2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Airbag, brake, cruise control, electrical, and explosive sunroof issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

For customers looking for an advanced vehicle and a fuel-conscious powertrain, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid seems to check all of the boxes. The automaker claims it will help owners “get more out of every drive.” But for some owners, the “more” comes in the form of problems. Complaints range from faulty brakes and malfunctioning airbags to exploding sunroofs.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2017   2018    2019

Most Common Problems

The number of complaints received by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid are minimal. But most affected owners state that more than one component or system is to blame for problems. Overall, they include airbags that don’t deploy, brakes that fail, an electrical system that malfunctions, sunroofs that explode, and issues with vehicle speed control and related systems.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Air Bags
Electrical System
Lane Departure: Assist
Service Brakes
Vehicle Speed Control
Visibility:sun/moon Roof Assembly

Airbag and Brake

An owner from Virginia suffered a double whammy when a 2021 RAV4 Hybrid’s brakes failed and the airbags malfunctioned when the SUV crashed. The NHTSA complaint states that while driving at about 10 mph,” the vehicle failed to stop while the brake pedal was depressed.” This resulted in the SUV crashing into two parked vehicles. It eventually stopped after crashing into a curb. However, no warning lights were illuminated and the airbags failed to deploy.

The owner filed a police report and the vehicle was towed to a local mechanic. Later it was towed to a local dealer where it was awaiting diagnosis at the time of the complaint.

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Sunroof Problems

Lemberg Law is investigating complaints from owners of other 2021 Toyota RAV4 models that state defective sunroofs spontaneously shatter or explode. The 2021 RAV4 Hybrid sunroof is not exempt.

Reported as a visibility issue, an owner from California describes in an NHTSA complaint what happened when his 2021 RAV4 Hybrid sunroof exploded.

The owner was driving at about 50 mph when it happened and “fragments of glass fell inside the cabin of the vehicle.” Unsurprisingly, the dealer said the sunroof needed to be replaced. But the windshield wasn’t replaced. “The manufacturer was informed of the failure but offered no assistance.” Presumably, the damage isn’t covered by the warranty.

Problems with Multiple Malfunctions

An owner from Ohio was faced with a myriad of problems ranging from electrical issues and battery concerns to malfunctions affecting cruise control and lane assist.

On one occasion, the SUV wouldn’t start and the owner was left stranded without a vehicle. Another time, “cruise control turned off and wouldn’t turn back on for the duration of my 30-minute drive.” Cruise control also accelerated past the set limit and “it was challenging to get it to stop accelerating. It didn’t stop right away either. Scared me to death.” Additionally, “Lane Assist seems like it’s fighting itself.” The complaint goes on to describe how it makes the steering wheel feel shaky when it’s on, and it bounces back and forth.”

Electrical system problems are wide-ranging:

  • The instrument panel was flickering bright to dim constantly and then settled at dim during daylight hours in broad daylight.
  • The phone charger wasn’t working properly. “My phone is not moving around either.”
  • The radio system wouldn’t work. No sound or anything while driving.
  • The remote start “barely works ever but I can start Eric’s truck.”
  • It doesn’t recognize the door lock/unlock most of the time either.
  • When any iPhone is plugged in, it flashes between CarPlay to regular mode every 3-5 seconds.
  • Lastly, he states he was receiving a message that the hybrid battery was low.

Is Your 2021 RAV4 a Lemon?

Owners who complain that problems recur and affect their use and value of their 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid might have landed up with a lemon. If this is your problem, what you need is an experienced lemon lawyer. Lemberg Law specializes in lemon law vehicle cases and will assess your problem free of charge.

Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners. And the law makes Toyota pay the legal fees.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones

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