Toyota RAV4 Prime Recalled for Stalling Issues in the Cold

Published on February 14, 2023 in Recalls by Guillaume Rivard

Another reliability issue has surfaced when it comes to the Toyota RAV4’s electrified powertrains. This time, it’s not about the premature and unexpected corrosion of a high-voltage cable, but rather a risk of stalling in cold weather.

On certain RAV4 Prime (plug-in hybrid) models, rapid acceleration could cause the battery voltage to drop suddenly while driving in EV mode at low temperatures. If this happens, a warning will pop up on the instrument panel and the hybrid system will shut down and cause a sudden loss of power to the wheels.

It appears that a first incident was reported in Europe back in March of last year, followed by at least five more on this side of the Atlantic. The hybrid system’s ECU is to blame.

Given the increased risk of a crash, especially at high speeds, Toyota will recall approximately 21,000 units in North America including 4,545 in Canada. To be clear, only 2021 RAV4 Prime models are affected.

Photo: Julien Amado

The automaker will notify owners by mail in the coming weeks, although a few have already been alerted by their dealer and have scheduled an appointment. The fix is a software update to the hybrid system’s control ECU.

Back to “Cablegate,” as we reported in late December, Toyota Canada is extending its warranty to cover the rear electric motor’s high-voltage cable on select 2019-2022 RAV4 Hybrid models for 8 years/160,000 km, whichever comes first.

Consequently, should excessive corrosion be found and validated by a Toyota dealer, the vehicle will be repaired at no cost to the customer.

Because no safety recall has been announced yet, and several owners have had to spend thousands of dollars to repair their RAV4 Hybrid out of the initial 3-year/60,000 km warranty, a class action lawsuit was filed in Quebec last year. A petition on attempting to put further pressure on Toyota is also still going on.

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