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Upon taking a test drive in a brand new 2020 Rav4, there was a strong burning smell inside the cabin and also outside of the car. Dealership personnel confirmed this and briefly investigated without identifying the problem. An hour later, upon taking a second test drive, the smell was not present. What might have been the reason for the burning smell? Should I be concerned about there being some unseen issue with the car that might cause me trouble later on? Thanks!
 

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Pretty common for new vehicles and particularly the 5th gen, lots of complaints on it persisting for a while after delivery, but it normally goes away soon. Most of it is coming from engine and exhaust components getting hot for the first time. Mine had 20 miles on it when I got it, there were no smells, but others have had it last longer.
 

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What if he test drove a model that was affected by the engine recall, wouldn't that be a trip :poop:
If I am not mistaken - if there is a open recall that vehicle can not be sold by the dealer - federal law.

x2 - new components burning off their coating - if in fact it was a fresh off the truck 3 mile vehicle.
 

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same happened to mine. i smelled it around mile 20-30 maybe when we drove up the coast. it went away and hasn't returned.
 
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