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New Yaris Problem - A Lemon?



  • Yep - my new Yaris does the same thing, and yes, it is designed to do this when cold. It is indeed annoying, but "normal" for this car. :shades:
  • funkrlfunkrl Posts: 1
    I have figured out why the Yaris automatic will not shift into 4th gear. It is an undocumented feature. Microsoft must have designed it :confuse:

    When you start your car, notice the green thermometer on the dash with the word, "COOL", under it. Your car will not shift into 4th gear until this light goes out. If you warm up the car and wait for the light to go out, it will shift fine. If you don't, you won't get out of 3rd gear. I guess it has something to do with EPA or gas mileage :surprise: I guess Toyoa thinks we are not smart enough to decide for ourselves when we are and are not worried about this. :mad:

    It would have been nice if Toyota mentioned this little feature in the operator's manual, but sadly they did not. Perhaps if enough of us call them up and reference the lemmon law, they will get tired of all the complaints and put it in the manual.

    They should have provided a way to turn it off, too.
  • ttaittai Posts: 114
    Are you upset about this? I personally would rather it do that than having the car rev to 2000 rpm in park while it's cold. I always hate that huge thunk when you put it in gear in the morning.
  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    Every Yaris will act like this and that is the good news.

    This is NOT A PROBLEM!

    It's a normal characteristic of the sophisticated electronically controlled transmission. Let me clarify. The specific designation for this transmission, and that of every automatic in the Toyota lineup of cars and trucks is: ECT. That stands for Electronically Controlled Transmission. Many people, even the Toyota technicians at the dealership do not understand this very well made, complex transmission.

    1) It is designed to remain in the lower gears when you first start out in the morning or whenever the car is stone cold.

    2) This has three benefits.
    A) It warms up the engine quicker
    B) It warms up the transmission oil
    C) It reduces emissions.

    4) At 4,000 rpm this engine is just loafing, it's not working hard at all. Remember the red line is 6,000rpm. These engines have been in production and used in a variety of Toyota models for over 15 years both in the US and in the UK and other countries.

    5) Should you feel some jerkiness while shifting that is also good news. It means that the clutches are engaging without slipping and wearing out. This is not your fathers old slushbox Buick transmission.

    6) As someone who has personally owned 2 Toyota dealerships, and a person who was a professional racer, I can tell you that there is NO SUCH THING as A LEMON from TOYOTA.....period.

    All cars from 10k, to a million dollars, have different driving characteristics. It's normal. There is not a perfect car out there! One must remember that it's the most complex item you will ever own. The car makers cannot build any car that suits everyone perfectly so do not assume there is a problem.

    Finally and perhaps the BIGGEST PROBLEM... is the supposed "Expert" at the dealership that you are speaking with. Instead of being honest, they will make up stories, or tell you whatever they feel like. Being a Toyota Technician is the easiest mechanic job in the world. Honda's too. Why, these guys are mostly parts changers. The cars are so good that there is simply not much these guys need to know. Just ask any real mechanic that works on a Nascar Team, An Indy Car Team, An American LeMans team, A Sprint Car team... Now those guys are mechanics.

    Back to everyones Yaris. Stop and think, Toyota is the richest, largest, most successful company, that just happens to sell cars. Their engineers, designers and quality control people are not dummies. They are the finest in the business. There is no way that Toyota is going to build a car with a lot of problems. It just does not happen.

    As far as downshifting under conditions in traffic or when you are going downhill, that is normal as well. It's to reduce wear on the brakes and other components. This used to a feature that you would only get on a car costing $40,000 or more. Just like the letters on top of the engine: VVT-i. That is a very complex, expensive system know as Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence. It's computer controlled, measures vehicle speed, throttle position and a host of other variables then adjust the camshafts to provide maxium fuel economy while also producing maximum horsepower. Toyota is the only car company in the world with that, as they own the patent. When you buy a Toyota you are getting far more than your moneys' worth.

    Stop looking for things that you label problems.

    Relax...breathe....enjoy your car!

    It's one of the finest in the world.

