Toyota RAV4

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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

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Satisfaction Rating

Bad experience with 2011 RAV4 - We purchased this Limited V6 new in 2011 and maintained it diligently. It's the first Toyota we've had--and will be the last. This vehicle has 34K miles on it, but is out of warranty. We've responded to every recall. No leaks in the driveway, no check engine light or other alarm. May 2017 at a routine oil change we were told there was a transaxle leak that needed immediate attention at an authorized dealer. There we were told the repair cost will be $3000! We've done nothing to cause this. The manager said this only happens in cars with 100K miles. We emailed Toyota--no response yet. We called Toyota and were told "That happens sometimes. Nothing we can do." We find that completely unsatisfactory. I don't know how anyone could feel safe driving a car that "breaks" so suddenly and gives no warning that a repair is needed.

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Problem occurred this past March with my 2006 Toyota Rav4, 109500 miles well maintained. Usually following a cold start, car would unexpectedly lose power steering and most dash warning lights would flash on. This was annoying at slow speeds and dangerous at higher speeds. Usually, I could pull over, turn off and restart and the problem would disappear. Had it the dealership three times and they could not figure out problem. Also tried at local garage, same result. Finally took to a different dealership, printed off from internet blogs similar problems with others, and described in detail to the service manager who took an interest.

They diagnosed the problem as the alternator, which I had replaced a year earlier with a non-Toyota aftermarket replacement alternator. According to the dealership service manager, Rav4's do not do well with non-Toyota replacement alternators. They installed a new Toyota alternator, and there have been no problems or issues since.

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Do not purchase a RAV4 with leather seats, you will be very disappointed. My 2015 RAV4 with 20,000 miles have wrinkles in the seats and the dealership manager took a look at them and decided there is nothing they will do about them even though it is under warranty. The Toyota Customer Experience Center in Mansfield, Ohio called me after a one month wait and she said that the Toyota District Manager said they can be of no help. This is the last time I purchase a Toyota, they fail to stand behind their product.

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So after having a handful of Honda's CR-v and never had any issues, I decided to buy a used Rav4 from original owner with only 109K on odo. Was a good price and car had been maintained at dealership only so what could go wrong??? Well after the first weekend driving the car to Monterey from San Francisco, I did check the oil and noticed it needed some which was strange because previous owner had just did an oil change. So I added some thinking it was a mistake from the guy who had worked on it only to find out upon my return in the Bay that it needed oil again, about the same amount!!! Not good, so I did a little research only about this model on to find out that there was a flaw in piston/rings design from factory and these engine were known to burn oil!!!

Damn this is my first Toyota and it's not a good start, so as many unhappy owners I started the process of dealing with my local Toyota dealer and see what they could do for me... It did take a few attempts but they were really accommodating and finally agreed to rebuild the engine at no charge! So engine is running fine but within a few hundreds miles, everything else has started to fall apart! Front shocks, wheel bearing on all 4 wheels, control arms, etc... Not sure when this will end as after replacing all these parts, I still have a major knocking sound on the front right wheel going over speed bumps and when backing up the car!

This is unreal as this car is an absolute lemon. Everything pretty much has needed attention and I just want to leave the thing on the side of the road and walk away from it. I made another appointment with Toyota of Marin as to see whether they can diagnose the issue and solve it so I can sell the damn thing... Thanks Toyota but never again.

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First experience: I bought a used 2008 Toyota Rav4 wheel drive with 30,000 kms from the Toyota Dealer in 2010. It was in Super shape and you could tell it was well cared for by its previous owner. My first winter experience was terrible. The least amount of snow that I stopped in lead to a tow job or a shoveling experience in the worst kind of weather conditions and in a dress suit no less. For some reason the exhilaration would die when you tried to drive out of the snow. I said to my wife, this is the last winter for that Rav. Toyota dealer rep said it was normal. I said "normal to be helpless". Wow!

