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Toyota RAV4 Throttle Lag

Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,931
This discussion is to figure out what to do if your RAV4 suffers from throttle lag.


  • mikenew2mikenew2 Posts: 4
    I too have had my RAV4 for about 3 months, 2wd 4cyl sport. I have noticed the downshifting issue more and more. I had no complaints about acceleration when i first got the SUV, but it has become a noticible issue, so much so that passengers comment on the jerk when the transmission downshifts. In traffic, when I need to pass or change lanes, the tansmission clunk and throttle lag is almost dangerous. I have started feeling that I cannot live with a car that performs this way for long.

    On the other hand, I have not had any problem with braking.

    Another criticism is the build of the interior, which seems cheap and loose - lots of the plastic seams don't seem well fitted, the window switch plate came out of the door once while pulling up on the switch to close the window. My previous Toyotas seemed more solid.
  • bob777bob777 Posts: 19
    Throttle lag is a good way to put it. I think it's dangerous and I thought I was going to get nailed both times it happened to me.

    The break issue seems to happen under emergency breaking situations. They work ok at first but then begin to fade. Hard breaking from say, at least 45 MPH.
  • mikenew2mikenew2 Posts: 4
    I have not had any particularly hard braking incidents, knock on wood, so I can't speak to it. But I will pay attention if it happens. Not looking forward to what my dealership will say about the transmission and throttle issue... :lemon: ???
  • bob777bob777 Posts: 19
    My dealer told me I needed to learn to drive a Toyota and learn how to avoid these situations. I'm taking it to another dealer, but I doubt they will admit anything until there is an accident and they have to by court order.

    The break issue happened early on. They have gotten better with additional miles and I would say they are satisfactory now. May have been an issue with new pads.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Is this the same problem as people are having with the Avalons? I notice that both models have a 5-speed automatic transmission, while the Camry has a 6-speed unit.

    I have decided to rent one for an extended test drive, and have discovered that some Toyota dealers rent new models. Toyota's vehicle rental web site even promotes rentals for such extended test drives.
  • bob777bob777 Posts: 19
    I would not be surprised, but I don't know. Renting one is a great idea. I wish I would have thought of that.

    My brother in law has an 06 Avalon and he has no issues with it.
  • mterrellmterrell Posts: 21
    I bought the 2006 base 2wd and I have noticed a lag in exceleration and brake fade. Seems that its got better now that it has about 1600 miles on it. So maybe it a break in thing with this suv . The lag could be a problem though I have notice that a little more when the ac is on and the car is cold . You dont want to trust it for a quick take off. If it continues it will be take to be serviced.
  • mterrellmterrell Posts: 21
    Well love the car! hate the the hesitation when you need power to pass or get out of the way. seems "there could be not always" a 3 or 4 second delay in down shifting from overdrive (D). Its is either the TPS or a trans relay. Has any one else notice this problem?
  • lirlir Posts: 81
    I have the 4 cylinder and haven't experienced that, but my friend has the V6 and is having that same problem. I also read people having that same problem in another forum. Looks like it can happen to 4 or 6 cylinder RAV4's.
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    I'll be blunt. I don't believe there is a 4 second delay.
  • bob777bob777 Posts: 19
    When it first happened to me I was pulling out of a lane of traffic heading aross two lanes for an exit. The delay seemed longer than a couple of seconds to me and 4 is not out of the question. In fact it never did downshift that time, even with my entire weight/strength pressing the accelerator to the floor.
  • jimd4jimd4 Posts: 877
    I would think that is a real hazard and you should have a serious talk with your dealer if not with the National Highway Safety guys
  • mterrellmterrell Posts: 21
    Thats what mine did although when I let up on the gas it down shifted. It has done it to me twice .Once was when it should have down shifted and the other from a dead stop. I talked to dealer service and they have not received complaints. Because mine did this from a start at a red light makes me think something is going on with the tps .Just dont seem very responsive. I have almost 3000 miles on it and now its not just a break in deal? is it?
  • mterrellmterrell Posts: 21
    I have to say that going up to 89 octane has made a difference. Cost a little more but with the variable timing it make a noticeable difference.
  • bob777bob777 Posts: 19
    The dealer does not want to deal with the situation. They want to blame it on how I drive and not the car. The National Highway Safety folks is an interesting thought. Have you done this before? If so, what happened?
  • jimd4jimd4 Posts: 877
    have never done the NHSI stuff. But if enough people write it will get attention.

    But really, call the Toyota main number or write a letter describing your concerns. Let someone drive the car with you there and see if their style makes it drive different.
    Work on your dealer. Take it too another dealer. On the RAV4W site there are similar complaints but low numbers of them.
  • bob777bob777 Posts: 19
    I hear you and I am taking it to another dealer. But, Toyota is not reacting in a responsible manner on this.

    It does not happen all the time, but instead only under certain situations. I can and do avoid the lack of down shifting by doing it manually now, but I did not think of that when it happened the first couple of times. It was clearly unsafe those times.

    Toyota needs to fix this not me. They have enough input to know there's a problem. Also, I have written them. No action at all.
  • I have 4x2 4 cyl with 11500 miles on it.

    I am getting somewhere around 27-28 now highway miles, before it was around 24-25, with full load 20 highway.

    But now I the engine got very noisy.

    Haave most of the problems described on Edmunds forum.

    Windows rattle, i was told that it is a design flaw. Was fixed,noise came up again, they are going to replace the whole power window system.

    Electronics is glitchy. Had wird stuff with LCDs, nonreadable symbols. VSC and ABS were lit up for several weeks, cruise control didn't work until they cleared computer memory second time.
    These are hard to verify problems... I have to run to a dealer every time I see it, otherwise they wont believe me. They joked on my RAV4 saying I got Ford Explorer. And everytime I come to the dealer all management comes out and looks at the problems saying WOW this is first time we see it. liek it helps. Toyota Motor Corp does not want to do anything yet. Lemon law doesn't fit yet... So I have no clue what to do with it.
  • bob777bob777 Posts: 19
    Man, I wish I could tell you I've been successful with Toyota dealers. They seem to want to put the problem onto owners. The issues I have are with the lack of downshifting, breaks the faded even during the first hard breaking and gas mileage that was a bit low.

    I hate to say this, but persistency seems to be the key.

    They've, Toyota, seen these issues, but they have been able to put the proof onto owners instead of taking ownership of problems and solving them.

    I've had quite a few new cars over that last few years and I have not had anywhere near the same experience with them. I'm talking about Ford, Mazda, Nissan and even Chevy. I'm trying to figure out why people think so highly of Toyota.

    My gas mileage is starting to get better. I have over 8K miles on it now and it now gets over 24 MPG during mostly in town with some highway miles.
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