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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just left my 2021 RAV4 at the dealership because the AC suddenly stopped cooling. They told me they have been seeing this quite a lot and that it is usually because the condenser has been damaged/ruined by small road debris. They also told me that it will not be covered by warranty if this is the case. I said that it should be covered under warranty because it is clearly a design flaw if anything under the hood can be ruined by small debris, that there should be some kind of shield. He told me that no shield was probably due to heat transfer issues, to which I said there are plenty of metal materials that are open enough, like heavy metal netting, to allow free air flow while providing protection. In looking on here it seems Toyota has had continuing issues with this, on various models. It needs to be addressed because customers should not have to pay for something that should never happen. Has anyone else experienced this with their new RAV4?
 

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I just left my 2021 RAV4 at the dealership because the AC suddenly stopped cooling. They told me they have been seeing this quite a lot and that it is usually because the condenser has been damaged/ruined by small road debris. They also told me that it will not be covered by warranty if this is the case. I said that it should be covered under warranty because it is clearly a design flaw if anything under the hood can be ruined by small debris, that there should be some kind of shield. He told me that no shield was probably due to heat transfer issues, to which I said there are plenty of metal materials that are open enough, like heavy metal netting, to allow free air flow while providing protection. In looking on here it seems Toyota has had continuing issues with this, on various models. It needs to be addressed because customers should not have to pay for something that should never happen. Has anyone else experienced this with their new RAV4?
I completely agree. This is a BS way of escaping responsibility.
 

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OP should see if their insurance policy covers this. I would think this be covered by the comprehensive part of the policy.
 
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I guess that would be considered road hazard by Toyota.

A mesh should help reduce the problem, but with aggressive cost cutting I doubt that's going to happen from the factory. Even engine hood insulation mats are starting to go missing these days. Some members just add their own (Protecting the A/C condenser.).

Talk to Toyota customer service and see if they'll repair it under goodwill, or if they'll work with the dealer to reduce the cost of the repair. Also get a 2nd opinion and quote from a reputable AC specialist. And of course, your insurance company under the comprehensive coverage.
 

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They told me they have been seeing this quite a lot and that it is usually because the condenser has been damaged/ruined by small road debris.
I said there are plenty of metal materials that are open enough, like heavy metal netting, to allow free air flow while providing protection.
RAV4 road debris and pebble damage to A/C condenser is a very common and well known issue. Go to the RAV4World forum under the 5th generation and use the search function. There are several long threads with photos and many pictures. Most people (myself included ) use cheap plastic garden screen from Home Depot, ACE and other hardware stores. It is black, has lattice holes and comes in a long roll so you can easily replace it if damaged. You cut it to fit with scissors and use zip ties to fasten over the A/C grill. Actually looks good and it DOES stop the damage. Installation instructions on RAV4World. Hood Grille Light Automotive lighting Automotive tire
Automotive parking light Automotive tail & brake light Hood Grille Automotive lighting
Automotive parking light Automotive tail & brake light Automotive lighting Grille Hood
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
RAV4 road debris and pebble damage to A/C condenser is a very common and well known issue. Go to the RAV4World forum under the 5th generation and use the search function. There are several long threads with photos and many pictures. Most people (myself included ) use cheap plastic garden screen from Home Depot, ACE and other hardware stores. It is black, has lattice holes and comes in a long roll so you can easily replace it if damaged. You cut it to fit with scissors and use zip ties to fasten over the A/C grill. Actually looks good and it DOES stop the damage. Installation instructions on RAV4World. View attachment 382206 View attachment 382207 View attachment 382208
This is great information,thank you for sharing!!
 

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Toyota is going to be missing long-time customers if they keep doing this stuff, as we switch to other brands.
To be fair to the RAV4 and Toyota MANY other makes of cars are as bad or worse than the RAV with regards to their A/C condenser intake. Most just use horizontal slats like the RAV4 without a protective grill.Look at the monstrous big slats all up and down the front of the Lexus. If you wander around a big mall or Walmart parking lot you will see that Audis, Mercedes, Hyundais, Kias etc. have no protective grills over the A/C intake-- just slats. I think I once saw a Subaru WRX with a grill cover like the garden screen and I'm not sure it was stock OEM.
 

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I bought a screen for my XSE from Steve....looks good and works perfectly.
Good insurance to prevent things like this and it cost less than $40.
I ordered it before I even took delivery of my XSE and installed it the first day I had the car.

 

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Toyota is going to be missing long-time customers if they keep doing this stuff, as we switch to other brands.
At this point when there are millions of layman Toyota buyers who will blindly buy Toyota no matter what - Toyota doesn't care anymore. Average Joe or Mary who doesn't even know how to replace wipers - will continue to buy Toyota and no argument or data will change their mind.
And yes, mesh is a must have and it is used in Europe and Asia almost like a must have dealer accessory, but alas in USA/Canada naïve Joe and Mary doesn't have a clue about it. Only when trouble happens - they start to realize that something is off.
 

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I just left my 2021 RAV4 at the dealership because the AC suddenly stopped cooling. They told me they have been seeing this quite a lot and that it is usually because the condenser has been damaged/ruined by small road debris. They also told me that it will not be covered by warranty if this is the case. I said that it should be covered under warranty because it is clearly a design flaw if anything under the hood can be ruined by small debris, that there should be some kind of shield. He told me that no shield was probably due to heat transfer issues, to which I said there are plenty of metal materials that are open enough, like heavy metal netting, to allow free air flow while providing protection. In looking on here it seems Toyota has had continuing issues with this, on various models. It needs to be addressed because customers should not have to pay for something that should never happen. Has anyone else experienced this with their new RAV4?
Same thing happened to me 4 months into a loan for 2022 Corolla Cross and the air stopped working. They will not fix it they told me a rock came up and hit my condenser and warranty will not cover it. Should be a lawsuit with some one to make them fix all these ac units it’s clearly a defect in the design.
 

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I bought a Toyota 2022 Rav 4 hybrid on May 30th, 2022. On July 25th, 2022 the AC quit working. Took out to the shop. I was notified the AC condenser has hole potentially due to debris from outside i.e rock. Your case sounds very familiar to mine. Not covered under warranty. Worst of all they DO NOT HAVE PARTS TO REPLACE.. they are back ordered. No end in site. :mad::mad::mad::mad::confused: I am so waiting as of 8/14/2022. With Texas weather in triple digits this vehicle is not safe.
 

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. I was notified the AC condenser has hole potentially due to debris from outside i.e rock.
Did they show you the hole ?

Consider taking photos and get a second opinion. Though rock damage is the likely cause based on other reports, I would not trust them.

Everyone also needs to report this to carcomplaints.com and NHTSA to bring more attention to the issue.
 
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