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Refuelling/Fuel tank problem in RAV4


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Hi All,

I've placed an order for a RAV4 Excel 2WD and it's due to be delivered in one or two weeks (the car is already in Portbury). I've found a lot of discussion regarding refuelling/fuel tank problem in RAV4, but mainly in the US. I've gone through this forum - but didn't find any post regarding this issue in the UK. Is it US models specific or also happened in the UK? Will this be fixed in MY21?

Regards,

Renzo

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No problem with filling the tank although there has been some discussion about the pessimistic fuel gauge and range display. For the nervous owners this reduces the actual range to well below the 500 miles that is achievable if the gauge doesn't worry you. There are some serious issues if you do truly let it run dry though. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm convinced that I have this issue with my car, but as of today Toyota claim there is no issue and is shutting down my case. 

So my car is a 69 plate awd model and I've never been able to get more than 46/47 litres of fuel in to the tank, despite it having a claimed 55 litre capacity. 

The evidence I provided to Toyota was that on a full tank of fuel I did around 450 miles with a claimed average of 44.4 mpg on the trip computer. On the next refill with the range showing 1 mile left I could only fit 45.71 litres of fuel which then according to the trip calculator I would get 420 mile range. 

I asked the dealership in June about the issue who said they'd never heard of the issue and to contact Toyota UK.  Due to covid I didn't do that until November when the car needed servicing again. They just simply forwarded my message to the dealership to "look in to".  They started correspondence with Toyota UK for advice on how to proceed and I have just had the news about what's been said.... Crock of (Mod edit: attempt to overcome swear filter deleted) in my opinion. 

* the 55 litre stated fuel tank capacity is only for guidance and could be smaller. 

* the fuel gauge when reading very low fuel is not accurate.  ( I presume then its not accurate at all). 

* only fill to the first click, never go over. 

They wouldn't share the email with me so the wording will differ slightly. 

My response was that if you list a car as having a 2.5l 4 cylinder engine and I pick the car up and it's got a 5l v10 engine then it's not as described and you wouldn't get any sales. So when you buy a car with a claimed 55 litre tank and the capability to do xxx mpg giving a potential range of xxx miles then the car should deliver that. 

That just fell on deaf ears. Obviously the dealership are guided by UK Toyota so their hands are tied to a certain extent. 

I only come to join the forum to see if there were any other owners with the same issue and did a quick search beforehand. 

I'm lost now as what to do.... Trading standards maybe?    But then surely the onus would be on me to prove the tank capacity is not what it's claimed by paying someone to strip the tank out. 

The cars a motability vehicle but I don't think they would get involved if Toyota say there's no issue 

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I fill up whenever I'm near the petrol station so it could be before the light and after the light coming on. 

The other day I ran it low again and the car came up with fill up now instead of a numbered range.  I didn't put much fuel in the though as it was due to go in to the dealership. 

 

If the issue has been widespread in the US then I don't understand how its not the same here as both EU cars and US cars are built in the states and would not have different parts for different markets when it came to the fuel tank 

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I think it's the gauge that's pessimistic. Due to an emergency I once drove another 50 miles after the display said range left 0 miles. When I filled up, it still didn't take 55 litres. I would rather have it that way, than optimistic and run out of fuel

 

 

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I'm on my 3rd RAV4 now. All have had about 10 litres in 'reserve' - i.e. when the gauge says empty you actually have around 10 litres left.

So what the Rav4 2019 is describing is normal and correct behaviour for a RAV4 - if you really want to get significantly more than 45 litres into the tank you'll have to drive well beyond empty! (Not that I recommend you try too hard ... 🙂 )

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4 hours ago, Rav4 2019 said:

EU cars are built in Kentucky. 

Response from Toyota GB:

Toyota Customer Relations ref: CASE1412055

Hello Mike,

Thank you for getting in touch.

I have spoken to our technical department and they have advised me that all RAV4's for the UK and European market are built in Japan.

I hope this helps to clarify the confusion.

Kind regards


Customer Support
Toyota (GB) PLC 
Distributor of vehicles, parts and accessories for the UK

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3 hours ago, philip42h said:

I'm on my 3rd RAV4 now. All have had about 10 litres in 'reserve' - i.e. when the gauge says empty you actually have around 10 litres left.

So what the Rav4 2019 is describing is normal and correct behaviour for a RAV4 - if you really want to get significantly more than 45 litres into the tank you'll have to drive well beyond empty! (Not that I recommend you try too hard ... 🙂 )

Well that's kind of reassuring in the sense that maybe there isn't a problem.  But surely dealer and UK customer services would state the same.   10l in reserve is also a bit o. t. t

 

What worries me now though is how do all the other owners I'm spoken to get 55l without driving around for up to 100 miles with the orange light on. 

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3 hours ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

Response from Toyota GB:

Toyota Customer Relations ref: CASE1412055

Hello Mike,

Thank you for getting in touch.

I have spoken to our technical department and they have advised me that all RAV4's for the UK and European market are built in Japan.

I hope this helps to clarify the confusion.

Kind regards


Customer Support
Toyota (GB) PLC 
Distributor of vehicles, parts and accessories for the UK

I was only going on by what the dealer told me and a quick Google search.   I stand corrected then, my apologies to you 

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There does seem to be a revised tank sender for fuel level on the way in the US but it might not be suitable for EU type tanks. In any case Toyota may feel that there have not been enough complaints about inaccurate gauges to make it worth a recall. Mine is certainly pessimistic but then so was my other recent Japanese car - a Mazda MX5.

