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Toyota RAV4 Cruise Control Problems



  • wdpcpawdpcpa Posts: 21
    "After the phone conversation I took the arbitrator for a drive and demonstrated the defect. The demonstration (In my opinion) was perfect. Setting the cruise control at 65 MPH tapping the brakes and letting the vehicle drop to 55 MPH and then pushing resume on a slight hill; the vehicle switched back and forth from 3rd to 2nd gear about 5 times before settling out again in 4th gear.
    The arbitrator could not comment but said he would make a decision in about 2 or 3 days but it would be about 10 days before I would get the results."


    Your my hero. Thanks for making sure the issue was demostrated beyond question.

  • sumrx4sumrx4 Posts: 40
    For what it's worth I too took the dealer rep and the arbitrator for a ride at the arbutrators request. I was able to demonstrate the problem three times naturally.
    I posted earlier that I asked the Toyota rep if they had ever experienced this type of problem, and while they would not answer the question the arbitrator admitted she had never seen a vehicle act this way!
  • bearcrkrdbearcrkrd Posts: 167
    Correct. Absolutely amazing what 4 cyl vehicles can do these days, how far we have come! But there is a limit.
    I do not think Cruise control is meant to be used on hills? I am not an engineer. I know if you stick your finger in a light socket is hurts like heck. Have not advanced past that point. There, I'm outed.
    Wish you all well! After discovering the limitations of the cruise on my 4 cyl Tacoma, even though I now drive another vehicle, I am still uncomfortable when approacing a hill. Pavlov. :) I just turn it off. You use less gas pedal, and it does not downshift.
  • I failed to mention that before we decided to file arbitration, the Toyota rep that we were dealing with offered the 100,000/5 yr extended platinum warranty plus make one month's auto payment. She also said that she thought they would have a fix by the end of 2007. I think it must be to each reps advantage to get cases closed. We were very suspicious!!
  • crtzlowcrtzlow Posts: 16
    One thing for sure is that the 4 cylinder has more than enough power for the weight of the vehicle. If you do not believe this just don't use the cruise control on a spot where you have trouble when using it. Not using cruise control ours would not drop out of overdrive and the motor RPM's would not change but would still maintain speed.
    Cindy had the meeting with the rep at the dealership on Wednesday of last week and they bought the RAV 4 back. We have a statement from Toyota saying that they know that there is a problem with some of the RAV 4's and that they do not have a fix at this time. The meeting was very pleasant and professional. Saying goodbye to a car that Cindy loved was another thing. We purchased a 2007 Toyota Highlander V6 on Saturday. The ride and performance are several steps above the RAV 4 in our opinion. Of course the deal on last years model was not bad either. Basically it cost about the same as the RAV 4 when we bought it.
    One thing when going through arbitration is to ask for what you want.....not demand anything. Our requests were to fix the car, swap for a V6, or buy the car back. They offered to buy the car back. It was in our best interest to go that route. They reimbursed all expenses with the exception of a mileage deduction which was in line with our state's lemon law. Overall I am pleased with the way things went. It was a good ending to an unpleasant ordeal.
    We hope that everyone has a similar experience.

    Cindy and Don
  • sumrx4sumrx4 Posts: 40
    Congrats to all!!!

    I received my letter with my arbitration results Sat. am. After reading several pages about the hearing and the results, what I was looking for was finally found in the last paragraph of the letter...While there seems to be some problem with the cruise control under certain conditions it does not effect the operation,safety or Value of the vehicle therefore your request for a buy back of the vehicle is DENIED.

    So what am I supposed to do now???? Any suggestions please.
    I could persue it through a local lawyer..that would cost me several thousand dollars. I could trade it for something else (definately not a toyota)...that would cost me several thousand dollars, or I could simple contunue to own a new vehicle that does not perform as its designed to. :mad: :mad: :mad:

    A point I have read here and the Toyota rep brought up as well is the drivng on hills. The rep stated that it was explained in the manual against the use of cruise control on hills. Someone please tell me where it states this in the book. It sure isn't in the section regarding cruise control operation. I have been waiting since the meeting for Toyota to tell me where it states this info but they still have not!!!!!! :mad: :mad: In case no one can tell I am P_S_ED O_F!!!!!
  • ces1938ces1938 Posts: 61
    I understand your frustration, I went thru that too, now I am just driving the Rav and when I know it will start down shifting and going nuts I just kick it off and use my foot.... I drive mine in city traffic or short highway miles mostly anyway, if I have a trip to take I just drive my 2005 (4cyl) Camry, only thing is I can't haul my power wheel chair with the Camry, that is what I bought the Rav 4 to do..... Yup, ole Toyota would have to kiss a lot of butt to get this customer back... ces. :sick: :mad:
  • mlmcgaheemlmcgahee Posts: 102
    Next thing I would do is proceed with your state lemon law process. I bypassed the Toyota arbitration process and went directly with the Georgia Lemon Law process. Toyota is in their last 30 days of having to do something about my 4 cyl. RAV4. As I stated before, I keep driving mine with the cruise control as I normally would, and it has damaged 3 transmissions so far. I think I have a strong case.... We will soon see!

