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Toyota Investigates Corroded Cables in RAV4 Hybrids

Finally there is some good news for owners of Toyota RAV4 hybrids manufactured from 2019 to 2021, those whose high-voltage cable over $6,000 corrodes prematurely. After months of "cablegate" and negative media coverage, Toyota is now agreeing to change the part at its own expense to fuel its investigation.


Toyota hasn't announced any recalls or warranty enhancements for its RAV4 hybrids, but at least things are starting to move.

"In order to continue the ongoing investigation, we are recovering and replacing the affected parts through our dealerships," Toyota spokesman Philippe Crowe wrote to Marie-Eve Fournier of The Press.. These replacements are made “at no cost to the customer”.

This makes a huge difference, because motorists have found themselves with bills approaching $7,000. The piece alone was selling for $4,476 plus tax when she broke this story last spring.

Toyota has not officially announced the news to the general public.

But the rumor quickly spread in the last hours on the “Toyota CABLEGATE (Rav4 Hybrid & Rav4 Prime)” Facebook page, which has about 5,000 members. That's a lot, but given the high popularity of the vehicle, certainly not everyone involved is aware of this development. So hopefully Toyota dealers had clear guidelines.

Once the information was posted on Facebook, some RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid owners were quick to call their Toyota dealer to find out more. They obtained confirmation that the cable change would be free if and only if an alarm on the dashboard indicates that the hybrid system is defective.

Those who would like to have a new cable installed as a preventive measure, to avoid breaking down, will therefore have to take their troubles patiently, it seems. It is also not known whether owners who have already paid the bill will be reimbursed. Toyota would not answer my questions as this case is “currently before the courts."

In May, a class action request was filed by Adams Avocat, of Montreal. The Association for the Protection of Motorists (APA) was delighted, because Toyota "openly decided not to pay" even if the problem has been known since 2020, then commented on its president, George Iny. He also denounced the “grossly exaggerated” price of the part, which is similar to an extension cord for a mower and should not be sold for more than $500.

This class action request, which has not yet been heard by the Court, was amended this week to include other vehicles that have the same type of cable. These are the 2020-2022 Highlander Hybrids, the 2019-2022 Prius with all-wheel drive, the 2021-2022 Venza Hybrids, as well as the 2022 Lexus NX350h Hybrid and NX450h Plug-in Hybrid.

In addition, Adams Avocat is now seeking punitive damages of $1,000 rather than $300. Because the lawyer in charge of the case, Fredy Adams, judges that the answers provided by Toyota and its dealers to motorists are “frustrating” and “do not correspond” to the value of the cars in question. “When you buy a car for $40,000, you expect better service. It's not professional," he said.

The fact that Toyota now replaces cables at its expense responds to one of Adams Avocat's requests. But that will not minimize the chances of the class action to be accepted, believes Mr. Adams, since he also claims the extension of the warranty, the reimbursement of the costs already paid by certain owners of RAV4 and punitive damages, writes Fournier in The Press.

In fact, even if Toyota replaces certain cables for free, it does not solve everything. Who says that the new part will not corrode in turn?

In a report on the "cablegate" broadcast in September by The invoice, on Radio-Canada, a mechanic said that the modification of the part by Toyota on the more recent models is not even enough. The proof: he still sees corrosion!

Nothing to reassure owners of RAV4 hybrids… both current and future.

Especially since a good number of questions remain unanswered about future models. Will they have the same problem? Will they be better protected by the warranty?

So far, the lack of information has caused a lot of uncertainty and stress. Some people have sold their vehicle, others are afraid to use it. A practically new vehicle should rather provide peace of mind.

Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.

Reference: Adopted from La Press, referenced above.


James Louie (not verified)    October 19, 2022 - 4:42PM

I just took my Rav4 2019 Hybrid to the dealer, 10.18.2022 for an inspection. According to them, no issue at this time. Fortunately, I live in Seattle, and keep my vehicle in my closed garage. Will keep all posted, and monitor the updates.

John Goreham    October 19, 2022 - 5:25PM

I'm a writer here, but also a consumer. I own a Toyota now and have owned others in the past, all of which I loved. I was close to trying to find a RAV4 Prime to buy when I learned about this issue, and it stopped me from moving ahead. I hope Toyota can come up with a fix for this issue. Corrosion is a serious worry for those of us who live where roads are slated six months per year.

Mark Schrader (not verified)    October 23, 2022 - 9:25AM

I wish they would fix the 2008 rav4 rings that burn oil to fast, have to add oil every week

Merlin Valencia (not verified)    October 24, 2022 - 12:24AM

Have my R4P for more than year now so far so good. Is there a way I can inspect this cable?

Ariel Del Valle (not verified)    October 24, 2022 - 12:54AM

I currently own a 2021 Rav4 XLE HYBRID it's the first I hear of this issue will I be able to go to my dealership and ask for the replacement or will have to wait completely when my girl gives me issues I commute back and forth with her I live in the Northern East Coast Pennsylvania and I commute to New York State I just hit the Warranty mileage mark not sure what can I do here

Pat Powers (not verified)    December 14, 2022 - 2:27PM

I recently decided to buy a new RAV4 Hybrid. However, started reading about the high voltage cable situation and changed my mind. This is certainly a serious design flaw. Toyota seems to have no interest in correcting this problem. The location of the cable needs to be changed. I don’t see any benefit to installing a new cable in the same vulnerable location.

MARIA LOUISE VINCENT (not verified)    December 25, 2022 - 2:47PM

We own a 2019 RAV4 Hybrid and have been working with our dealer since June 2022. In Feb 2022 we replaced our Toyota after market remote starter and again in December our new remote starter is not working. I have opened a claim with them and would not only want a new MGR Harness but I feel the remote starter problem is related to the MGR Harness and would like to be reimbursed for the cost of the replacement.

Tom C (not verified)    February 13, 2023 - 9:19PM

Long-time Toyota customer here. My first Camry was 12 yrs young at 250K miles when I crashed it. I’m 5 yrs into my second Camry. My kids have all bought Toyotas. But, my daughter’s 2019 RAV4 LE hybrid was not designed to the standards we expect from Toyota. She has had it maintained according to the owners manual exclusively at the dealership where she bought it (Herb Chambers). A couple weeks ago, a message came on the dash “hybrid system malfunction visit dealer.” So, she did. They looked the car over, checked error codes (P0AA649 and P1C8049) and concluded the “condition was caused by corrosion of the HV floor wire and possible rear traction motor wire.” They estimated repair could cost $6K! The car still ran and the message remained. I drove the car two days last week and one day this week. Tonight, on the ride home, several new warnings suddenly appeared and the vehicle suddenly stopped working. It had to be towed. This car is barely 4 yrs old. Toyota, you have a problem!

Jimbo (not verified)    June 21, 2023 - 10:02AM

In reply to by Tom C (not verified)

They have agreed to extend the warranty on this repair, so hopefully your daughter's car was fixed at no cost to her. If you paid, Toyota is supposed to reimburse the cost of the repair.

Wil Ferch (not verified)    May 6, 2023 - 10:16AM

I don't understand the basis. We have all seen electrical connectors with 3, blade-type rubber/elastomer "seals" as used for delicate electronics. No doubt this concept of a "water-proof" connectior cannot be so outside the realm of a possible fix? Why isn't this mentiioned anywhere? There are many mositure or even underwater-capable connectors used in other applications.....why not here?