Skip to main content

Did you know that the Toyota RAV4 has a history of transmission problems? As one of the most popular selling SUVs, this information may come as a shock to many consumers. However, now you’ll know which used models to avoid and if the 2022 Toyota RAV4 is a risky investment. 

Does the 2022 Toyota RAV4 still have transmission problems? 

Promotion shot of the 2022 Toyota RAV4 XSE compact SUV in blue
2022 Toyota RAV4 XSE | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

According to Consumer Reports, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 is pretty reliable, which is good. It received a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, so it’s not the best or the worst in its vehicle class. The predicted reliability rating is based on surveys sent out to vehicle owners. Drivers then report all of the issues they faced with their vehicles and how satisfied they were. The 2022 Toyota RAV4 has also been tested by Consumer Reports. However, as it’s still new, the data is still inconclusive whether its reliability is better, worse, or the same when compared to the 2021 model year.

So, issues with previous model years may have brought rankings for the 2021 model year down and may do the same with the 2022 model year. What previous model years are to blame? The majority of potential trouble spots come from the 2019 Toyota RAV4. It has problems listed for the body integrity, fuel system, and transmission problems. 

2019 RAV4 transmission problems 

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 was the debut of the vehicle’s fifth-generation redesign. Essentially, it got a makeover inside and out. While this led to some improvements over its previous generation, its redesign wasn’t perfect and created new problem areas. So, it had a few issues that needed to be addressed, as new vehicle models often do. According to Car Complaints, there were seven recalls issued for the 2019 Toyota RAV4 and three recalls issued for the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. The recalls were for problems such as leaking engine coolant, separating suspension arms, backup camera issues, and more. 

However, none of the recalls mentioned transmission problems. Yet, there are 35 reports of transmission problems reported by RAV4 drivers. One driver bought their 2019 RAV4 with 17,500 miles on it and noticed that it frequently jolted, as if the gears weren’t shifting correctly. They took their RAV4 to a Toyota dealership and received a software update to correct the issue. However, the technicians said they couldn’t find anything wrong the next day even though the jolting persisted. Another driver noticed that their Toyota RAV4 kept lurching forward at lower speeds. It also hesitated at lower speeds and had trouble quickly coming to a stop. Shaking and shuttering were common complaints as well.

Did Toyota fix the RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid problems? 

According to Fist Pump Guy, also known as Gary, on YouTube, there is an easy 2019 Toyota RAV4 transmission fix. He suggests that a software update released in April 2019 will update the problem. However, some people reported that the transmission problems still occurred after receiving this update from the Toyota dealership. Furthermore, owners will have to take their RAV4 to a dealership to receive the update.

Toyota released a service bulletin for this issue under the number T-SB-0107-19, cataloged by the NHTSA. Service will be provided to those with hesitating acceleration from a rolling stop. The update is for the Engine Control Module, and it reduces the potential for hesitation. Also, this fix is covered under the Toyota Federal Emission Warranty. However, despite these offered fixes, the automaker still didn’t send out a recall for this issue.

For now, there are currently no transmission problems reported for the 2020-2022 Toyota RAV4 model years. Still, more problems could emerge as those models accrue more milage. Therefore, it’s good news that current Toyota RAV4 models seem to have corrected the transmission problems present with the 2019 model year. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 has only three issues reported on Car Complaints.


Beyond the RAV4, Supra, and GR86, Toyota Fails to Impress Car and Driver Editors