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plain and simple, i was involved in an accident that led to the rav4 rolling over. my wife and i have had the 2005 RAV4L for a month or so and are just shocked as to all this. we have full coverage plus GAP, so we're guessing it'll get covered... for pictures, take a look at my personal album =(

for those that care, my wife and i are fine and only came out with a few glasses scratches in the hands when we crawled out...

few questions though:

1) we tried a regular 2005 RAV4 before this one that supposedly had side air bags. we then saw our current RAVL at the lot and liked it. inside the dealership, we told the salesman we were interested in the RAV4L and wanted to know if we'd qualify. he and the finance guy said yes, boom, hours later we got it. we were given to believe by the salesman that this L had the best safety package available and so forth. turns out, it doesn't have side airbags as he had told us and we unfortunately found out. could anything be done about this? i'm guessing it's partly my fault for not double checking the tag, but we really were meant to believe it did by the salesman. in fact, we wondered for a whole day and a half after the accident as to why the side airbags didn't deploy only to find out we didn't even have 'em in our package...

2) based on the pictures, you all think it's a total loss? i'm not sure what the insurance will do 'cuz the adjustor hasn't yet contacted us after repeated calls to the insurance. we're assuming they'll want to just fix it. honestly, my wife just doesn't want it fixed because she feels so unsecure now. she felt so safe before thinking she was really safe only to find out she didn't have side airbags and the RAV flipped over. not to mention, we have 4 disc brakes and we hate a "jolt" that feels as if the brakes get depressed for a while before it comes to a full stop... like a burp if u can compare...

3) i know it's an SUV, but is the RAV that prone to a roll over? we googled and found no stats on RAV4 rollovers.

any help from some of you would be appreciated; i'm assuming there might be some that have gone through this or are insurance people yourselves. no airbags popped out since the car hit us on the rear right coming straight while we were turning left on an intersection. the front windshield is kinda smashed, the top is bent as shown, the rear right wheel is somewhat smashed in too, the rear bumper needs replacement, replacing or straigheting (chopping from another car) all doors and panels from when it slided and rolled over, and it leaked some transmission fluid (not sure if it's still leaking).

really appreciate any help i can get.
 

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1) Afraid that if your purchase contract doesn't list side air bags you don't have much of a case to make.

2) I highly doubt that's a total loss. Considering you came out of there with just scratches why does she feel unsafe? I know, it's probably just one of those irrational 'feelings'. Not sure what 'jolt' you're talking about. The ABS?


3) The RAV was rated one of the safest SUVs as far as rollovers go. But anything with a center of gravity that high is obviously prone to them to some degree. The '03 got 3 stars in the rollover resistance test. Haven't seen a test for 04-05.
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/NCAP/Cars/2563.html

With the RAV being so light and with where you got hit I'm not terribly surprised it rolled over. I'm sure it was a terrifying experience but it looks like it did its job of protecting you.
 

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First of all, I am glad you and your wife are okay after the horrible accident. I have been into a head-on accident with an irresponsible drunk driver.

1. I think it will be hard to blame the salesman on that because it is up to you(the buyer) to go through the vehicle specs before you make the purchase. I do not want to fuel your anger about the safety. On my own research on vehicles equipped with side airbags. It will only deploy unless the impact(s) triggered the sensors.

2. A and B pillar bent, hood, body scratches and damaged. I am 95% positive on the vehicle should be totalled. I don’t understand the ‘jolt’ feel that you are getting, unless you are talking about the ABS?

3. Any vehicles can rollover depends on speed, driver, and circumstance. The RAV is no particular. Did you read the warning on the drivers’ seat sun visor? I guess your accident was unfortunate, because your RAV and the car that hit you were both traveling at a relatively high speed. Things will not be as drastic if it was happened at low speed. It can be a 50/50 fault on the accident since it was happened at an intersection. Did the police issue any tickets?


My RAV is my first SUV form vehicle I ever own. I am surprised the RAV is close to a car like handling performance. I admit I should learn from your accident and let not this happen to me.
 
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Yea, that's exactly what I think about the air bags. I normally am very thorough. We were just sooo excited with the RAV4 that we must've overlooked this. We figured being an L meant more features, together with what the salesman told us.