  • crtzlowcrtzlow Posts: 16
    You can follow this link to a copy of the letter that Toyota sent to us in response to our problems with the cruise control on our 2007 RAV 4. Hopefully this will be of some help to someone. Let me know if the quality is not good enough and I will email you one direct.

  • thrthr Posts: 10
    After reading the first paragraph of the arbitrators reply in the final paragraph of the results letter to you, I made me sick. However,I'm going for my arbitration Nov 1st, while making preparations for a lemon law settlement. This whole scenario is unbelievable. I've always loved Toyotas and believed their warranty was something I would never need to use. Now that I need it, it appears to be worthless.
    Next, I think NHSTA needs to hear what cruising at 65 on the interstate uphill sounds like as my RAV4 "Bucks n Jumps" between 2nd gear at full throttle, and 4th gear like the brakes are on...over and over. It sure felt dangerous the first time it happened to me. Consumer Reports, who recommended the RAV4 as a "best buy" needs to retest the RAV4.. going uphill.
    Sumrx4 thanks for relating your story. It makes me want to fight the big guys with everything available. Hal
  • sumrx4sumrx4 Posts: 40
    I would print this entire thread and present it or at least copy all 12 case # listed here. I would also (if it comes up) make someone show you where it states in the manual about driving on hills. I started to get my manual during the hearing and call her out but because I had not read the manual I was afraid she could prove herself right. I know now she could not. Any and everything you can provide in your favor should be brought to the meeting.
    For what it's worth, I made a meeting with a local lawyer about the lemon law process. He advised me that while domestic manufacturers would deal with you all the foreign manuf. especially Toyota would never admit they are wrong. Good luck with the process.
  • sumrx4sumrx4 Posts: 40
    To all heading into or thinking of arbitation...Today I brought the letter of decision from my arbitration to work so I could reread it. Here is the exact type from the decision portion of the letter.

    Although it appears the vehicle has a problem with the cruise control mechanism, the customer failed to provide sufficiently compelling evidence to support the claim that the problem substantially impairs the use,safety,or value of the vehicle.

    Here is my suggestion before going to an arbitration hearing. I would take it to at least two independant machanics and get their opinions in writing of the problem and possible effects from it and I would also take it to at least two vehicles dealers one of them being a different Toyota dealer and after disclosing the maint. record and the problem, get a witten offer for a trade in. The results from these poeple may prove to be invalable to your case.

    Why does hind sight always have to be 20/20 :cry:
  • Speaking of 20/20. Anyone thought of contacting ABC News 20/20 for possible investigation? Maybe the negative publicity will make Toyota come up with a fix sooner. I was considering buying a 4-cylinder RAV4 but will hold off now after reading the posts on this forum.
  • crtzlowcrtzlow Posts: 16
    With the results of going into arbitration going from one side of the scale to the other I wonder how much (if any) input the dealer has on this? Our dealer was great to work with and really seemed to want to get the problem fixed. The person who inspected the car at buy back told us that he had rarely been to this dealership for this purpose but had been to other dealerships in the same city several times. Everyone at Team Toyota in Baton Rouge went out of their way to help us in any way.
    It doesn't make sense for Toyota to reply basically there is no problem to some and then on ours they say, "is due to the computer logic".
    With this problem continuing into the '08 models one would think they should have it fixed. One thing I do notice is that people are still posting favorable reviews of the 4 cylinder RAV 4, so at least some of them don't have the problem.

  • sumrx4sumrx4 Posts: 40
    I contacted my local news station that has a feature about problems people have but the reply I got was nill.

    Does anyone know anything about a class action lawsuit?
    If Toyota or Toyota dealers are buying some back there is no reason they should not make some restitution to any and everyone that brings this problem to their attention.
  • You can also file a complaint with the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) Office of Defect Investigations. Here's the link:

    When the rear tailgate window of my Mercury Mountaineer shattered out of the blue, I filed a complaint. NHTSA investigated and Ford/Mercury issued a recall for a design flaw.
  • sumrx4sumrx4 Posts: 40
    Thanks Carmen,

    I just filed via your link and suggest we all do this. There was currently one complaint for this issue filed a few months back. Don't know if it was one of us or not.
    If you do file it takes about 10min and have your VIN handy and the name and address of all the dealers that have looked at your vehicle.

    Maybe a small window of hope :)
  • mlmcgaheemlmcgahee Posts: 102
    I have filed a complaint with NHTSA also... Thanks for the info..

