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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
While my 2012 RAV4 was idling in park, the engine suddenly raced into the red area and stayed there. Nothing was in contact with the accelerator. Only the factory floor mat is installed, and it was properly placed. I immediately turned the ignition off.

This happened in the middle of a tiny, crowded parking lot at a local vegetable mart. People were walking back and forth in front of the car. If this had happened while the car was in gear, it most certainly could have resulted in grave injury or death.

It's in for state inspection. The service manager is road testing it, as I write. I'm expecting no response. The problem just happened once, and I expect it will be impossible to reproduce on demand. Am wondering about the next step.
 

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Welcome! There have been other complaints about throttle problems with apparently primarily Gen. 3 RAVs. For what it's worth, a quote from Wikipedia about the issue:

"Software or electronic failures within the ETC have been suspected by some to be responsible for alleged incidents of unintended acceleration. A series of investigations by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) were unable to get to the bottom of all of the reported incidents of unintended acceleration in 2002 and later model year Toyota and Lexus vehicles. A February 2011 report issued by a team from NASA (which studied the source code and electronics for a 2005 Camry model, at the request of NHTSA) did not rule out software malfunctions as a potential cause.[3] In October 2013, the first jury to hear evidence about Toyota's source code (from expert witness Michael Barr (software engineer)) found Toyota liable for the death of a passenger in a September 2007 unintended acceleration collision in Oklahoma.[4]"
 

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Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Dale, did you have your foot on the brake at the time? The 2012 came with something called SmartStop technology which should have dropped the throttle back to below 2000 if the brakes are applied. I don't know if it works in Park however.
 

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Google Dr. Ronald A. Belt's Sudden Acceleration Papers. This has happened to 12 other forum members while the vehicle WAS IN GEAR and happened to me twice over the past 4 years. It is impossible to replicate so don't expect any help from the dealer. All you will get from them is the "deer in the headlights" look.
Since this happened to me I put the transmission in "N" at any stop while the engine is running and when it happened to me while the vehicle was in gear and moving I just killed the ignition and everything returned to normal when turning the ignition back on again.
I have no idea why this happens on very rare occasions, but if you find out please let us know.
P.S. I do have the SmartStop upgrade installed on my RAV.
 

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We should research other Toyota vehicles with the same complaint. Given the similarities, in fact the same ECU used for so many Toyotas should evince the same issue? No? And why do they do not?

I suspect our RAV4 has become some kind of scam market. Ignore!
 

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Google Dr. Ronald A. Belt's Sudden Acceleration Papers.
Total BS. Not even good pseudo science. You can tell I'm Canadian because I'm not saying what I really think.

Not saying that you haven't experienced unintended acceleration, but Dr. Belt certainly doesn't have a handle on it.
 

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Total BS. Not even good pseudo science. You can tell I'm Canadian because I'm not saying what I really think.

Not saying that you haven't experienced unintended acceleration, but Dr. Belt certainly doesn't have a handle on it.
That was my impression from reading opinions of his work. ymmv.
 

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I and 12 other forum members are saying what they have actually experienced. If you have any intelligent and constructive comments to make, please feel free to do so.:smile
 

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We should research other Toyota vehicles with the same complaint. Given the similarities, in fact the same ECU used for so many Toyotas should evince the same issue? No? And why do they do not?

I suspect our RAV4 has become some kind of scam market. Ignore!
Yep, 12 forum members have a hidden agenda to undermine confidence in RAV 4's.:roll:
The reality is they just want to know why this occurs and find a solution without being attacked as being part of a grand conspiracy. Perhaps Honda, Ford, and Subaru are behind it...give me a break!
 

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I and 12 other forum members are saying what they have actually experienced. If you have any intelligent and constructive comments to make, please feel free to do so.:smile
I am certainly not doubting what you are saying. I used to own a (Japanese brand) minivan which had a high incidence of transmission failure. I believed that was due to abuse by owners, until it happened to me, and I knew mine had not been abused. So I have no difficulty believing what you are saying, all the more so when it is not followed by "and that's what caused me to run into the vehicle in front".

I have no idea what is causing this problem, but I do know it does not help to have the likes of Dr Belt muddying the waters with his take on it.
 

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Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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I and 12 other forum members are saying what they have actually experienced. If you have any intelligent and constructive comments to make, please feel free to do so.:smile
There HAS to be something in common with these 12 members and what happened to them. Until somebody does some intensive research and find out in detail what each driver was doing when the UA occurred, it will remain a mystery. Is it a V6 or I4 problem, or both? Did it happen with the 2.4L and 2.5L engine? Does it happen only with 4WD or FWD RAV4's? What systems were on at the time--A/C, audio system (probably), cruise control, headlights, turn signals, etc. Many of these systems are on the CAN bus and others like the audio system have inputs from the vehicle speed sensor. It could be pushing a certain sequence of buttons sends some erroneous signal along the CAN bus. Until the UA can be duplicated at will, nothing will be done about it.

One thing seems to be common to these occurrences. It almost never seems to happen when the vehicle is cruising on the highway. Except for the Lexus driver who had several floor mats jamming his accelerator pedal. It always seems to happen in slow speed or no speed situations. Like in a parking lot or stopped at an intersection.
 

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It would be nice to know if some of those vehicles had OEM or non OEM lights. Some people have mentioned radio interference when they installed either LED or HID lamps. Some of the high frequency inverters in them may not be properly shielded and could generate high frequency RF or spikes on the 12V dc bus possibly causing interference.