The pics shown were at the body shop where it was towed. Some nice guys who work there escorted me to take the pics. They were saying how they could probably just chop out the top, cut some panels and replace other panel parts, maybe do the same for the doors or just replace them, and paint it. It's an official Toyota body shop, so I was surprised at the things they can do. The guys also told me they've seen others that don't look too bad and yet they get totaled.

I don't konw what to say about why she doesnt' feel safe. This was also our first SUV, so I'm guessing we figured it'd be alot safer. Nothing can beat my car's low center of gravity though. Part of her being worried is her thinking it had 7 air bags as the salesmen had told us.

I'm guessing it is the ABS. Like you brake by pressing on the pedal. A few seconds before it gets to the stop, it almost feels as if the pedal gets depressed for a second. It then feels like the brake is pressed again. I wonder if it's the ABS.

Other than all this, I was really glad how sturdy it really was. I mean, I would've imagined it being more smashed for rolling over. Plus, the only thing that kept us alive and in one piece were the seatbelts that kept us so tight, it felt like being upside down on a rollercoaster! It does handle very nicely and is very smooth on the road. Definitely a very comfortable ride.
 

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Wow! Very happy you guys are okay! Rav4 did it's job and you guys crawled out with minor scratches and bruises. After getting involved in a rollover myself (other car had rolled over), i was pretty tense. I can understand your wife feeling a bit scared after teh experience, but I assure you rollovers may not be as bad as they appear to be.....

1. I'm afraid you only have a case on what's written on paper. Unless you have a recording of what the dealer told you, there's not much you can say. It'll be his word against yours.

2. Not sure what's considered a total loss. It all depends on which parts can be replaced. It does look like the integrity of the chasis has been compromised and in the case that something similar were to happen again, it may not be as safe. When the metal is bent back, it will look fine, but may crumple more easily if exposed to identical impact. Imagine bending a paperclip back and forth a few times. Dont' be alarmed that your front airbags did not deploy. They're not meant to deploy under all types of collisions, only ones that will force your face towards the windshield.

3. Since the rav4 is higher off the ground than cars, it is definitely more likely to roll over. From the looks of the rav4, it held up pretty well and did it's job. As an architect in training, I can tell you that buildings aren't meant to look okay after an earthquake, but are meant to break down in such a way that it enables people to still get out of the building. No one cares how the building looks like. The primary concern is life safety. Cars perform similarly. I was involved in a collision in which the other car flipped 1.5 times in the air and landed on the roof. The driver was held upside down by his seatbelt, but the cabin had caved in and he was resting in a pool of blood. His passenger was not wearing a seatbelt and flew out of the car and mangled her leg in a way you woudln't want to picture. Seatbelts do help!

...My opinion: though SUV's are more likely to roll over, their shear size, strength, weight and integrity make it a safety advantage over other cars. In fact if a car takes on the same force and does not flip over, it's occupants absorb the entire impact and it can be worse than if the car were to flip over, allowing the car to take the impact. Imagine staying stiff and standing your ground as someone punches you in the face. It would hurt a lot more if you held up than if you took the blow with less resistance and fell backward. The outcome of the accident or in this case, punch does not necessarily reflect the intensity of the impact. An SUV that rolled over appears to have sustained a larger impact than a car that did not. This is only an illusion. Remember, it will be the impact that hurts the occupants, not the actually rolling over of the car. Unless the car received in impact strong enough to cause the car to tumble (roll more than once and bounce down and off the pavement), it's not as bad it looks. It is undeniably scary though.

I saw a Honda CRV rolled over on it's side and cabin was fine. I imagine the occupants walked away uninjured. I also saw a Lexus RX300 rolled over on it's top and the cabin was in perfect condition. I looked as though if i touched it with a single finger it would rock back and forth from the curvature of the rooftop. i would be surprised its occupants were injured at all.

Final question is, "Would you buy a rav4 again"?
 
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That really answers alot of questions. I honestly wouldn't mind driving the rav4. Right now, we just expect it to be a total loss cuz we'd hate to have the rav just fixed.

