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RAV4 Plugin Hybrid 2022 Water Damage


Bartje1971
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Hi all,

After heavy rains we drove through a big puddle of water of about 25-30 cm deep. We could not foresee how deep it was but there was no way we could avoid the puddle. There were (small) cars in front of us driving through the water and cars behind us so we had no other change / ideas to not ho ahead as well. 

Directly after the puddle the car told us to go directly to the nearest Toyota dealer and to not drive more than 10km. Long story short: electric motor had no problems, petrol engine was full of water. New Short Block Assembly needs to be put in: € 8.300,00 invoice! 
Is there anyone who had the same problem? 


Toyota says this is not under guarantee, although it is too strange that this could have happened. The mecanic of Toyota says that instead of sucking air, the engine would have sucked water, which we find hard to believe because the air inlet is much higher than 30 cm.

The insurance, although being all-risk insured, says it is not their responsibility.

Talking to a lawyer now but need to gather as much as possible information as proof that something is wrong here, so we can put a claim in with Toyota or with the insurance company.

Hope to hear some similar stories or information about wading depths (official Toyota information) about our car. 

Thanks in advance!

Monique

 

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This is always a risk when driving through deep water, but how fast did you drive through this water??

The worst is if another car is driving through it in the opposite direction and sends a wave over the car - Very high risk the air intake will suck in a load of water, hydrolock and break the engine :sad: 

Tends to be a high risk in marques with sportier cars as the air intakes tend to be lower, but Toyotas are usually on the same level as the top of the front grille.

I would have thought the RAV4 could do that okay though, IIRC it's rated for a wading depth of up to 0.5m, albeit only up to 5mph.

That might be a normal RAV4 and not a hybrid/PHEV though - Don't know if they have the same ratings

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Thanks for your reply. We drove very slow, like the other drivers did as well.

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Any warranty will provide cover for manufacturing defects - which flooding the engine probably isn't.

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Did the water go above the bonnet at any point...?

I'm struggling to understand how the water got in in the first place!

 

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11 minutes ago, Cyker said:

Did the water go above the bonnet at any point...?

I'm struggling to understand how the water got in in the first place!

 

No it never got to the bonnet (hood). That is exactly what we are struggling with… 

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Hydro lock on cars can easily happen even after a car wash, heavy rain or most common driving through deep waters at speeds. 
Even if the water was not too deep when other vehicles were passing they had very likely created a high wave, just enough to get into the air intake.  This could happen under the bonnet and behind the bumper, not necessary the water to cover the bonnet. 
To flood to air intake you need a lots of water but to hydro lock the engine you need very little, anything from few drops into combustion will be enough. 
Sad really, some cars are more prone to this than others. 
The Rufford Ford YouTube videos has shows very interesting examples.

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The 2022 RAV4 PHEV handbook has the following warning in the Essential information section:

This vehicle is not designed to
be able to drive on roads that
are deeply flooded with water.
Do not drive on roads where
the roads may be submerged
or the water may be rising.

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I'm really surprised by this. Was just talking about wading in an off-road post. I've driven through 25cm deep streams come rivers and at speed without any issues on my PHEV.  Wading depth is 50cm I think as someone mentioned.

But just thinking about it now it was in EV mode every time.

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The Rav4 is supposed to be able to handle water up to 18" deep.

No doubt different while the vehicle is in motion.  I don't see a warranty covering any damage. It's not Toyota at fault.

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