Toyota Rav4 EV Forum

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 Post subject: Time to complain! My list of Rav4 EV shortcomings.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:16 am 
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Posts: 165
Let me preface the following by saying how much I love the Rav4 EV. Especially now with all the amazing incentives, anyone who buys a Leaf or any other BEV (battery electric vehicle) over the Rav4 EV is crazy, IMHO.

On to my complaints (or, more constructively, my "suggestions" for improving the Rav4 EV). Of course, this could be an exercise in futility if Toyota has no plans to improve the car over its 3-year compliance lifecycle; but let's be optimistic that the 2014 Rav4 EV will be better than then 2012.

In No Particular Order:

- No tire pressure monitor.

- When turning on the radio from completely off (i.e., not just mute), it chooses the first FM station in the list, not the last station to which you were listening.

- No memory settings for the side mirrors.

- No power seats with memory.

- Radio controls are awful! No easy way to change stations, and no way to keep the Radio screen on all the time.

- Power button for the radio should be a hard button below the LCD screen (like the "Home" button), not a button on the LCD that requires pressing the Home button first.

- No 4WD...it's a RAV4, not a RAV2!

- Headrest doesn't lock in lower position.

- Scheduled charging doesn't work properly.

- Have to take the car in to a dealership to turn off 'reverse beeping' and 'no seatbelt' beeping, and to adjust 'headlight off' timer and auto door lock/unlock functionality.

- No external reverse beeping noise (like some large SUVs) or courtesy "look out!" mini-honk button (like the Volt).

- No backlighting on the steering wheel, making it impossible to see the buttons at night.

- Can't have two Entune-registered iPhones in the car at the same time - it messes up all the apps and the car gets very confused.

- When using an iPhone that has three or more phone numbers assigned to individual contacts (i.e., "home," "mobile," "work," "fax," etc.), the car can't seem to differentiate between phone numbers when dialing by voice command. For example, I have my sister's contact info in the phone, and when I say, "call Amy Fowler mobile," the car says, "if the name is correct, please say, 'yes', otherwise say '1' ", but my car lists both choices as "Amy Fowler" with no indication what the associated number for each is, and that correct name/number combination isn't consistently the first choice. However, when I call my dad (who has four phone numbers in my contacts), the car never has a problem when I say, "call Sheldon Cooper mobile."

- If I don't drive the Rav4EV for a couple of weeks, the 12-volt battery dies and the car won't start, even if the main battery is fully charged.

- No fast charging. (It is a Tesla battery, right? Why no compatibility?)

- The charging door interior doesn't light up when opened, making it difficult to align the charger in the dark.

- No way to force the brightness of the screen to night or day mode regardless of exterior light conditions. I can set it so it's dark at night and bright during the day, but manually turning on the headlights should change the car to night mode (or there should be another way to do that).

- The sun visor doesn't rotate easily and doesn't block the sun for the entire length of the side window.

- The horn sounds like an antique car. No one will ever take that wimpy, laughable sound seriously. It needs to be replaced with a REAL horn!


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 Post subject: Re: Time to complain! My list of Rav4 EV shortcomings.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:56 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:01 pm
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Location: Long Beach, CA
Agree with most of your criticisms. On the radio front, there is a toggle under the general settings that will keep the radio screen on all the time as opposed to timing out back to whatever screen you were on before. The other thing I didn't realize at first was that you can hold down the steering wheel control to actually tune the radio as opposed to cycling through the presets. Also, I haven't tried it myself, but someone else on the forum pointed out that holding down the home button turns off the radio.

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 Post subject: Re: Time to complain! My list of Rav4 EV shortcomings.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:42 am 
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You forgot one . . . Don't sell the next new and improved model RAV4 EV for $10,000 more than it will actually sell for just a few months after introduction!

