Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Fuel Tank Defect Class Action Settlement

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Fuel Tank Defect Class Action Settlement

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

February 23, 2022

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.

March 30, 2022

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.

May 13, 2022

Order to Extend Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Fuel Tank Litigation, 3:20-cv-00337-EMC Deadline for Joint Submission Recently Announced.

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Emily

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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.

48 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Robert RemenJanuary 17, 2022

    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.

    Reply
    1. Christopher
      ChristopherJanuary 18, 2022

      We will update this post as more information becomes available. Stay tuned.

      Reply
      1. Avatar
        Sisay TakeleJanuary 18, 2022

        Txs we need it badly.

        Reply
    2. Avatar
      Brian MJanuary 18, 2022

      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.

      Reply
      1. Christopher
        ChristopherJanuary 18, 2022

        Thanks for adding your voice to this post Brian.

        Reply
    3. Avatar
      Brian MJanuary 18, 2022

      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.

      Reply
      1. Avatar
        TrentJanuary 18, 2022

        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.

        Reply
      2. Avatar
        David AMarch 29, 2022

        “ 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.

        Reply
    4. Avatar
      Cathy HMarch 28, 2022

      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.

      Reply
      1. Avatar
        Bo LiuMay 1, 2022

        Any updates on this Cathy? I have the same issue with my 2021 R4P SE.

        Reply
  2. Avatar
    Rob C.January 18, 2022

    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.

    Reply
    1. Christopher
      ChristopherJanuary 18, 2022

      Thanks for adding your voice to this post Rob.

      Reply
  3. Avatar
    Stuart SaullJanuary 18, 2022

    I have 2 2021 Venza vehicles with the same issue. Will Toyota be addressing that?

    Reply
    1. Christopher
      ChristopherJanuary 18, 2022

      Hi Stuart. Please submit a complaint and will have the team review. Thank you.

      Reply
      1. Avatar
        Keith P.April 18, 2022

        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.

        Reply
    2. Avatar
      Lewis J DrumhellerJanuary 18, 2022

      Have a 2021 Toyota Limited Venza with the same issue as the Rav 4. Will The Venza get the same recall.

      Reply
      1. Christopher
        ChristopherJanuary 19, 2022

        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.
        Submit complaint

        Reply
  4. Avatar
    RON GRAYJanuary 18, 2022

    Never been able to add more than 10 gallons to my 2020 Rav Hybrid.

    Reply
    1. Avatar
      Chuck KendrickMarch 19, 2022

      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.

      Reply
  5. Avatar
    David TresederJanuary 18, 2022

    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.

    Reply
    1. Christopher
      ChristopherJanuary 19, 2022

      Interesting insight David, thanks for posting.

      Reply
  6. Avatar
    Norma A.January 19, 2022

    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.

    Reply
    1. Christopher
      ChristopherJanuary 19, 2022

      Thanks for adding your voice to this post Norma.

      Reply
  7. Avatar
    Sara AronzonJanuary 19, 2022

    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.

    Reply
    1. Christopher
      ChristopherJanuary 19, 2022

      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.

      Reply
  8. Avatar
    WatchmanicJanuary 19, 2022

    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.

    Reply
    1. Christopher
      ChristopherJanuary 19, 2022

      Thank you for the comment Watchmanic. I reached out to our attorney for clarification on this. Stay tuned.

      Reply
      1. Avatar
        WatchmanicJanuary 19, 2022

        Thanks, keep us posted!

        Reply
  9. Avatar
    Victor M PowellJanuary 19, 2022

    I have a 2021 Venza and want to know what you find regarding this issue.

    Reply
    1. Christopher
      ChristopherJanuary 19, 2022

      Victor sending you an email regarding getting more information. Please check your inbox. Thanks.

      Reply
  10. Avatar
    SaraJanuary 19, 2022

    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?

    Reply
    1. Christopher
      ChristopherJanuary 20, 2022

      Sara unfortunately I don’t have that answer. You could reach out to Toyota and ask.

      Reply
  11. Avatar
    SaraJanuary 19, 2022

    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?

    Reply
    1. Christopher
      ChristopherFebruary 20, 2022

      Sara, I would reach to Toyota customer service regarding this question.

      Reply
  12. Avatar
    Kyle GinderJanuary 19, 2022

    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.

    Reply
    1. Christopher
      ChristopherJanuary 20, 2022

      Hi Kyle, just sent you an email about the Venza. Please check your email.

      Reply
  13. Avatar
    GaryJanuary 20, 2022

    Gary I have a 2021 rav4 xse hybrid is toyota going to check my fuel tk

    Reply
  14. Avatar
    RichardJanuary 20, 2022

    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.

    Reply
    1. Christopher
      ChristopherJanuary 20, 2022

      Thanks for adding your voice to this post Richard.

      Reply
  15. Avatar
    Mary WeigelJanuary 20, 2022

    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.

    Reply
  16. Avatar
    SaraJanuary 21, 2022

    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?

    Reply
    1. Christopher
      ChristopherJanuary 21, 2022

      Sara I would recommend you reach out to your local Toyota dealer about this.

      Reply
  17. Avatar
    Susan WilkinsFebruary 17, 2022

    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.

    Reply
    1. Christopher
      ChristopherFebruary 17, 2022

      Hi Susan. Thanks for adding your voice to this post. We are currently investigating the status of this settlement. Stay tuned.

      Reply
  18. Avatar
    ToniMarch 10, 2022

    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.

    Reply
  19. Avatar
    VenusApril 12, 2022

    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.

    Reply
  20. Avatar
    rhonda jarrettMay 23, 2022

    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.

    Reply
  21. Avatar
    JonMay 23, 2022

    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!

    Reply

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