Onto 2013-2017, now I own a '13 Rav. Was told by my Rep that the override button and the this and that button would take away that 2008 Rav experience. Let me tell you something, this Rav is no different. I got stuck the other day and I must say, it confirmed my feeling that this is my last Rav. I am totally disappointed in their so called 4 wheel drive system. If I was in a Remote area, I would be there 'till the spring thaw. Garbage! How can they call that system a AWD, 4WD? How much do I hate my Rav: If someone at a Shopping Mall was selling tickets on a Rav4, I would not buy a ticket because I would be afraid I would win it. That's bad.

DO NOT PUT YOUR WIFE OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE IN A RAV. In closing, like all of us, I never bought the Rav for the good days, I bought it for the bad days. The only problem, the bad days for me are the worse days.

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Yes, I too have fallen victim to Toyota's insipid engineering and unconscionable "customer care". I bought my used 2006 Rav4 in 2007 with only 1000+ miles. Like countless other Toyota owners that states their story, I am no longer eligible for the "Warranty Enhancement Program" because I am, according to them, ten years past the date of first use. That's where it gets sketchy. Since I bought mine used, how am I supposed to know when the date of first use is?

I have also had the oil consumption test performed and it failed. It was documented at the dealership when the first notice came out to get the test performed despite the part to fix the issue was being made. When the notice came out that the part was available, I made a beeline for the dealership to get my Rav4 repaired. They told me I would need to do another test, so I opted to get it done. Couldn't hurt, right? I did the test but they claimed it was invalid because I went past the mileage. That shouldn't matter anyway as the first test proved to be positive for excessive oil consumption. The dealership then told me I needed to do it again, but even if I did, they didn't know when they could accommodate me as they were backed up with the repairs and didn't have enough parts.

Earlier in 2016, I took it to another dealership location and they said the same thing: need another consumption test, not enough parts and there was a long wait to get the car repaired. They said they would call when they got the part in, but never called me. When I called them a few times throughout the year, they said it was still a wait. Around September of last year, I went to the dealership. I first went to get the test done and they said the part was in but again, could not fit me in their schedule. I waited again and called to see if they could accommodate me and that the part was in. This was mid-January of this year (2017). I wanted to confirm that they could perform the repair under the "warranty enhancement program". After giving my VIN over the phone, he said my car was no longer eligible because it's ten years past the date of first use.

My step was to call Toyota Customer Service and they were no help. After spending approximately three hours on the phone and three days later, a "Customer Service Manager" called me to tell me that they won't honor the program with my vehicle, even after my above explanation. Apparently, after reading these other stories it looks like another class action lawsuit will be in the works. I will be pursuing it and filing complaints with the Attorney General, BBB and my Congressman. Toyota chooses to be shady and conduct illegitimate business selling faulty cars that they refuse to fix. We'll see about that!

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Currently leasing and brand new 2016 RAV4. At 4000 miles the brakes began squealing on moderate braking during the first 3 stops I took after starting the car. Every time. Several visits to the dealership, and an email to the CEO, I was told that this was NORMAL. That oxidation on the rotors was the cause. They then re-surfaced the rotors, something that they shouldn't have done because this was a fix Toyota. Came out with in a resolution form for a known issue on Canadian manufactured cars not the Japanese ones like mine is, but still that didn't fix the issue. Toyota then sent out a field rep who told me that there was nothing wrong with the car and he couldn't duplicate the sound. Yet, the techs at the dealership and video evidence proved otherwise. Still having the same issue as I type this.

Prior to that rep coming out I had given specific instructions to the dealership to call me when he arrived so I could test drive the car with him so that I could show him and they never relayed that message. Corporate Toyota told me that there was nothing further they could do for me and that this was how the car was going to operate. They refused to re-dispatch the field tech so that I could test drive with him. And then refused to cover warranty on the rotors after they compromised them from the resurfacing. The quality in the rotors are terrible and I refuse to ever purchase from Toyota again.

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I am having to pay over 3000 dollars for a new head gasket replacement on my 2008 Toyota Rav 4. I see there are numerous situations just like mine. But no recall covering my 2008 v6. I lost heat and took car in the next day. Told me head gasket is shot. Coolant leaking and running down and crusted on the block. Well this is probably my last Toyota, this will be the third water pump in 3 1/2 yrs. Mind you I bought this car used in Nov. of 2012. This is my last yr of paying for it. I'm feeling pretty disgusted. With this repair I will be in for 5000 for this yr of repairs. I am so done.

