Toyota RAV4 Hybrid model years 2019, 2020, and 2021 vehicles allegedly contain one or more design and/or manufacturing defects which will not allow owners to add more than 10 gallons of fuel to a nearly empty fuel tank.
As first reported by LegalScoops, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid fuel tank prematurely engages the automatic fuel shut off–stopping the pump from filling the tank. Owners allege the faulty tank only allows for a maximum of 10 gallons of fuel to be pumped even when the tank is almost empty.
Toyota advertises the RAV4 Hybrid fuel tanks has a capacity of 14.5 gallons and a range of 580 miles before empty. Inability to fill the fuel tank therefore impacts the vehicle’s total available driving distance and forces owners to make more frequent stops at the gas station.
Important update to this class action has been announced
RAV4 Hybrid Fuel Tank Problems
RAV4 Hybrid owners report that the fueling problem is consistent and not intermittent. Even when low fuel warning light is on, owners are unable to fully fill the tank to the advertised 14.5 gallons.
Reports of fuel tank problems started to emerge in 2019. Toyota even released a statement confirming that the issue is “primarily related to a variation in the shape of the fuel tank and the position of the fuel sender gauge.”
Plaintiffs allege that Automotive News reported in 2020 that when Toyota redesigned the RAV4 for the 2019 model year, Toyota changed the design of its fuel tank from “a longitudinal 14.8-gallon tank roughly shaped like a Native American papoose to a latitudinal, saddle-shaped design with 14.5-gallon capacity, according to parts diagrams” to accommodate the location of the electric motor’s battery.
The defect of the redesigned fuel tank causes the affected vehicles to have a markedly lower driving range than designed.
Toyota Models Affected
According to publicly available data, the total number of Class Vehicles sold is approximately 186,000 vehicles. The following Toyota models are affected by this defect:
Status of the RAV4 Hybrid Fuel Tank Defect Class Action Litigation
Pulkrabek, et al. v. Toyota Motor Sales, Case No. 2:20-cv-00036-JRG-RSP, was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on February 13, 2020.
This lawsuit is being settled. This lawsuit has been dismissed. See important details at the bottom of this post.
In Re Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Fuel Tank Litigation, 3:20-cv-00337-EMC, was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on January 15, 2020. This case is still pending and has not been settled.
Owners will soon have the option of participating in that settlement or bringing your own claim and “opting out” of that settlement or the litigation.
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Class Action Settlement Details
Under the settlement, Toyota will offer an Extended Customer Support Program (“Extended Program”) to all class members. The Extended Program includes the RAV4 Hybrid model years 2019-21. The Extended Program provides all class members who believe that their fuel tank is experiencing the fuel tank capacity issue: (1) free inspections of the fuel tank and fuel sender gauge unit; (2) if a problem exists, repair and replacement of the fuel tank and fuel sender gauge unit with a new, improved fuel tank or fuel sender gauge unit; and (3) a complimentary Loaner Vehicle, if the repair exceeds six hours or the Subject Vehicle, must remain at the dealership overnight. The Extended Program will increase the original Customer Support Program by seven (7) years and 50,000 miles for a total coverage period of 15 years from the date the Subject Vehicle was initially sold/leased or 150,000 miles, whichever occurs first, on original parts.
Toyota will also pay all settlement administration costs, including class notice and any award of attorneys’ fees, expenses, and Class Representative service awards.
Class Members may exclude themselves from the Settlement or object to the Settlement, but they may not do both.
What Action RAV4 Hybrid Owners Need to Take
Approximately 45 days after the court preliminarily approves the settlement, you will receive a class notice describing your options. Those options will be: (a) do nothing, in which case you may get nothing but be bound by the settlement, (b) submit a claim form if requested and get whatever relief is provided, and the settlement also binds you, or (c) opt-out and pursue your own claims, in which case you are not bound by the settlement but cannot participate in the relief being offered to class members.
If you decide you want to bring your own claim, you can do so now and opt out when you receive notice. Or the class will be defined as those people who have not filed lawsuits or settled their claims and you will be automatically opted out of the settlement.
Submit your Toyota RAV4 Car Complaint
Important Class Action Settlement Update
The Pulkrabek, et al. v. Toyota Motor Sales, Case No. 2:20-cv-00036-JRG-RSP has recently been dismissed by agreement of both parties. At this time, no class action settlement for Toyota RAV4 Hybrid owners has been announced. MyCarVoice.com continues to follow this case, and will provide further details as they become available. Please consider subscribing for critical updates.
