January 22, 2022 UPDATE! Toyota has settled a nationwide class-action lawsuit related to this issue for all RAV4 Hybrid and RAV4 Prime owners. Details of the settlement are pending. Watch this post for details in the coming days.
Prior Post begins:
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid owners tend to be a very happy bunch. Over the four years of the RAV4 Hyrbid’s existence, Car Compaints has received only 24 owner complaints about the top-selling vehicle. However, one of the rare examples of Toyota hybrid vehicles having a problem is the fuel filling issue that some owners of the RAV4 Hybrid reported. Here is what one owner told CarComplaints, “Fuel tank does not accept more than 7 gallons when empty (capacity is an advertised 14.5 gallons).” That succinct statement perfectly describes the issue. The great news is there is a fix, and it is working.
Toyota offers Help With RAV4 Hybrid Fuel Tank Filling Issue
In December Toyota issued a letter to owners of the current-generation RAV4 Hybrid. The letter explains that Toyota has launched a Customer Support Program that offers a no-cost fix for the problem. In addition, the program extends the warranty on the systems related to this issue for 8 years and 100,000 miles. This will help to ensure that second owners and those who may not have noticed the problem will have ample time to take advantage of the fix. Torque News requested a sample copy of the letter from Toyota and Toyota sent it along very quickly for use in this story. As always, Toyota's response to our request for help with information was prompt and complete.
Who Is Covered by This New RAV4 Hybrid Fuel Tank Customer Support Program?
Our research indicates that owners of RAV4 Hybrids in both Canada and the United States are covered by this Customer Support Program. Owners of RAV4 Hybrids with the fuel tank issue have reported that they were contacted by Toyota in the form of a letter. They then brought the vehicle in for service, it was repaired, and it now functions properly following the repair.
Those who reported the problem to their local dealer early on were in many cases frustrated. We have seen dealer work orders that suggest there is no problem and that perhaps the owner had trouble with a gas station dispenser.
By contrast, multiple owners have now provided very detailed reports of their experience before and after the fix. These owners report that the issue is now resolved. In one case, an owner also received a dealer-supplied loaner vehicle.
How To Get Your RAV4 Hybrid Fixed
If you have a RAV4 Hybrid with this fuel tank issue here is what you should do:
1) Immediately contact your dealer by phone to report the problem.
2) Ask if the dealer is familiar with the Customer Support Program.
3) If yes, schedule an appointment and ask for a loaner in advance. Ask how long the vehicle will be out of service.
4) If no, reach out to Toyota directly for assistance by calling Toyota Owner Assistance at the below links:
US Toyota Assistance
Canadian Toyota Assistance
The numbers above are also handy if you had this issue investigated and repaired at your own expense. You can request a reimbursement from Toyota if you have your receipts for work completed.
The repair involves replacing parts of the fuel system. Most owners are reporting the repair is not a long appointment, and it is easily handled in a business day. However, as you can see in the comments below, others have reported that the repair took multiple days.
Does the RAV4 Prime Have The Fuel Tank Issue?
Our informal polling of Toyota RAV4 Prime owners confirms for certain that not all Prime trims have this issue. In fact, we could not find any RAV4 Prime owners who could report the problem. One part of the problem is that so few use enough gas to ever need a full tank. One owner, Kate S, told Torque News, "I’m having a hard time using this tank of gas! This car is so darned efficient it’s taking forever!" If we find any RAV4 Prime owners who report this problem we will update the topic.
Have You Had Your RAV4 Prime Fixed?
If you have had your RAV4 Hybrid repaired, please tell us how the fix is working and offer any suggestions you feel may assist a fellow owner using our comments below this story. Please note that we have made a few updates to the original text based on the very helpful comments from the owners below.
John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. Following his engineering program, John also completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin