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2007 Toyota Camry Transmission Gear Snap Ring Issue: TMSUSA Responds



  • faldocfaldoc Posts: 84
    I got 2 calls from my rep at TMS in California today, and one from my dealer to give me an update on my car.

    Thanks for keeping me updated as promised, TMS.

    From TMS I understand that the transmission might be at my dealer by the end of this week, (no guarantees), so I might have my car a day or 2 after that, perhaps early next week. I am sure my dealer will want to get my car to me and their loaner back... I am putting 600 miles a week on the loaner...

    TMS re-iterated the Toyota 7 yr/100000 mile $0 deductible Platinum warantee and 1st car payment incentives. All in all if the car is back to tiptop shape I think it will be a satisfactory solution to the issue.

    More updates as I get them.
  • angela8angela8 Posts: 11
    Hello TMSUSA...

    I am one of the affected customers and initially I was very happy with the way Toyota was handling my case. Unfortunately, when I contacted Fabiola (your customer service rep)and inquired about what Toyota was doing to prevent any more of these units from being sold from dealer inventory, I was told the following:
    "Is there some problem, we did offered to buy your car back."
    My only point in making that call was to get some reassurance that no one else would be affected in the same manner that I was. I did so much research before taking the big plunge...I bought my dream car, I was so excited. I drove it so proudly with confidence for a whole 3 days and then suddenly at 351 miles the transmission started shifting erractly. I was told it would ready in 2 weeks only to find out that it would be a minimum of 4 weeks before it would be repaired.
    The thought of a buy back and repurchase of another 2007 Camry XLE has crossed mind because of the substancial wait period of repair. Unfortunatly I have no confidence that the next one I get will be another one of the known problem units.

    Rita aka Disappointed Camry owner in Texas
  • tmsusatmsusa Posts: 81
    I did get word this evening that 74 new transmissions had arrived from Japan via air shipment and are in our distribution system on their way to dealers who have customers waiting. So faldoc it is quite likely that one of them is destined for your vehicle.
  • tmsusatmsusa Posts: 81
    Rita, I regret that the response you received from our representative was so curt. Your feedback is and has been quite helpful to us, and I will ensure that your comments are relayed to our management team at our Customer Experience Center so that we can make improvements.

    Also, tmsusa is hopeful that we can earn back your confidence and loyalty. Based on the news I relayed in an earlier post, let's hope that a replacement transmission is in route now to your dealership. We'll make an effort to verify that in the morning with our Parts Distribution Team and Expeditors. Your disappointment is certainly understandable.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666

    It seems that the root cause of the residual concern from folks, is the uncertainty as to whether the car they have purchased (or about to purchase) one of the cars that may have the defective transmission or not. You reference reaching out folks with communications, but you have not described how you are doing that.

    If you could confirm exactly which VIN numbers:
    a.) "may" have the defective transmissions, then owners that have that car today would be on the lookout for the symptoms of a failure. If I was the owner of one of these VIN numbers, then I would want a letter informing me of the potential If possible I don't put myself or loved ones in situations which would magnify the impact if the problem surfaced (long out of state trip, quick passing situations, etc).
    b.) "definitely do not", then those owners can stop worrying about their car, and others can buy in confidence.

    Can you confirm that Toyota KNOWS the VIN numbers that might be impacted, or please confirm that TOYOTA DOESN'T exactly KNOW the VIN numbers. Desperately looking for a way to definitively INCLUDE or EXCLUDE specific cars.
  • supergoopsupergoop Posts: 46
    If Toyota can identify the cars with the problem (they did say it was around 160), then I think there should be a formal recall on just those vehicles.

    If the transmission shifts to 1st gear while travelling at high speed (as someone described), or even if it is just shifts erratically on the highway, I think we can all agree that is a safety issue, especially if the roads are wet, snowy or slippery, and you have your family in the car.

    I don't think we need to wait for the car to exhibits symptoms to have it recalled. For example, when recalls are issued for seat belts, or air bags, we don't wait for the seat belt to snap, or the airbag to deploy, to fix it.

