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2020 RAV4 Limited AWD
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Discussion Starter #1
I went out of town for about 3 days. When I got back, the car said "Smart Key System Malfunction." The car cluster display was flickering, but it eventually stopped. Now, the car won't turn on at all; the power locks of the car doors (or any other electronics) won't work.

Toyota dealership is closed on Sundays. Any one else experience this problem?

Video link of flickering dashboard:
2020 RAV4 Limited AWD

150461
 

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That is terrible. They made key very complicated to give users a little bit convenient but lots of troubles and costly. You can call Toyota road service or SOS, perhaps. Also you may change the battery inside the key to see if it helps.
 

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I went out of town for about 3 days. When I got back, the car said "Smart Key System Malfunction." The car cluster display was flickering, but it eventually stopped. Now, the car won't turn on at all; the power locks of the car doors (or any other electronics) won't work.

Toyota dealership is closed on Sundays. Any one else experience this problem?

Video link of flickering dashboard:
2020 RAV4 Limited AWD

View attachment 150461
Try this:
1 Ensure that the shift lever is
in P and depress the brake
pedal.
2 Touch the Toyota emblem
side of the electronic key to
the power switch.
When the electronic key is
detected, a buzzer sounds and the
power switch will turn to ON.
When the smart key system is
deactivated in customization setting, the power switch will turn to
ACC
 

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Discussion Starter #5
See page 653 in the manual, otherwise it needs service. It could just be a dead/bad 12 volt battery, charging it if you have a charger could fix it, lots of dead batteries reported on '20 models, both gas and HV.

Follow up: this is likely the case; 12V battery likely causing this smart key issue to pop up. Dealership replaced the battery as a "short-term" fix for the bigger issue that seems to be affecting the 2020 models.
 

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2020 models seem to be having a dead 12v battery issue after sitting for a short while. I don't think Toyota has acknowledged the issue or even found a remedy, other than replace the battery, which I have a feeling isn't the issue. Some component on the car is for some reason draining the battery at odd intervals. The scenario is that the dealer usually tests for current draws, finds none and sends the customer home with either a warning to drive the car more or replace the battery. I say BS. This hasn't been fixed as far as I've heard. Even though my 2019 can sit for almost a week without killing the battery, the voltage drops to near 12 volts just from the normal draw the car usually has as it sits. I have a charger/maintainer that I hook up to the battery if I don't drive the car for more than 4 days to keep from getting a dead battery.
 

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Yup.

My mother's brand new 2020 RAV4 experienced this issue. She's only had it for about two weeks.

She went out to the garage to start it and the vehicle was bricked. It had only been sitting in the garage overnight, so there was really no reason for the battery to be drawn down.

We put a batter tester on it and it said it was dead.

The red security indicator light was flashing on the dash and the console display said "Smart Key System Malfunction - See Owner's Manuel" just like in the image EEKat posted above.

:rolleyes:👎
 

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We bought the 2020 rav4 hybrid limited 2 weeks ago, same problem today. they are sending roadside to tow it to nearest dealership. unacceptable. will keep you all posted.
 

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My 2020 Limited AWD Non-Hybrid battery died over night in my garage, for no apparent reason.
Since then, on three separate occasions, I went into my garage and saw all the interior lights were on.
I tried several things to get them to shut off and finally after starting the car and turning it off the lights went off.
I suspect a software bug turning on the interior lights and then running the battery dead.
Just my opinion/guess.
 

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We bought the 2020 rav4 hybrid limited 2 weeks ago, same problem today. they are sending roadside to tow it to nearest dealership. unacceptable. will keep you all posted.
update: roadside came to tow my vehicle but i figured out a solution. the smaller battery had died, so we put the charger on the positive terminal inside the "fuse box area" on the drivers side of the engine compartment. it fired up immediately upon placing the charger and starting the vehicle normally. they battery indicator on the charger read it as healthy... I'm skeptical. I plan on complaining so that toyota might put some kind of recall into place.
 

