The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid could have a fuel tank issue that prevents owners from completely filling it up, according to a report from Automotive News. Toyota has issued a statement to confirm it is “investigating a fuel tank shape issue on certain RAV4 Hybrid vehicles. In these cases, 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."
Automotive News cites multiple sources of complaints from owners about the issue, with most of them stating that the vehicle won’t take much more than 9-11 gallons into its 14.5-gallon fuel tank. This greatly reduces the overall range you get with a full tank, which is one of the big benefits of the Hybrid model. It’s rated for 580 miles on a full tank of gas, thanks to its 40 mpg combined fuel economy rating. However, even if the tank won’t fill all the way, the RAV4 Hybrid has reasonable range — filled with nine gallons, it could theoretically go 360 miles.
As for why the tank won’t fill, Toyota just hints at a potential shape issue. Automotive News points out that Toyota changed its fuel tank design when it redesigned the RAV4 Hybrid. It went from a “Native American papoose” shape to a “latitudinal, saddle-shaped design,” as shown by parts diagrams and described by AN. Toyota is investigating, so we’ll hopefully get a full explanation soon.
There’s also no word on how widespread the issue is beyond Toyota saying it’s affecting “certain RAV4 Hybrid vehicles.” Toyota has sold 82,398 RAV4 Hybrids so far in 2019, according to company sales reports. With that many vehicles out there, the complaints should be rolling in if a significant number of vehicles built are suffering from the potential issue. Let us know in the comments if your 2019 RAV4 Hybrid won’t fill to a full tank at the pump. Like we mentioned before, the vehicle has a 14.5-gallon fuel tank.