The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Fuel Tank Litigation, 3:20-cv-00337-EMC is still pending and has not been settled.
It’s our understanding that Toyota is now offering a customer campaign to correct certain Toyota 2019, 2020 and 2021 RAV4 Hybrid vehicles. If you are experiencing this problem then we suggest you contact Toyota Customer Care at: 800-331-4331. As part of the settlement the automaker has agreed to provide an Extended Customer Support Program to all eligible class members, including free repair of the fuel tank issue.
Order to Extend Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Fuel Tank Litigation, 3:20-cv-00337-EMC Deadline for Joint Submission Recently Announced.
Last Updated on May 20, 2022
Finder and reporter of automotive news & recalls. Emily is a professional writer who has covered various industries such as law, automotive, and mobility. She enjoys spending time with her family and improving her photography skills. While she loves writing, Emily’s true passion lies in helping others.
59 thoughts on “Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Fuel Tank Defect Class Action Settlement”
Robert RemenJanuary 17, 2022 at 11:17 pm
Does the settlement include de 2021 RAV4 Hybrid Prime? We have experienced the identical issues, never able to add more that 10-11 gallons even though the fuel capacity shows 0.
ChristopherJanuary 18, 2022 at 9:24 am
We will update this post as more information becomes available. Stay tuned.
Sisay TakeleJanuary 18, 2022 at 3:45 pm
Txs we need it badly.
Brian MJanuary 18, 2022 at 12:01 pm
It won’t. Toyota has only admitted to the Hybrids. I have the 22 Prime as well and it has the same exact issue with fuel tank level as my wife’s 20 Hybrid.
ChristopherJanuary 18, 2022 at 12:02 pm
Thanks for adding your voice to this post Brian.
Brian MJanuary 18, 2022 at 12:20 pm
However, the Prime IS included in the technical service bulletin used by dealers to address problems that Toyota doesn’t want to officially admit to the public. That program states if you or the dealer can reproduce the problem or you can prove with video that your Prime isn’t filling up all the way, you will be able to get one of those new fuel fillers installed for free. Before you go in you have to make sure your tank is as close to empty as possible. This is done by driving 15 to 30 miles past when the dash says Refuel. If you take it in to the dealer just after the light comes on, they will take to the gas station and be able to put about 10 to 11 gallons in and bypass their requirements to act on the TSB. The bulletin says that if they are only able to put 9.8 gallons or less in after the fuel light comes on, then you get your tank replaced free. If they can put anything in above that, you don’t get your tank fixed. My wife refuses to let me try this on her car due to you can really screw up the electronics if you ever run out of gas with these. So she has decided just to wait and get it done after one of these cases settles as it now looks like some are. But those are the steps to get your tank fixed now if your brave enough to drive the needed miles after the REFUEL sign comes on. FYI that comes on AFTER your estimated miles till empty goes to 0.
TrentJanuary 18, 2022 at 9:01 pm
Same. I have the xse prime and it’s the exact same issue as the 2020 hybrid I had. Seems dumb and wasteful of them to not fix the issue, especially on a updated model.
David AMarch 29, 2022 at 10:37 pm
“ If you take it in to the dealer just after the light comes on, they will take to the gas station and be able to put about 10 to 11 gallons in and bypass their requirements to act on the TSB”
Then why go further past empty?
And yes, they will be able to put a bit over 10 in. Where is the other 4 plus gallons. It is bad when you get 200 miles or so less range then advertised.
Lynn G MaynardFebruary 7, 2023 at 5:33 pm
Any update to the 2020 Rav4 hybrid?
RitaFebruary 24, 2023 at 8:03 pm
I have same problem; have been to two dealers since the “letter” from Toyota making sure you know it is not a “recall”. Each blew me off each time I brought in for service/repairs–in a Pandemic–; starting out “we have no idea what you are talking about-what letter?” to present excuse “if you can get 9.8-10 gal into empty tank–you’re OK” This is NOT OK. Toyota is repeating this baloney/lie, hoping they will wear down owners and the lie– if told enough times, will magically become true. Is it “OK” when they install a faulty shaped fuel tank advertised as 14.5 gal. capacity that is NOT 14.5 gal. capacity? Why did they send that nonsense filled letter splaining the baloney that makes no sense about the shape/complete with diagrams! Most of us did not drive much during Pandemic, and issue was tabled for more important life problems. This is not compliance with law in USA-false claim advertising. Now they are packing the airways advertising the “new model” with 500+ mile range with a full(same capacity 14.5 gal tank!!!!!! What is this???? Audacity, and FRAUD.
