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

Electrical system and vehicle speed control issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

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 what they are actually getting is too much to handle. From the faulty electrical system to the malfunctioning vehicle speed control, this SUV is putting a lot of lives at risk.

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Problems with the Electrical System

With the advanced powertrain intact, it’s normal to expect advanced equipment inside the cabin as well. However, this vehicle is nothing but a letdown to most drivers.

One Edmunds review states, “As a brand new car purchase, I expect the bells and whistles to work more than 3000 miles. The heated steering wheel and seat stopped working. They were confirmed to be broken and were replaced. But now it heats up in 1.30 minutes lasts for a minute and it turns off for 4 minutes- all parts of the steering wheel. This signals further issues with the electrical components, and likely the computer.”

It’s not surprising that Toyota can’t get the electrical system right when they have yet to perfect the fuel system. A recent class-action lawsuit claims that the larger Highlander Hybrid models can’t fill up the tank to full capacity because of a venting issue. These are the same engineers designing equipment for the RAV4 Hybrid, so everything should be a little bit clearer now. Maybe it’s time for Toyota to hire some workers that actually understand how to build a vehicle, not just some that created a few out of LEGOs.

Problems with the Vehicle Speed Control

A vehicle’s speed control is what ensures safety on the road. However, this RAV4 Hybrid model seems to have some issues in this arena, among others.

One NHTSA complaint touches on a number of concerns. “Car wouldn’t start. Left stranded without vehicle. 2. Cruise control turned off and would never turn back on for the duration of my 30-minute drive. 3. The cruise control accelerated past the set limit. It was challenging to get it to stop accelerating. It didn’t stop right away either. Scared me to death. 4. Instrument panel was flickering bright to dim constant and then settled at dim during daylight hours in broad daylight. 5. Phone charger not working properly. My phone is not moving around either. 6. The entire radio system wouldn’t work. No sound or anything during my entire duration of drive. 7. 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. 8. Lane Assist seems like it’s fighting itself. It basically makes the steering wheel shaky feeling when it’s on and bounces back and forth. 9. When any iPhone is plugged in flashes between CarPlay to regular mode every 3-5 seconds. 10. Receiving message that hybrid battery low.”

That was a lot to deal with at one shot but is also the perfect explanation of how faulty the 2021 RAV4 Hybrid truly is. Beyond this Service Bulletin #T-TT-0537-19_Rev also goes on to discuss issues with the blind spot monitor sensor angles. Is there any part of this Toyota SUV that isn’t defective? It’s unclear at this point what drivers are actually getting out of the drives beyond headaches.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Toyota pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 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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