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I currently own a 2013 Limited RAV /4WD. Last month while opening the trunk, which is electric, the right lift gate piston blew and separated from the ball mount. At that point the trunk/hatch would not work electrically or by hand. In fact the malfunction of the piston was so intense it caused significant damage to the body of my car, buckling the back roof, shifting the door and buckling the hinges. The grand total of damage is well over $5000. Now I have come to find out that Toyota was well aware of this defect. In fact I have their technical service bulletin from Toyota that discusses the problem in detail (T-SB-0168-13 for which I am sending you a copy). The piston, known as an actuator has been changed after a certain VIN # (see page #2 of attached bulletin). Because of the defect I now have to replace the unaffected piston also. Each piston costs $686.16 for the part alone. If the car is under warranty they cover repair, as I have owned my car for almost 4 years, it is not covered. Toyota not only knew about the defect, they chose not to notify the car owners’. If the pistons had been replaced, all of the other damage would not have occurred.
Several mechanics I spoke with could not believe this was not a recall. If an animal had been in the back or worse yet, if it occurred as it was open, it could potentially cause significant injury or worse. Apparently Toyota does not have an obligation to repair this as it is no longer under warranty. If deemed a recall they would need to address this at no cost to the consumer.
We contacted Toyota; they have offered us $2500 as “goodwill”, which is less than 50%. At this point I am having them do the actual mechanical work, and will also have to pay over $1100 out of pocket to cover the full cost of the mechanical repair. This still will not address the body work. I can’t afford to do this with 2 kids in college. Therefore this will devalue my car, and also runs the risk of rusting as the paint is damaged.
I am asking your assistance in dealing with this big automotive corporation. I have included a copy of the Technical service bulletin. I can also supply the quotes if needed.
- Cathy M.,