On 18 Feb 2021 we took delivery of a 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Plug-in-hybrid from Westcoast Toyota in Pitt Meadows BC . The vehicle has performed flawlessly, with one major exception.
One of the reasons for selecting the RAV4 was Toyota’s reputation for reliability and relevant experience with hybrids. Reliability is very important to us as the vehicle travels on forest access roads well beyond cell phone service which means a long walk to help. Even within cell coverage or via Toyota Roadside Assist, help for a dead vehicle is hours away, probably not until the next day.
On two occasions the 12 volt battery of the RAV 4 PHEV has died overnight. After prompting, the dealer checked that “the system has the latest software in accordance with Service Bulletin. “T-TCI-5389 DCM Reset and Firmware Update (LG)”. The dealer staff, on both occasions of failure, accused us of “not driving enough” yet did not even ask if the vehicle had been driven the day prior or if it was plugged in overnight (yes to both). Attempts at further discussion made it clear that the dealer staff have no interest whatever in finding a solution.
A request to Toyota Service produced another legalistic evasion and a request that we deal through the dealer. So, we have asked the dealer:
1. To remain operational, must the RAV4 be driven a minimum distance per trip/day?
2. Must it be driven in HV mode?
3. How many days can the RAV 4 remain inactive then reliably start?
4. If/when the 12 volt battery discharges again, what would you like us to do:
No answer yet to these questions. So, the present situation is that we have a Toyota RAV 4 PHEV which has its reliability compromised by an unknown defect which is aggravated by a Toyota dealer with no interest in finding a fix.
In the hope of helping find a fix, I am maintaining a log of voltage of the 12 volt battery at the start and end of each driving day. When the RAV4 PHEV is in the garage a 1.5 amp battery maintainer is connected to the 12 volt battery and the key fob is disabled.
Has any RAV 4 owner found a fix for overnight discharge 12 volt battery.