As you said, I couldn't imagine how safe it would be since the integrity of the chasis would be compromised. We'd rather get another vehicle since we're paying for the GAP and insurance or get it paid off. We bought a new vehicle because we've both had used vehicles before and know how many problems a vehicle has after it's been restored. A restored car is just never the same, no matter how perfect of a job. Plus, we just had a little over 1000 miles :(

... so would I have another RAV4? Only if it was the 2006! :lol:
 

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@ nullxposur

Very glad to hear that you guys are OK. (Sorry if this gets rambly, but it is 3:25am, and your post just got me thinking) [edit : turns out you were typing the same time I was, only you hit submit first :) ]

Don't feel bad about the "I overlooked this out of excitement about buying the car" factor. When I bought my RAV4 in August (as I recall), it never once dawned on me during the process of evaluating and buying the car to check whether it had things as simplistic as keyless entry (which I had thought ALL cars in 2005 came with standard). I was just happy to be buying the exact car I wanted (silver S model with a stickshift) after looking for it for months.

In regards to your brakes, unless your RAV4's brakes were acting somewhat differently than mine do, I guess I've just gotten so used to ABS brakes that I don't even notice any more. My RAV4's brakes are MUCH less noticable for the "burping" feature than my former Honda Accord.

In regards to the airbags, I don't really know what to tell you there. I would guarantee you based on the rollover and damage in those pics that if you did, in fact, have those airbags on the side, and they did deploy, your RAV4 would be considered totalled. I don't understand it, but at least on some cars, I've seen each airbag cost as much as $2500 USD to replace (because of the "handling of explosives" aspect)

Now, I also very much understand your wife's hesitance to get back into the RAV4, having suffered through such a traumatic experience. When I got into my first wreck at 17, I didn't want to drive for almost 4 months and I suddenly gained a Godly reverence for the power you have behind the wheel. I understand your disappointment over the misrepresentation of the airbag situation, but I would almost bet that the the hesitance to get back into the RAV4 really has nothing to do with whether or not it did, or did not have the side airbags. It has more to do with the fact that you got hit and you literally went "ass over teakettle" so to speak.

Lemme say this though. Based on your pictures, I am INCREDIBLY amazed at the structural integrity of the RAV4 under such incredible circumstances. I... umm... well, I'm kinda speechless here, but having been flipped and walked away with minor scratches, I would have to ask myself how well I would have faired in a smaller, more compact vehicle such as an Altima or Accord. My bet would be "not as well" because the impact of the other vehicle was actually lessened by the RAV's deflection in flipping. I guess I mean that if you had been hit like that and not flipped, the impact on whichever side would have been much worse.

Imagine if you will, two billiard balls on a pool table. If ball 1 hits ball 2 and the second rolls away, some of the impact is lost in the transferrance. However, if ball 2 remains stationary or bounces off the bumper (the side rail on a pool table) back into the first ball, it absorbs a great deal more of the impact.

Seriously, you might have been flipped, which in itself is a horrible event, but the interior of the car appears virtually unscathed which says a LOT more about it's safety than whether or not you had airbags..

I don't however know whether I would trust anyone, even a Toyota shop, "rebuilding" the car based on the damage in the pictures. Replacing the roof and all the scraped up bits may be perfectly easy and it may LOOK perfectly repaired, but... As someone else here was saying, the roof and the side pillars are THE key part of structural integrity on the whole vehicle. Welding on a new roof may look the same, but (God forbid) you would ever get hit again, it would never hold up the same way again.

If I were you at this point, I would probably ask the insurance company to total it, then look for another car to calm the waters with you and your wife and count your every blessing that you had such a well-built, well-designed vehicle when it happened. A friend got his much larger Mitsubishi Montero rolled in a rain storm and it didn't fare nearly as well.
 
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With only minor scratches sustained by crawling out over broken glass, and the RAV feels unsafe? As all the previous posters have said, the RAV did its job admirably. Good to know, both; that you're ok, and the RAV is as safe a vehicle as has been claimed and tested. :) Just try not to do the testing yourself, ok? ;)

I believe your wife is just in shock. It's the sort of experience that could easily keep people from ever climbing back into a car again, and I think it's much like climbing back onto the horse after the fall. Trouble is, your RAV is in no state to be gotten back into.

