Poorly designed cables cost Toyota RAV4 owners

A corroded cable after driving less than 60,000 km after removing the protective cover

Photo: Marjolaine Beaulac

This is a circuit that must be completely isolated from the rest of the vehicle in order to function properly.explains Sacha Leroux, owner of the Arleco Generation III garage.

Portrait of Sacha Leroux in his garage.

Sacha Leroux, owner of the Arleco Generation III garage

Photo: Radio Canada

The way the cable is plugged in, it doesn’t seem weatherproof enough. Water seeps in and scale builds up, causing the switch to rust really early. »

A quote from Sacha Leroux, owner, Arleco Generation III

As of mid-2021, Toyota redesigned the part to allow water and debris to drain. However, after inspecting several vehicles, Sacha Leroux believes the new design is not delivering the expected results.

An orange high-voltage cable.

The new version of the high-voltage cable is not completely covered by the protective cover to facilitate water flow.

Photo: Jean Thomas Landry

In my experience it’s still not enough because it still traps dirt and limescale. There is still corrosionhe confirms.

suspicion for two years

As early as October 2020, the US division of Toyota suspected corrosion problems with the high-voltage cable.

In Canada, Toyota Canada sent out a procedure to its dealers last March: detect corrosion, replace defective wiring and bill customers when the warranty has expired.

Under guarantee? hurry up

If the dealer diagnoses a corrosion problem, Toyota will replace the cable free of charge. But only if the vehicle is less than three years or 60,000 km old. Nonsense for other motorists, according to the Association for the Protection of Motorists (Section).

Portrait of George Iny.

George Iny, Director of the Association for the Protection of Motorists (APA)

Photo: Radio Canada

We are talking about a part that should last over the normal lifespan of the vehicle. If Toyota didn’t engineer it to withstand our road conditions, now is the time to take responsibility. »

A quote from George Iny, Director, APA

Out of warranty, the cost of the part is $4500 plus labor. In some cases, the total bill exceeds $6,000.

L’Section received several complaints. The price is grossly exaggerated, that’s for sure. For that price you can buy an entire motor from some manufacturers.argues George Iny.

There are also problems with the supply of parts. Several testimonials report delays of several weeks, even several months, before getting a new cable.

Confidential Offers

Jean-Thomas Landry owns a 2019 RAV4 Hybrid. He took the plunge when his dealer estimated it would cost almost $6,000 to replace his cable. Dissatisfied, he turned to Toyota Canada to complain.

Portrait of Jean Thomas Landry.

Jean-Thomas Landry received his new cable after several months of waiting.

Photo: Jean Thomas Landry

The automaker offered to pay two-thirds of the bill on condition that it permanently close the file and not disclose the terms of the agreement. Jean-Thomas turned down the confidential offer, opting instead to alert the public by setting up a Facebook group.

By signing the agreement, I couldn’t sue them. It’s nonsense that Toyota is leaving such people. I’m just waiting for a call back and then they switch rooms for everyone. »

A quote from Jean Thomas Landry
Facebook group website.

The Facebook group founded by Jean-Thomas Landry has more than 3,200 members.

Photo: Facebook/Toyota CABLEGATE

Today more than 3200 people joined the Facebook group. Jean-Thomas can count on the help of a former RAV4 hybrid owner, Hugo-Sébastien Aubert, to manage the site.

People don’t understand that Toyota can’t fix the problem. The product is appreciated worldwide. Now the “management” should be on the same level. »

A quote from Hugo Sebastien Aubert

Jean-Thomas and Hugo-Sébastien combined media interventions. Newspapers, radio, specialist broadcasts; The cable problem even has a name: #CableGate.

The extent of the mobilization impressed George InySection. That’s what he tells us The owners of these vehicles are very smart people. Many of them have the part inspected before their warranty expires and try to protect their rights as much as possible..

For months, members of the Facebook group have been hoping for an important announcement from the automaker, a solution that applies to everyone. The announcement is still pending.

Extend the warranty, protect the part

A simple extended warranty would save many RAV4 Hybrid and Prime owners a lot of hassle.

The components of the hybrid system already come with a guarantee of eight years or 160,000 km, which is significantly more than the basic guarantee of three years or 60,000 km.

Contrary to all logic, accSection, the high voltage cable is not included in the hybrid system components. George Iny thinks Toyota Canada should revise their fine print and include the cable in this warranty. It also asks the manufacturer to compensate customers who have already changed their high-voltage cable and are no longer under warranty.

Besides theSection recommends that Toyota Canada apply a sleeve or apply cables that are still in good condition. In any case, the goal is to delay corrosion as much as possible.

Replace, start over

Which way does Toyota Canada plan to overcome #CableGate? Impossible to know. The company declined our interview request, This case is currently in court [… ]writes a speaker.

While waiting for a permanent fix, RAV4 Hybrid and Prime owners should replace their damaged cables or risk having to do it again in a few years.

AM radio test

There is nothing like a professional inspection to find out if your high-voltage cable is corroded. However, a quick test can give you information.

  1. Start the vehicle
  2. Tune to an AM station
  3. Activate the rear wheel motor by slowly moving forward or backward

If you hear interference, your cable is probably corroded.

Check if the cable is corroded.

A class action lawsuit against Toyota

A class-action lawsuit petition was filed against Toyota Canada in Montreal last May. Among the demands: reimbursement of cable replacement costs, payment of punitive damages and extended warranty, just like with the other components of the hybrid system.

Jean-Luc Bouchard’s report will be broadcast on the programme The invoice Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on ICI Télé.

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