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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently purchased a 2018 Hybrid Limited. There are three months remaining of the overall factory warranty and 27 months on the drivetrain warranty. We also purchased a 6-year extended warranty from Zurich at the same time. My question involves mounting a trailer hitch. According to the owner's manual, towing a trailer will void the factory warranties. Yet the manual goes on with endless pages about how to tow. The Zurich extended warranty mentions an exclusion for "aftermarket modifications that do not meet factory expectations." I'd like to install a hitch so I can use a bicycle rack, and to occasionally tow a small utility trailer. But before I start making calls to Toyota and Zurich to clarify this issue, can anyone give me the benefit of their experience with warranty claims on a "hitched" Rav4 hybrid?
 

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Recently purchased a 2018 Hybrid Limited. There are three months remaining of the overall factory warranty and 27 months on the drivetrain warranty. We also purchased a 6-year extended warranty from Zurich at the same time. My question involves mounting a trailer hitch. According to the owner's manual, towing a trailer will void the factory warranties. Yet the manual goes on with endless pages about how to tow. The Zurich extended warranty mentions an exclusion for "aftermarket modifications that do not meet factory expectations." I'd like to install a hitch so I can use a bicycle rack, and to occasionally tow a small utility trailer. But before I start making calls to Toyota and Zurich to clarify this issue, can anyone give me the benefit of their experience with warranty claims on a "hitched" Rav4 hybrid?
Which sections of the manual indicate that towing will void the warranty? Toyota sells a hitch and wiring, so they can’t very well deny a warranty on the vehicle when the dealer is an authorized seller of Toyota-branded/built/designed items like that. Especially not when there is a listed factory tow capacity for the Hybrid model, which is in fact higher than that of all gas models except the Adventure/Trail. I think you may have misread the section.

As I understand the warranties, normal, reasonable use and uses by an owner will not be considered abuse unless done incorrectly. If you try to tow a 25’ camper, that’s going to void ANYTHING. If you tow a utility trailer to rake some brush or garbage bags to the dump, that’s reasonable use.


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There's no such thing as "voiding a warranty" and none of the manuals use that terminology.
If you drill a hole and cut the wiring harness, that's not going to be covered by warranty, etc, etc, etc.
There has to be a direct causation between something you did (or neglected to do) and whatever is wrong. So don't tow anything that exceeds the weight rating laid out in the manual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Which sections of the manual indicate that towing will void the warranty? Toyota sells a hitch and wiring, so they can’t very well deny a warranty on the vehicle when the dealer is an authorized seller of Toyota-branded/built/designed items like that. Especially not when there is a listed factory tow capacity for the Hybrid model, which is in fact higher than that of all gas models except the Adventure/Trail. I think you may have misread the section.

As I understand the warranties, normal, reasonable use and uses by an owner will not be considered abuse unless done incorrectly. If you try to tow a 25’ camper, that’s going to void ANYTHING. If you tow a utility trailer to rake some brush or garbage bags to the dump, that’s reasonable use.


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Fortunately I'm having a much-COVID-delayed eye exam tomorrow. Just re-read the manual
(RAV4-HV_OM_OM42B81U_(U) - pages 185-186) and apparently the admonitions regarding trailer hitches, towing, etc. apply only to "SE Grade" vehicles. For other "grades" they recommend caution and say "Toyota warranties do not apply to damage or malfunction caused by towing a trailer for commercial purposes." Thanks all for the insights.
 

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Fortunately I'm having a much-COVID-delayed eye exam tomorrow. Just re-read the manual
(RAV4-HV_OM_OM42B81U_(U) - pages 185-186) and apparently the admonitions regarding trailer hitches, towing, etc. apply only to "SE Grade" vehicles. For other "grades" they recommend caution and say "Toyota warranties do not apply to damage or malfunction caused by towing a trailer for commercial purposes." Thanks all for the insights.
All good! Yeah the SE models are not supposed to tow for some reason. Oh well. Yeah as long as you’re not towing commercially you’re fine.


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