Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Fuel Tank Capacity Class Action

Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc. and Toyota Motor North American, Inc. offer US drivers the RAV4 Hybrid. The complaint for this class action alleges that 2019 and 2020 RAV4s have defective fuel tanks that cannot be filled to capacity, even though Toyota advertising touts the fuel tank capacity as an advantage of the vehicles.

The class for this action is all persons and entities in the US who bought or leased a model year 2019 or 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, not for resale. In the alternative, a California Class has been proposed for persons and entities in California.

In Toyota’s promotional materials, the complaint claims, Toyota advertises the RAV4 as having a fuel tank that holds 14.5 gallons of gas. According to the complaint, “Toyota advertises that the RAV4 can travel 580 miles on a single ‘full’ tank and specifically tells customers in national advertising campaigns that they will need fewer trips to the gas pump.”

However, the complaint alleges, the tank can’t be filled with more than nine or ten gallons of gas, because “[t]he shape of the tank causes the fuel pump to shut off before reaching a full 14.5 gallons.” This happens even when the indicator light shows that the tank is not full. If filled further than the shut-off point, the complaint alleges that the tank will “overflow.”

Because of this, the complaint says, the effective range for a RAV4 with a fuel tank is not 580 miles but only about 400 miles. However, the complaint claims that Toyota has not warned customers about this or offered a repair or replacement option.

The complaint reproduces some of the promotional material for the RAV4. One is titled “Fueling” and says, “Hybrids have a fuel tank just like every other vehicle. The only difference is the number of times you need to visit the pump.” Another is headed, “Go farther. Go faster. The 2019 RAV4 Hybrid.”

According to the complaint, the fuel tank for the RAV4 was redesigned for the 2019 model. A drawing of the new tank in the complaint looks as if the tank were designed to fit in an arch over some other component.

The complaint reproduces complaints from consumer postings on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Here are a few excerpts:

  • “I’ve only filled the tank 4 times so far but I can never get it full. The most it will take is about 10 gallons and that is only if I stand there and force feed it…”
  • “When filling up, the gas cuts off very early; the gas gauge will only read ¾ to 7/8 full. This leads to ‘topping off’ which is an environmental and safety issue.”
  • “Fuel tank does not fill up to full. Range advertised as well over 500 miles but usual range after fill up in 400s.”

Toyota published a “Tech Tip” in November 2019 referring to the problem but recommended “no repairs,” saying that the “[c]oncern is under investigation.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Automobile

Most Recent Case Event

Toyota Rav4 Hybrid Fuel Tank Capacity Complaint

March 6, 2020

Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc. and Toyota Motor North American, Inc. offer US drivers the RAV4 Hybrid. The complaint for this class action alleges that 2019 and 2020 RAV4s have defective fuel tanks that cannot be filled to capacity, even though Toyota advertising touts the fuel tank capacity as an advantage of the vehicles.

Toyota Rav4 Hybrid Fuel Tank Capacity Complaint

Case Event History

Toyota Rav4 Hybrid Fuel Tank Capacity Complaint

March 6, 2020

Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc. and Toyota Motor North American, Inc. offer US drivers the RAV4 Hybrid. The complaint for this class action alleges that 2019 and 2020 RAV4s have defective fuel tanks that cannot be filled to capacity, even though Toyota advertising touts the fuel tank capacity as an advantage of the vehicles.

Toyota Rav4 Hybrid Fuel Tank Capacity Complaint
Tags: Defective Automobile, fuel tank