Toyota is investigating a possible problem with the fuel tank of the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid model that could prevent owners from filling it completely when refueling. The company released a statement this week explaining that:
“Variations in fuel tank shape may prevent a full refill by up to several gallons. This condition may impact the vehicle's total available driving distance. As a best practice, customers should refuel before or when the low fuel light illuminates, to prevent running out of fuel."
A report in Automotive News mentions that several sources have confirmed that owners have filed complaints regarding the inability to completely fill up the 55-litre fuel tank; these complaints allege that no more than 42 litres of gasoline can be added to the tank when refueling. Obviously this would significantly impact the vehicle’s overall range on a “full” tank of gas.
Toyota has not provided a concrete explanation regarding the cause of the problem, but Automotive News did point out that the company changes the design of the fuel tank when developing the hybrid version of the RAV4 SUV. We expect that the automaker will have a more specific explanation once it finishes its investigation.
We do not know either how many RAV4 Hybrid models could potentially be affected by the design error. The “Some” referenced in the company’s statement leaves a ton of leeway.
Meanwhile, it’s worth keeping in mind that because the RAV4 Hybrid is, well, a hybrid, it delivers a decent enough range even without a full tank of gas. With the aforementioned 42 litres in the tank as well as the electric motors of the hybrid powertrain, the range of the SUV should be around 580 km.