I had a look at the pics in your gallery, and I noticed something odd. Now, I don't know much about the US variants, but it's my understanding that the 'L' package is the top of the range? Here in ZA, the only options available involve engine size and transmission. The rest of the spec level is identical across all models, including a tripmetre and climate control as part of the CD/radio console, as seen >>here<< - that's standard, not optional. I'd have expected that to be a part of the US 'L' package too. So my question is; it says 'L' on the back door, but did you really get the 'L' spec? I realise it's really a moot point, but it might just be something to use against that lying son-of-an-anorexic-amoeba dealer.
 

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Re: _

Wayne said:
I would have to ask myself how well I would have faired in a smaller, more compact vehicle such as an Altima or Accord. My bet would be "not as well" because the impact of the other vehicle was actually lessened by the RAV's deflection in flipping. I guess I mean that if you had been hit like that and not flipped, the impact on whichever side would have been much worse. .
Under those circumstances said Altima or Accord just would have been spun out.
 
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To answer a few questions:

* I didn't get a ticket. I'm not sure about the other person.
* I'm not really sure what that whole brake issue is. I just know I have 4 discs on another and it doesn't do that. With ravy, the only way I can describe it is pressing on the brakes and just about it gets to a total stop, it feels as if I would lightly depress the brake and press it back again. Perhaps some air in teh line?
* I'm not sure exactly what the L has over the standard. Noticeably, it has color-keyed moldings on everything where the standard has the side moldings a different color. It has a harder (plastic?) for the wheel cover. Let's not forget the fog lights which would make me or break me. Leather wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, radio controls on steering wheel, rear privacy glass (factory tint), and heated side mirrors. Not part of the L, but I also had 16" wheels as compared to a hubcap.
* Yea, the RAV really stood for itself. If you get anything out of this thread, just appreciate your ravy more than ever =D

I hope I didn't miss anything to answer. I really appreciate all the feedback I've gotten. It was definitely not a good way to test the car's integrity, but hey, someone had to do it. These days, you can't just rely on dummies all the time. Honestly, that's how 'cool' I am after the accident. I know it could've been alot worse and I feel nothing bad happened to us. I'm not a big roller coaster guy, but this all happened sooo fast, I didn't notice it until I was upside down.
 
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Re: _

nullxposur said:
I'm not a big roller coaster guy, but this all happened sooo fast, I didn't notice it until I was upside down.
Damn! Now if you'd had a few minutes advance warning, you could have actually enjoyed the ride. :lol:
 

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Re: _

nullxposur said:
To answer a few questions:

* I'm not really sure what that whole brake issue is. I just know I have 4 discs on another and it doesn't do that. With ravy, the only way I can describe it is pressing on the brakes and just about it gets to a total stop, it feels as if I would lightly depress the brake and press it back again. Perhaps some air in teh line?
No, it sounds like your ABS. It's been described here before by people who just got ABS for the first time. It's just the system pumping your brakes to prevent lockup from hard braking. If you didn't have that, your wheels would've locked up and your Rav4 would've been sliding right into what you were trying to avoid. I know cause I've locked up my brakes twice from panic stopping before when I just got my Rav. I don't have ABS so my car kept going a couple of feet after slamming on the brakes and locking the wheels.
 

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Sorry to hear about your accident. You and I purchased our new 05 RAVs at about the same time. I guess you can look forward to maybe getting yours totaled and moving on to an '06 model. Best wishes and just ge glad no one was seriously injured.
 
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Well, I just wanted to thank all of you for your thoughts. Unfortunately, I didn't even need to prove my case. My ex-RAV4 was estimated at a 17k~18k repair, meaning a total loss! I'm glad 'cuz the man said he took into account: rear panels, readjusting the tires, all doors, ceiling, new windshield, windshield pillars, new paintjob, etc, etc, etc. I wouldn't have been a happy camper paying a $28K loan for a vehicle worth much less (once labeled as being through an accident).

