One of the most popular vehicles known for their reliability, the Toyota RAV4 hybrid, exasperates and worries many owners. High voltage wiring will corrode badly on models less than three years old. Cost of repair: over $6500.
For the first time in his life, Jean-Thomas Landry has created a private Facebook group to help total strangers. His goal: to help owners of a Toyota RAV4 hybrid like him by informing them of a problem that could cost them dearly.
” It’s not something I usually do. But it’s close to my heart, because it’s a big amount, ”explains the resident of the Quebec region. In a few weeks, his group gathered almost 300 people.
Owner of his vehicle for two years and four months, he broke down in early January at -20 ˚C. After paying for a tow of nearly 100 kilometers, he learned that a cable that brings power to the rear wheels had to be changed due to corrosion. Even more amazing: the part sold for $4476 plus tax was already no longer guaranteed.
Toyota estimates that the high-voltage wiring is not part of the “hybrid components” of the RAV4, covered for 96 months or 160,000 kilometers. Rather, the warranty ends after 36 months or 60,000 km.
As he drives a lot for his work, Jean-Thomas Landry had already passed this milestone. “They gave me a bill for $6,800. I did not find it normal after 28 months. In another area, a customer was billed $6,677. What a burden to add to his payments!
To keep his job while waiting for things to be settled with the dealership and Toyota Canada, Jean-Thomas Landry bought a 2012 Civic. No service car was available while determining who was going to pay what. This is also one of the unfortunate consequences of the car shortage…
Anyway, it couldn’t be settled quickly, since part 821h10r011 is out of stock. A dealer told me on Tuesday that 58 people were on the waiting list to get it. The wait is counted in weeks.
Many RAV4 Hybrid owners are disappointed with Toyota’s attitude. Some want an encore. Others worry about their safety and that of others, not sure if a fire could occur.
This is the case of this motorist who went to the dealership because lights were on on the dashboard. They took his keys on the spot. “There was no question of me leaving there by car! That’s why I picked myself up on foot, ”says the one who cannot be named because of a confidentiality agreement signed with Toyota.
The man also fears that the new cable installed on his vehicle will in turn be eaten away by corrosion in two or three years. “Maybe I’m just buying time…”
Describing himself as a good Toyota customer, he managed to split his bill with the dealership and the manufacturer. “I don’t have $6,000 or $7,000 to put on a three-year-old vehicle that I took care of. To me, that’s nonsense. »
In exchange, he agreed not to take legal action or disclose the content of his arrangement to anyone.
Jean-Thomas Landry received the same offer, but turned it down because he plans to sue Toyota. To reduce his bill, he bought the part in the United States. “I paid $2,400 plus taxes and customs fees. I get out of it at two-thirds of the price, ”he estimates. He will also have to pay for the installation, which takes about ten hours. The package is on its way.
Afraid of breaking down his RAV4, which he absolutely needs to work, a photographer from The Press tried in vain to have the cable changed preventively at Toyota’s expense. Reluctantly, given the current car shortage, Hugo-Sébastien Aubert finally bought himself an extended warranty for nearly $2,500. “I don’t have option B. There are no hybrid or electric vehicles available and petrol ones would cost me more to run. »
APA Callback Request
It is not possible to assess the extent of the problem. Nobody at Toyota was available to give me an interview. And by email, we indicated that we were not aware of the RAV4 hybrid cable problem. However, Toyota issued a nine-page technical service bulletin to its dealers in late March on the subject. We learn that the models from 2019 to 2021 are affected, photos of corrosion in support.
This bulletin is “a beginning of admission” that there is “a design problem”, judges the president of the Association for the protection of motorists (APA), George Iny.
In a letter sent to Toyota Canada, the APA is asking for an extension of the warranty covering this part and a “non-safety related recall”. The APA is also asking that consumers who paid the “exaggerated cost” of this repair be reimbursed “even if they have signed a non-disclosure agreement”. He hopes Toyota will reduce the price of the part considerably. It would be the least.
Some motorists complained to Transport Canada, which did not answer my questions.
The APA suggests that all RAV4 Hybrid owners send photos of their corroded part to Transport Canada to get things moving. “It’s serious, $7,000! exclaims George Iny.
No doubt, corrosion can put a huge dent in the budget.