11 Most Common Toyota Venza Problems (Explained)

The Toyota Venza originally debuted in 2009 as a midsize SUV based on the Camry platform.

In 2021, it was reintroduced as a premium compact SUV using the same platform and powertrain as the RAV4 Hybrid.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most common Toyota Venza problems and their solutions.

1. High Voltage Connector Corrosion

One expensive problem that can potentially affect the second generation Toyota Venza is corrosion of the exposed high voltage connector for the rear electric motor, more commonly known in Toyota circles as “Cable Gate.”

Early model years of the fifth generation RAV4 Hybrid had several cases of hybrid system malfunctions due to excessive and premature corrosion of the wiring harness and connector.

Since the Venza uses the same underpinnings as the RAV4 Hybrid, it can also suffer from the same fate — especially if it’s spent a lot of time driving over salt-ridden roads during the winter.

Toyota eventually updated the design of the wiring harness for the RAV4 Hybrid and Venza, and also added a plastic cover underneath for added protection.

However, the updated design doesn’t completely eliminate the problem.

Venza owners on ToyotaNation.com had this to say:

“People with the new open connector are still seeing rust developing on theirs, so the open connector is not a 100% proof at all.”

Some examples of the first model year of the Venza also used the same problematic connector as the 2019 to 2020 RAV4 Hybrids:

“I just checked our ‘21 built in Feb ‘21, has the old style connector.”

Although there haven’t been any reports of breakdowns in the Venza, some owners have noticed corrosion starting to form around the connector and wiring harness.  

Here’s how one Venza owner described their experience on RAV4World.com:

“Rust is very rare in our area. My other car, 2006 Prius, is pristine (17 years old), whereas this Venza, 1 year old, already has corrosion started at the cable.” 

Many owners have come up with their own solutions such as applying dielectric grease and corrosion inhibitors around the connector to protect it from corrosion.

Toyota also eventually extended the warranty for RAV4 Hybrid’s connector to 8-years or 100,000 miles. However, the Venza was not included in this warranty extension.

Before the warranty extension was announced, dealers would charge upwards of $5,000 to replace the connector since corrosion wasn’t covered by the regular hybrid powertrain warranty. 

2. Gas Tank Issues

Like the RAV4 Hybrid, the Venza’s tank can take up to 14.5 gallons of fuel and should provide up to 580 miles per tank. But lots of owners have reported that they’ve only been able to put in around 10 to 11 gallons and only get around 400 to 450 miles per tank.

Here’s how some Venza owners reported their experience on ToyotaNation.com:

“If I believe the manual, there is somewhere around 2.2 gallons left in the tank when the low fuel light comes on, then I should be routinely filling more than 12.3 gallons. But after 5,700 miles, the most I’ve filled is 11.6 gallons and that was after running the DTE past zero. More often I fill 11.0 to 11.4 gal when the DTE is less than 30 miles (and I don’t top off).”

“I have a brand new Venza bought with 4 miles on it. I now have 3403 miles. It’s so frustrating! I have driven it till the computer tells me as low as “3 miles till empty.” Even with that the most I could fill my tank was barely 11 gallons and that is with pumping more after several self stops by the pump.”

“Our 2024 has already experienced weird fill ups. Same station, same pump, same fuel grade, slowest setting, first click. Sometimes it’ll be 465’ish miles to empty, last night, it was 395 miles to empty and the gauge wasn’t even showing full.”

“I am seeing issue with my LE. DTE is never over 440 despite I fill the tank very slowly, and then when it shuts off I try twice at slow speed and usually pumps additional half a gallon. Last tank, I ran 40 miles after the refuel indicator came, and I still could only pump 12.75 gallons, and DTE is at 440.”

To get closer to the advertised 14.5 gallon tank capacity, Venza owners typically have to keep driving after the low fuel light comes on and until the DTE (Distance to Empty) reading goes past 0 and says ‘Refuel.’

In addition, it’s recommended to do a slow fill and add a bit more fuel after the first click.

However, if you’re not careful, you might end up overfilling the tank and spilling fuel out the side of the vehicle.