    This begs the question: Can Toyota positively identify the 160 or so cars affected?
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    You must consider all sides to the story. It's not going to be possible to make all customers happy. At least one person on this thread has already stated that he/she wants no work done on his/her vehicle if it does not exhibit a problem. A recall would then mean this was not the case, for example.

    Regardless, it seems that anyone with a Camry build date of this month has nothing to worry about, so going forward, this issue will not actually BE an issue.

  • angela8angela8 Posts: 11
    Supergoop...well said!

    I am one of the affected customers and I KNOW that if I had been in a different traffic situation it could have been a serious safety issue. My car accelerated slowly with rapid RPMs and remained somewhat stagnant and jurked like crazy, shifting up and down.

    My prior message to TMSUSA was not answered in regards to needing some reassurance on prevention of this situation occuring with pending sales from dealer stock as well as notification of current owners that haven't reached that pivital mileage marker.

    TMSUSA did say that the replacement transmissions were being expedited, which was good news. Again I must stay that with the exception of one conversation with my Toyota customer service rep regarding this issue, I have been treated well by Star Toyota as well as Toyota.
  • supergoopsupergoop Posts: 46
    The reason that person said he didn't want to do the work is because he is "gambling" his car is not the half-percent affected (fair to add the odds are well in his favour).

    Now, let's assume for a minute that Toyota positively identified his car was one of 160 cars affected, do you still think he will refuse repair, symptoms or not?

    However, my sense is that Toyota can NOT positively identify the affected cars, and that is why it is difficult to issue a recall.

    P.S. I agree issuing a recall on all 5,800 cars just to weed out 160 does not make business sense, and would be a logistic nightmare, if not an impossibility. That is why I am hoping Toyota can identify the 160 or so cars affected, today or at some future time.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    That's why it's important for TMSUSA to get answer from Toyota, and try to avoid all the speculation. They either DO know the VIN numbers that may have a defect, or they DON'T. If Toyota doesn't, then lets acknowledge that they don't.....but then try to provide the actual date of manufacture where they know cars are defintely excluded....and provide the detail method where the owners and buyers can look it up.

    I liken this to a family genetic disorder. If I find my parents have a serious genetic disease, I'm going to want to know whether I also have that particular gene defect passed to me, even though it may be dormant and never surface. If we check the genes and I don't have the defective gene, great. If I do, I know to be on the lookout for the symptoms that may or may not ultimately surface.

    So Toyota let's open the books a little. Please let us know via VIN or mfg date (or some other method which owners/buyers can verify).....exactly which cars were built after the problem was identified, and are therefore EXCLUDED from having this problem.

    So that leaves a subset of cars that MAY or MAYNOT have the problem. It's not clear to me that when you reference 160 vehicles that have this problem, whether the subset of cars that MAY have the problem is actually 500, of which you believe only 160 will have snapring not seat correctly over time.....or whether the subset in total (the total number of cars that could have this problem) is 160.
  • filodfilod Posts: 189
    supergoop I tend to agree with you that Toyota cannot positively ID the cars with the problem.

    In my reading in this forum, I gather
    1. The remedy to those already affected is to replace the transmission
    2. ‘Vehicle production dates are not necessarily what we're using to track the affected vehicles’ (quote from tmsusa), and this will lead me to number 3
    3. (This one someone has to correct me if I am wrong) the problem is not in the assembly line (whether it be in the US or Japan) but the manufacturing of the transmission itself (which is in Japan). It might just be luck that all of those we have seen in the forums are all assembled US

    I just want to know if Toyota has identified and rectified the problem today (or a certain date). While I cannot expect a total reassurance of any product to be defective free, at least the potential of having this problem is much less when I buy a Camry whose 6 speed transmission is assembled today.