  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    Yep I think that is the best shot by filing to NHTSA. If the number of complaints are high enough, then NHTSA will do their own investigations and may force Toyota to do the recall.
  • I had the National Center for Dispute Settlement email me the arbitration decision. The request for repurchase was DENIED. I don't know where to go from here. It looks like I
    will have no cruise control on my 2007 RAV4 unless they come up with a fix. The bottom line seems to be that you have to provide compelling evidence to support your claim that the condition substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of your vehicle. I thought that I had done this. The term "substantially" is at the arbitrators discretion.

  • Kay it is really hard to win against the car manufacturers, I am 70 years old and have had countless new cars in my life, I had problems with GM over a Buick car one time and a 1978 Ford, the last time I bought a Ford was 1978 and the last time I bought a Buick was 1985, but I believe this Rav 4 is the most blatantly obvious defective car of them all, also the 2006 [Rav 4] will be the last Toyota I will own, even tho my 2005 Camry is a darn nice car, but I still will never buy a Toyota again, now that I know how they deal with problems...good luck Kay and maybe you can trade it off to some sucker for another car soon, that is what I intend to do. :mad: :cry:
  • sumrx4sumrx4 Posts: 40
    When talking to a lawyer last week about this posibility he stated that it didn't have to be a issue that impaired the safety,value, or use of the vehicle. Which by the way was the same reason I was denied. He stated that according to VA lemon law if something does not function properly that's all you need.
    At this time I think we are simply going to sell the piece of crap and be finished with Toyota. Oh and by the way, since Toyota says there is nothing wrong with the vehicle I don't see the legal abligation to disclose the maint. history when selling it. :lemon:
  • thrthr Posts: 10
    We completed our arbitration hearing last week. We now await the decision. Thanks to all of you for sharing your thoughts on this subject. We think we presented our case well, partly because of your recommendations. We had a thorough written brief, verbal comments, and a perfect demonstration of the buck n jump. The Toyota representative had to admit that what we presented was true. Yet, he indicated all RAV4 2wd. 4cyl. have this characteristic. We were hopeful as we left the hearing.

    Those of you that have not yet gone through arbitration should check out the 2005 US FTC audit of the NCDS/Automobile Warranty Arbitration Program [awap]. The audit report is found at
    It is 87 pages of history,procedures,methods, training,and statistical data. The report basically said that the NCDS was doing its job within federal rules. However, the statistic that shows just how difficult it is to win was the overall awap reported numbers. In 2005 3,317 dispute cases were filed. Some were ineligible for review, some were closed by mediation [with the dealer], and 1,888 were actually arbitrated. Only 364 [19.3%] were in favor of the consumer. 1,524 [80.7%] were adverse to the consumer. HAL
  • thrthr Posts: 10
    Received the results of our arbitration exercise: DENIED!

    It seemed to be a fair and straight forward hearing. We felt our case was a winner.
    However, considering that only 19.7% of consumers win at arbitration, we are not surprised. I would never recommend arbitration to anyone.

    If a case exists skip arbitration and go straight to the lemon law. Arbitration just slows efforts to get a resolution, and kind of muddies the waters. HAL
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Was it binding, and if not, are you going forward with lemon law or ?
  • rcmanrcman Posts: 6
    I have a 6 cyl 2008 RAV 4. I don't have a problem with it changing in and out of gear but do have a problem with it down shifting on a hill. But it only does it if I'm going down a hill and start up another hill. It seems to lag to long in coast mode and does not make a smooth power transition. I can tell a difference when I have a full tank of gas. If I approach a normal size hill straight on, I don't down shift.
  • Toyota has agreed to buy-back my 2007 RAV4 under the Georgia Lemon Law process. I am to meet at the dealership sometime next week for the buy-back to take place. I have just purchased a 2008 Nissan Rogue SL to replace the RAV4. It is a great small crossover SUV and fits my needs nicely. This makes my 4th Nissan purchase and I have great service and reliability from them. Buy the end of next week I should be done with Toyota. Good luck to all on this forum who are dealing with defective RAV4's.

  • I looked at RAV4, along with a few other cars. Just for the fun of it, I printed out the worst of it and left it with the salesperson, explaining why I would not be buying a Toyota. I wasn't going to anyhow, but just figured I'd do my part. I wish you all the best with this problem.
  • rcmanrcman Posts: 6
    Ref #213 Is anyone else having this problem with the 6 cyl 2008 RV 4.
  • I have the same problems with my 2007 RAV4 4 cyl. It now has 6800 miles. Toyota tells the they are working on this problem. When I bought the car it had been on the market for about 1 year. How long does it take for them to figure out how to fix this problem. My problem is the same as most other people . I have auto transmission. The vehicle will shift rapidly many times between 2nd and 3rd gears. This happens on the slightest incline. I recently took a trip, drove through the AL mountains and it was a real "nightmare"I thought the transmission would come apart with all the jerking. I am 74 years old and I want cruise control;. I was told by service technician at dealer that if it bothered me, "just cut the cruise control off" I will never do business with Toyota again. I have a consumer lawyer and I am suing under SC lemon law Please wish me good luck. :lemon:
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