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Toyota RAV4 Class Action Settlement

By Mike Holter


ToyotaToyota has reached a class action lawsuit settlement over allegations that some 2001-2003 model year RAV4s have defective automatic transmissions. Under the RAV4 settlement, Toyota will provide a warranty enhancement and reimbursement to current and former RAV4 owners and lessees who submit valid claims.
The Toyota RAV4 class action settlement will resolve a class action lawsuit, entitled Milligan v. Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., that claims some 2001-2003 RAV4s equipped with automatic transmissions have experienced a “harsh shift condition.” When this occurs, the vehicle may suddenly not shift smoothly and/or it may exhibit harshness in shifting operations during driving. The “harsh shift condition” may be attributed to a malfunctioning Electronic Control Module (ECM).
Toyota denies wrongdoing but has agreed to establish a class action lawsuit settlement to resolve the litigation.
Class Members of the Toyota RAV4 class action settlement include all persons in the United States, including the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, who currently own or lease or formerly owned or leased a model year 2001 through 2003 Toyota RAV4 equipped with an automatic transmission. (Toyota previously mailed a notice regarding this issue to current owners as part of a separate Customer Support Program. However, this class action settlement expands that Customer Service Support Program to include prior owners and lessees.)
Class Members can receive the following benefits under the Toyota RAV4 class action settlement:
(1) Warranty Enhancement. Toyota will continue to provide a warranty enhancement to any Class Member, for a period of 10 years or 150,000 miles from the Class Vehicle’s in-service date, whichever occurs first, for a harsh shift condition and/or illumination of the check engine light with the following codes: P0750, P0753, P0755, P0758, and/or P1760.
(2) Reimbursement Under the Existing Customer Support Program. Toyota will continue to offer reimbursement to current owners pursuant to the existing Customer Support Program. The class action settlement will extend this reimbursement to prior owners.
(3) Reimbursement for Repair Costs. Class Members who paid for a repair or replacement of the ECM and/or automatic transmission for the specific condition covered by this settlement during the enhanced-warranty period will be reimbursed.
To submit a claim form for reimbursement, you must download a claim form at and mail it, along with the required documentation, during the Reimbursement Period, which is from the date of the Final Approval Order and Judgment through December 31, 2014.
Class Members who fail to submit valid reimbursement claims during the Reimbursement Period will not receive a payment from the RAV4 ECM settlement.
Detailed instruction on how to file a claim for the Toyota RAV4 ECM Class Action Lawsuit Settlement can be found in our Open Lawsuit Settlements section.


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Updated August 17th, 2012


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Please note: Top Class Actions is not a settlement administrator or law firm. Top Class Actions is a legal news source that reports on class action lawsuits, class action settlements, drug injury lawsuits and product liability lawsuits. Top Class Actions does not process claims and we cannot advise you on the status of any class action settlement claim. You must contact the settlement administrator or your attorney for any updates regarding your claim status, claim form or questions about when payments are expected to be mailed out.



  • Anonymous September 9, 2012

    If the settlement date was January 2012, and this litigation involves Toyota RAV4 vehicles from 2001-2003,

    Then how can Toyota sate that:

    “(1) Warranty Enhancement. Toyota will continue to provide a warranty enhancement to any Class Member, for a period of 10 years or 150,000 miles from the Class Vehicle’s in-service date, whichever occurs first

    as this a would exclude all 2011 vehicles????

    I am an original owner of a Rav4 and this vehicle has been parked for a year due to transmission shifting issues.

    • Annie July 27, 2014

      I was just thinking the same thing! How can they say they’ll only cover for TEN years when the settlement date was in 2012???

  • sandy January 3, 2013

    Call this number 1 800 331 4331 Toyota customer service and press option 3

  • kattelyne January 28, 2013

    I am an owner of 2003 toyota rav4. My car started the harsh shift condition last year. When to toyota they fix the ecm. A year later the same problem start again. This time they telling they is nothing with car. The car has 1000miles left before the warranty expirer. But toyota refuse to fix it. What should I do?

