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Toyota Tacoma Transmission Problems

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  • befuddled2befuddled2 Posts: 111
    You're only waiting a week? I had to wait a month.
  • I posted back in June that I had narrowed my search for a small/midsize truck down to the Tacoma and Frontier, (with the Toyota in the lead) but given all the transmission problems posted on here and other web sites (and Toyota's lack of response), I am happy to say I purchased an 09 Frontier. I have owned three Toyota products in the past (including a Tacoma), but decided to give Nissan a chance given all that I've seen on the web. While there are positives and negatives for each truck, I'm happy to say that after nearly 2500 miles, I have had no problems at all with the Frontier (the transmission is very smooth as a matter of fact). My point in posting on here is so that Toyota will see they are in fact losing business and severly hurting their reputation. I was a loyal Toyota customer due to their reliablity (and I know Nissan's rep. isn't as good overall), but I couldn't risk putting up with all that you all are dealing with. I hope you all are able to find resolutions soon...best of luck...
  • Hi Everyone,

    Haven't posted for awhile - no resolution for my tranny issues, problem persists & I'm beyond expecting Toyota to address. I've written the whole experience off as a bad purchase decision and will dump the truck as soon as I find the least painful and costly to do so. Needless to say, this has been my last Toyota.

    I don't expect Toyota to come begging me to reconsider, apologize or even fix the damn thing, but it truly puzzles me why, after they can see what has happened to GM and Chrysler, they persist in committing corporate suicide right out in front of everyone. It's almost like watching an addict continually refuse to acknowledge how their behavior is affecting them & how its perceived by others.

