2017 Toyota RAV4 Top 3 Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Brakes, lighting and sunroof issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
HELPLINE

In 1996, the Toyota RAV4 debuted as one of the world’s first crossover SUVs. The multipurpose vehicle has generally been reliable since its introduction – but the 2017 model suffers from some flaws. The vehicle’s main trouble areas, According to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) website, are the brakes, exterior lighting and structure.

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Brakes

Disc brakes have been in mass production since the mid-1950s. The design is relatively simple: the brake pads, which are covered in friction material, squeeze against the disc-shaped rotors to bring the vehicle to a stop.

The material a rotor is made from greatly affects its longevity. Poor-quality metals often result in accelerated wear, overheating and warpage of the rotor.

If seems Toyota may have used low-grade rotors on the 2017 RAV4. Many owners complain of issues with the components early on.

On the NHTSA website, one owner comments, “I got this car brand new. Within the 17,000  miles I have put on it, it has had to have the same (only one brake) brake replaced three separate times. The other three brakes are like new. Also, just last week on the highway, with the newest brake replacement recently completed, the entire brake system failed to work, and when I depressed the brakes, they did depress but I could not slow down. This was terrifying, and on the freeway, it could have cost me my life. I have been advised that this is a manufacturing malfunction and no amount of brake replacement will fix the problem. I have been advised to demand a new vehicle that is safe.”

Another driver says, “Front rotors causes the front end and steering wheel to vibrate terribly when driving the speed limit of 70 mph when you just touch the brake pedal. The RAV4 2017 has only 14,900 miles.”

So far, there hasn’t been any public correspondence from Toyota addressing the issue.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 Toyota RAV4 Brake Problems:

I HEARD SQUEAKING IN MY BRAKES AT 10,000 MILES MY BRAKES WERE GOOD AT 12,000 THEY SAID A HAD 1% LEFT ON FRONT BRAKES. I REPLACED FRONT PADS. I CALLED MY LOCAL DEALER IN NORTHRIDGE TO COMPLAIN. THEY KEPT ON EYE ON BRAKES I WAS FINE AT 15,000 AND AT 20,000 MILES I HAD 60% ON MY FRONT PADS. I TOOK IN THIS WEEKEND FOR 25,000 SERVICE I WAS THROUGH TO THE ROOTERS ON THE FRONT. TOYOTA CLAIMS IT IS MY DRIVING. THOUGH THEY TESTED IT THEY FAIL TO EXPLAIN HOW I WENT CRITICAL IN $5,000 MILES. I HAVE NEVER OWNED A VEHICLE WITH SUCH PROBLEMS. BRAKES ARE A HUGE SAFETY ISSUE AND I BELIEVE THAT THIS IS NOT ISOLATED INCIDENT.

MY BRAKES WERE INSPECTED AFTER OWNING MY 2017 RAV4 FOR ALMOST 5 MONTHS IT NEEDED ITS SERVICE BECAUSE IT HAD18K MILES ON IT. THEY INSPECTED THE BRAKES AND FOUND EVERYTHING TO BE IN PERFECT CONDITION, EXCEPT THEY FOUND A NAIL IN THE SIDE WALL OF THE TIRE. FAST FORWARD ABOUT 2 MONTHS AND MY SUV IS BEING REPAIRED AFTER A WRECK AND IT WAS AT THE REPAIR PLACE A WEEK BEFORE THE WOMAN CALLS AND TELLS ME MY CAR IS READY BUT WHEN THEY WERE TAKING THE CAR APART TO FIX THE FRONT PASSENGER SIDE THE BRAKE PAD AND ROTOR FELL OFF THE RIGHT AIDE AND I NOW NEED TO PURCHASE NEW BRAKE PADS AND ROTORS. MY RAV4 HAS 23K MILES AND IS 7 MONTHS OLD, NOT ONE NOISE WAS MADE BEFORE THE ACCIDENT ONLY AFTER. SHE ALSO TELLS ME IT’S NOT ACCIDENT RELATED. I’M NOW GETTING THE RUN AROUND FROM THEM ALL TRYING TO GET MY CAR FIXED. I WENT TO THE DEALERSHIP WHERE I BOUGHT IT TODAY AND THE GUY OVER THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT SAID THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN SO HE WAS GOING TO HAVE TO CALL THE WOMAN AND SEE WHAT ALL IS GOING ON BECAUSE IT SHOULDN’T NEED NEW BRAKES AND ROTORS.

BRAKE PADS AND ROTORS WORE OUT BEFORE 10K MILES ON A BRAND NEW CAR. REPLACED THE FRONT BRAKES BECAUSE THEY WERE SO WORN OUT.THAT IS UNHEARD OF. DEFINITELY A SAFETY HAZARD AND A DEFECT ON THE PART/VEHICLE.

