The 7 Most Common Avalon Problems

We've pulled together a list of the problems Avalon owners.

  1. Bluetooth Echos During Calls

    What's the point of hands-free calling if you can't have a conversation without an annoying echo getting in the way? That's the position many 2016-2019 Toyota owners find themselves in as they struggle with their car's bluetooth connection.

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  2. TRW Crash Sensor Defect

    There's growing concern that some sort of electrical overstress is messing with airbag control units (ACU) in certain Toyota vehicles.

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  3. Oil Sludge in Toyota Engines

    Toyota settled a class-action engine-sludge suit in 2007 that covered an estimated 2.5-million Toyota and Lexus vehicles made between 1997 and 2002. In that case, Toyota agreed to repair 'sludged-up' engines for up to eight years from the t…

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  4. Musty and Moldy A/C

    Toyota air conditioners smell like mold in numerous vehicles. So what's causing the musty smell and just how dangerous is it?…

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  5. Unintended Acceleration

    Toyota believes the problems are caused by stuck gas pedals or misplaced floor mats that trapped the gas pedals. Independent testing by NASA and other outside laboratories agreed with Toyota and concluded driver error was also a contributin…

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  6. Rodents Chew Wires

    Somewhere in the mid-2000's there was an industry-wide push by automakers to replace plastic and glass-based wiring insulation with a more eco-friendly soy-based coating. It's biodegradable, commendable, and a complete disaster for owners. …

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  7. Melting Dashboards

    One of the automotive world's worst science projects is coming to an end. Toyota dashboards have long been known to melt under the heat of the sun. The melted dashes warp and extrude a strange, goo-like substance that is oddly shiny and sti…

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What Avalon Owners Complain About

Sometimes it helps just to tally up the complaints and see where the biggest stacks are. Use this information to learn about troublespots or to run for the hills.

What Breaks

Years to Avoid

Avalon Generations

The Avalon has 5 generations, each with their own issues. Using the same PainRank™ system we've determined that you're better off avoiding the 3rd generation (2005–2012).

  1. 5th Generation Avalon

    Years
    2019–2021
    Reliability
    10th of 81
    PainRank
    0.38
    Complaints
    2
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Avalon
  2. 4th Generation Avalon

    Years
    2013–2018
    Reliability
    57th of 81
    PainRank
    8.95
    Complaints
    89
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Avalon
  3. 3rd Generation Avalon

    Years
    2005–2012
    Reliability
    63rd of 81
    PainRank
    10.34
    Complaints
    405
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Avalon
  4. 2nd Generation Avalon

    Years
    2000–2004
    Reliability
    39th of 81
    PainRank
    3.85
    Complaints
    42
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  5. 1st Generation Avalon

    Years
    1996–1999
    Reliability
    18th of 81
    PainRank
    0.76
    Complaints
    19
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Avalon Key Numbers

  1. 557 complaints

    Running tally of owner grievances filed to CarComplaints.com.

  2. 868 service bulletins

    Documenting the process of troubleshooting common problems.

  3. 32 recall campaigns

    Time-sensitive, free repairs for widespread safety problems.

Recent Relevant Lawsuits

The Avalon has been named as a class vehicle in the following lawsuits.

  • Adam B. Lawler Law Firm, LLC, et al., v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., et al.

    A Toyota Bluetooth echo class action lawsuit has been filed by an Illinois law firm which alleges the hands-free phone systems are defective in multiple Toyota models that were not initially equipped with Apple CarPlay and have not had a head unit replaced by Toyota.

    Status
    pending
    Problem
    Bluetooth Echos During Calls
    Class Vehicles
    • 4Runner
    • Avalon
    • Avalon HV
    • Camry
    • Camry HV
    • Highlander
    • Highlander HV
    • Prius
    • Prius V
    • Sequoia
    • Sienna
    • Tacoma
    • Tundra
    • Yaris
    Class Members
    Illinois Residents
    Location
    Illinois
  • Freeman, et al., v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. et al.

    Toyota Bluetooth echo problems have caused a class action lawsuit that alleges when the driver of the Toyota uses the hands-free phone system to make or receive a call, the person on the other end of the call hears an echo of their own words.

    Status
    pending
    Problem
    Bluetooth Echos During Calls
    Class Vehicles
    • 2017-2018 4Runner
    • 2017-2018 Avalon
    • 2017-2018 Avalon Hybrid
    • 2016-2018 Highlander
    • 2016-2018 Highlander Hybrid
    • 2016-2018 Prius
    • 2016-2018 Prius V
    • 2016-2018 Sequoia
    • 2016-2018 Sienna
    • 2016-2018 Tacoma
    • 2016-2018 Tundra
    • 2018 Yaris
    Location
    Missouri

Recent Avalon News

There's a lot of news out there, but not all of it matters. We try to boil down it to the most important bits about things that actually help you with your car problem. Interested in getting these stories in an email? Signup for free email alerts over at CarComplaints.com.

  1. A lawsuit wonders how Toyota can keep calling their bluetooth implementation "hands-free" when owners very much need to use their hands to prevent echos on each and every call.

    For years owners have complained about this issue, but Toyota's only suggestion has been to pickup the phone and turn it's volume all the way up after the call has been initiated. Oh, and also make sure the radio volume is below level 45. Sorta defeats the point, don't you think?…

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  2. Poorly programmed control units have led to a Toyota airbag recall for 188,000 vehicles from the 2018-2019 model years.

    The automaker says the airbag electronic control units weren't programmed correctly, causing problems when the vehicles are started and the airbag sensors are disabled.

    Every airbag is attached to a control unit that monitors data from sensors and determines when the airbag should deploy. You can imagine how important it is that these control units are dialed in. Toyota forgot that whole part.

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  3. Toyota has blamed a musty A/C smell on microbes [i.e., mold] growing o the evaporator surface and now a lawsuit wants them to do something about it.

    The plaintiffs claim the vehicles have defective heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that cause smells and health problems from mold that collects on the evaporators. Numerous complaints have allegedly been filed with the government, Toyota and Lexus dealerships nationwide since at least 1999.

    This isn't the first time Toyota has been sued for musty A/C units.

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  4. When Toyota switched away from using plastic or glass-based inulation in favor of soy, it invited in some very unwelcome Toyota loyalisits.

    According to the plaintiff, she learned the hard way about the soy wiring when her Avalon wouldn't start and a look under the hood showed wires chewed, so she had the car towed to a dealer. Toyota told her rodents had caused the damage and it would be no problem to repair the problems as long as she could cough up $6,000 to cover the bill.

    The soy-based wiring is allegedly attracting in rodents, who love to chew it up and use it for nesting material. The lawsuit, Heidi Browder vs. Toyota Motor Corporation, et al. follows a similar lawsuit filed against Honda earlier this year.

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  5. It's been a while since Toyota announced their extended warranty program for melting dashbord in 3.5 million vehicles.

    So, how are things going? According to [a] lawsuit, when Toyota first announced the warranty program the automaker notified customers and said it could take months to gather the replacement parts. However, Toyota then sent a second notice that removed the information about a timeline for repairs.

    Oh, well it can't be too long before everyone gets their replacement dash, right?…

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See All Avalon News