2021 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid Magnetic Gray Metallic Profile view front end
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Gas Tank Issue for Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: Here is Your Fix (with Video)

Learn about the fix for some RAV4 Hybrid gas tanks. A Toyota technician explains it all in our included video.

Some Toyota RAV4 Hybrid owners may have received Customer Support Program notification letters from Toyota in the past couple months.

This specific campaign is for certain 2019-2020 RAV4 Hybrid vehicles and applies to gas tanks and how much you can fill them up.

One of the key benefits of buying a new 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (or a 2019 or 2020 model) is the very good gas mileage it offers. Posted window sticker fuel estimates for RAV4 Hybrid are 41 in the city / 38 on the highway / 40 combined.

Toyota RAV4 is the best selling small SUV in the country. A big reason for this is sales for RAV4 Hybrid and its mpg ratings. Clearly we need a fix for this gas tank issue.

I will take “What is the Issue?” for $8000 please

An issue with gas tanks on a small number of Toyota RAV4 Hybrid vehicles may interfere with the amount of fuel you can put into your tank while at the pump.

Some owners have reported they can only fill up with a smaller number of gallons (I have heard a range of 7 to 11 gallons) once their RAV4 multi-information display reads they are in need of refueling.

Fortunately, this is not a safety issue. However, this is more of a convenience / annoyance issue for those owners involved. This affects the total driving range you can travel before hitting the gas station. Plus, owners must find those same gas stations more frequently.

Again, this is a big annoyance. I can see how it would be frustrating.

Time for the good news.

This issue does not apply to all RAV4 Hybrids – just a small amount. And now, Toyota has announced a solution to the problem and has begun contacting owners whose vehicles apply.

Toyota Letter on RAV4 Hybrid Issue

2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid gas tank issue

Here is an excerpt from the Toyota letter to RAV4 owners:

“Toyota has received customer reports of certain 2019-2020 model year RAV4 HV vehicle fuel gauges displaying less than full and/or total fuel dispensed is less than expected, when the fuel nozzle automatically clicks off when refueling.

Some customer reports have also noted the “Distance to Empty” shown on the multi-information display is less than expected.

Based on our investigation, Toyota believes these conditions to be primarily related to a variation of fuel tank shape and the potential for the fuel sender gauge to become inclined.

These conditions can cause the fuel level to be read incorrectly and may cause the low fuel light to illuminate with more fuel in the tank than usual.”

Next steps for Toyota RAV4 owners

2021 Toyota RAV4 XLE Hybrid Blueprint Profile view front end

If your RAV4 does not have any of these symptoms, then you do not need to take further action. More than likely your car is not affected.

For those who are experiencing these warning signs, as I explained before, it is not a safety issue. No need to panic. But you do have a “next step.”

You can contact your local Toyota dealer and ask them to run your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Their database will determine if your vehicle is involved in this campaign or not.

After that, if your vehicle applies, schedule a convenient time for your service appointment with your dealership.

Toyota RAV4 Gas Tank Issue Video

My friend Ali Mohagheghi is a Toyota master diagnostic technician (he has been working on Toyota vehicles for 35 years) and happily offers his time and his knowledge when I need more insight and education. I really appreciate his kindness.

We filmed a video explaining the RAV4 gas tank issue and what simple steps you can take for your fix.

I hope you find it helpful.

Time for your Toyota RAV4 thoughts

2021 Toyota RAV4 XLE Hybrid Blueprint Profile view

More good news for you. No other Toyota model is involved in the gas tank issue. A couple people have emailed me asking if 2021 Venza might be involved as well. No, Venza is not involved.

On a side note, I absolutely love my new 2021 Toyota Venza Limited. I purchased it late December after a week-long evaluation thanks to Toyota. It is already the best car I have ever owned. I encourage you to test drive one if you think it fits your driving needs and style. You may find your next car this way.

Thanks for reading everyone. I try to write stories that focus on Toyota breaking news, latest developments, reviews and how-to articles. Feel free to bookmark my Torque News / Toyota News column so you can follow along.

Do you own a Toyota RAV4 and have you experienced this issue? What RAV4 Hybrid trim level do you own?

Have you had it fixed yet? If not, do you plan on visiting your dealer soon?

Watch what fans say about the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Hybrid and click to subscribe to Torque News Youtube channel for daily EV news.

See you next story when I discuss 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime comfortability.