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I am writing this due to the excessive use of oil needed to run my 2007 RAV4 with 96,000 miles. I had a test ran on it in July 2016 but it did not meet your criteria to get the vehicle repaired. I just got off the phone with my local Toyota Service Department and they informed me there is nothing they could do because Toyota has closed the window to address their issue on my vehicle. Do I have any options?

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Just got back from the dealer. 860.00 for an exchange radio that they get from Toyota. Toyota customer care blew me off. They said I could buy the radio from the dealer and then submit the paperwork and they would then consider looking at it. Why would I pay $860 dollars for a refurbished exchange unit and then hope they might help reimburse me a little bit. The lady was not very nice about it either, denying there are problems with these units. Now this is the 4th Toyota we have bought since 2008, and they refuse to help. It is out of warranty, but they deny any problem with their radios. I beg to differ with them.

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Just LOVE this car. The RAV 4 is one of the best built vehicles I have ever owned. Handles beautifully, good power since this one is a 5 speed standard. Seats are very comfortable and it has reasonable cargo space for a small SUV-style car. It is a 13 yr old Toyota RAV 4, and it runs and looks great. Holds its value, too.

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Recently, I received a letter. Toyota offered an extended warranty to take care of the growling noise issue. I was so pleased that Toyota finally decided to resolve the issue that I have had since I bought it. They recommended customers to make reservation to diagnose the issue. So, I followed their recommendation. They diagnosed my car and told me that the transmission should be replaced to resolve the issue. It is not covered by the extended warranty. It would cost me about $5,000 to fix the issue. They also charged me $76 for the diagnosis.

I wondered why they did not find the problem and how they could not hear the noise when my car was under warranty. All of sudden, they can hear the noise and identify the reason of the noise, which would cost me $5,000 to fix. Even worse, they are charging $76 for the diagnosis service that they recommended. I called the Toyota customer service to get their support on this matter. It was a waste of time. The representative told me that she would call me back with an answer after she contacted the dealer. She have never called me back. Thus, I had to call them again. It ended up with wasting my time.

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My wife and I bought a 2016 RAV4 in January. We currently have 16,000 miles on our car. Not even a year old, we have already had a problem with the trunk. One morning while trying to load the back, our trunk wouldn't open, nor would it close completely. We turned the car off to basically put the entire vehicle at ease which helped close the trunk, but when we went to drive to work, the car continued to beep and show that the trunk was open. The motor in the trunk is broken, but with warranty the dealer is set to fix it.

Secondly on this new 2016 RAV4 the paint seems to be so cheap, that even a touch seems to scratch the paint. We have owned a Toyota Tacoma for ten years before we bought this 2016 RAV4. We had actually traded it in for our brand new 2016 RAV4 and honestly the paint was in better condition than our RAV4.

Finally, I don't know what kind of city mileage people are talking about with 23mpg, but currently or rather our whole eleven months with this car, we are barely making 17mpg in the city. This is something that needs attention. It's great on the highway at 27mpg, which is something we are extremely happy about.

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2016 Rav4 SE AWD 24k miles. At the dealer having the front rotors turned and replacing front brake pads. My previous 2 Audis, Tacoma, Juke which I all turned in at around 35k miles hardly even showed any wear. The thing that annoyed me was the service manager (car is at the dealer now) called and insinuated it's my fault and that I need to "brake more lightly". Unbelievable. I haven't even needed any brakes replaced in any of my cars since the 1980's. Even up to 50-60k. I know how to brake. Poor design. End of story.

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I bought my Rav 4 with 64,000 miles. I was driving and the oil light comes on. I look at the dipstick, no marking. I add a quart then 2 more just to get it to mark halfway. I read online reviews and took the car for a oil test at Elgin Toyota Dealer. The service writer said that it was normal for the car to burn 1.1 quart per 1000 miles and the oil light come on when is down to 2.5 qts. I told him some must be wrong with light if I added 3qts and the car holds 4.35 qts. He skip the question and ask me which oil wanted Regular or Synthetic for test. If go with Synthetic will the cure the problem and more mileage between oil change! He said, "No." And that I still have to change oil at 5000 miles. (I wasn't given the change to look at the dipstick before sealing.)

In waiting room, I talked to customer that came in for oil change. He said that he getting Synthetic oil cause his service writer said that it would be good for 10,000 miles. Some person on Carcomplaint.com said the he broke the seal at the dealer and found it overfilled for the test. I am not trusting them on the resolves. I am a proud veteran - I hope that I can still be. How come the News didn't report it?

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I have recently bought Used 2014 XLE from dealer. Carfax has no accident history. Initial drive looked great, so purchased car and after few weeks of driving found my back is started paining (I am 35 years old). So started closely observing the vehicle and found seats are vibrating at low speeds and also felt every bump on the road. It looks like the vibration is coming somewhere from rear as engine looks pretty smooth. One of the senior mechanic looked at in detail and said he feels the vibration but cannot find any root cause because everything looks pretty new including driveshaft, suspension, brakes, etc. I feel the Toyota built the rear suspension very stiff which is making every small bump on the road to feel and vehicle vibrates. Very bad choice and I don't recommend for anyone who intends do city driving.

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I know most people come to a site like this to complain when they have a problem. Most people who never have an issue do not come to a site like this ever. But I was doing some oil research and came across this site. We own 2 Rav4's and we ADORE them both. One is a 2003 with 210,000 miles and still runs like a bear. The other is a beautiful red 2015 Rav4 XLE with 9k who drives like a dream. Very little if any issues with the 2003... When YOU MAINTAIN IT.

I find after reading these reviews most people do NOT know anything about cars nor do they maintain them. To simply do your own oil changes eludes people. I predict and expect the 03' will go way past 300k. And the 2015 to do even better since I have her since new. I got the 03' at 42k miles. These cars are utilitarian. They can handle a beating. They are nimble with excellent driving position. Perfect for a day out or long trips. I would take my 2003 across country easily right now. Toyota's last... Recommended!

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I purchased my Rav4 at the end of 2015. I like it and drives very smooth. However I found out a problem in it. Its rear window is not strong enough. It explodes when the temperature inside the car is different from outside during early morning. I suggest leave one window a little open to protect blow up.

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2006 RAV4 with 114k - First the alternator went out at 97k then it started have an idling issue where it would shake when you stopped at red light or stop sign. It stopped for a while then started back. Then while going on an emergency out of town it would not start. No lights came on prior. I checked the oil and it was empty I had just had an oil change 1200 miles prior. Put oil in still would not start. Tried a different vehicle to jump it off and got it started. Put a new battery in the vehicle - it started doing the idling thing 10 times worse! It would go dead when stopped. Was told it would need to reset - drove it 400 miles home from the trip and it's still not better.

Took it to the dealership today and they tell me the bolt on the Engine mount it is loose and the throttle body needs cleaning (they say this will fix it but not so sure). This is by far the worst vehicle I have ever owned! I'm also currently doing the oil consumption test. As soon as I get it back it's being sold. We own two other Toyotas and have never had any issues!

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I had my car in park in the driveway. I was talking to the mail lady. I walked around my car into my yard to the mail box. Suddenly my drive shot out of the driveway like someone was driving it. The car hit a tree and there is extensive damage to the back. I am unsure what to do, Toyota is not helping me and the insurance company says unless they do I am stuck. The mail lady witnessed the accident.

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I have a 2007 Toyota Rav4 that I am not happy with. I had to replace the steering shaft about 5 years after I got it. It had just come off the warranty and Toyota would not pay for it. I wrote them a letter but got no help. I now have to replace the steering shaft again. Is this normal? I don't know anything about cars but this doesn't seem right. I have also had to replace my alternator twice. I will never buy another Toyota.

