RAV4 Hybrid Issues and Fixes

Hybrid RAV4 is the modified hybrid edition of general RAV4 SUV. Toyota launched the RAV4 hybrid as an eco-friendly utility compact vehicle in 2016.

Electric motor of the hybrid RAV4 provides great fuel efficiency combined with the gas engine. RAV4 hybrid can surpass the Supra in terms of speed and it is as reliable as other Toyota vehicles.

However, the hybrid RAV4 has had some issues since its debut. I will now discuss the 6 most common RAV4 hybrid issues and their possible solutions.

Common RAV4 Hybrid Issues

RAV4 hybrid has some issues which are fuel system, brake and stability, electrical, windshield, coolant leak, and interior accessories issues. 2019 RAV4 hybrid has the most user complaints and recalls. However, the 2017 RAV4 hybrid is considered to be the most problematic model year due to problems with lower mileage and higher repair costs. A brief discussion of the RAV4 hybrid issues is as follows:

1. Fuel System Problems

RAV4 hybrids of 2016, 2019, 2020 and 2021 model years have fuel system issues. Fuel line jamming is common in 2016 RAV4s. It occurs at 130,000 miles or later. Other model years have a major issue with the fuel tank. Fuel tank becomes faulty after 3500 miles and users fail to fill it up. Users also face fuel economy issues at 4300 miles or later.

Solution: Users need to replace the fuel gauge and fuel tank to solve the issue.  In October 2020 Toyota issued a recall to fix the issue. Total replacement cost of the fuel gauge and tank is nearly $1000–$1200.

2. Brake and Stability Issues

Some users reported that the brake system is not working and the car is going left on its own. 2016 and 2018 hybrid RAV4s are usually affected by the issue. Some users also reported a grinding noise coming from the vehicle while braking. These issues occur at 6000–10,000 miles or later.

Solution: Replacing the brake and repairing the suspension are the best solutions to the problem. Brake replacement costs around $280–$300. Replacement of the suspension shocks will cost you around $600–$800.

3. Electrical Problems

Most common electrical issues with the hybrid RAV4 are sudden engine start, engine not starting and dead battery. Sudden engine start occurs at 21,000 miles or later in the 2017 hybrid RAV4s. 2019 RAV4 has engine starting issues where the lights turn on but the engine doesn’t start. It can occur at 18,650 miles or later. Dead battery issues are most common with the 2020 hybrid RAV4 which occurs at 8800 miles or later. Some hybrids are accused of having corroded electric cables.

Solution: To solve the electronic issues, you will need to diagnose the vehicle. Some cables and electric parts may need to be replaced. These will cost you a few hundred dollars. Battery drain happens for a software issue and it was fixed with a software update.

4. Windshield Issues

There are user reports complaining about the cracked windshield. Windshields in the 2017, 2019, and 2021 hybrid RAV4s are faulty and crack easily. It may happen between 6700–11250 miles or later. Some users reported water leaks from the windshield specifically in the 2021 RAV4 hybrids.

Solution: Replacing the windshield is the best solution to these problems. Replacement cost for the windshield may vary from $200–$1000 including labor costs. You may be charged extra for calibration costs depending on the different technologies included in your RAV4 hybrid.

5. Coolant Leak Problem

RAV4 hybrids of 2019 and 2020 have coolant leak issues. Engine overheating and smoke can be caused by coolant leaking problems. Toyota suspected a leak in the coolant chamber causing the coolant leaks. These issues can occur at any time. Almost 50,000 or more vehicles were recalled to fix the issue.

Solution: Replacing the coolant chamber and fixing any leaks are necessary for solving the issues. Toyota issued a recall to fix the issue. Generally, it costs a few hundred up to a thousand bucks to fix the coolant issue.

6. Interior Accessories Issues

Interior accessories issues include radio, display, speaker, etc. Users reported that the radio and speaker problems occur at 5000–13,950 miles. Display blacks out at 4600–15,450 miles. Speaker and floor mat issues occur at 10,000 miles or later. RAV4 hybrids of 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020 are mainly affected by Interior accessories issues,

Solution: A possible solution to these problems is to diagnose the radio, display, and speakers. They may need to be replaced and cost a few hundred dollars for that.

RAV4 Hybrid Recall

2017 hybrid RAV4 recall: Recalled for fixing emergency spare tire pressure issue.

2018 hybrid RAV4 recall: Recalled for replacing the battery and changing labels.

2019 hybrid RAV4 recall: Recalled for fixing fuel delivery, fuel pump, fuel tank, steering, suspension, front, and back camera, electronic stability control, engine cooling system issues, and replacing labels.

2020 hybrid RAV4 recall: Recalled for steering, suspension, fuel system, and engine cooling issues.

2022 hybrid RAV4 recall: Recalled for airbags and electronic stability control software issues.

2023 hybrid RAV4 recall: Recalled for fixing tire valve issues.

RAV4 Hybrid Reliability

RAV4 hybrid is a compact utility vehicle and a popular choice for family usage.

It has great safety ratings and impressive fuel economy.

Hybrid RAV4 can get 38 mph in city areas and 41 mph on highways.

Moreover, the build quality is like other Toyota vehicles and it can last for a long time without any major issues.

Additionally, the predicted reliability rating of the 2024 hybrid RAV4 is 76–80 in J.D. Power.

So, the Toyota RAV4 hybrid is a reliable and appealing vehicle.


Toyota RAV4 is an appealing compact utility sports vehicle.

It has some advantages and disadvantages among the model years.

2019 is the most problematic year and the most complained about problem is fuel system issues.

Toyota issued some recalls which solved most of the major issues.

However, you should know about the issues before purchasing a hybrid RAV4.

I hope this article helps you to understand all the issues and solve them.

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