- Do Toyota hybrid batteries last longer with extreme high mileage driving?
- 2021 Venza safety systems: what you need to know

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My 2020 Highlander hybrid takes 13 gallons when empty versus the 17 it's supposed to take. Sounds like the same issue to me.
Same issue with my 2021 venza only takes 11 gallons maximum range is much less then Toyota advertised
Even though I like my 2019 Rav 4 , I think Toyota has turned their back on that year of vehicle. Being the first year in the new platform they didn't include Android Auto. They aren't very good at pushing out updates and when you call them about tge headunit, nobody knows anything about their product.
I agree 100%!
I have a 2021 Venza and seem to be having this fuel tank issue. I've driven the vehicle to near empty and can never get more then 11.5 gallons into the 14 gallon tank. And after filling I only get 460-490 miles til empty registered. Is anyone else having an issue with their new Venza?
Same issue with my 2021 venza only taking 11 gallons so my fuel range is never more than 472 miles
Thsnk you for the article Jeff, love your YouTube channel! I really enjoy my 2021 RAV4, it Is only taking 10-11 gallons on each fill up after the reduelylighy comes on. My dealer received feedback from Toyota USA “if the vehicle takes 9.8 gallons or more after refuel light comes on, this is within design specifications”. This is very disappointing for a $37,000 vehicles that had a 14.5 gallon tank. Do they designed a 40 mpg hybrid to have the fuel light come on with 1/3 of the fuel in reserve??????
My 2008 Prius has always had fueling issues, especially in cold weather. My 2020 Rav4 XSE hybrid only fills to 80%. For both of these vehicles, I carefully top them off to fill the tank. This can be tricky at best. Milage for both vehicles are very good, however, on trips, the idea is less fuel stops. So that is the issue.
I have a 2021 Highlander Hybrid and it has the same gas tank issues. My range should be over 600 miles but seldomly shows more than 500 after filling. A quick internet search will produce numerous discussions of other Highlander Hybrid owners experiencing the same issue.
I have a 2020 highlander hybrid with the same issue. It will never fill more than 11-12 gallons and it’s supposed to be a 17 gallon tank.
I’m having this issue with my 2021 rav4 hybrid and I’ve called a couple of dealers but when they’ve run my VIN it says I don’t qualify for the Customer Support Program. I recently purchased the vehicle so I still have the bumper to bumper warranty. Has anyone been able to get the issue fixed by the dealer without the customer support program (CSP)? I have a service appointment scheduled for today and I’ve been told it should fall under warranty but I’m crossing my fingers. I otherwise love the car but this one issue is definitely bothersome. If I’m able to get the fix without the CSP I’ll post about it here for others concerned about it
Having same issue here, I posted above. 21 RAV4 XSE hybrid only taking 10-11 gallons on empty. Toyota not authorizing my dealer to make any repair. This the exact opposite experience I was expecting when I traded on my 2018 civic hatchback, ZERO issues with that car. This rav 4 already has a loose side view mirror and a loose panel mount on passenger side bumper which they had to replace but they had my vehicle for 3 days.
GREAT NEWS! They are adding 2021 Rav4s to the program. My Dealer just called today and scheduled.....they need to retest, but said it's for the same parts....fuel tank, fuel sending unit, etc.
There are potentially three gas/tank-related issues. Ours was diagnosed with all three and supposedly fixed, but not sure about that. Our permanent “fix” was to unload our 1 year old RAV for a new CRV. :(
we have the same fuel fill problem with a 2017 Prius-V. We run down to 5 miles to empty and cannot put in 10 gallons.
Thank you for your article. Our 2020 RAV4 hybrid had this issue and they replaced the tank a month ago. We just finished a road trip and we will have to take it back to the dealership as the problem still remains. I'm not sure if we don't have a 14.5 gas tank as it should or something is wrong with the internal computer to give a false reading.
I have a 2021 Rav 4 Hybrid. Toyota states that it has a 14.5 gallon tank. I could at low fuel warning and 7 miles left in range get 11.5 gallons gas in the tank. Toyota states that is normal because they have a 3 gallon reserve . If that is true I should be able to drive another 100 miles after the low fuel warning light comes on. This seems to be to much reserve ?
The reserve is for the fuel pump to keep it cool during usage.
When the low fuel indicator is on its time to refuel. Going past the level and you're asking for a very expensive repair in terms of a new fuel pump tank assembly. My Prius has a stated fuel capacity of 11.9 gallons. When empty I may be able to add no more than 8+ gallons tops. Again it's always good practice to fill once the low fuel indicator comes on.