  • ttaittai Posts: 114
    When I drive the Yaris, it was pretty apparent everything they did was geared towards squeezing out the most mileage out of a gallon of gas. The weight of the car is very light. The engine management under acceleration is obviously biased towards fuel efficiency. Toyota was smart enough to give us the gated shifter to override the computers and it works quite well. You get the sense they just didn't slap a small engine on a small car like other makes. How can you justify buying a small car when you're averaging 26mpg? I average 37mpg. No lemon here.
  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    I'm up to 5,000 miles on my new 08 Yaris S Hatch, auto. I too enjoy the gated shifter for the control it offers. This car continues to surprise me with the level of quality, and integrity of the body panels in terms of great fit, noise free, rattle free, even gaps and build quality befitting a much more expensive car. It's amazing they can do so much and still keep the cost to the consumer down. This car has most of the most importanct tech features of my 2008 Avalon limited. It has VVT-i, and ECT trans, that's smart and shifts down on it's own when in hilly country, as well as some of the smaller amenities.

    When shopping for a car in this class I drove the Fit, the Versa, the Yaris, all in the same day, on the same stretch of freeway and over the same test route of city streets to give each a fair test, and to give myself a fair wayt to compare these cars. It was truly a very interesing experience, as most of you know, there is a heck of a difference between reading someone else's road test report and then actually driving the cars for yourself.

    I honestly did not find a bad car in the bunch. I did'nt even consider any of them marginal. They were all good, just different. My decision making process came down to nothing more than my personal preferences. Having owned several new cars for Nissan, Honda & Toyota I believe I went at this with as neutral of a stance as possible. The only thing that would have made it more fair from my viewpoint was if both Honda and Nissan offered theirs in 2 door models, as I cannot stand four door cars, for anything other than familes. It's just my personal love of coupes or 2 door cars that makes a difference for me.

    Anway I'm very happy with my choice and truly imrpessed as I had purposely lowered my expectations before driving them because I simply did not expect this level of quality and balance at such a low price point.
  • The "bucking" you feel is DFCO (Deceleration Fuel Cut-Off) and is designed to save fuel, not decrease emissions. This is prerfectly normal, and happens on manual cars as well. Don't sweat it.
  • "As someone who has personally owned 2 Toyota dealerships, and a person who was a professional racer, I can tell you that there is NO SUCH THING as A LEMON from TOYOTA.....period."

    Well I would have to say that thousands of disapointed Toyota owners would disagree with you and your quote. Please refer to the Camry forum under "problems" and you will find quite a bumper crop of Toyota "Lemons".
  • rich103rich103 Posts: 1
    I am interested in the yaris, and not sure if there are 2 issus going on in this discussion. If the common denominator is cold starts for transmission quirks, it is normal. My 2001 camry is flawless, but when really cold will not go over 45 miles an hour for 3 miles. I live near an highway on ramp and the first time this happened made me nervous. The engine revs but the transmission will not upshift until it warms up. I am sure this feature is protecting the transmission, which is worth the hassel.

