has resulted in death, one injury was reported. CarComplaints.com gives the speed control issue a severity rating of 10, or “really awful.” The issue appears on average around 25,191 miles.

The 2018 RAV4 at a glance

Powertrains

In its 2018 RAV4 review, MotorTrend found some pluses and minuses. The 2018 RAV4 packs a 2.5-liter inline-four engine producing 176 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque. It pairs with a six-speed automatic transmission. The compact crossover SUV came standard with front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive was available. MotorTrend wasn’t thrilled with the handling or steering. The 2018 RAV Hybrid’s powertrain came with all-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission. The hybrid uses the same engine but adds three electric motors, generating 194 hp. The 2018 RAV4 can tow up to 1,500 pounds with the base engine or 1,750 pounds with the hybrid powertrain.

Space

The interior is roomy, one of the 2018 RAV4’s best traits. But MotorTrend didn’t care for the fit and finish, calling the interior “subpar.” Cloth seats came standard, but synthetic leather was available. This model year didn’t offer a huge cargo area, with 38.4 cubic feet of space behind the second row. With the rear seats folded, you get 73.4 cubic feet. The hybrid version has 2.8 cubic feet less cargo capacity.

Infotainment features

The 2018 RAV4 came standard with a 6.1-inch touchscreen, but a 7.0-inch one was available. Also standard were a CD player, Bluetooth, USB port, and six-speaker sound system. Available features included an 11-speaker audio system, a navigation system, satellite radio, and Siri Eyes Free. There was also the Entune app suite with iHeartRadio, OpenTable, Pandora, and Yelp, U.S. News reports. But there’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration for this model year.

Safety

Several safety features came standard on all trims. The 2018 RAV4 came with a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with brake assist, lane departure warning, and lane-keep assist. Other available safety features were blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, and a 360-degree parking camera system.

The roomy 2018 Toyota RAV4 has plenty of passenger space but can’t compete with rivals in interior quality or handling. Along with its average ratings, possible speed control problems might convince used-car shoppers to look elsewhere.