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 Post subject: Re: Time to complain! My list of Rav4 EV shortcomings.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:45 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:50 pm
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Location: San Diego
When backing up, the backup camera dutifully reports when my iPhone is connected, blocking the top portion of the screen, and limiting how far back I can see.

Probably the worst time for that piece of info, particularly when it won't let you do anything else while backing.

Plus, no guidelines like Nissan / Infiniti uses. Those work very well and are adjustable.

Finally, the backup camera isn't centered, making it interesting for lining things up like my trailer hitch to the trailer.


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 Post subject: Re: Time to complain! My list of Rav4 EV shortcomings.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:04 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:50 pm
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Dsinned wrote:
You forgot one . . . Don't sell the next new and improved model RAV4 EV for $10,000 more than it will actually sell for just a few months after introduction!

Maybe it's my fault. When I test drove a prototype RAV4 EV in November 2011, I asked a couple of seasoned Toyota employees, "How much are you going to sell this for? $50K?". :lol:

$50K might have worked for Toyota if only they had beaten the Tesla S to market and the most recent LEAF discounts...


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 Post subject: Re: Time to complain! My list of Rav4 EV shortcomings.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:05 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:27 am
Posts: 156
Great list, Blastphemy.

My biggest beef besides the charge timing issue is the crappy interface radio interface. It's just terrible, as if they assigned an intern to design it for them. In the age of iPads and smart phones, there is absolutely no excuse for such lousy design. If they can't design it themselves, then open up the API and let folks design apps for the job--an outside designer couldn't possibly do worse, and I would gladly pay someone a fee for a better experience, plus I want a clean Slacker interface, as I think XM sucks.

As ugly as the Volt interface is, with it's garish colors and clunky design, it's useful and reasonably easy to navigate, and the physical dials are quite useful. I remember the first touch interface I saw in a car, the Buick Reatta from the eighties, and I can't say Toyota has done much better. All I can say is, thank god Tesla let them put their drivetrain in this car!


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 Post subject: Re: Time to complain! My list of Rav4 EV shortcomings.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:09 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:51 am
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Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Blastphemy wrote:
- No tire pressure monitor.

Re: that, I have no Rav4 EV, but I think it's got to have it. They became mandated (in one form or another) years ago, I believe w/model year 2007. It just might not have anything to display the tire pressures, only to provide a warning.

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 Post subject: Re: Time to complain! My list of Rav4 EV shortcomings.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:39 am 
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How about a hatch, not a back door that opens up into traffic.

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 Post subject: Re: Time to complain! My list of Rav4 EV shortcomings.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:04 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:50 pm
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Location: San Diego
pchilds wrote:
How about a hatch, not a back door that opens up into traffic.


Just buy the 2013 Rav4, and swap the drivetrains.

It has a hatch.


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 Post subject: Re: Time to complain! My list of Rav4 EV shortcomings.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:26 am
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Location: Austin, TX
Re: Fast charging. Just like the entry level Tesla Model S with 40kWh battery pack, neither have fast charging capability because the batteries cannot take fast charging. Apparently they have determined that the fastest charge rate the cells can take is a 45-60 min rate. For instance, having a 85kWh pack (actually >90kWh), charging with a 90KW fast charger, charges the battery at a 1C rate, or 1 hour rate. The 60kWh pack (actual >66kWh), charging at 90kW charges at a 40 minute rate (1.5C rate). Charging our packs (or the 40kWh Model S) would mean a 2C rate (30 minutes) which probably damages the batteries cycle life, which would be unacceptable. This could be solved by having the fast chargers automatically detect the size of the pack (easily done through communications) and limit the amount of power it puts out (40-60kW max for smaller packs), but this would also require the new fast charging SAE plug that is currently only being used GM Spark EV. At the time the RAV4EV was being designed, the SAE dual fast charging connector and Tesla Fast Charging Network was still in the process of being deployed, so it was easier to just shelve fast charging design issues for this small run of vehicles. At least they put a large 240VAC charger on board, unlike the Leaf and Spark EV.

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