    FWIW, the NUMMI plant at Fremont where my vehicle was built is being shut down - it's already started.
  • I have an 08 Double cab TRD and do not seem to have the transmission trouble that alot of people are having. I am an old guy who drives easy and most of the time is in no hurry. I have 5500 miles on this truck and get 21mpg all the time. a few weeks ago I was driving with a heavy foot and started to notice the transmission searching for a few millie seconds and I could feel the hesitation so I went back to driving it easy and smooth. This might be something to try if your truck is driving you nuts but from what I understand it will take your trucks computer several thousand miles to learn your new driving style. Is there anyone out there that drives very easy and smooth and still has this problem?
  • befuddled2befuddled2 Posts: 111
    Well sir you don't say how old you are and I myself am not a spring chicken anymore. I do believe that I also drive easy and smooth. I suppose that could be debated till the cows come home. Perhaps we should look at it this. When Airbus came up with the fly by wire method of operating an aircraft and went to show it off at the airshow; they had a major problem on the flyby which if you remember ended in tragedy. Why? The computer was convinced the plane was landing and the pilots were trying to gain altitude and airspeed. The computer won out and you can see the result. I believe we have the same type of scenario here. Problem is the computer cannot see the same ambient conditions of the road as we do. What pray tell do you think the eventual result is going to be? GMA had a story which played last week about Volkswagen and their gear box. It is developing into a similar type situation. Don't get me wrong for the most part I think the truck is just fine. This issue of the computer controlled transmission is still in its infancy yet to be realized by the public as a whole. Problem is getting Toyota and the auto industry to realize it before and fix it before it is the cause of deaths on the highways much like the old Pinto story. Have a good one.
  • I just bought a 2009 Prerunner -- after 150 miles I had to have it towed in b/c the check engine light came on, the engine lost power, and the air conditioner went out -- turns out a couple of the spark plugs had not been tightened down completely -- at the same time I complained about the slipping of the tranny -- 3 people apparently test drove the truck and found nothing wrong -- the truck continued with the slipping at below 10 MPH going from first to second gear -- I tried to replicate it but it took another 1400 miles before I sort of figured out when it would feel like it was slipping -- I took the truck in to have someone ride with me while I tried to get the truck to slip -- even before I took it out with "Tony" he told me he knew what I was talking about and he understood the complaint, we took the truck out any way. He felt the slipping and told me that's normal --- that's the way the computer/truck/emissions/gas mileage work together -- I bitched about what a piece of crap it was and Tony finally asked if I wanted a Toyota rep to test drive it with me -- I don't know what a rep is going to do about it, but I am now waiting for the appt with the rep. I can't believe this is "normal" unless EVERY 2009 Prerunner does the same thing!!! And I don't think they ALL do it???? I HATE DRIVING MY TRUCK!!!!
  • I feel the same as you. Ridiculous the way my truck drives!
  • I just bought a new 09 TRD prerunner. The day after I bought it I took it back complaining that the transmission slips at low RPMs between 1st and 2nd gear. The service manager for Tracy Toyota said that the transmission needs to get to know you and my driving habits and that everything was fine even without doing any diagnostic testing. I now have made at least 5 complaints to anyone in the dealership and Toyota who will listen to me. They all deny any problems. My last complaint was made yesterday I stated if I do not get any satification I am going to ask to take this to arbitration or try to get the truck declared a lemon. Is there anyone who has successfully done either?
  • befuddled2befuddled2 Posts: 111
    Well, my good friend welcome to the club. I recommend that you view through the pages of this web site at the number of complaints that you are espousing. You are not alone. Many of us have and are experiencing the same thing. My case found the dealer sympathizing with me and saying they were helpless because Toyota would not tackle the problem. After pressing the issue Toyota finally claimed it to be a "Normal Characteristic" of the vehicle and therefore they would do nothing. I found it amazing how quickly Toyota and the dealer closed ranks against my argument. The dealer is not your friend. Unfortunately, the arbitration is not by a disinterested third party but by Toyota itself. Lemon law is not as easy as you may think. It boils down to buyer beware just like it has always been. I've proclaimed this to be a safety issue and we all know that safety issues require the loss of many lives before they are addressed. Good Luck my friend.
  • I can't believe Toyota will not own up to problem that keeps on happening. Normal characteristic - not normal at all I never read so many complaints against Toyota. Their is no complaint registered at Toyota Financial because Toyota deemed the transmission problem a normal characteristic. I wonder how many customers felt the transmission slippage while test driving the vehicle. The 2010 Toyota tacoma is just a carryover from 09. What a shame.
  • geobaygeobay Posts: 1
    Dont know if this is the right forum, but my 06 taco 4x4 trd has gone through 3 sets of axle seals. The dealer says I need to have my axle replaced -$3,000.00!
    The truck has 180,000 km on it (in Canada) which is about 114,000 miles. I tow a cargo trailer, and again the dealer says that may be a problem, but i am nowhere near the 6000lb towing capacity... Any ideas?
    Thanks
  • I own a 2009 Toyota Tacoma 4 door Prerunner.
    I am experiencing the same problems as every 09 Tacoma owner is, plus more.
    Transmission sticks/hesitates when accelerating after de-accelerating; especially when turning corners under the speed of 15 mph and when yielding. I have contacted the dealership and Toyota headquarters with this problem and have voiced what a safety hazard it is.
    I am waiting for the third (3rd) radio to arrive and be installed in the truck. The first two cut on and off by their self. The display cuts on and off by it self. You can not change radio stations at times. If you try; sometimes the whole radio will cut off. Sometimes the radio will not work at all.
    I have an annoying noise in the passenger rear door. Sounds like an empty can was left inside the door before assembly and now this can rolls around at free will.
    I have never been so stressed with any vehicle. A person is supposed to enjoy driving their automobile - I am so far from that enjoyment; it's sickning.
    I have issued a complaint with NHTSA - everyone with same/similar problems please do the same. http://www.odi/nhtsa.dot.gov/complaints
    Complain to your dealership. Complain to Toyota 1-800-331-4331.
    As a consumer, we should not have to pay for Toyota skimping on their quality. I do not believe they can claim the honor of quality in their manufacturing any longer. The 09 Toyota Tacoma's are junk. If they were only man enough to own up to the defects; especially safety defects, but they continue to advise everyone to say this is normal. These kinds of defects come back on every automobile company out there; the same will happen to Toyota. I won't buy another and I will pass my opinion on.
  • I feel you brother.... I met with our local Tallahassee Toyota rep today (after waiting over a month) to voice my complaints about the transmission shifting problem and shaking under acceleration .
    Bless the man, he doesn't build them but he is our interface and the only one we have really. I drove the truck with him in it to him show exactly what the problem is. He nodded and claimed that he really hasn't had people complaining about the 09 Tacoma transmission ...but he has heard of the issue. OK - fine what can we do?
    There is truly nothing a rep can do for you.
    He does however claim that Toyota monitors the Edmunds and other websites for feedback and thinks there must not be enough people outspoken about the problems ot Toyota would be addressing it..
    When Nissan finally gets some Frontier inventory into the South, I will resolve this problem ....but it will be very expensive and a lesson I will long remember.

    I have since Feb. sent 3 people to Nissan that were looking to buy Tacomas.
    Maybe they will get it when we are all driving Nissan and laughing at Toyota's attempts to regain confidence in the small truck business. I would guess they will have a hard time regaining ours...

