The Avalon has been having major issues. Some of these issue could appear in the RAV4 V6 since they probably share a similar catalytic coverrter and VVT system in the 3.5L V6 drivetrain.
Autoweek said:QUALITY GLITCHES
Since the Avalon's 2005 redesign, Toyota has issued service bulletins to dealers on these topics:
>> Bad U-joint welds
>> Faulty catalytic converters
>> Leak in oil-supply line for variable valve timing
>> Vehicle drifting
LOS ANGELES -- Alan Seider has owned 11 Toyotas since 1982, but his 2006 Avalon likely will be his last.
He says quality glitches have bedeviled his Toyota sedan, which he has driven less than 6,000 miles since he bought it last July. His dealer could not solve the car's problems. Toyota headquarters stonewalled his appeals, he says.
"There have been significant throttle control and transmission hesitation issues," says Seider, 45, a computer consultant from Roswell, Ga. "I've isolated 15 different rattles in the body work."
Seider is far from alone. Internet chat rooms such as Edmunds.com Town Hall are littered with complaints from Toyota loyalists about the redesigned Avalon, which went on sale in February 2005.
The Avalon's launch problems point to a larger issue. To meet demand, Toyota has added factories in North America and thousands of new employees. Executives are worried that Toyota's rapid growth may dilute its quality standards.
Toyota and Lexus divisions still exceed industry averages in various studies that measure quality. Toyota predicts that the Avalon will score well in J.D. Power and Associates' Initial Quality Study, to be released in June.
But the quality gap is closing. And Toyota recalls have spiked in the last two years.