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

Windshield Cracking & Lighting are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The Toyota Venza doesn’t have a great track record.  Originally launched as a crossover vehicle in 2008 for the 2009 model year, it was discontinued in 2015. Reimagined and relaunched in 2021, it remains a five-passenger crossover. But it is now branded as a hybrid-only model that focuses on its SUV qualities and characteristics.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2022

Most Common Problems

Complaints about the 2021 Toyota Venza started to roll in to the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from November 2020 when it was first released. They have kept on coming. There were 9 complaints registered during the first 24 days of January 2022, and a total of 44 complaints received by this date.

While the first 5 complaints were registered in an NHTSA category, 2021 Toyota Venza Hybrid (which is what it is), the next 39 complaints are simply categorized as the 2021 Toyota Venza. It is important to group these together for analysis.

The first few complaints were about exterior lighting issues, seat belts, and the fuel propulsion system of the newly launched hybrid. But it quickly became apparent that bodywork issues, particularly windshields cracking, are a much bigger problem. With 20 complaints to NHTSA, visibility/wiper issues still top the list.

As a result of consumer complaints made to Lemberg Law about windshield cracks, we already have a class action investigation underway. Here we focus on official NHTSA complaints. But if your windshield is cracked or shows signs of cracking, and you’d like to join the class action, we urge you to contact us.

In total, there are currently 44 complaints on file at NHTSA for the 2021 Toyota Venza. They relate to a wide range of problems including electrical system issues, engine, lane departure, service brakes, and steering. But the three most common problems lie with the windshield cracking, exterior lighting, and the fuel/propulsion system.

2021 Toyota Venza Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Exterior Lighting
Fuel/propulsion System
Service Brakes
Electrical System
Power Train
Vehicle Speed Control
Air Bags

Windshield Cracking/Visibility Problems

At the end of January 2022, there are already a total of 27 complaints about visibility and/or wiper problems. All of these refer to windshield cracking. Some Venza owners report hearing a stone hitting their windscreen, others say that the cracks appear to occur spontaneously.

The first reported event was in November 2021, the most recent in January 2022. So, it’s an issue we cannot link to older vehicles.

While every situation tells a different story, the ultimate scenario is the same. The windshield cracks. Since obstructed visibility is a major hazard, it is a problem that we cannot ignore.

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Problems with the Exterior Lighting

Most of the 7 complaints about exterior lighting problems focus directly on shadows that form when the headlights of the car are in low beam mode. Drivers say they are a major distraction that decreases visibility and makes it look as though there are people or animals on the road.

One complainant points out that using high beams solves the problem, but argues that this doesn’t eliminate the risks when using the low beams. This person reported that a Toyota dealer said it was the “fault” of the car’s new LEDs. This is not a solution!

Fuel Gauge Problems

The first two complaints about the 2021 Toyota Venza were regarding the fuel/propulsion system.  Both highlight the fact that the tank gauge doesn’t seem to read correctly. As a result, drivers don’t know how much fuel they have left. The risk is that you might run out of fuel … which is a potential danger.

What to do if your Toyota Venza is a Lemon? Your Lemon Rights:

As we head into 2022, it’s worth noting that there are no major differences between the 2021 and the new 2022 Toyota Venza. For this reason alone, it’s worth paying attention to the complaints 2021 owners are sharing about their vehicles.

If you believe you have bought a lemon, call the Lemberg Law Helpline so we can evaluate your case and try to help you. Maybe you want to return the vehicle and get a new one, get the manufacturer to refund you, or perhaps you are after a cash settlement. We will advise you free of charge.

And if we continue with the case, the law says that Toyota must pay your costs.

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
  • solo

    Toyota please do not trash this beautiful vehicle keep your good name.

  • Robert H

    How legal is this SUV? How compliant is this car with Federal DOT NHTSA requirements?
    I too have a 2021 Venza. Folks need to keep in mind that this is a True import, that was manufactured in Japan. Therefore: it did not receive or meet the standard crashworthiness testing established by NHTSA. (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) (No weight, roll-over, or crash worthiness analysis). This would probable explain why you pay more for insurance on this vehicle. Japan uses different standards than U.S. DOT NHTSA. Also, if you look at the factory labeling on the door post you will discover the weight rating is listed as the actual weight of the car and allows only 900 additional pounds (-32 lbs. for added options in Calif.) for passengers and cargo. (174 lbs. per passenger). When I requested a luggage rack from the dealer, Toyota would not authorize installation. Discovered later this was because there is no Fed/DOT center of gravity or roll over analysis, as per NHTSA standards, additional weight cannot be added to this vehicle and still meet federal FVMSS standards. (No towing ability and plan to ship your luggage ahead on your next trip…)
    Additionally; this is a car built for drivers in Japan; full of all the gadgetry that the Japanese people love. This car has over 100 programable features. Just for the rear-view mirror there are nine settings and I lost count of the number to change the door lock functions. Yes, they can be fun like a new computer however; also agonizing when it takes 4 steps to change the channel on the radio driving down the highway. All of the dash controls are electronic led controls. Not one knob on the dash for anything. All #8 font led lights. Wear your glasses especially at night. It is a little like brail to find the right light to push. The computer screen is also somewhat intimidating.
    Beyond the complexity and shortcomings with the controls and programing methods; the car drives well and can be fun to drive after you select and program the right features. Eleven cameras gives good view and great self-steering/lane mitigation and cruise control design. Fact is; many of the features and gadgets people will never use.
    My wife selected and loves this car, but I would not buy it again. Due to the uncertainty of future cost including limited part availability. The fact that it does not meet the Fed DOT/NHTSA testing standards. I believe that Toyota sold less than 9,000 of these vehicles which is a low court in the US market. Likely there will be long wait time on many parts.