  • RAY February 15, 2013

    I rented a Rav4 in Halifax while on a trip there. After driving a few blocks I found I had to fight with the brakes to stop and hold the vehicle. I came very close to crossing a red light and colliding with a full lane of traffic. My wife, a normally calm unruffled individual let out a scream being convinced that we would be killed.

    I lost the better part of a day’s touring since it took the tow truck well over an hour to show up. Then I had to take a taxi to get to the agency.

    As a result of the vehicle’s critical problem I was unable to do anything for the rest of the day while I tried to “smooth out” and recover from a harrowing experience being the driver of a car that had its own will to drive without yielding to the person at the wheel.

  • Shawn May 28, 2013

    I own a 2002 Toyota RAV4L w/ harsh shift condition and would like to have this repaired. Can I just take my vehicle to a Toyota dealer for repair w/ no out-of-pocket cost? Or do I have to pay for the repair and then file for reimbursement? I can’t afford to do this. If this is so, wouldn’t this be discriminating against me for earning a low-income?

  • Paulette June 29, 2013

    I received the recall letter from Toyota for my 2002 Rav4. The letter said something to the effect – file this letter if you are not experiencing problems. Deceptive. It should have said bring your car in immediately for a replacement part. A recall is a recall. Toyota kniew it had a defective part. I was past the 10 year mark so Bill Wright Toyota CA would do nothing for me. $1,000.00 to repair it, which I did not do.
    Did everyone know that the original recall was for 50,000 and 5 years? It was’nt until the government forced them to do more that they extended the recall to it’s current status. But for those of us over the 10 year or 1000,000 miles mark – we are out of luck. This is one of the reasons Toyota has lost it’s #1 status in the U.S.

    • Annie July 27, 2014

      I have a 2001 RAV4 with same issues.
      I agree with what you’re saying! A recall should be fixed at TOYOTA’s expense…and the dealerships should always have to comply.

  • hubert July 22, 2013

    i also can not afford the repairs to my rav 4 does anyone know of a mechanic or a group who can help me and others.

  • carlos r October 22, 2013

    Going through the same problem as other ppl here. 10yr or 150k from the date you bought it is bs. One thing i’m gonna try to do is remove the ecm (the part that’s bad) and send it to a repair place in Georgia called ‘myairbags’. They charge 69 bucks to fix it, s&h. Best of luck everybody!

    • Moses O June 24, 2014

      Thank you Carlos. Kindly send your phone nos and address of the Georgia my airbags repair place to me or call me on (323)4409197. I need to send my ECM for repair. Again thank you for your information.

    • connie M March 9, 2016

      did this solve OUR problem??

  • Beth November 6, 2013

    I just took my Toyota Rave 4 2003 in and they told me it had the hard shift problem and that the enhanced warranty expired in April. I almost got hit twice when this issue happened and Toyota refuse to honor the warranty and wanted to charge me $1,200 just for the ECM and then said it might still need a new transmission. I am filing an appeal! Don’t let them do this to you, it’s complete BS! They lost a class action lawsuit and now refuse honor the agreement. Write Toyota and file an appeal!

  • jennifer January 25, 2014

    I bought a used 2003 rav4 in 11/17/12 at autonation toyota libertyville. Started experiencing jerky transmission shifts when you step on the gas & suddenly car starts to slow down while driving early this month. Took to dealership for service & was told of recall being expired & is now faced with a $5596.57 estimate to get car fix. I was not told of a recall for this vehicle when car was purchased. I felt so deceived after leaving the dealership. To think that all cars we own are all TOYOTA :(

  • Ryan Hartman February 1, 2014

    I have a 2003 rav and just hit 112000 miles and the transmission started acting up on my lunch break.I called Toyota and since I bought in September of 2003 I’m past the 10 years.

  • Laura B February 14, 2014

    Just another Corporate sham. I took my 2001 Toyota Rav4 to an independent mechanic because my “engine light” has been on for months. Not one code is on the Toyota warranty list. Basically, they came up with a bunch of codes that will not be applicable to any reimbursement. Did we really think that Toyota is going to fix all those screwed up Ravs? Let’s get real.