Cathy HMarch 28, 2022 at 1:46 pm
Yes, I have the same problem with my Rav 4 hybrid prime. I drove back and forth to Florida and never could get more than 10 gallons on an almost empty tank. It’s at the dealer today to have it checked. I’ll let you know the findings.
Bo LiuMay 1, 2022 at 8:12 pm
Any updates on this Cathy? I have the same issue with my 2021 R4P SE.
Rob C.January 18, 2022 at 1:44 pm
Well, here’s hoping they address the 2021 Highlander Hybrid also. 17.1 gallon tank. When empty, it let’s me put in between 10-12 gallons. Says it’s full. I can drive it one day, 30 miles, and fill up again and put in 4-5 gallons. Incredibly frustrating.
ChristopherJanuary 18, 2022 at 1:50 pm
Thanks for adding your voice to this post Rob.
Stuart SaullJanuary 18, 2022 at 2:48 pm
I have 2 2021 Venza vehicles with the same issue. Will Toyota be addressing that?
ChristopherJanuary 18, 2022 at 3:13 pm
Hi Stuart. Please submit a complaint and will have the team review. Thank you.
Keith P.April 18, 2022 at 11:01 am
So I am having this issue with my 2021 Rav4 hybrid and the dealer service team says my VIN isn’t in the list for the issue so they won’t do anything. Instead of the advertised 580mile range I’m seeing something around 450 per fill up.
Jack WoltmannApril 17, 2023 at 11:26 pm
Same vehicle, same Toyota response a year and a half ago. Dealer’s response when I brought up the issue in October 2022 was to inform me, both verbally and on my service invoice, that when the low fuel light first comes on that the vehicle has 3.9 gallons remaining. Possibly useful info…if it can be trusted ; ) It’s not a fix and there was no offer of a fix.
Lewis J DrumhellerJanuary 18, 2022 at 9:47 pm
Have a 2021 Toyota Limited Venza with the same issue as the Rav 4. Will The Venza get the same recall.
ChristopherJanuary 19, 2022 at 8:13 am
Hi Lewis, thanks for the comment. Please submit your complaint and I will get it in front of our attorneys asap. Submitting a complaint allows us to analyze the data against other similar complaints.
KenOctober 23, 2022 at 1:01 am
2020 rav4 hybrid. Same thing 9 gal at empty 5 at half tank. Toyota and dealers say this is normal? Dte says 390 on 42 mpg average full tank with fix. I don’t think so!
RON GRAYJanuary 18, 2022 at 9:34 pm
Never been able to add more than 10 gallons to my 2020 Rav Hybrid.
Chuck KendrickMarch 19, 2022 at 1:11 am
I can’t put more than 10 gallons in my 2020 RAV4 hybrid either. Toyota supposedly changed out the gas tank and nothing has changed. They pretty much told me they can’t do anything about it.
David TresederJanuary 18, 2022 at 10:26 pm
I have had the 2020 hybrid fuel tank replaced by Toy, including the other stuff along with the “fix”. Now allows around 10.2 gallons to auto shut off. HOWEVER…if I slowly top off after auto shutoff, I can continue adding up to 14 gal, and get my 550+ miles per tank. Interesting.
ChristopherJanuary 19, 2022 at 8:21 am
Interesting insight David, thanks for posting.
Norma A.January 19, 2022 at 12:10 am
I just bought my Toyota as of December and we took a big trip with our 2021 Toyota hybrid and I noticed the same issue with gas tank we had to do multiple stops.
ChristopherJanuary 19, 2022 at 8:20 am
Thanks for adding your voice to this post Norma.
Sara AronzonJanuary 19, 2022 at 3:37 am
It’s a shame Toyota cannot admit or be forthcoming to these issues. Especially with loyal customers or new customers who wish to have a Toyota due to their reliability.
ChristopherJanuary 19, 2022 at 8:20 am
Thanks for adding your voice to this post Sara. Not all vehicles have defects, but the ones that do should be fixed by the manufacturer. Their is a right way and a wrong way to deal with these type of situations.
WatchmanicJanuary 19, 2022 at 7:16 am
In the Legal Scoop article, the Prime was INCLUDED in the original court filing. It is NOT in the settlement however and no mention as to why it was dropped.
Shame, perhaps low production was the cause or fact that most of us battery around.
ChristopherJanuary 19, 2022 at 8:14 am
Thank you for the comment Watchmanic. I reached out to our attorney for clarification on this. Stay tuned.
