Trucks & SUVs

Your 2020 Toyota RAV4 Might Come With Fuel System Problems

There have been reports of the 2020 Toyota RAV4 struggling with fuel system problems. This may have brought the Toyota RAV4 reliability ranking down and even spurred a recall. Check out what issues seem to be plaguing this model. 

2020 Toyota RAV4 fuel system problems 

Upon reviewing the Consumer Reports reliability ranking for the 2020 Toyota RAV4, I noticed that it received a score of three out of five stars. This felt a little low for one of the most popular SUV options, so I needed to discover why it’s predicted reliability rating isn’t the greatest. 

2020 RAV4 TRD edition driving on dirt road
2020 RAV4 TRD | Toyota

When Consumer Reports sent out surveys to thousands of vehicle owners to determine how they performed and to discover potential trouble spots, people reported fuel system problems. Issues with the fuel system seemed to give people the most trouble. 

Fuel system issues included the check engine light illuminating, fuel leaks, the engine stalling, hesitation with accelerating, and more, but this didn’t focus on one major problem that could be fixed. 

What is the fuel system problem? 

If you switch gears and look at Car Complaints, you’ll see more detailed reports of the issues drivers face. About 47 people took the time to complain about the 2020 Toyota RAV4 having a faulty fuel tank. 

When the RAV4 has a 14.5-gallon tank, drivers couldn’t get it to fill all the way up. Some people could only fill their tanks with 8 gallons of gas, while others managed to get about 10 gallons. The RAV4 should have a range of about 560 miles but was only getting about 470 miles. 

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On top of that, some Toyota RAV4 owners also experience fuel gauge inaccuracies. It would read full, with only 10 gallons of gas, or empty when over 2 ½ gallons of fuel were left in the tank. Some people said Toyota dealerships were aware of this issue but sold the SUVs anyway. 

Was the fuel system fixed? 

There haven’t been many 2020 Toyota RAV4 complaints about the fuel system posted since the fall. So, does this mean that Toyota fixed the problem?

Maybe. According to Green Car Reports, Toyota acknowledged that the issue was caused by the shape of the fuel tank and the position of the fuel sender gauge. They also noted that a fix was coming soon. 

But a lawsuit claims the issue is caused because the fuel systems are not properly vented, which increases emissions for the vehicle and can cause damage the components due to higher internal pressure. 

A red 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid at sunset with its lights on
2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid | Toyota

Also, for some, dealers allegedly were able to correct the problem with a software fix that makes the fuel gauge appear full. But it was still impossible to fill the fuel tank with more than 11 gallons of gas when empty. 

In November 2020, Toyota issued a recall for a variety of models, include the 2019 and 2020 Toyota RAV4 models. But this recall was issued because the fuel pump may fail. If the pump fails, the engine may stall while driving, increasing the risk of injuries. This isn’t related to the inability to fill the tank all the way. So, it’s unclear if the issue has been solved.