    Once the yaris is warmed up, how does everyone like it?
  • ttaittai Posts: 114
    Good grief there is not a problem. Some people here seem to like to complain about nothing. The Yaris stays in 3rd gear for only a few hundred yards to warm up in the freezing cold. If you go down hill, the Yaris uses the transmission as a brake to keep you from riding the brakes. People who aren't used to that probably get on the gas then back off and on again. Then they come on here and complain about the car fluttering. Gee louise. Trade the car in for a huyndai or Honda then. At $4/gal gas, let's see how 26 mpg in a huyndai will do ya.
  • dinhcaradinhcara Posts: 3
    Hi all,
    My problem is the smell coming mostly from the air conditioner. Whenever I turn it on it gives off an odor kind of sweet smelling.
    A little history:
    When I first bought my new Yaris I got nauseated and dizzy. The dealer said it might be caused by the new chemicals during manufacturing and would burn off. So I lived with it. Now the only time I notice anything is when the air conditioner comes on.
    I'm wondering if an animal died somewhere in the car and they fumigated the car.
    I'm reluctant to bring it back to the dealer, based on their response the first time.
    Anybody else with similar experience?
  • ttaittai Posts: 114
    I got the same thing. When I use the recirculating setting, I get the moldy smell. I have to switch to the setting that draws air from outside. It occurs after rain and disappears when it's dry. I doubt it's chemical related. It's probably standing water somewhere. Hahaha. Finally, a decent complaint.
  • dinhcaradinhcara Posts: 3
    Thanks. I'll give that a try.
  • benlearnbenlearn Posts: 3
    My girlfriend has a 2000 Camry and I have a 2007 Yaris, and both of our cars have that moldy smell to it, when I put the heat or A/C on. Yes, it does go away after awhile. I find that cracking the windows for a bit, speeds up the process.
  • liam3liam3 Posts: 3
    Nice to hear the real expert's opinion but he has not driven my car or any of the other cars who appear to have a similar complaint and I am NOT talking about the gear changing with the automatic transmision. You surely cannot telll me that when going downhill at a certain grade the car is designed to be constantly dropping and gaining about 200 revs with the resultant jerkiness that is a result of this. I can tell you it is bloody awfull and when your passengers start asking why are you jerking then there must be a problem. I am not criticising the Toyota make of car as I have been drving them for years and they make some magnificent and reliable vehicles but regardless of what podred says out of the hundred's of thousands of Toyota cars sold each year it is almost inevitable that at times someone will buy a car with a fault and I can assure you that my car unfortunately is one of them. Why do you think Toyota has a Customer Relations Centre? Not so people can phone them to give them a pat on the back. All I can say is that I have been driving motor vehicles for some 45 years and have NEVER experienced this phenonemon before. If this is supposed to be technological progress then give me back my old Corona.
  • ttaittai Posts: 114
    I'm sorry to hear you're so adverse to technology. Yes, the car is supposed to either reduce the fuel or drop a gear when going downhill. All you have to do is lift your foot off the gas and the car magically maintains speed going downhill. That's pretty cool. Some people are not used to this so they're punching the gas then lifting then punching again trying to fight the car. The Yaris and the Fit tied for top honors for most reliable car in 2007. There goes that crap about poor Toyota reliability out the window.
  • liam3liam3 Posts: 3
    Looks like we have another expert telling me my Yaris is okay. Come and drive the thing and then lets see if your comments make sense. I am not adverse to technology but what you are saying about MY car is not correct. It does NOT magically maintain speed if I lift my foot of the gas when going downhill, it just slows down which is what it is supposed to do. I do not fight the car playing with the gas pedal. I just keep my foot perfectly still on the gas pedal and the car engine revs just keep droping by 200 revs then picking up 200revs and the cycle just continues until either the engine comes under load or I stick my foot on the brake pedal. I have never questioned the reliability of the car as it has not let me down. It just does not drive like it should or the Yaris I took for a 2 hours test drive (before I bought mine) which was just great.
  • maulikgpmaulikgp Posts: 1
    I saw Yaris hatchback in Canada with 4 doors. Why don't they introduce it in US?? It'll make immense sense to do so!!!

    (check the canadian Toyota web)

    Best Regards
  • carmenbcarmenb Posts: 1
    Just stumbled upon this post - searching for some consistent info re: towing capacity and capabilities of the Yaris.

    I'm in Canada and have been driving my '07 5-door (yes, handy indeed - I have a small child) mostly happy with its performance. I've found it's a particularly economical and practical city car (I spend around $50 CAN/month on fuel for weekday inner-city commuting and weekend hwy getaways) but I find it revs high above 90 km/hr and chugs rather than sips fuel on hwy trips. Overall, though, especially with the cost of fuel now, I'm quite happy with my car and my local Toyota dealer.

    I'm itching to tow, though. I understand the torque restricts anything too heavy but if euroeans are towing 2000 lbs breaked and in Canada we can tow up to 700 lbs, I'm miffed with the difference.

    I'd love to hear from anyone who has towed a teardrop camper, lightweight pop-up or other...
  • dumcriefdumcrief Posts: 4
    Bought a 2007 Yaris 5 door hatchback, like it except found I could not rest my foot on the gas pedal without it wanting to move, so had to tilt my ankle back to keep my foot off which was uncomfortable. Toyoto said nothing they can do so I cut off about 2 inches of pedal which takes off enough leverage that I can now rest my foot comfortable. We like the car and bought a second one and did the same thing. The only other thing I notice is that when you put it in reverse you get a vibration from under the dash that sounds like something is loose. Other than that, all is well.
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