Frank 2015 Rav4 XLE AWD with almost 19K miles
 

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It would be nice to know if some of those vehicles had OEM or non OEM lights. Some people have mentioned radio interference when they installed either LED or HID lamps. Some of the high frequency inverters in them may not be properly shielded and could generate high frequency RF or spikes on the 12V dc bus possibly causing interference.

Frank 2015 Rav4 XLE AWD with almost 19K miles
I don't know about the others, but I have OEM lights. Thank you for your input:smile. I just hope someone figures this rare thing out, there has to be a reason other than operator error.
 

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We bought a 2012 RAV4 4WD from the local Toyota dealer in 2017...we paid a premium for the "Toyota Certified Used Vehicle" status. Not only did it have an undisclosed accident, but we have experienced 6 incidents of UA. All at low speeds or coming to a stop. Typically only radio on and maybe running fog lights or full lights. Husband's theory is that surface is relevant. At least 3 of the occurrences were on incline. We no longer feel safe in this car and are taking it to the dealer. Any advice on strategy for that discussion??
 

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We bought a 2012 RAV4 4WD from the local Toyota dealer in 2017...we paid a premium for the "Toyota Certified Used Vehicle" status. Not only did it have an undisclosed accident, but we have experienced 6 incidents of UA. All at low speeds or coming to a stop. Typically only radio on and maybe running fog lights or full lights. Husband's theory is that surface is relevant. At least 3 of the occurrences were on incline. We no longer feel safe in this car and are taking it to the dealer. Any advice on strategy for that discussion??
I would have taken the vehicle back to the dealer about the undisclosed accident right away because of the Certified Used Vehicle situation. Has the UA situation just begun, or has it been a problem since rather shortly after you bought the RAV4? There was a recall for remedies for UA in the U.S. but the problem and remedies were for earlier vehicles - but don't know about Canada. Later vehicles such as 2012 had preventative measures applied OEM, such as smart stop technology ref. the use of the throttle and brake simultaneously, and a shortened accelerator pedal and altered driver side floor mat to avoid the floor mat interfering with the accelerator pedal. Suggest taking your RAV4 to the dealer and explaining the UA problem, which could be a critical safety issue.
 

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I had the factory recall done on my 2009 for accelerator pedal. Do you know if it was needed and done for your vehicle? My understanding is that there is data stored in the Engine Computer that Toyota can analyze. It takes special equipment, but your dealer can arrange for someone to extract it. Keep us posted on this situation..
 

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I would have taken the vehicle back to the dealer about the undisclosed accident right away because of the Certified Used Vehicle situation. Has the UA situation just begun, or has it been a problem since rather shortly after you bought the RAV4? There was a recall for remedies for UA in the U.S. but the problem and remedies were for earlier vehicles - but don't know about Canada. Later vehicles such as 2012 had preventative measures applied OEM, such as smart stop technology ref. the use of the throttle and brake simultaneously, and a shortened accelerator pedal and altered driver side floor mat to avoid the floor mat interfering with the accelerator pedal. Suggest taking your RAV4 to the dealer and explaining the UA problem, which could be a critical safety issue.
We are rather novice car owners. We also live in a very small city where everyone is almost related so we're timid to take them to task. The UA episodes started pretty soon after purchase. We have talked to the dealer...they could not reproduce the situation so of course couldn't help us. They played dumb. Grrrr. Ran computer tests and found nothing. We only recently had the idea to Google it. It has happened 3 times in the last 6 weeks and we no longer feel safe. We can't in all consciousness sell it privately. So we want them to buy it from us. They will again plead ignorance, we're sure. My thought is that if they are so sure it's nothing then they can't use that against us in a sale of it to them, right?! If those preventative measures were applied to ours, well, they are clearly not effective.
 

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I had the factory recall done on my 2009 for accelerator pedal. Do you know if it was needed and done for your vehicle? My understanding is that there is data stored in the Engine Computer that Toyota can analyze. It takes special equipment, but your dealer can arrange for someone to extract it. Keep us posted on this situation..
That fix is not listed in the record of service done to the vehicle, no. We will raise that suggestion when we go in. Thanks. We are trying to steel ourselves for this battle. Stay tuned!
 

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That fix is not listed in the record of service done to the vehicle, no. We will raise that suggestion when we go in. Thanks. We are trying to steel ourselves for this battle. Stay tuned!
Hi Gina - there wouldn’t be anything in the service record for a 2012 - the changes were brought in during production in previous years, so the retrofit work to a 2009 would have been included in yours (as it is mine) from the factory when new. Aka they would have built it in the “new” way. As you can see, I also have a 2012 4-cyl. I’ve only experienced a mini-surge once, and it was after I took over the vehicle from my wife (we got it new). Of course we are also not able to replicate it.

Regardless of whether everyone knows everyone or not, you didn’t get what you were told you were getting - the CPO programs specifically rule out vehicles with prior collisions. Since you would have pid more for it being a CPO, there is at best an omission (mistake) on their part, at worst a misrepresentation; either of these - close to the date of purchase - COULD have been enough under most consumer protection laws (and manufacturer CPO programs) to refund a portion of the purchase price or overturn the sale.

Having said that, the UA problem has been covered here but it’s been a long time since it was discussed at length - there are some members and posts which you can find using the search feature.

As an aside to other longer-term members, was there ever any discussion or investigation about soot or EGR sludge buildup in the intake system? Given that we have throttle-by-wire (no direct connection between the pedal and throttle body) I wonder about a sensor being jammed up with sludge or soot, similar to what can happen with a mass air sensor (tiniest little contamination can create a fault). I’m sure this has been discussed and investigated though - I can’t be the first to consider this.


2012 RAV4 Base FWD.
Upgraded to large from brakes and 3rd row rear springs.
 
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