2003 Toyota RAV4 from North America


I am in the midst of a Toyota Rav4 transmission issue, like many who have commented on this site.

I have done a lot of research, and did a lot to get everything done for less than the $3200 they wanted for the trans rebuild, and the $1400 the dealership wanted for a new ECM. It would have cost me $4600, but it only cost me $2600. I saved $2000. Here is what I did:

I checked online and found a site that you can enter what car part you need, then salvage yards and dealers from all over the country send you quotes. A lot of dealers contacted me with different cost mileage and warranties. I did a check on each one I was interested in on ripoffreport.com. I found one who had over 100 complaints so I did not go with them.

I found a used trans for $1600 with a 90 day warranty from a vehicle with 50,000 miles on it. I then had the repair shop take the ECM out of my car and sent it to a rebuilder I found on eBay for $200. With that plus the labor, I am at $2600. So far so good.

This took time and some research, but I think I got a pretty good deal! I'll keep you posted!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th December, 2009

2003 Toyota RAV4 Sport from North America




Transmission/ECM problems at 68,000.

Cooling system problems at 57000.

General Comments:

Until last month I loved this car, but the transmission freeze came on so fast, without warning or any problem light on, and has not been adequately fixed that I cannot afford to buy another Toyota. I've owned only Toyota (5 of them) for the past 29 years and never conceived of this kind of repair necessary on a car with so few miles on it.

Naturally the 60,000 mile warranty expired and Toyota has not offered enough to correct this problem. Now I see on this and other web sites that this type of problem has been known to Toyota who has done nothing to notify '03 Rav4 owners that this problem exists. I have lost complete and total faith with the Toyota brand and can't wait to get rid of it to buy one of the brands that offer a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty. It's been nothing but a nightmare for the past 6 weeks, and I have had no vehicle.

So much for Toyota's Customer Retention Dept!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th July, 2009

2003 Toyota RAV4 AWD package B 2.0 from North America


OK for a small SUV, very attractive and timeless design, but even Toyota is not bulletproof


-Right rear control arm had to be replaced after only 42,00 km (3 years) at my cost (very expensive). Toyota refused to fix it under warranty claiming someone may have hit my wheel in a parking. When they (Toyota) realized there was no support to their claim because there was no dent/scratch/damage, they still refused to budge.

-Cruise control was recalled, but because Toyota sent my notice to an old address, despite having my new one on file in excess of 12 months, they refused to address it unless I pay for it. Toyota Canada head office blamed the dealership for the mixup and vice versa. I was unimpressed with their approach/finger pointing.

-Excessively frequent wheel alignment. Toyota said it's normal stating "the higher the vehicle from the ground, the more chance of misalignment". I read this problem was highly reported among Highlander owners.

General Comments:

I have owned this vehicle since new (coming on 4 years) and I am undecided what to do at lease end. I'ma huge car fan and I pamper all my vehicles, synthetic oil, preventative maintenance, all fluid changes exactly when required (even a little before to ensure nothing is neglected). But because I had a reliabilty issue with the rear control arm, I fear there may be other big surprises in the long run. Fuel economy is OK for a vehicle of this size with AWD, but given the rising fuel cost, I may opt for a Civic.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 20th May, 2006

10th Aug 2007, 15:35

A recall is a recall. I can't imagine how long it took for you to receive the notice having anything to do with it (i.e. Toyota should fix it regardless).