So anyways, this site was good while it lasted. Not sure if we'll get another rav4. Not that it's a bad vehicle; it was actually a VERY nice mini-suv that definitely stands for everything Toyota probably stands for. We're gonna go look around and see what we find... possibly another Toyota... just wish the wife would like the Matrix or the Tacoma!!
 

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Another note on estimates of a damaged car: My car got rear-ended a couple months ago and from the looks of the damage, it appeared that only the back door needed to be replaced. My body shop guy checked it all around and noticed something that I don't think I would have looked to see. He found that the gap between the rear doors and the front doors were different on each side. Apparently the collision caused the entire chasis to cave in. It wasn't simply a matter of replacing the door to fix it back to normal.

Lesson learned: sometimes the car may receive more damage that we actually realize.
 
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zoomie said:
Lesson learned: sometimes the car may receive more damage that we actually realize.
Well put. When someone rear-ended my dad's 2000 Honda CR-V a couple of years ago, they pretty much had to replace the entire rear end, even though it only appeared that the tailgate was dented. They pretty much had to replace the rear bumper (which sustained no apparent damage!) and a couple of other things. Ouch!
 
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OMG, I am so happy that you and your wife walked away from the RAV4 unscathed. I can't imagine how horrific an experience a rollover would be. Personally, I haven't been in a rollover (knocking on wood), though I did witness a couple of rollovers: a 4Runner on I-10 in LA just outside Santa Monica and a Mercury Moutaineer on I-5 just outside Eugene, OR. They are not pretty sights, and they usually (if not always) result in a total loss because of the damage that rolled-over vehicles sustain. Unless the impact is very minor, they simply cannot replace or repair little bumps or bruises without exceeding the cost of the vehicle. In fact, the Mountaineer rolled so hard that it collapsed the A-pillars, trapping the occupants inside, with bystanders frantically trying to get the occupants out. I couldn't get a closer look because other bystanders were waving traffic through.

If I were to buy another compact SUV, I am 90% sure that I'll buy another RAV4. (The other 10% of me wants a Honda Element.) My previous car was a 1995 Toyota Tercel. You can't go wrong with a Toyota product. Of course, no car manufacturer is 100%, but Toyota is damn close. It's too bad that your dealer misspoke about the airbags in your RAV4, but don't let the one bad experience turn you off from Toyotas.

I took a good look at the pictures of the post-rollover RAV4. It looks like it rolled over pretty hard. Otherwise, it would be repairable. I took a closer look at the A-pillars of my RAV4 after I got into my car after work (since I read the original post while at work). Man, those are THICK pillars, almost as thick as the A-pillars of a BMW X5. The RAV4, like any other high-centre-of-gravity vehicles, are more likely to roll over than lower centre-of-gravity vehicles. However, it seems that the 4.2 RAV4s are designed to protect its occupants from a rollover a lot better than many other (usually OLDER) SUVs.

Good luck with your car-shoppping. Whether you go with another RAV4 (and we hope you do), or another Toyota product (and those new Tacomas are DAMN FINE pickups), you know that you are in good hands with a Toyota.
 

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I too am glad you are safe but I think title of this thread is a bit overstated

The Rav is not heavy, handles very well and has a good crash test rating.
But lets not only look at a cars crash test rating. If you can stop faster or maneuver better then you are safer for you can avoid an accident.
Also, the fact that the RAV is higher (not too high) gives you a better visibility through the windows of MiniVans, Trucks, and other SUV’s allowing you to see further and anticipate actions occurring ahead. Another example is when you are making a right turn in a lower vehicle with a taller one beside making it hard to see oncoming traffic to your left.

Yes the RAV does have a higher center of gravity than a lower car making more likely to flip in comparison, but it also has a higher bumper and you are higher up in a side impact that would help you in other scenarios.

One last thing I must mention is a driver’s ability to handle a car in a situation like a sudden turn or braking. If you are in a lower car and you go beyond its abilities than you will oversteer it or understeer it. The inability to handle the 2 situations can also result in a serious accident.

Having defended the Rav I would like to say that I am disappointed that the 4.3 did not keep its L & H and just increased it’s width making it handle better and even safer.

Cheers,

Walt
 
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