Exterior lighting

Toggling your high-beams on and off on a poorly lit road gets tiresome. Automatic high beams, like those offered on the 2017 RAV4, attempt to solve the problem. The feature automatically turns your brightson and off in response to oncoming vehicles and other road obstacles.

On the RAV4, several sensors, a camera and network of computers must work together for the system to function. Unfortunately, that complexity can lead to problems. Some drivers complain their automatic high beams turn off when they shouldn’t, leading to reduced visibility and decreased safety.

“The car is equipped with auto high beams which do not function properly. On Monday, March 26, 2017, my wife was driving to work early in the morning. She had the high beam setting on and the headlights flashed from low to high and back several times while she was following a car. The sensors did not recognize there was a car in front of her. At other times, while driving with the auto selection on the indicator on the dash just vanishes and will not reset until you manually turn on the high beams, then turn them back to auto,” states on consumer on the NHTSA website.

Another writes, “when headlights after dark are set on automatic and I meet oncoming traffic, my lights not only dim automatically, but the automatic turns itself off and won’t come back on for a good distance. I have met vehicles with exceptionally bright lights and my automatic not only turns off but the headlights turn off altogether and I’m left with no headlights. I am fumbling with the light switch to turn on the lights on manually. This could be deadly.”

It sounds like there’s a bug somewhere in Toyota’s automated lighting system. But the automaker hasn’t released any recalls or public campaigns to address the concern.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 Toyota RAV4 High Beam Problems:

THIS WINDSHIELD IS CALLED THE WINDSHIELD OF DEATH ONLINE!THE HEADLIGHTS OF THE ARC ONLY LIGHT UP PART OF THE WINDSHIELD. AS YOU CAN SEE FROM THE REFLECTION, THE TOP HALF OF THE WINDSHIELD IS BLACK. IT IS ALARNMING. THE NIGHTS WERE RAISED A SLIGHT AMOUNT BY THE DEALER BUT VISIBILITY IS STILL NOT UP TO PAR– GOING AROUND CORNERS IS DANGEROUS. IT SEEMS TAT THE HALOGEN BULBS DO NOT GIVE ENOUGH LIGHT

HEADLIGHTS ON LOW BEAM, FORM A LINE ACROSS THE WINDSHIELD. UNABLE TO SEE THE ROAD AHEAD UNLESS HIGH BEAMS ARE ACTIVATED. YOU CANNOT SEE STOP OR STREET SIGNS. UNLESS YOU KNOW THERE IS A STOP SIGN OR ROAD ENTRANCE YOU CANNOT SEE THEM WHEN USING THE LOW BEAMS. 2 OTHER PEOPLE HAVE DRIVEN MY VEHICLE AND COMPLAINED ABOUT NOT BEING ABLE TO SEE THE ROAD AHEAD. VERY DANGEROUS. I AM NOW LEERY OF DRIVING THIS VEHICLE AT NIGHT.

OUTPUT FROM THE LOW BEAM HEADLIGHTS IS TERRIBLE. LOW BEAMS ARE SO DIM THAT IT’S OFTEN TIMES HARD TO SEE AT NIGHT, MAKING IT HARD TO SEE PEDESTRIANS AND ANIMALS. IT IS VERY HARD TO SEE LATERALLY AT NIGHT WITH JUST THE LOW BEAMS ON. THIS IS UNSAFE I BELIEVE.

Structure

XLE and up model 2017 RAV4s come standard with a power moonroof. The unit is an amenity designed to provide occupants with sunlight and fresh air. But some owners allege the glass shatters unexpectedly.

“I purchased a new 2017 Toyota RAV4 in April and this incident happened in August. While driving on I15, I heard a loud explosion like a tire blowout followed by the sounds of breaking glass and then wind. My sunroof has “exploded”. I pulled off the road and examined the roof. There was no indication anything had struck the glass or my vehicle. The inside “visor” was closed at the time as was the sunroof. I had not passed under any overpass or other overhead structure. I took the vehicle to the nearest dealer and they reported the indecent to Toyota. Toyota denied the “warranty” since I could not prove the glass had not been struck! The dealer replaced the glass at a no cost “one time warranty”. I am concerned the problem will reoccur since there was no cause determined,” writes one owner on the NHTSA website.

Another consumer says, “The sunroof explodes/shatters for no apparent reason. Driving down the interstate at about 70 mph, no other cars anywhere close to me in a wooded area and the sunroof shattered. I got out and looked at it and there was no damage anywhere near the sunroof, no chips, scratches, just a shattered sunroof. You would think that it might have been a rock thrown up from a car in front of me, but as I stated, there were no other drivers even remotely close to me on the interstate.”

Toyota has not responded to these two instances on the NHTSA website. Whether more cases will pop up has yet to be seen.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights


Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon at no cost to you. The law makes Toyota pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Lemberg Law are Lemon Law experts and can help you get Lemon Justice – absolutely free! Fill out our form on this page for a no-obligation case evaluation, or call toll free 877-795-3666.

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