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I went out of town for about 3 days. When I got back, the car said "Smart Key System Malfunction." The car cluster display was flickering, but it eventually stopped. Now, the car won't turn on at all; the power locks of the car doors (or any other electronics) won't work.

Toyota dealership is closed on Sundays. Any one else experience this problem?

Video link of flickering dashboard:
2020 RAV4 Limited AWD

View attachment 150461
update: roadside came to tow my vehicle but i figured out a solution. the smaller battery had died, so we put the charger on the positive terminal inside the "fuse box area" on the drivers side of the engine compartment. it fired up immediately upon placing the charger and starting the vehicle normally. they battery indicator on the charger read it as healthy... I'm skeptical. I plan on complaining so that toyota might put some kind of recall into place.
I had the exact same problem on my 2020 Toyota Camry, which I have only owned for 2 months. It sat in a parking deck at the airport for 28 hours. Turns out the SmartKey malfunctioned and dash flickered because my car battery was dead, and NOT the key fob battery. A quick jump got me on my way. The tow truck driver indicated something may have been left on. After further researching, the only thing left on was my heated/cooled seats. My Infiniti warns that leaving the seat heaters on will drain the battery. Toyota does not indicate this in my owner's manual, but I have a hunch this may be the problem. I'm having it checked out today.
 

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We just had the same issue. Jump started it with my Tundra but are afraid to take it anywhere except the dealership now. Owed less than a month and roughly 2,000 miles. Disappointed in Toyota. 😡 Please let us know if anyone finds out anything that will fix the problem permanently.
 

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I had the smart key system malfunction on my 2020 RAV4 after being parked only a day or two. After reading the details on this forum and the symptoms of all the electronics lacking power, I figured it was the 12V battery and a jump start got the car going again without needing to go to the dealer (thanks all 👍🏻). This was the first time I had this issue, and the one thing I know I had done different to previous times I had parked was that I had left a seat cooler on when turning the vehicle off. I had tried the cooler out for the first time. I had previously left seat heaters on without issue so I think the issue is specifically towards the cooling side (this likely fits since they’re a new feature for 2020).
 

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I've had my 2020 Rav4 less than two months and have only put 1100 miles on it but it's been sitting in my carport since this morning with this same issue. I was hoping to find a simple answer here but now I guess I'll be calling the dealership to come get it and maybe find a permanent solution. I know there was nothing left on in my car last night because I went out to carport several times throughout the night and never saw any lights and I don't have any seat warmer/cooler options. I'm very disappointed to have a brand new vehicle and yet I've been stuck all day. There's no excuse especially with the amount of money I paid for it. I bought a new car because I need something dependable being in the country alone and thought I made a good choice with the Rav4. Sure wish I had known there were starting issues with them before I purchased it. I'll update after dealer picks it up and hopefully fixes it.
 

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We just had the same issue. Jump started it with my Tundra but are afraid to take it anywhere except the dealership now. Owed less than a month and roughly 2,000 miles. Disappointed in Toyota. 😡 Please let us know if anyone finds out anything that will fix the problem permanently.
Just an update should have posted before now but the dealership simply checked the battery, charged the battery, said it seemed to be holding a charge and said they couldn’t find anything else wrong with it. We have a hard time believing a new car with a couple thousand miles would have battery issues like that and why wouldn’t running it properly maintain a charge? Please let us know if anyone hears of a better fix (we feel like we are just waiting for the next time we come out and it doesn’t start again).
 

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I just had this same issue, camelback Toyota is saying there is no evidence of this issue, they said the battery is completely healthy and will be returning the vehicle.
Me and my wife walked out to the car and tried starting it, instead of starting we got a “smart key system malfunction” when the tow truck arrived to get the parking brake disengaged we had to jump start the vehicle, to my surprise it started up immediately. Guess that fixed the issue as of right now. I’m willing to bet it will happen again.
 
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