Putting in too much fuel can also damage the EVAP system. Driving the car until the fuel tank is completely empty can also damage the fuel pump because it needs fuel to cool the electric motor.

Due to a class action lawsuit, Toyota also replaced the fuel tank and fuel sending units of the 2019 to 2021 RAV4 Hybrid. However, the Venza wasn’t included in this Extended Customer Support Program.

3. Cracked Windshield

Cracks suddenly appearing on the windshield has been the most common problem reported by second generation Venza owners so far.

In some cases, the cracks are caused by rocks striking the windshield, but there have also been many reports of windshields cracking while the vehicle was parked.

Some owners have also had to replace their windshields more than once.

Here are some of the several dozen complaints logged on the NHTSA.gov website:

“My windshield cracked and was replaced twice for some unknown reason. First in 2021 and now 2023.”

“Car has a windshield crack starting at the rubber seal into the windshield approx.7 inches. It happened while sitting. It hadn’t been driven.”

“My new 2021 Toyota Venza front windshield spontaneously develops small cracks and micro-fractures. I noticed the first crack on the driver’s side within about 6 months after purchasing the Venza. Since then, the windshield has developed hundreds of tiny fractures which are especially noticeable when the sun shines through the windshield, just after sunrise or just before sunset. When the sun hits the cracks in the windshield, they all light up at once and the bright lights impede visibility.” 

Other Venza owners on ToyotaNation.com also shared their experience:

“Just found a crack in the windshield. This is the second time this has happened. This second time no pebble hits. Car was parked overnight in the garage and saw the crack when we went out.”

“2 month old limited Venza in Canada. Windshield cracked while sitting in parking lot from the top edge at the center to middle of driver’s side. Neither of us recall having a rock hit the windshield, and it’s been only driven in the city.’

“I got the new Venza in Jan 2021 and have had windshield cracks twice. First time it was repairable but the next time it is a spider web, it happened while I was waiting on stop sign.” 

Windshield damage is not something that Toyota dealers will usually fix under warranty. In a lot of cases, most dealers will blame the cracks on rock damage.

Your insurance should be able to cover the windshield replacement. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay around $1,000 for a new windshield at a Toyota dealership.

Another option is getting an aftermarket windshield which is slightly cheaper and might be more durable than the Toyota windshield.

4. Cracked Panoramic Sunroof

Higher trim levels of the Venza equipped with the panoramic sunroof option can eventually develop cracks that will be very expensive to fix.

The Venza’s panoramic sunroof has a special Stargaze feature that turns from transparent to opaque with the push of a button.

To achieve this, a special electrochromic glass has to be used, which is often only found in much higher priced luxury vehicles.

Here’s how a few Venza owners described their issues on ToyotaNation.com:

“My “new to me” 2021 Venza Limited has a cracked panoramic sunroof, just found it today, 8 days after buying it from a dealer.” 

“My crack is identical – however, I can’t see any impact spot, like a rock. I’m pretty convinced there is a design flaw here. 2021 is the first year of the Venza 2.0. And suddenly in Nov/Dec 2023 everyone starts getting cracks in the same spot with stress lines in the same spots.”

“I was just washing my 2021 Venza today and found a big crack in my roof too! It goes across the whole front of it!”

A new panoramic sunroof for the Venza costs around $5,000 to $6,000. Cheaper aftermarket alternatives might be available in the future but they probably won’t have the electrochromic feature.

To protect the glass from damage, some owners install protective film which typically costs a few hundred dollars.

Related: 10 Best & Worst Toyota Venza Years (Pictures & Stats)

5. Throttle Lag

Some second generation Venza owners have intermittently had issues where the car takes a few seconds to accelerate after stepping on the gas pedal.

It usually occurs when accelerating from a stop which can sometimes leave you in a dangerous situation if you’re stopped in the middle of an intersection, for example.

Here’s how owners on the ToyotaNation.com forum described the issue:

“I bought my 2021 Venza at the end of January last year. I’ve had over the past year and twice in the past week, experienced no acceleration after leaving a stopped position. I do the same drive every day to work, park in the same ramp and twice in the past week while leaving the ramp, I stop, do a right turn and go to give gas, but there is no acceleration for about 3 to 5 seconds.”