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I was very disappointed when the front brake pads started making a noise and I had to get new brake pads before reaching 20,000 miles! Front windows get stuck often when rolling them down! No big deal according to Toyota! It's normal due to the sensor it has which is very sensitive and little dirt could turn it on and automatically roll down the window sensing something is blocking (kind of like a hand or something on the way). Anyways after the two years warranty expired (at 32,000 miles) suddenly I heard a rattle noise when starting the car! I still have to find out what's going on. Honestly I feel like new cars are made to break down after the two year warranty! Not happy with TOYOTA!

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My Toyota Rav 2008 model has just cost me 1070.00 to replace the alternator. 3400 to rectify a sludge problem and replace the water pump. This has all occurred in a period of 1 month. I was told that the sludge in the motor would have caused the damage described. I bought the Rav second hand at the cost of 19,990 3 years ago. Have regularly had her service by Toyota. Spoke to Toyota Australia and have been told it was the bad service records of previous owner. Can I get any help or advice on how to handle my situation. Thank you.

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I purchased a Toyota RAV4 May 2014 and every light on the hatch is cracking or falling off and Toyota will do nothing. They will not take any responsibility. What a joke.

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I have a 2015 Toyota RAV4, but since I bought this vehicle I have been having back and neck pain which is as a result of the poor quality front driver's seat. I have tried to adjust the seat but nothing seem to change. I then decided to buy seat pad but still not better. I am seriously thinking of getting rid of this vehicle for something better.

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Noticed the brand new 2016 Rav4 XLE pulls to the right strongly after 3 days owning the car with 200 miles. Went to the dealer twice and did 2 alignments and cross tire rotation. The service admits the pulls and claim they fixed it the 1st time. However actually nothing is changed. Still pulls to the right, not any better. Come back again and the same technician tried to align and rotate again. We tested drive and still found it. The dealers lead technician mentioned he did everything he can but still cannot fix it. He opened a case to Toyota corp to investigate.

Me and the technician together drove another identical new RAV4 (with same MSRP) and both of us do not find the pulls on this one. So the problem is just with the one I purchased. This adds a lot of stress and distraction as it needs constant adjusting the steering wheel. It is a safety issue due to the extra distraction. It is not a normal pull. It pulls heavily and even turning the steering wheel a little bit left, within 3 seconds the car will go to the right on every lane of all types of road, consistently. I owned several other Toyota (some are 1 year new) and none of them has this issue. (This is after all realignment!) Very disappointed with this brand new car and introduces a lot of hassles after spending 27K on it! Because tire/alignment are not the issues I expect some defective parts, however the dealer say they cannot fix it...

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My husband's seatbelt did not hold and his airbag did not deploy correctly when he got into an accident. He broke his sternum. The trauma unit doctors said it takes a tremendous amount of force to break your sternum, so he had gone directly into the steering column without the seatbelt or airbag slowing him down. The doctors noted that there was no bruising from the seatbelt, so it had not caught at all. The broken bone was displaced, with one piece of the bone dangerously close to piercing his heart. It took months of pain to heal.

We reported it to Toyota immediately and they sent their "own" team to investigate the totaled RAV4 and reported to us that there was nothing wrong with the seatbelt or airbag. We protested their findings, citing recalls and the doctor's notes, but they did not care. When I posted warnings on their Facebook page, they blocked me from making any more comments and deleted my posts, even though their page says, "We value your opinions. Please join us." Any company who blocks a customer's negative remarks is hiding something.

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Earlier in 2015 I carried my 2015 RAV4 to the New Bern, NC for brake problems. The pedal went almost to the floor before stopping and seemed to continue leaking down. The dealership looked at the problem and determined that this was normal for the 2015 RAV4. I proceeded to drive the RAV4 a few weeks until I had a close call when stopping. After making another appt with the dealership, the service manager went for a ride with me so I could show him the problem. He did not see a problem. We then took a new 2015 RAV4 for a test drive so I could compare the results. The new RAV4 4 stopped a little better but nothing like the 2010 Prius that would throw you through the windshield!

