really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
94,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
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problem #1

Apr 072018

RAV4 Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

click to see larger images

leaky sunroof ruined wiring harness leaky sunroof ruined wiring harness leaky sunroof ruined wiring harness leaky sunroof ruined wiring harness

So, it has been raining quite a bit in California this winter. Consequently, my Rav4 2012 has either been driven in the rain (I use it to commute to work 35 miles away, 5 days per week) or sitting outside overnight (I don't have a garage). Approximately one month ago, my car suddenly wouldn't start. I had it towed to the dealership and they diagnosed the problem (what we thought was the problem): the starter switch was faulty. I have less than 100K miles and warranty luckily covered the repair. I thought the problem was fixed - I thought wrong!

Two weeks later the car wouldn't start again. Back to the dealership it went. This time they took their sweet time diagnosing and couldn't figure out what was wrong until a few days later: I was told that my sunroof drain hole was clogged with debris from the recent rains. As a result, the sunroof tray filled up with water, eventually spilled over and ran down the A pillar, fell into the kick panel and into where connectors are located. This in turn corroded the connectors. The quote to fix is a whopping: $4500 for labor, $2200 for parts, $600 diagnostics, not to mention the rental car charges I have already incurred out of my own pocket in order to get to work 5 days a week! Apparently all the wiring harnesses need to be replaced.

Dealership suggested that I go through my insurance (Ameriprise) which I did last week. A week later they still seem to be contemplating whether to pay for this water damage or not and I'm not getting any clear answers from them on whether they will cover this or not. I simply cannot afford this repair out of pocket, nor is it worth it for the value of the car that is left. It seems that they would rather pass the buck on me by saying it was somehow my fault, that I neglected to take care of my car, and this is why the problem occurred (this is what they had told the dealership representative according to him when they contacted to consult on the damage).

A mechanic friend of mine suggested that instead of replacing wiring harnesses, the repair can be simplified by doing a "splice repair" instead. I made some inquiries with local repair shops and every single one responded that splice repair would be too risky due to liability issues.

So, I'm between a rock and a hard place at this time. I'm still hoping that insurance company will come back with a positive answer of covering the repair. However, even in this case I'm probably faced with higher monthly coverage fees from now on.

In any case, this problem seems more like a manufacturing defect, doesn't it?? Sunroof should be able to withstand mother nature, correct?? The manual doesn't say, "In case of debris and water in the sunroof tray, please declog the drain hole each time it rains or during windy conditions." Ridiculous!

Any feedback is appreciated, thanks!!

- Riitta D., Santa Cruz, US