DALLAS - First Toyota had little to say and now they’re offering a fix following a report a FOX 4 report.
Last week, consumer reporter Steve Noviello shared a story featuring 2019 and 2020 RAV4 Hybrid owners who said their vehicles 14.5-gallon gas tanks would stop accepting fuel after nine or 10 gallons.
Related: Consumer Alert: Gas tank design flaw
Plano-based Toyota acknowledged it is aware of the problem and is investigating but would not talk to a reporter on camera or address why it is continuing to sell 2019 and 2010 RAV4 Hybrids without proactively disclosing all of the information to potential buyers.
Now the company is now offering what it is calling an interim fix until a final remedy is identified.
According to Toyota, when the company reshaped the RAV4 Hybrid gas tank starting in the 2019 model year, that new shape “may prevent a full refill by up to several gallons, potentially impacting the vehicle’s total available driving distance.”
Hundreds of owners FOX 4 spoke to from across the country said they bought the hybrid because it was supposed to mean fewer trips to the gas station and longer driving distances on a full tank. But that hasn’t been their experience.
Toyota is ow offering to install a replacement tank on 2019 and 2020 model year RAV4 Hybrids but added, “based on our ongoing investigation, replacing the fuel tank may mitigate these concerns, although it may not prevent the condition from reoccurring.”
Full statement from Toyota of North America:
“Toyota takes customer concerns seriously. Toyota has received customer reports of certain 2019 and 2020 RAV4 Hybrid vehicle fuel gauges displaying less than full and/or total fuel dispensed is less than expected, when the fuel nozzle automatically clicks off. Some customer reports have also noted the "Distance to Empty" shown on the multi-information display is less than expected.
Based on our ongoing investigation, Toyota believes these conditions to be primarily related to a variation in the fuel tank shape. As indicated in the owner's manual, customers should still refuel when the low fuel light illuminates, and when refueling, customers should not "top off" the fuel tank.
While we investigate this issue, Toyota has an interim option available until a final remedy is identified. We recommend customers who have a concern visit a Toyota dealer. Toyota’s Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331 is also available to answer questions.
Until a final remedy is identified, the interim option is to install a replacement tank. Based on our ongoing investigation, replacing the fuel tank may mitigate these concerns, although it may not prevent the condition from reoccurring.”
If you are the owner of a 2019 or 2020 RAV4 Hybrid and would like to try this option, you should visit your local dealer or call Toyota’s customer experience center at 1-800-331-4331.