18th Sep 2007, 11:13

I've spent the past year in check engine light hell with my 2001 RAV4. Passing an annual emissions test with this car took 7 visits to the dealer. And then the light only stayed off long enough to pass the test before it went back on the next day. I've fixed all the oxygen sensors, and replaced the convertor, had the ECM reprogrammed, and the light always comes back on.

The latest diagnosis is ANOTHER oxygen sensor. My mechanic looked me straight in the eye and said "Yes, it is completely normal for one sensor to fail a month and exactly 3 weeks after the last one was replaced". It's obvious that the reprogramming is not addressing this widespread problem. Do not buy this car if you live in an area with strict emissions testing requirements - you will spend a lot of money trying to make your car LEGAL to drive!

Here's how to pursue complaints: http://www.autosafety.org/toyota-lexus

26th Sep 2007, 08:07

Toyota RAV 4 2001-2003 were built with defective engine computer ECU/ECM units (brain of the car). It then affects the transmission by sending the wrong signals (the heart of your computer). Toyota lets these cars leave the factory knowingly that they are made with weak and defective components.

They have a type of recall on this part, I have it in writing from them. They also made sure that when I requested they change this part at 73,000 miles, that they reprogramed it and said nothing was wrong. I come back at 83,000 miles and they admitted that I needed the part replaced as well as the transmission... but now it will cost me!

Write to the Attorney General, Better Business Bureau, and Consumer Affairs. I did. The government needs to protect us from this.

12th Nov 2007, 10:48

I am the original owner of a 2001 RAV4. Since it was 6 months old, we have had 'check engine light' problems. We have replaced several sensors, had the injectors cleaned, you name it, it has been done. We took it in for the recall this year, and still the light comes on. Every November, we have to spend a fortune to get the car to pass inspection. The car has run great, and we have never had any other problems...

12th Dec 2007, 11:42

Still I did not find the solution of the problem for check engine light on. Whether it is a manufacturing defect or some thing wrong in the car. Please, I will be very thankful if somebody can tell me how this problem can be solved permanently?

17th Jan 2008, 10:38

I have a 2001 Rav4 and have had the engine light on for the past four years. When it first went on I had a diagnostic done and was told it was the sensors and I decided that I was not investing in sensors. During the first four years I was fine because I was in a state that did not require that the engine light be out for inspection and then I moved. I went to a dealer had 120 miles maintenance done and gave them the recall so they shut off the light, but could not inspect for 100 miles - went back at 125 miles with the light back on - they did a diagnostic - could not figure what was wrong shut the light out again - went back immediately at 100 miles got inspected and then - about 50 miles later light on again. Having minor problem now - when to mechanic who tells me this is the converter - told him no way - will go to Toyota and at this point my contact a lawyer. This is Toyota's problem.

13th Feb 2008, 10:53

Another 2001 toyota rav4 customer here in check engine light hell. I replaced a O2 sensor to the tune of $300 for the first hit, then got the ECM reprogramming. Check engine light is still on. Toyota dealer wants to charge me $$ to hook it up to a computer. Does anyone know if straight up replacing the CPU will fix these issues? It's been a great car, but now I can't pass the emissions test.

Failing this I may try the reset suggested earlier, get it to pass, then trade it in for something else.

30th Apr 2008, 08:36

I own 2001 Rav 4 - love it. However my engine light continues to come on. First time at 30,000 miles, then again while traveling cross country- was told when I got to the dealer it was the catalytic converter shot. Fortunately I was under warranty for that, then again around 35,000 miles the engine light came on- went to the dealer, was told O2 sensors were shot. Needed those replaced ($400 or so), now at 45,000 miles engine light on again. Engine running smooth, no noises. Was told by dealer if engine runs normally with engine light on, "shouldn't be a problem, just needs to be reset or your gas cap is loose"??? Let's hope it isn't some other kind of pollution control sensor that will cost oodles to get it fixed.

30th Apr 2008, 12:23

I have a 1997 Toyota Rav4, and my 'check engine' light has been on for close to a year. There are moments it goes off but eventually comes back on. I have taken it twice to the mechanic and had a diagnostic test run.. but nothing came up. Car runs fine with the exception of this problem. Unfortunately, my inspection is up in July and will have to reset it by disconnecting battery for a few minutes and then reconnecting again. I guess just another way for Toyota and other mechanics to make $$$$$.

1st Sep 2008, 19:12

Same thing happened to my 2001 RAV4L at 20,000 miles.

I see no problem with oil level or circulation? I let it on and rode it for until 35,000 miles with no problem but that annoying light that's on? Since I got extended warranty for 70.000 mile which cost me $800. I decided one day to take it to a dealer. They told me it just need to re-program the CPU (computer), they tried, the light went out only to come back again next day? I guess they just disconnected my battery? Then they told me they need to get from Toyota approval to replace catalytic converter and all those sensors? They tried to jack me with the diagnostic things fee? But I said NO to their face! I have an extended warranty, only then did they proceeded with the repair.

I marked all the parts and took picture of them before sending my car back to repair. I told them what I did, and warned them that if they don't do as they say they would? I will sue them? At last they did change those parts and even showed me the old ones, the light went out, now I have my RAV4 at 65,000 no problem. Now while I reading my ownerw manual, I found out that any emission control parts are covered by 7 years 70,000 miles warranty by Toyota. So beware of those scam dealership repairs? My only remaining problem is... the gas mileage is poor!

Power is intermittent, there (seldom happens) are days the torque is very good as if the day I took it from the show room? Most of the days, it lacks that power?

It has the same engine as my daughter's Corolla, but her car has better torque and it has same engine? I believed Toyota programmed this car's CPU to get more money for their dealers and more parts sales? In Japan and Philippines... there were no similar problem with those CPU?

I wish some independent company make an upgrade CPU that can replace what Toyota installed in their RAV4?