2002 Toyota RAV4 Rav 4 from North America - Comments

8th Oct 2010, 16:15

I accompanied a friend who owns a 2009 Corolla (a RAV-4 with a car body) to get new tires. He was told the frame had sagged so much they could not properly align it. This is a two-year old car (barely) with 42,000 miles on it and the FRAME HAS SAGGED??? He is an excellent driver, the car was bought brand new and it has never been in an accident. No wonder Toyota has plunged to 21st place in build quality and reliability. These are VERY poorly built excuses for cars.

12th Dec 2010, 10:29

For those people who are having transmission problems on 2002 RAV4s, check with your local dealer; there is a new bulletin from Toyota that they are extending the transmission warranty to 10 yrs or 150,000. They will replace your ECU or transmission for FREE!!! I just had my ECU replaced on my 02 RAV4 with 125k miles. If my car starts to slip again, they will replace the transmission. I'm not sure if other years apply, but it doesn't hurt to check.

12th Dec 2010, 14:08

Many of my family and friends used to be loyal Toyota owners, but we have all noticed quality go down since the 1990's.

The most common problem being the check engine light always on, which makes it a costly expense every year when it comes to mandatory emissions testing. So expensive to fix, it's often better to scrap it. The build quality and materials are the shoddy type you would expect from a Korean automaker, at best. Not to mention the drivetrains that are not even half as reliable as older Toyotas. Where did Toyota go wrong? I don't understand how they used to make such a great product, and can't even compare to Hyundai in quality anymore.

Hopefully the recalls and legal action will motivate them to make a quality product again, if that's what it takes.

1st Feb 2011, 16:33

My 2002 Rav4 (220,000 kilometers) started having transmission issues (slipping badly in lower gears) a few days ago. I took it to two transmission shops here in New Brunswick (Canada), and both said the transmission was gone and offered to do a rebuild for $2000-$3000. I then started doing some research on the Internet and learned about the serious ECM/transmission problems affecting many 2001-2003 Rav4s, and Toyota USA's extension of the warranty on the problem to 10 years / 150,000 miles. I called my local Toyota dealer and asked them about this, and was told they know nothing about such an extended warranty in Canada. The long and the short of it was that I was persistent, and the local dealer has now agreed to replace the ECM and the transmission at zero cost! It seems that the USA move has now been adopted in Canada!

6th Mar 2011, 03:15

I am interested in buying a 2002 Rav4, just because I love the looks, the size and the price. Is there anything else that I need to know about this car before buying it? Is there a way that I can prevent this transmission issue? How can I tell if this issue has been fixed in this car or not? I am in Australia, seems like this problems has affected this country as well, does anyone know about Toyota doing anything about this in this country? Please let me know, as my decision will be based on these answers.

30th Mar 2011, 15:40

Good afternoon, I have a 2003 RAV4 purchased in Canada. It has 207000km on it. I too have an issue with harsh shift, no 1st or 2nd gear at times when starting out, no power and a lot of banging and shaking if you push your foot to the floor... basically everything that has been said here on this and countless other sites. I have contacted Toyota Canada, and they refuse to warranty this issue. I am now waiting for a decision from upper management at Toyota to decide my fate. Please tell me if any other Canadian Toyota Rav owners have received any compensation from Toyota Canada. Is this a case where the more you complain, the better?

4th Apr 2011, 16:21

I recently purchased a 2002 Rav 4 (in November) that's now at about 206000km and I just started having these SAME shifting problems as everyone else. I called 2 dealerships, emailed and phoned Toyota Canada twice and they told me the "specs are different in Canada than in the US".

I can see that they are wrong and that the problem is not isolated within the US. We have now decided to not drive the vehicle to try to save the transmission as much as possible, replace the computer ourselves and trade it in.

My fiance has given up completely on Toyota even though I'm hesitant about getting rid of the vehicle right away. It was a great car while it lasted...

5th Apr 2011, 18:38

That appears to be Toyota Canada's standard response right now, as I have the exact same issues, and they refuse to do anything for me. I would really appreciate any other Canadian Rav 4 owners that are having this issue, to please post on this site and let us know if they have had any positive response from Toyota Canada, saying they will cover the repairs. My 2003 RAV is sitting in my drive way, as my wife is to afraid to drive it. I have also sent letters to Transport Canada, and am awaiting their response. This is an issue that Toyota needs to address, but appears that they aren't going to, until enough people complain.

24th Apr 2011, 15:41

I have a 2002 Rav4 4wheel drive. I love it. It has about 120000 kilometers on it. The engine light goes on this last year. The dealership put it on the computer and said it is the oxygen sensor that is going. The mechanic said this is a thing for this car, but not to worry unless I notice a drop in gas efficiency. It has been a year now, and the fuel consumption hasn't changed. The cost of replacing the sensor is about $400 Canadian. I think I'll live with it.

21st Jun 2011, 18:58

That happened to me. My transmission went. The car was undrivable. It went in in September of 2010 and I did not get it back till the end of November. They refused to give me a loaner until about two weeks prior to me getting my car back. You need to call the 800 number and ask to speak to a manager. Tell him your story and watch how fast you get a loaner. That is what I did and I had a loaner two days later.

9th Jan 2012, 21:30

My 2002 RAV4's engine light came on around 50,000 miles. My brother, who always worked on his cars, said that if the car runs fine, ignore it. It does, I did, and it has 101,000 miles on it now.

12th Apr 2013, 10:32

I wouldn't recommend the 2002 RAV 4... here's why:

I've replaced the engine once with a rebuilt ($5K)... The engine is prone to oil sludging.

I've had the ECU replaced once (paid for by Toyota).

Faulty ECU damaged transmission... my expense, $4K.

2 faulty coils, $700.

Now a "Check Engine Light", being told I need new catalytic converter at a cost of over $2K.

I'm done with this car!