RAV4 doesn't repond intially to acceleration, then lurches forward

1996 Rav-4. Wife’s car. Well maintained. Since the beginning, I’ve noticed that when you accelerate from standstill, the car lurches forward. As you are pressing, you can actually feel the gas pedal do nothing the initial few cm’s. Then the car lurches forward. Same thing when you suddenly need to overtake a car - it lurches. Is it me or could anything be wrong with the car?

Since the beginning?
As in–since 1996?

If that is the case, then I would guess that this is some sort of “drive by wire” glitch, possibly software related. Sometimes having a dealer’s service dept “flash” the ECM with updated software will remedy problems like this.

Or, if as I suspect, you have owned this car for a shorter period of time, then it is more likely to be a mechanical problem such as a throttle body issue. The throttle body might need cleaning or it might be so worn as to need replacement.

Please define “since the beginning” for us.

Thanks for your reply VDCdriver.

Well, she bought the car in Apr 2006. We got married in 2007. That was when I started driving it. And I remember it being that way since then. I’m not 100% sure if the problem existed when she bought it because she says its just my driving.

Also, I’ve noticed that sometimes when it rains (not always), the problem seems to magically disappear, as if it wasn’t ever there.

If the pedal does not feel right when you take off try to clean throttle body.
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