    Ben Casteel
    Tallahassee, FL
  • pretty sick right now. just traded my ever reliable 97 Avelon in for an 09 tacoma. thought it was my imagination the first time my transmission slipped, in a turn, between 1st and 2nd. after about the fifth time (in addition to getting a combined 15.5 mpgs) i decided to check the web for help. sorry that i did. I have and appointment on friday to take it to the dealer. also experiencing the same downshifting problems when i take my foot off the gas. mine was a dealer demo with 2600 miles so i guess the general manager and i have different driving habits. my wife has and Expedition that gets better gas mileage. I'd also expect my V6 2WD to get better gas milegae than my friends 09 Tundra. Hope that we all get a resolution to this problem or i for one have purchased my last toyota product.
  • Thanks for posting gentlemen. I believe this is the only way Toyota is going to pay attention. It's not fun to feel snookered when you buy a product rated everywhere as the best you can get. Just goes to show that marketing and so called magazines can still mislead us. Will we never learn? P. T. Barnum was right. Just wait till Obama care kicks in.
  • My complaint is #191 on this site. I have made a complaint online to the NHTSA I did receive a call back and they did take my statement. HOWEVER I called a Toyota dealer other that the one I bought my truck from and I did get some additional information. No Toyota service department will take and put your complaint into documentation about the transmission problem. If they do document your complaint then the must fix the problem and while Toyota is stating this is a normal characteristic then there is nothing to fix. The second thing I found out is that the NHTSA has looked into this problem with the transmission and found it to be just as Toyota had stated a normal charactestic. But if the NHTSA get enough complaints they may have another look. OR if someone is injured or killed then they have to. Good luck
  • I have exactly the same problem with the transmission of my 2009 Tacoma as everyone else has mentioned. It hesitates at low speeds after slowing and then accelerating. This is very dangerous and I have had some close calls when turning left in front of oncoming traffic. It also does not coast to a stop, but seems to downshift to a lower gear. The service manager at the dealership told me that Toyota had been aware of the problem and was working on a computer solution. I am angry because the salesman should have told me about this problem before I bought this defective vehicle. I have filed a complaint (online) with the NHTSA . I also called NHTSA today and asked how many complaints they had on file. They only have 18 complaints on file as of today. Everyone needs to either file a complaint on-line or call the NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236.
  • In short, Most of us have ....and from what my Toyota rep says, you better be blogging this son, it 's the only thing that Toyota really listens to. Consumer Reports and car websites.
    For anyone with even a little programming experience you know it just can't be that hard to rewrite the byte code that needs to be uploaded to the CPU that controls the tranny. My guess it they must have hard-wired something and don't want to go through the expense of the recall.
  • Exactly what I've been trying to get people to do concerning this problem. Thanks for posting. I've not received any further communication from the NHTSA since sending in my documentation. We need more people to do so. I still consider it a safety hazard and have since the begining. I pray that no one is killed because of this. Encourage others to follow your path.
  • Hello.
    New member here, a little too late it seems.

    I purchased a '09 Tacoma exactly one month ago. I have been experiencing the same problems with my transmission as most of you. I kept trying to make excuses for the bizarre behavior. In fact, I wasn't worried about it at all because I assumed if there was indeed a problem the warranty would cover it.

    Then, Google-ing 3 words changed my perception of Toyota... Toyota Tacoma transmission... I hope this will not be an ongoing nightmare, but it sounds like I'm in for it.

    Has anyone successfully fixed the problem?
  • New member, same problem: As far as I know, no one has successfully fixed the problem, because there is no fix. The trucks were designed and/or produced that way. I took my case as far as arbitration and my claim was denied. I have since traded my truck to a Nissan dealer for a Frontier (and I love it).
  • My 2 wd Prerunner has about 20k miles on it and I am experiencing this this "drive line wrap" problem where at a stoplight while the brake is applied the vehicle clunks and jerks a little. This only happens while it is stopped. The transmission seems fine otherwise. My truck is still under warranty. Has anybody had success in solving this problem?
  • My 09 double cab TRD does the same exact thing, a delay in the acceleration when starting out from a stop. Along with the tranny problems everyone else has described.
  • Update on my 09 double cab Tacoma. I have 13,500 miles on it and the transmission is still acting the same! This after two different mechanics told me it would learn my driving habits (one said after 1,000 miles and the other said after 5,000 miles). I have also noticed that there now seems to be more shaking at certain speeds, almost like a tire is not balanced. But then at other times, at the same speeds, there is no shaking. It seems to be correlated to when I am pressing on the accelerator. The downshifting when slowing down is still very annoying. The lurch after a stop is still very annoying.

    I still have a window control panel that vibrates on the passenger side door and a very annoying buzzing sound coming from underneath the glove compartment. I tried adhesive on the control panel and it is still vibrating. CHEAP PLASTIC. I still feel like I got ROBBED by Toyota. I have told numerous people about the issues, and have emailed numerous people. Many have thanked me for alerting them to this junk of a truck. Again, should have bought another Nissan.