WatchmanicJanuary 19, 2022 at 10:18 am
Thanks, keep us posted!
LuisaSeptember 28, 2022 at 3:42 pm
Hello how can o add myself to the class actin.
ChristopherSeptember 29, 2022 at 1:21 pm
Hi Luisa. This class action was dismissed and Toyota is handling this defect with consumers directly.
Victor M PowellJanuary 19, 2022 at 3:45 pm
I have a 2021 Venza and want to know what you find regarding this issue.
ChristopherJanuary 19, 2022 at 4:21 pm
Victor sending you an email regarding getting more information. Please check your inbox. Thanks.
SaraJanuary 19, 2022 at 5:35 pm
Is this applicable to the 2022s? They’re being built right now and customers have reservations on them. Or, any built this month already will have fix and those customers have no worry?
ChristopherJanuary 20, 2022 at 6:56 am
Sara unfortunately I don’t have that answer. You could reach out to Toyota and ask.
SaraJanuary 19, 2022 at 5:56 pm
Is this applicable to the 2022s as well? They’ve been getting built all month and customers have $ orders to reserve them. Or, any in production at any time this month already will have this fix and those customers have no worry?
ChristopherFebruary 20, 2022 at 7:27 pm
Sara, I would reach to Toyota customer service regarding this question.
Kyle GinderJanuary 19, 2022 at 10:24 pm
I have a 2021 limited venza that has the same problem as the rav4. Not surprising since both vehicles share a lot of the same parts.
ChristopherJanuary 20, 2022 at 12:01 pm
Hi Kyle, just sent you an email about the Venza. Please check your email.
GaryJanuary 20, 2022 at 10:35 am
Gary I have a 2021 rav4 xse hybrid is toyota going to check my fuel tk
RichardJanuary 20, 2022 at 1:37 pm
We have a 2021 XSE Prime and only use battery while commuting and around town. We can go a month without even moving the gas guage. But it’s frustrating on our occasional road trips to be limited to about 10 gallons when we fill up. Toyota should fix this.
ChristopherJanuary 20, 2022 at 2:43 pm
Thanks for adding your voice to this post Richard.
Mary WeigelJanuary 20, 2022 at 8:36 pm
We have a 2019 RAV4 hybrid that only had 5000 miles on it when we bout it last year. Documentation shows the previous owner had this problem and dealership supposedly fixed. However every time we fill up which is when it’s close to empty we have not been able to go past 10 gal. We were told not to pump past the automatic turn off. Just left it be. But it is inconvenient and don’t feel like we get the gas mileage we should. Mainly drive around town and get 35.6 mpg.
SaraJanuary 21, 2022 at 10:47 am
Is this applicable to the 2022 models? They’re being built right now and customers have reservations on them. Or, any built this month already will have fix and those customers have no worry?
ChristopherJanuary 21, 2022 at 12:17 pm
Sara I would recommend you reach out to your local Toyota dealer about this.
Susan WilkinsFebruary 17, 2022 at 12:04 pm
My 2020 RAV4 had the gas tank issue. It was supposedly fixed last year. However, when I fill up I can only get 10.5 gallons. I took my car back today to try and get this issue resolved.
I was told that there is a 4 gallon reserve. REALLY…. What is a 4 gallon reserve if you can’t use it. They tell you not to drive below zero miles because you might damage the battery
I’m very upset. Every time you travel you’re always stopping more often to get gas.
I’m not happy with what the dealer told me today. I want the issue corrected. Please let me know what I need to do.
ChristopherFebruary 17, 2022 at 12:13 pm
Hi Susan. Thanks for adding your voice to this post. We are currently investigating the status of this settlement. Stay tuned.
ToniMarch 10, 2022 at 12:25 pm
I think the 2017 Hybrid model needs to be included. This has happened to me twice at 2 different stations in the last couple of months. With the rising gas prices, I just assumed that the pump ran out of gas. I’m gonna mention it the next time I take it in for maintenance.