  • Jim D

    I have owned our 2021 Venza limited since Feb. 2021. I have only 20,000 miles, including 2 trips up to Canadian border, from Phoenix, and back, and one trip to St. Louis, and back of course, But, we are very happy with this vehicle, have had NO issues whatsoever, except that it is smaller inside than anticipated, for a 6’4” driver.

  • Rick W

    My gas guage says empty so when I fill it, it only takes 40 liters of gas. The other problem is and has happened several times is it won’t start, Toyota sends someone to boost and it works fine, but this morning it would not start, called Toyota road side assistance and they said they are not allowed to boost and it would have to be towed in except the auto brake is on and no way to release it, so it is sitting in my driveway till Toyota can resolve this.

  • Orval

    During the past 3 days my rear hatch has opened 4 times without being asked too. Fortunately 2 time the vehicle was parked in my garage so the vehicle was secure. Once it happened at a road side stop and another at a gas station.

  • Emmanuel N

    I bought the Toyota Venza 2021, and the very first day of driving it I started noticing a whole bunch of issues with the car. Starting with the braking system it almost gave me a heart attack when I entered a bump while braking. The car brakes felt as if it stopped working and was making a crackling noise I had to quickly release the brake and applied it again before I could come to a safe stop. Then the shock absorbers felt like I was driving a 20 year old car with leaking shock absorbers. When you run into a bump it will hit so hard like you are using a sledgehammer on a steel beam. I noticed that little rocks coming off the tires of cars in front of me easily caused my windshield to have small cracks and my wipers are never doing a good job of giving me a clear windshield and I have changed my wipers twice now from date of purchase. The lights are limited in travel distance and has a shadow like effect on it, I even went to my dealership and requested for the fog light which I was told is not available at the time of my request. The back seat seatbelts are already looking bad and twisted. I hear a cracking sound when I step on my accelerator and when I brake and it feels like am having issues with my front shaft. The car stereo even after I did an update sometimes disconnects my Bluetooth device and my fuel gauge initially was showing me 411 mile’s when filled up but now can’t go past 385 miles. Not sure why.

  • Monica T

    I took my 2013 Venza for all the routine maintenance service faithfully. I took the Venza into the shop for a routine oil change and 3 days later no oil was noted. I took the Venza back to the dealership shop and no problem was detected and oil was placed. At the next schedule service I was informed the engine was burning the oil and the engine needed to be replaced. This Venza has 123,000 miles.

  • Jane G

    Took my 2021 toyota venza in for 20,000 mile maintenance even though had not quite reached that milage. Was told I need all new tires because car was bad out of line and was eating up the tires. I reported at 5000 mi car on rt rear sounded like rear tire was locking up and made a grinding noise when braking and coming to stop. No rough roads and have had the car a 1 1/2 yrs. New tires needed doesn’t make since. Cupping on the inside. Also have had 3 windshields this year.

  • Ahmed E

    My windshield also cracked and had to replace it for 1200$

  • Maynard m

    Had a recall on suspension. Hopefully fixed. Now electric start not working. Had it towed to dealer.

  • Bob H

    I have a 2021 Venza Limited with the optional Star Gaze roof. While driving on I70 last week, a passing truck kicked up a small stone that impacted the roof 1” above the windshield, causing a small chip in the glass. Within 24 hours, a crack spread 12” from the chip. My local Toyota dealer is still working on the estimate, but the replacement glass alone is $5200 + tax. Labor is estimated at nearly $2,000. How can Toyota sell a car that a small stone impact can cause $7,500 in damage? That’s nearly 18% of the MSRP of the vehicle!

  • Mike C

    my 2021 gave a 890kms of autonomy in summer, in colder temperature it goes down to 670

    is it normal…seems a lot to blame on weather and I believethe gauge does not read correctly

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