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Sorry, but I can't see the problem with a pessimistic fuel gauge as they seem to be a fact of life along with speedometer's that have to legally over-read. In all the cars I have had I have never ever got near filling an 'empty' tank to anything near it's capacity. My eldest worked for a Mr T dealer some years ago and regularly drove round with the low fuel light on for days as it was so well known. We all know that running a hybrid down to completely empty runs the risk of serious problems.

I could possibly claim for a world record though as I once had a BSM Corsa (apologies for swearing) that according to my Shell reward points account I managed to fill up with 331 litres !!!. Nice to get the extra points due to the petrol station error but glad I wasn't swimming in it !!!

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  • 3 months later...

Having issues withs gas gauge not showing correct fuel consumption. After  guage get to half all i get is about 100 mile left on tank. Is anyone else having this issue.

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16 minutes ago, LoveNm said:

Having issues withs gas gauge not showing correct fuel consumption. After  guage get to half all i get is about 100 mile left on tank. Is anyone else having this issue.

Which country are you in?

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This may be a problem which happens with cars not much used.  The float mechanism in the tank goes rusty, and malfunctions.  Cure is a new sender unit, complete with float.

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On 12/10/2020 at 9:53 AM, Rav4 2019 said:

I'm convinced that I have this issue with my car, but as of today Toyota claim there is no issue and is shutting down my case. 

So my car is a 69 plate awd model and I've never been able to get more than 46/47 litres of fuel in to the tank, despite it having a claimed 55 litre capacity. 

The evidence I provided to Toyota was that on a full tank of fuel I did around 450 miles with a claimed average of 44.4 mpg on the trip computer. On the next refill with the range showing 1 mile left I could only fit 45.71 litres of fuel which then according to the trip calculator I would get 420 mile range. 

I asked the dealership in June about the issue who said they'd never heard of the issue and to contact Toyota UK.  Due to covid I didn't do that until November when the car needed servicing again. They just simply forwarded my message to the dealership to "look in to".  They started correspondence with Toyota UK for advice on how to proceed and I have just had the news about what's been said.... Crock of (Mod edit: attempt to overcome swear filter deleted) in my opinion. 

* the 55 litre stated fuel tank capacity is only for guidance and could be smaller. 

* the fuel gauge when reading very low fuel is not accurate.  ( I presume then its not accurate at all). 

* only fill to the first click, never go over. 

They wouldn't share the email with me so the wording will differ slightly. 

My response was that if you list a car as having a 2.5l 4 cylinder engine and I pick the car up and it's got a 5l v10 engine then it's not as described and you wouldn't get any sales. So when you buy a car with a claimed 55 litre tank and the capability to do xxx mpg giving a potential range of xxx miles then the car should deliver that. 

That just fell on deaf ears. Obviously the dealership are guided by UK Toyota so their hands are tied to a certain extent. 

I only come to join the forum to see if there were any other owners with the same issue and did a quick search beforehand. 

I'm lost now as what to do.... Trading standards maybe?    But then surely the onus would be on me to prove the tank capacity is not what it's claimed by paying someone to strip the tank out. 

The cars a motability vehicle but I don't think they would get involved if Toyota say there's no issue 

No, you really don’t have the same problem as the US as already pointed out, different tank, different spec.

Firstly a 55ltr tank capacity doesn’t mean you can actually fill 55ltrs in the tank when fitted to the car, it just means it’s a 55ltr tank. The sender/float mechanism etc. will reduce that via displacement, as will the air gap left for fuel expansion due to thermal change, the filler neck position is also relevant as it’s generally at the side, not the highest point of the tank.

As you ask what next, consider that you don’t have a legal relationship with Toyota, only Motability, so your legal position is you have no recourse against anyone but Motability. You would need to convince Motability that a significant misrepresentation has taken place and get them to authorise the draining, removal, testing, refitting and refilling of the tank by the dealer, as it’s beyond the scope of the agreed maintenance schedule, it’s likely you would be expected to meet the cost, especially when it turns out that the tank is indeed 55ltrs - for reference if you fit a roof box to a Motability car, you are required to notify them in advance and they are likely to insist it’s done by a VAT registered garage.... I wish I was joking.

As for trading standards, I tried for years to get them to do something about the Teves MK60 ABS unit failures that affected millions of cars across several brands, it made it to watchdog, VAG eventually admitted it was a manufacturing defect and backed down, TS did nothing. I wouldn’t expect them to get excited about a pessimistic fuel gauge.

It’s a known feature that Toyota have been pessimistic with the range, in part because running dry can cause other additional issues, under estimating range seems like a reasonable way to reduce the risk of this happening and literally every car I have ever owned has done the same. Companies expect to get sued if they say you have 50 miles left and the tank is dry, not have customers complain that the range says zero and they can still do 50 miles. My RAV has a claimed 57ltr tank, from running it dry to literally brimming it right up the filler neck, I only managed to get 54.28ltrs in, that’s 95% of claimed capacity, under normal circumstances my maximum from well into reserve is around 51ltrs or just 90% of claimed tank capacity, you’re 47ltrs on a 55ltr tank is 85%, which seems reasonable, so why get upset?

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