VenusApril 12, 2022 at 12:35 pm
I have a ’20 RAV4 Hybrid. I noticed the problem a few months in (sadly had I known of the issue I could’ve saved myself the headache by requesting a filled tank before buying to see what the distance to empty was). I have only ever been able to get about 420. I took it in multiple times for the “tank fix”. Learn your state’s lemon laws. Take it in, get it documented. I have documentation of the fixes and confirmation that it is misreading, tank has been emptied, computers reset etc. You can pursue a solution with Toyota but know your rights b/c they will deflect. Note that most lemon laws stops the odometer at the first diagnosis of the problem and if it cannot be fixed Toyo can drag it out as long as they want but they are accountable to the first diagnosis. Reach out to them. After 40 days (in WA) I can take it to AG. Document w/ photos your odometer when you refill your tank, ie: 8 miles left of your drive range, the fuel pump how much you were able to input & the new distance to empty on a full tank. It took me a year and several visits to the dealer to wise up to doing that. Now I have a case number b/c I have all this proof. It’s frightening to deal with such a large company but that’s why we have our state AG’s & lemon laws. Good luck everyone.
rhonda jarrettMay 23, 2022 at 12:32 pm
I have the same problem with the gas tank and have taken it to the dealer who doesn’t have a clue how to diagnose or fix. I called the customer care number and she talked down to me like I was an idiot and didn’t know how a low fuel indicator light worked. I am very frustrated and don’t understand why the law suit was pulled when Toyota is still not fixing the problem. I guess I will have to run the tank down like suggested and then take it back and see if they will fix.
JonMay 23, 2022 at 9:14 pm
I had a 2019 RAV4 hybrid and discovered this problem early. They replaced my gas tank and I still had the problem. I even brought it to the dealership and had them empty the gas tank right after I filled up and there was only 12 gallons total in the tank after they drained it. Definitely not 14.5 gallons.
I successfully lemon-lawed it when it was apparent Toyota didn’t have a fix. The Venza has the same tank and same problem. (They gave me the Venza as a loaner and it wasn’t too hard to see it was the same.) The Highlander too has the problem.
I opted not to do the class action because I didn’t want a free oil change or whatever they were going to offer to make me happy. I bought the car for the range and the range wasn’t there because I too couldn’t get more than 10 gallons into the tank. Good luck to the rest of you. They should have taken care of this a long time ago. I can’t believe they kept selling them knowing there was a problem they even kept advertising the 580 range which was completely false. This is no doubt this a big mess!
DanNovember 19, 2022 at 6:19 pm
I have the 20’ Rav4 Hybrid and have taken in twice. Both times gas tank replaced. Still 10-11 gal only allowed. I called dealer and they tried to sell me the idea that even though it stops at 11 gals the tank is holding a 3-4 gal reserve. I’m not buying that for the fact you can try to force more gas in the tank up to 14 gals, it’s just not good on the charcoal canister and can ruin it. So that said, if it truly had a 3-4 gal reserve why won’t the gas overflow from the gas tank? Busted Toyota.
Tom PDecember 5, 2022 at 12:41 pm
I purchased a 2022 RAV4 Hybrid and the maximum I could get into a nearly empty gas tank (only 30 miles of driving range left) was about 11 gallons. Noticed a class action lawsuit against Toyota only covered model years 2019, 2020 and 2021. Guess I am on my own.
SienaJanuary 20, 2023 at 2:02 pm
I am having the same issue. Grr
RitaFebruary 24, 2023 at 8:20 pm
The response I get is if the fueling nozzle “clicks” to fill to 9.8 gallons, “there is no problem”. I have called Toyota Headquarters twice and they “open” a case w # and do nothing but refer you to the Dealer. Dealer denies there is a problem when I bring in for routine service. Class action suits “settled” with group of owners recently but for what resolution, and how about the remaining owners left with the fraudulent dismissal of Toyota to fix the tank? The resale value of the car will also be affected. Toyota has assumed no accountability to owners that remain with these tanks; they must do that as is law. Lemon law should apply, but it relies on Toyota dealers refusing to fix the problem. Toyota has that covered. THERE IS NO PROBLEM TO FIX!!!! This is fraud. Any suggestions? I feel like this should be litigated on the fact the tank does not fill anywhere close to capacity, lowering the driving range implied/advertised. Toyota does not “refuse” to fix it–they do not acknowledge the bad tank system. Thanks
Ivan DoneshefskyMay 29, 2023 at 10:37 am
I have a 21 Venza Limited with the same issue as the RAV 4 hybrids. Car has 19,000 miles and I’ve yet to put in more than 11 gallons when the gauge shows empty. It’s been back to the dealer for this and they report it as normal saying the reserve tank holds 2.5 gallons. Explanation is not satisfactory to me so I called Toyota corporate and filed what I perceived as a claim. This action was in either 2021 or 2022. I’ve yet to hear a response from Toyota or to have seen a recall notice on this problem. The car is a lease with 11 months remaining. I would look to purchase the vehicle but this issue clouds that decision.