“I’ve had it happen once after exiting a car wash, waiting for traffic to clear, when it did, pressed the accelerator pedal and nothing happened, just rolled forward unbraked with zero acceleration for a few seconds, then proceeded normally.”

“This happened to me yesterday, 2022 Venza. In slow traffic the car would not accelerate when traffic began moving again. Flat road, so not a hill assist situation. Simply no response to the gas pedal. Very dangerous. After about 5 seconds it engaged. No lurching or anything, just started moving as if it had been asleep.”

Several owners on the r/ToyotaVenza subreddit also had similar experiences:

“I have a 2021 XLE, have had it since new and have experienced this issue maybe 3 times since. I’ll be driving perfectly normal and come to a complete stop. When trying to accelerate after the stop, I’ll press the pedal and there will be no response for about 5 seconds. Then, the car will take off quickly.”

“2021 limited – I’ve had the same issue 3 times as well. I know someone who is a Toyota tech and he says it’s a fairly common complaint with the hybrids. It’ll happen occasionally. It’s like the computer is trying to decide if it should be using electric or starting the ICE.”

“I have a 2023 limited, happened once, only 1000 miles on vehicle.”

“I have a 2021 xle with 31,000 miles and it’s happened about 5-6 times.”

The acceleration problem is likely caused by a software issue since the Venza’s throttle is electronically controlled.

These types of problems are very difficult to troubleshoot since they’re usually intermittent and rarely produce any trouble codes.

One solution you can try is to avoid using Eco mode which is designed to improve fuel consumption but makes acceleration less responsive. 

6. Infotainment Issues

Several second generation Venza owners have reported issues with the infotainment system freezing or rebooting on its own.

The freezing or rebooting typically happens at random times and usually appears after the car has been used for a few months.

Here’s how owners on the r/ToyotaVenza subreddit described their experience:

“I have a 21 that I’ve owned almost a year now. For the last 2 months, the infotainment screen has a freezing issue. I assumed it was maybe cold weather related… since then, the screen has taken to having issues every day.”

“I have already had my infotainment display replaced because it kept going out.”

“I got my Venza at the end of May. I haven’t had a single issue. Today, driving home from work, the entertainment screen went black. It rebooted, started again, played for a couple minutes, did it again.” 

Other Venza owners on ToyotaNation.com also had similar issues:

“Just purchased a 2023 Venza Limited, great car! However several times now, shortly after start-up, the infotainment screen will freeze. We have it starting with the built-in maps. The screen displays the local map, but is completely unresponsive and the various “buttons” to the left are unresponsive as well.”

“Unfortunately I had my second freeze up today (only 850 miles on 2023 Venza).” 

“Have a 23 Venza Limited bought last December that just started having this issue the past 2 days.”

A faulty USB cable or issues with an aftermarket accessory, like a dashcam, can cause problems with the infotainment system’s software. You can try unplugging any USB devices and aftermarket devices first to try and troubleshoot the issue.

Unpairing your phone and resetting the infotainment software can also fix most glitches.

If the screen still keeps rebooting or crashing, you can have your dealer take a look. In some cases, the head unit might need a software update.

If all else fails, the head unit itself may be defective and the only way to get rid of the restarting issue is to replace it.

7. 12-Volt Battery Drain

Several second generation Venza owners have had issues with the 12-volt battery losing charge and unable to start up the car.

The 12-volt battery is responsible for waking up all of the car’s electronics, so a dead battery can easily leave you stranded.

If the 12-volt battery’s state of charge gets too low, you’ll usually see a warning on the dash. However, there have been a lot of cases where the battery just suddenly stops providing enough power to the car’s electronics after the car has been parked for a short while.

12-volt battery drain problems are especially common with the 2021 model year of the Venza. 

Here’s how some owners on ToyotaNation.com described their experience:

“Biggest problem I’ve had with the Venza is with the 12v system. I hadn’t driven the car for a couple days before leaving for a 10 day trip to Florida. This morning the battery is once again dead. Had the same issue about a month ago. Parked for an extended period and dead.”