    I am thinking I might picket outside of the dealerships here in Tampa. It may be one way to get Toyota to pay attention and do something about this crappy transmission.
  • Seems like my truck isn't alone. It's a 2009 DC 4x4TRD that I bought with 5 miles on it. Definetely hesitates from a stop, the engine reving up to 2000rpm and slowly accelerating before it kicks in and goes. So, yeah, def a concern, especially on those left turns. So far I have about 900 miles on it, about 50/50 city/highway.

    For some of those that ask about driving habits, I'm not really a lead-foot. I gradually start and usually am not too heavy on brakes either. I drove an ambulance for 10 years, so I got used to making the ride as smooth as possible for patients (granted, not all that smooth to begin with). In fact, the tranny seems to work better if I just slam it down instead of being smooth.

    Given the number of complaints I'll be filing with NHTSA as well, just to add to their stats. I don't expect a quick fix, if any, but after a few folks get T-boned maybe it'll come out.

    As for a class-action, good luck. These complaints seem too disorganized. if anything, does anyone have ties with the media or some sort of public representative could speak up, show them the numerous online discussions, and have that person do "investigative reporting" to bring some real publicity to the issue? Seems that media investigation causes action, as does state rep's, senators, etc. Plus, with the NHTSA complaints, there's going to be some sort of federal documentation as well.

    Frustratingly, I looked at the Dakota and Frontier first. Neither qualified at the time for the Cash 4 Clunkers. Hopefully that extra cash savings doesn't get lost in the next few years on repairs.
  • I have owned my X Runner for about two months. Love most of the truck. From day one I have experienced a vibration in the clutch pedal.when shifting the vehicle. Doesnt happen all the time. Usually at higher gears and higher rpms. First visit to the dealer a day after I got it, they said run the vehicle for a 1000 miles to see if it goes away. If not bring it back. Well last week was second visit. Vehicle has 2800 miles on it. Dealer stated they test drove another X Runner with the same issue and basically told me to "live with it" Well thats not going to happen. Anyone with a similar problem? What if any was the outcome?
  • The media will be my next move. I also sent emails to my dealer that sold me the truck and provided a link to this blog asking them to be honest and alert their customers to the issues with the transmission. Of course, no response from them.

    Yesterday, I had a sign made that alerts potential customers to the problem I am having with my transmission (very carefully worded of course). I have secured it to my tail gate and provide my phone number. As I drive a lot, this will be good exposure and sure enough, I received my first phone call this morning from a man looking to buy a new Tacoma. After telling him about my issues and telling him to check this website, he called back a few minutes ago to thank me and told me he will definitely not be buying a Toyota.

    Why did I do this? Because Toyota is ignoring the issue!!!! So I am going to take it to them as hard as I can. And the media will be next and if that does not work, I will be picketing local dealers. I am dead serious about this as I feel I have been screwed out of $27K. If this transmission goes after my 36k warranty........... I have already complained to three dealers, Southeast Toyota and filed my complaint with the NHTSA.
  • Received an official notice recently from Toyota that said, in part, they were "dedicated to providing vehicles of outstanding quality and value". so, they were informing me that the load carrying capacity of my Tacoma truck had been reduced by 4lbs. I called the phone number listed and talked with the Toyota Customer Experience Center. I assured the very nice lady that I could care less that my truck could carry 4 lbs less. I told her that I really wanted Toyota to fix the transmission in my Tacoma so that I would not get killed because the transmission slipped when I was turning in front of incoming traffic. She was very nice and said she would pass my concern along. We all need to call Toyota at 1-888-270-9371 and voice our complaints. I love the idea someone else suggested of putting a sticker on our trucks complaining about the transmission. I am seriously thinking of buying an ad in our local paper.
  • I have been following this thread for a long time and I am wondering if all the complaints are for 2009 Tacoma's? I have a 2008 Tacoma that was built in 10/2007 and have had no problems. I made sure I got a Tacoma that was built at the California plant and made sure I did not get one from Mexico. As far as I know I have the same transmission as the new Tacoma's (5 speed electronic) so when Toyota says there is no fix I don't understand because they were good before. If you have a Tacoma that was built between 2005 and 2007 and you have these problems please reply and let us know where it was built.
  • I was really pumped about buying one of these after owning a Dodge Ram a couple years back. I read so many good things about the vehicle and was ready to pull the trigger on an 09' to get a good deal this month with cash back and all. Well after reading about Toyota's inability to address customer safety concerns regarding transmission latency/surging, I'm not gonna do it. Perhaps when they recognize they're going to lose sales they will take care of their existing customers problems.
    I hope this helps those who thought they were getting a decent vehicle and aren't getting satisfaction from Toyota. Good luck guys. Back to searching for a vehicle from a company that doesn't ignore its customers. :lemon:
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