2023 Toyota RAV4 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system issues are the main cause of complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

Regarded as the first compact crossover SUV ever, the Toyota RAV4 has been around for nearly three decades. Still in its fifth generation, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 is, according to the automaker, focused on safety upgrades, connectivity, and multimedia. But owners are reporting failures with the electrical system that impact multimedia and connectivity, and ultimately result in safety issues.

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Most Common Problems with the 2023 Toyota RAV4

Released towards the end of 2022, the first complaint to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) was filed on December 29, 2022. By the end of June 2023, there had only been 7 complaints. But the bulk of these focus on features that Toyota has advertised as being superior upgrades, including safety, multimedia, and connectivity.

The electrical system tops the complaints with issues relating to unexplained error codes and infotainment system and rear view camera problems. There are also complaints about navigation issues. Most of these are potentially safety issues.

Another relatively minor complaint relates to the passenger seat being dangerously high, “even for a short person.” While another states that the forward collision avoidance system paid for and installed after purchase, doesn’t work. This, the complaint states, is definitely a “safety issue of the vehicle.”

The ongoing dispute about sunroofs exploding also rears its head in the 2023 RAV4 complaints. After an explosion that sounded like a “gunshot” happened on an interstate road with minimal traffic, a “freaked out” owner took the vehicle to a dealership. The complaint states he’d been driving at about 60 mph in very clear weather. But, as appears to be a typical response from most dealers (regardless of brand). According to the complaint “Toyota claims it was a piece of debris or rock that hit it, so they say it is not under warranty. $14k repair price which is almost a quarter of what I am paying for the vehicle. Waiting to see if my insurance covers it.”

2023 Toyota RAV4 Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Service Brakes
Fuel/propulsion System
Power Train
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings

Electrical System and Related Problems

While these complaints are all listed as electrical system problems, they are all varied. Some also identify other components as being partly responsible for the problems experienced.

Electrical System Combined with Engine and Steering Issues

The owner of what is described as a “brand new 2023 RAV4” describes driving the SUV in the rain for the first time. After pulling into a parking lot, he put the vehicle into Park, and it suddenly started “stuttering/jerking/jolting the whole car.” The RPMs were fluttering up and down between 2 and 3, the car engine turned on and off, and the “car felt very weird.”

Then, the check engine light and message “Engine stopped steering power low” came on, and turned the car off. “Then I turned it back on and it was doing the same thing, jolting me forward with the same message.” He also got the message “Not ready to drive” and shut the whole car back off.

“I could barely make it out of the drive thru to park it out of the way in a spot to wait for a tow truck. It wouldn’t drive. I had to get it towed to (the) dealership, and of course when it got there it was acting normal. I got it brand new 3 weeks ago.”

According to the dealership, which had it for little more than a day, there were no codes showing and so there was nothing wrong. “I am extremely concerned since something did happen! This seems dangerous, especially since the codes did not record. I told them I had a trip to go on up north and there was rain/snow anticipated. And they said they would be okay sending their family off in this car since everything with the car says it’s fine.”

There is no indication what happened next! Hopefully the family remained safe.

Powertrain Combined with Electrical System Issues

This complaint states that the driver made a stop at a stop sign. When the vehicle stalled, the driver got a message that the engine had shut off. The SUV wouldn’t restart in the middle of an intersection, and the engine would not turn over after stall.

Like so many other complaints, the dealership was unable to replicate the issue. But, in this case, they did say that “the computer had thrown codes.” Unfortunately, there is no indication what they were.

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Infotainment System Malfunction

What’s the point of an infotainment system if it doesn’t work? Especially when you’ve bought a 2023 RAV4 SUV because it has superior multimedia and connectivity features!

It’s not clear how long this 2023 RAV4 has been on the road, but in June 2023, the owner stated in a complaint that the SUV had been to the dealership “three times in six months.”

“For the last six months our vehicle has had its infotainment system malfunction. It shuts off unexpectedly while driving or stopped. It shuts off and on repeatedly as if [the] car is turning on and off. The bright warning sign will show and proceed to act normal, then again 5-10 seconds later it shuts off again. This issue happens with and without a phone connected to it via bluetooth. While (the) screen of the rear view camera does not work, nothing else is operable within the screen/infotainment system.”

That scenario isn’t going to work for anyone!

Is Your 2023 Toyota Rav4 a Lemon?

Do you think that your 2023 Toyota RAV4 might be a lemon? If so, Lemberg Law will be happy to assess your problems free of charge.

There don’t have to be thousands of complaints about faults and failures to make you think that a brand and model might be a lemon. There are always a few lemons that make it from the assembly line onto shop floors. And every year manufacturers, including Toyota, pay out a lot of money to lemon victims, because they have to. This means that you will benefit from a buy-back, replacement, or a cash settlement if the circumstances warrant it.

Lemberg Law is a lemon law firm that has helped many consumers get lemon cars out of their lives. We won’t charge you for our help because, by law, Toyota has to pay the legal bills for lemon cases.

Sergei Lemberg

About the Author:

Sergei Lemberg is an attorney focusing on consumer law, class actions related to automotive issues, and personal injury litigation. With nearly two decades of experience, his areas of practice include Lemon Law (vehicle defects), Debt Collection Harassment, TCPA (illegal robocalls and texts), Fair Credit Reporting Act, Overtime claims, Personal Injury cases, and Class Actions. He has consistently been recognized as the nation's "most active consumer attorney." In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid before the United States Supreme Court in the landmark case Duguid v. Facebook. He is also the author of "Defanging Debt Collectors," a guide that empowers consumers to fight back against debt collectors and prevail, as well as "Lemon Law 101: The Laws That Lemon Dealers Don't Want You to Know."

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  • Kevin s

    We’re parking in a handicap ♿️ spot. My mother was driving into the spot at 6 mph and then the rav4 hybrid accelerated suddenly hit the handicap sign before completely shutting off.

    I believe that the computer took over the control overriding my mother from braking

    I told the cop that we were parking in the spot but he wrote what he wanted to.

    2023 toyota rav4 hybrid

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