“Well I think the cold temps yesterday did in our 2021 Venza’s 12v battery. I had used the auto start function to warm it up, it started fine, but when I came outside 10 mins later the Venza was completely dead. I managed to get it boosted and then drove it around for half hour but when I checked in about 30 min after parking it, the battery is completely dead again.” 

Early models of the 2021 Venza had issues with the High Voltage ECU which manages the hybrid battery staying awake and draining the 12-volt battery after the car was turned off.

This was eventually addressed by a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) which recommended updating the HV ECU software.

New batteries that are less than a year old can also have factory defects causing them to have shorter lifespans.

You can also drain the 12-volt battery if you leave the car in ACC (Accessory) mode for long periods of time. 

The Venza doesn’t have an alternator and the 12-volt battery only gets charged by the hybrid battery when the car is in Ready mode or while you’re driving around.

Other factors that can unexpectedly drain the 12-volt battery include:

  • Extremely cold weather 
  • Parasitic drain from aftermarket accessories
  • Only driving for short distances
  • Long term storage
  • Leaving lights and accessories on while parked

If you want to make sure your 12-volt battery is always properly charged, you can hook it up to a battery tender/maintainer so you don’t have to always rely on the Venza’s charging system. 

8. Rear Turn Signal Recall

Early models of the Venza can have issues where the rear turn signals get damaged when water or snow enters the tail light assembly.

This issue only affects the 2021 model year of the Venza.

Here’s how one Venza owner described their experience on ToyotaNation.com:

“We live in the snow belt of Ontario and today we noticed our Venza’s left rear turn signal works and sometimes not working. It seems Toyota has buried the rear turn signal lamp assembly behind the bumper and tough to get at. I also noticed while looking underneath the rear bumper driver side, they have two electrical connectors exposed to the elements from water, slush, salt, snow.” 

Toyota announced a recall in early 2022 and replaced the damaged LED bulbs, as well as the turn signal lamp assembly if required.

Since it’s a recall, the turn signal replacement will be done free of charge at any Toyota dealership.

9. Interior Noise

Many second generation Venza owners have been disappointed with the amount of wind and road noise they hear while driving on the highway — especially since it’s considered a more premium and upscale alternative to the RAV4.

Additionally, a few have noticed some rattling coming from around the steering column.

The first generation Venza also had fairly widespread issues with the steering making rattling and clunking noises.

Here’s how owners described their issues on ToyotaNation.com:

“I had problem with steering wheel cover buzzing. The useless dealer did not do a squat. Finally I fixed it myself. This is between upper portion for steering wheel cover and bottom portion.”

“I was also plagued with this issue on my new 2022 Venza LE. It makes the exact same buzzing/rattling noise as in your video, and it only occurs on rough pavement at highway speeds. I found that the problem is from the steering wheel plastic housing.”

“The intermediate steering shaft can get sloppy and rattle. You can check that by hand after pulling off its shroud.”

“I have a 2010 Venza with a rattle in the steering column.The rattle is coming from the u-joint after the power/electric steering box.I have been under the dash and when the steering wheel is turned you can hear the rattle from the u-joint.”

“We got a 2009 Venza about 2 months ago and when we first got it, we noticed steering column clicks during full turn.”

To fix the rattling steering column cover on the second generation Venza, you can ask your dealer to make sure everything is bolted down tight.

Some owners were only able to fix the buzzing and rattling by sticking pieces of foam inside the plastic steering column cover.

For the first generation Venza, the rattling and clunking is usually caused by the steering column itself which costs around $2,000 to replace out of warranty.

Most owners just live with the noise since it’s been known to eventually return again after a few years even after paying for the expensive repair.

10. Oil Leaks

The first generation Venz has a few common oil leaks that you have to watch out for, especially in higher mileage examples.

Common oil leaks in the first gen Venza include:

  • Valve cover
  • Timing cover
  • Oil cooler line
  • Rear main seal  

Oil leaks are normal as the seals and gaskets wear out over time, but some of these leaks can be expensive to repair.

Toyota also originally used a rubber hose for part of the oil cooler line which had a tendency to crack and leak.

