2013 Toyota RAV4 problem

Hi Everyone I bought my 2013 Toyota Rav 4 on 12/16/13 Started having a problem in January 2014 the push bottom start,failed ,I got it started after 5 mins ,took it back to the dealer they found nothing wrong ,
Long story short Its been in the shop 4 Times for this problem,they can’t find out why it does it,nothing shows up,well I an having a hearing 12/29/14 to a hearing on this at the dealer with a Arbitrator, This problem is off and on since November it did it once they towed it to dealer and it started,They tell me there’s nothing wrong with it,no code etc, has anyone had this problem I love the car but my wife won’t drive it because of this ,It seams to start after it sits ,when it happens I hear a zing in the steering colum,
I plan on lemon law if this don’t work ,I live in SC ,any input on this ,
Thank Steve

Lemon law, definitely. I hope you’re keeping all your records?

Check with a forum dedicated to the Rav4.

“I plan on lemon law”

All I can say is that you are far more patient than I am.
When my friend experienced weird, random electrical problems with his Rav, following installation of a Toyota remote start system at the dealership, we gave the dealership 3 bites at the apple–over a period of only about 2 months.

When they were clearly unable to remedy the problem in those 3 attempts, I wrote a legal demand letter to Toyota corporate, and as a result, they sent the Regional Service Supervisor and a Japanese engineer to the dealership for their final attempt at repair.

They were successful, but if they hadn’t been successful on that day, Toyota corporate knew that they would have been on the hook for a full refund or a new replacement vehicle (at the choice of the car owner). However, this was in NJ, and this may not apply in a red state like South Carolina.


“if this don’t work”

If you follow the details of South Carolina’s Lemon Law precisely, and if you have saved all of your repair invoices, you should be successful. When you write your demand letter, in addition to keeping the tone of the letter cold, clinical, and non-emotional, you should also quote relevant text from the SC Lemon Law, and reference the number of the relevant statute. If Toyota corporate knows that you are fully aware of your rights, it will work to your advantage.

Now, stop “planning”, and take action!

I never did this but what is a demand letter?

A demand letter is a well-constructed, non-emotional letter–referencing relevant statutes–that demands satisfaction of your complaint under the terms of those statutes. If you know a paralegal or an attorney on a personal level, they may be willing to do this for you w/o charge.

Yes thanks I was talking to someone today about getting what I’m going to say I have the 4 repair orders it was in shop total 33day
Thanks again

I think Toyota corporation needs to man-up, take responsibility, and give you a loaner car of similar type while they keep your RAV 4 at the dealership shop and have a tech drive it every day until it demonstrates this symptom, so they can see it for themselves. You could also ask them to let a tech drive it home every day. It fails for you, so eventually it will fail for them. If Toyota got proactive on this, you might well consider to purchase another Toyota. But when they say “well, it starts for us” and sends you on your way, I could imagine you won’t look kindly on Toyota for your next car purchase. It would be in Toyota’s benefit actually to get on the stick. Maybe you should point this out. Politely of course. Remind them you are looking for a reason to purchase another new Toyota at some point in the future.

One more thing. When you say it “won’t start”, what exactly do you mean? Does it do that rrr-rrr-rrr thing indicating the starter motor is cranking the engine, but fails to catch and run? Or does it do nothing at all, the starter motor isn’t cranking the engine, maybe a click, but no rrr-rrr-rrr? If it is the former, that is often caused by a fuel problem. If the latter, that’s often some form of electrical problem.

In an ideal world the dealership would have test equipment they could attach to various test points which would monitor and record various operating parameters, and just leave it on the car while you use it. When it failed they could look at the data to see why, or least a clue why. Unfortunately, this level of sophistication hasn’t yet come to the diagnostics field. In cars anyway. In people, yes, they’ve had this type of thing (e.g. Holter monitor) for decades. But for some reason, this technique is not available, or at least not commonly available, for diagnosing intermittent problems w/cars.

It’s in the steering colum once they told me it was interference from power line so what does that mean don’t park near power line,they had the computer ck from the main office they found nothing ,Nothing to do with starter I touch the button and it make a windup sound for 1/2 sec then starts or it don’t start,if it don’t start ,I get out of the car lock it then unlock it try again nothing no zig nothing lights work w/radio etc
So I give up I’m going the 29th to see what happens

That power line stuff is ridiculous. Try a different dealer if it isn’t too far away. That will not negate the 4 times you have had it in for the no start problem at the original dealer.

Are you saying there is no noise when the start button fails? If so, it could be that you have to replace the remote key’s battery like I did. When the remote’s battery dies you can still start the RAV4 by touching the Toyota emblem on the key to the starter button.

If I misunderstood the problem, sorry about that… but that was my experience on a 2009 RAV4.

Be prepared to drop the car off, and refuse to accept it till fixed. Stop by in front of customers and ask to discuss the problem . Be in continuous communication with Toyota customer service.

I went to the hearing Monday, and they gave me a 2015 RAV4 XLE with a key It cost me 1,600 so It’s almost the same car but no push start ,I think I did alright I rather changed even But that’s how it played out
Thanks Guys

Congrats on the outcome.

Another “congrats” on sticking with it and getting the problem resolved. I agree with your wife, I’m not driving no car that won’t start reliably. Who knows in what situation it will be leaving you stranded? So were you without use of the car during this process, or did they give you a loaner?

In any event, good on Toyota for having a process to resolve this kind of problem. Any mechanical/electrical contraption, no matter how well designed and tested, a few cases like this will emerge among the many thousands manufactured.

You’d think they’d have been able to fix the problem on the original car, but sometimes this is easier said than done. I experienced a situation years ago with a portable electronic product that required high reliability to be of any use, where one of the printed circuit boards was failing intermittently, but which one, nobody knew, and only when it was jiggled in a certain way. The techs at the company had to completely tear the unit apart, practically removing every single screw, and voila, when everything was apart and laying on their work bench, with the aid of magnifying glasses one of them finally found a tiny bit of copper wire, less than 2mm, that had worked its way under one of the integrated circuits and was shorting out the pins at times.

Just curious, now that the issue is finally resolved, would you consider to purchase another Toyota in the future?