Just had my fuel tank changed for the second time and the fuel gauge changed as well, the fuel indicator reads full now but im only getting 11 gallons of fuel when completly empty(5 miles to empty on the display). When filled the distance to empty only reads about 410 miles. I asked Toyota about it and they told me its fine and correct, but why is it not in the 500s like it should be? Have you guys had that problem as well? Thank you.
Dear Jeff, Our 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XSE had this problem. I found that I could fill the tank by setting a refuel auto shutoff to the lowest flow rate, then add about 1 gallon more. I was afraid of trying to do too much for fear of contaminating the vent filters. When I read that a fix had been devised I called my Toyota dealer who booked a repair to coincide with my 1-year service. The service bill lists the parts replaced as a Fuel Gauge Assembly, Fuel Suction Gasket, and Fuel Tank Sub-Assembly. The service writer mentioned the last was a fuel bladder. They completed this work, plus the oil/filter change & multi-system checks in under three hours. As we only had 4,400 miles on the year-old car, I had not refueled enough for it to have been a big irritant. I am, however, glad it is done. Thanks for your reporting and reviews. I am on my 4th Toyota and have not looked back since buying the first. I love the reliability but really wish Toyota would improve their Electronic/Driver interface. It really needs help.
I have a 2018 hybrid Rav4 Limited that has this same issue. They say my VIN indicates that I am not eligible for a fix and yet I cannot fill my tank to more than 11 gallons in what is supposed to be a 14 gallon tank, even when the low gas light is on and I supposedly have 20 miles more to go. I always thought that my calculations for how much mileage I should get between fill ups was not right. Are there any other steps to take? The dealership told me that if they find a problem I'd have to pay to get it fixed. But if this manufacturing issue affects other Hybrid RAV4's it seems to me that they should expand this coverage. Is anyone with one prior to the 2019 model year with this problem?
Toyota needs to fix their system key malfunction issue with their vehicles! So many people having this issue and Toyota is not giving a crap!!! Be better Toyota! We buy your vehicles because of reputation and your rep is tanking.
I have a 2019 RAV4 XSE, and have had this issue since brand new. I have inquired of my dealer at least six different times, and told that filling the car and getting only 10 gallons in was normal, and that there was a larger reserve. I am so happy to see that they finally are acknowledging that there is an issue! Cannot wait to call them first thing Monday! Huge thank you to Torque News and Ali!!
I used to be able to get 8.5 gallons into the tank. It took a lot of work to get there. I got my tank fixed. I can now get 13 gallons into the car. Once the pump kicks off I can get another 1.5 gallons in. So it stays at full for a long time. Big improvement.
My 2021 XLE rav4 hybrid has the same symptoms. Havent even hit 5,000 miles yet. Near empty, it only takes 10 gallons. Its supposed to hold about 14.
This issue IS starting to crop up in the 2021 Venza. Posters here as well as on the Venza forum at Toyota Nation are starting to report only being able to refill 7-11 gallons when almost empty. This is disappointing and a real deal breaker. If Toyota is unwilling to put the time and effort in to coming up with a real solution to this issue, people should simply stop purchasing the Hybrid versions of the RAV4, Venza, and Highlander (from what it sounds like it is affected as well.) When the unsold vehicles start piling up on dealer lots Toyota will have no choice but to engineer a permanent solution and retrofit it to existing cars as well. This is simply unacceptable.
2021 Venza. Love the vehicle buy never get more than 720km (~430 miles) expected from a full to the brim tank. Typically I add 8L after it clicks off automatically, once I got 10L more added. Taking car in for first oil change tomorrow, will see what they say.
What a mess Toyota has on their hands. I would be passed if try to go more than 300 miles on a highway trip i would to stop and refuel.
I have a 2020 Toyota RAV4 hybrid. Did the repair via the consumer service program and still could only refuel to 10 gallons. Took it back in to be looked at and was told since it is above 9.8 gallons it is operating up to manufacturers standards. If you, like me, are upset with a less than advertised fuel tank there is a class action lawsuit that has been filed in California that you can now join lead by Schubert Jonckheer and Kolbe law firm. I am not affiliated with this firm in any way outside of contacting them about the lawsuit.