Here’s how a few Venza owners described their experience on ToyotaNation.com:

“I have a 2009 with the 2.7L and had to have the rear main seal replaced at 89K miles.”

“2009 FWD I4 with 93k. Rear main seal replaced about 88k under CPO warranty.”

“I just had the engine oil line fail on my 2009 Venza AWD. Luckily was a block from the dealer when it happened.”

Some oil leaks like the valve cover gasket are cheap and easy to fix. 

Others like the timing cover and rear main seal require a lot of labor. 

Changing the rear main seal, for example, requires separating the transmission from the engine. Resealing the timing cover is even more labor intensive because it takes almost the same amount of work as a timing chain replacement.

Toyota also eventually replaced the rubber oil cooler line for metal ones, and in most cases, older Venzas would have already had this repair done by the dealer while it was still fairly new. 

11. Differential Leak 

The first generation Venza has a tendency to develop front and rear differential leaks over time as the seals wear out.

The rear differential also has a breather valve that can get clogged and blow out the seals, causing differential fluid to leak out.

If the differential runs out of fluid, it will eventually get damaged due to lack of lubrication. 

Here’s how owners described their experience on ToyotaNation.com:

“Oil change was completed at the dealer today and the technician noticed the rear driver side differential seal is leaking.”

“I have 88,000 miles on my 2009 Venza and have had zero problems to date. Last week had it in for 5,000 mile service and they told me both the front and rear differential had slight leaks (wet around where the drive shaft goes in) and wanted to replace the seals.”

“I discovered the exact same problem (rear differential carrier oil seal leaking) 2 weeks ago. It is a 2009, just above 168000 km. When you remove the electromagnetic control coupling (what resides between the driving shaft and the differential).”

“My Mechanic and I have Venzas. Both our cars had blown rear-axle seals due to a rusted breather valve… when the valve is rusted or clogged the seals blow to protect the axle.”

“Our 2009 Venza rear differential problem is even worse at only 40K miles, the entire assembly including the electromagnetic coupler had to be replaced at a whopping cost of over $5000.” 

The seals themselves only cost a few dollars and the labor involved isn’t too difficult.

At most, you’ll probably spend around $500 to fix these leaks which will keep the differential in good condition.

If the differential is damaged, it will be very expensive to fix, and your best bet is to find a used differential to keep repair costs to a minimum.

Toyota Venza Pros & Cons


  • Sophisticated styling
  • Premium interior quality
  • Outstanding reliability
  • Great fuel economy
  • Low maintenance costs
  • All-wheel drive
  • Good resale value


  • Less room than RAV4
  • Relatively expensive
  • No towing for hybrids

What Do The Reviews Say?

“The 2024 Toyota Venza is classified as a midsize SUV but it’s based on the smaller RAV4 Hybrid. As a result, it straddles the line between the midsize and compact classes with mixed results.” 

“The Venza sets itself apart from the RAV4 with sleeker styling and a more refined interior, but the sloping rear roofline drastically cuts cargo capacity.”

“The 2024 Venza’s greatest asset is its exceptional fuel economy. It’s estimated to get 39 mpg in combined driving (40 city/37 highway).”

“The specs for the Venza’s four-cylinder hybrid powertrain don’t look like much on paper, but this SUV is adequately quick in real-world acceleration. In Edmunds’ testing it covered 0-60 mph in 7.6 seconds.”

“The Venza’s handling doesn’t quite match its sporty looks, but it is tidy and confident as you go around turns. When you’re just commuting around town, Toyota’s mastery of blending gas and electric power shows through and the Venza delivers smooth and virtually lag-free acceleration.”

“Toyota paid special attention to dialing up the comfort level in the Venza. The cabin is well insulated from the sounds of the outside environment, and the engine doesn’t have the annoying drone that it does in the RAV4 Hybrid. The Venza also delivers excellent ride comfort, feeling more like a Lexus in the way it dispatches bumps and handles highway dips.”

2024 Toyota Venza | Edmunds

What’s the Resale Value of a Toyota Venza?

Here’s a quick look at used car pricing for the Venza on Edmunds at the time of writing.


Related: How Long Do Toyota Venza Hybrids Last? (12 Important Facts)


  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...

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