  • michael herr April 7, 2014

    my 2003 rav4 now the transmission is not running good,it got stuck for a while then go slow

  • Dean April 14, 2014

    Just started having this problem. I took to aamco because they give a free estimate. then they needed $900 to take apart the transmission to get a real estimate. they called back & wanted 3500. I settled with them to fix it for 2500 but the problem still exists. I had the ecm updated in 2007 but it’s the ecu that needs fixing. ammco says bring it back & they want another 1000. it’s a nightmare. I have a 2002 with 91000 miles so I’m past the recall window. HELP i want to trade it in but it’s only worth 2000.

  • Ron April 17, 2014

    Toyota failed to notify us about the transmission problem caused by the faulty computer system. …which requires both to be fixed. …

  • Evans Mogaka June 17, 2014

    Did any one receive a recall letter on time.Toyota sent me the recall letter with a wrong city and my name was mispelled .The mail came 3 months after the 10 year warranty.Have you hard of a city called Moscow in USA.I bougth the car brand new from toyota and i leave in the same city and adresse in MORROW.were they trying to defraud thier customers?.My car is 139,000 milles and they denied my claim too.I need a good lawyer .

  • Sabrina B. November 28, 2014

    I am just finding out about this settlement. My car is past the 150,000 mile mark. I’m so angry that Toyota has missed this. I had my car serviced in 2008 with this complaint and they did not fix the problem. Here I am with the car inoperable and needing to “fight” for this issue.
    Look under the FAQ tab.
    There is a ton of answers there. (Who to contact…. Class Action Attorneys are:
    Jeffrey B. Cereghino
    Michael Ram
    Ram, Olson, Cereghino & Kopczynski LLP
    Beth E. Terrell
    Terrell Marshall & Daudt PLLC
    Steven Tindall
    Rukin Hyland Doria & Tindall LLP
    Jennie Lee Anderson
    Andrus Anderson LLP
    (it states Attorney fees are covered and we do not get charged… etc.)
    I have left a message and will be pursuing this. Best of luck everyone!

  • Jennifer W. May 2, 2015

    I filed a claim back in December before the deadline. I had a 2002 RAV4 that began having the harsh shift condition in August 2008. I spent over $3400 having the transmission repaired, and a couple of weeks later, the harsh shifting was happening again. The mechanic I used then found out about the ECM issues. I was quoted another $1200 to replace the ECM, but the mechanic couldn’t guarantee that it would resolve the issue. I decided to trade in my car rather than put more money into it. I traded it to a Toyota dealership, who was aware of the existing problem, which significantly decreased my the trade value. There wasn’t a recall for the ECM at the time, or if there was, they didn’t tell me or offer to repair it at no cost. Anyway, Toyota denied my claim. As requested, I submitted an invoice from the transmission repair, proof of ownership at the time of the repair, and proof of payment (copy of the cleared check from the bank and a credit card statement). Now they are asking for a signed written statement from the servicing auto mechanic on company letterhead verifying the reason for the repair. The mechanic is no longer in business (retired), and I have no way of contacting him. I plan to file an appeal, but I’m not sure it will make a difference. Has anyone actually received a reimbursement for their claim?

  • Allison August 19, 2015

    How is this fair they should have to fix every rav4 between 2001-2003 one time til they are all fixed free of charge I say we reopen this class action suit till our needs have been met Allison in Vegas

  • Jannette Carmona October 13, 2015

    Tuve que cambiar la computadora de mi vehículo que su numeración aparece en el recall y fue antes del 31 de diciembre del 2014 el dealer y Toyota de Puerto Rico se negó a rembolsar el dinero. Yo como clienta me enteré cuando prendió la luz de check energie y el dealer me notifica q9mi vehículo estaba en los defectuosos porque Toyota de Puerto Rico nunca lo hizo. Como me pueden explicar que derechos tengo.Guardo toda mi evidencia.Gracias !

  • Chris February 15, 2016

    Hi. I contacted the attorneys above and Toyota about this issue and basically there is nothing to be done. I did not receive a notification and my Rav4 had all the symptoms and mechanic said that was normal on that vehicle. Now the vehicle won’t even move and only has 129,000. This should have been a recall on these vehicles and not a settlement.

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