After much discussion, the service manager agreed that there seemed to be some problem with the brakes. He stated that he would adjust the pedal to the max and do further testing. After some time, the car was ready. The pedal was adjusted, new pads were put on the front, and the back pads were resurfaced. The brakes are better, but not as good as the Prius or my previous 2012 Camry.

I later carried the RAV4 to the dealership to check out a fuel light which had come on my last trip with still 4+ gallons still in the tank. Also, I got only 19 miles per gallon on totally highway driving. The advisor seemed to think this was not abnormal but checked it out. Nothing found. I complained about the dirty oil after only 4500 miles. Again, I had only my Prius to compare it to. After discussion, the service mgr agreed to change the oil & filter to hopefully correct the problem although the 10000 mile mark had not been reached but timewise (over a year), it was due. We'll see.

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Please note that I have been driving & have owned Toyota vehicles in excess of 40 years. In all those years I have promoted and sold Toyota vehicles as a consumer. My opinion of this manufacturer has changed drastically the last couple years. I had a 2005 RAV4 limited that I loved. After the last time someone crashed into it and the car was totaled in 2009 I purchased a new Rav4 V6 limited. I experienced the gas pedal recall but I treated the car as an automatic. 2011 I had a leak of the rear differential fluid and the dealership goodwilled new shocks. This is where my radar activated.

As of last year I am not replacing mechanical parts with Toyota parts. My car just received its 3rd pair of shocks. Brake pads are next. Will be the 3rd set. The drivetrain assembly (coupler $1400 part) will need to be replaced. Toyota changed the manufacturer of their parts... possibly around 2006 and I know this is a source of a lot of their recalls. My last Rav had 157K and was ready to go to the moon and back. Only had brake pads replaced 1x and shocks were never replaced. My 2009 is a full time job even with my knowledge & experience.

My latest is with the suspension recall which I had the fix done in 9/2014. 2/15 I had a car run into the rear of my car. After getting the bodywork done I had the recall fix done again. There is no way to align the rear without having the recall fix done ($600). There is nothing wrong with my car from the accident. However after I had the fix done the right and left are out of toe. Improper tire wear and therefore braking is affected. I have been told that "this is ok". I get alignment readings done on a Hunter Hawkeye machine only. Unfortunately Toyota corporate is not what it used to be. I am so disappointed in a company that I have loved (yes loved) and supported for years. Even with all of my knowledge and experience I am not sure why Toyota has made the decisions they have chosen.

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I am having the same issue as "Mary of Simcoe, ON on July 2, 2014" and "Susan of Minneapolis, MN on July 22, 2014". I have a white 2013 Toyota RAV4 and the paint has begun cracking and peeling on the horizontal surface of the driver's side passenger door. A huge spot has begun cracking and peeling in a spot that would never be bumped or banged or hit by rocks. The peeling spots look just like Mary's pictures. My car is 32 months old with 20,800K miles. It should be covered by the 3 yr/36K Basic Warranty against defects in material or workmanship. In addition to the regular warranty, I also purchased the extended warranty from the dealership.

When I called the dealership service department, I spoke a woman who said she had accessed my warranty information and that paint defects were not covered. She had not seen the car to assess the issue, but told me flat out it was not covered. I found my warranty information and saw that ALL defects in material or workmanship are covered under the Basic Warranty for the 1st 3 yrs/36,000 miles (which my car meets) so I called back and spoke to possibly the same woman, although she said she had not spoken to me before. I read the warranty to her and told her this repair should be covered under warranty and asked her how to proceed. She said she would have someone call me. Nobody has called me.

I am calling the dealership tomorrow morning and asking for the service manager. I am going to try to get it in tomorrow for them to review and take pictures if necessary, because a big snow storm is coming the next day and they will probably say it is my fault after the snow storm. I have had good rapport with the service department in the past but it looks like they are going to put up a fight. What a shame. I owned a Toyota Sienna van before this car for over 14 years with no paint issues or any other kind of major issues. It seems like I have a lemon and will be looking for a new brand of automobile for my next purchase.

Toyota RAV4 Company Profile

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