    The SE V6 I liked will be arriving in my dealership in 1-2 weeks time and I have to make a decision whether to buy it now or wait for another six months to sort out the transmission problem. If the tranny issue did not come up, I was willing to make a deposit to be sure I get the unit.
  • so40so40 Posts: 8
    I have stated several times that I did not want anyone to work on my car unless it starts to act up. By making that statement I simply mean that I don't want it torn down "just to see" if it is one of the ones with the problem. I simply am not sure that it would be done correctly and the right amount of time spent to do it correctly. This is not saying anything about my dealer. I have never had to have any work done at this dealer. It is just based on my opinion of how work is done by dealers in this country the past decade or so. This is not limited to car dealers. It is the same with ATV dealers etc. Also, I don't think that the Factory allocates enough time (money) to the dealers to do things correctly on many jobs.

    I have said several times that if the 160 number is anywhere near correct, they need to notify those owners. Now, if mine is identified as one of the possible "bad" transmissions then I have to decide to let them replace it now or wait and see what happens. You can believe that if mine was to be replaced I would want to be there when it was done. I do not want some guy with a air gun just jerking things off and then using the air wrench (no torque wrench etc.) and just guessing where this bolt was etc. Would I want a "New" car instead of the replacement? Well I don't know for sure, that would be a tough decision.

    I don't think Toyota is going to say much more than what they have already said about this. They may know exactly how many are bad and they may not. I do think it could be more of a safety problem than they seem to think it is. I am glad they have addressed the problem and are taking care of the owners that "actually" have the trouble.

    If I had known about this problem back at the end of March when my wife took a 900 mile trip by "herself", I would not have let her go in this car. Luckily everything went fine and the car is still having no problems with a little over 2,500 miles on it. It is just the "not knowing" that bugs me.

    I would like to see Toyota offer all of the "possibly affected" 160 owners a free extended warranty, unless they just decide to replace all of those transmissions. However, I don't think that (replacing all) is going to happen.

  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    3. (This one someone has to correct me if I am wrong) the problem is not in the assembly line (whether it be in the US or Japan) but the manufacturing of the transmission itself (which is in Japan). It might just be luck that all of those we have seen in the forums are all assembled US

    Or MAYBE, there is more than one transmission plant in Japan, or more than one production "line", and the US destined ones (transmissions) are built on a different line than the Japanese destined ones.... The production "error" being limited to one of these production lines....perhaps the ones destined for US built cars?????
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    the NHTSA determines these trannies constitute a safety concern, y'all can darned well bank on, a) the total number of affected cars being identified, pronto, and b) recall notices going out to all affected owners equally pronto. I've posted twice in this thread that Toyota appears to be out in front of this issue. The thought has occured to me that attitude may be at the "unofficial" urging of the NHTSA due to the low number of vehicles involved. I can't imagine that the NHTSA isn't monitoring the situation and would be ready to step in officially if that "small number" unexpectedly mushrooms. I'm still giving Toyota the benefit of the doubt. I'm just not sure owners are getting the straight story from Toyota about the extent of the problem. I do NOT believe Toyota is in the dark about potentially affected VINs, either.
  • tmsusatmsusa Posts: 81
    Thank you for your comments filod. As tmsusa said early on, the gear anomaly is with the transmission that is manufactured in Japan. The vehicle assembly process here and in Japan continues to operate flawlessly. (BTW, the vast majority of Camrys sold in the United States are built in the United States; some come from Japan, typically those sold on the West coast.)

    I also mentioned several days ago that we had instituted a countermeasure, so vehicles being sold today are not impacted--We definitely have not issued a stop sale. As for vehicles in stock at our dealerships? We wish there were more, but at the end of April our dealers had less than a 10-day supply of the top-selling vehicle in the United States. We continue to build them here and there as fast as we can--and problem-free.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    If there is an existing V6/Auto car on a dealer lot today which is for sale, and the car VIN number and/or manufacturing date is 'prior' to the date you realized a that car still for sale to some unsuspecting shopper? Or have the dealers been told to pull the inventory, and do something like make demos/loaners out of them?
  • tmsusatmsusa Posts: 81
    "Based on the news I relayed in an earlier post, let's hope that a replacement transmission is in route now to your dealership. We'll make an effort to verify that in the morning with our Parts Distribution Team and Expeditors. Your disappointment is certainly understandable."

    Rita--I was able to relay your concerns to the right folks and have just learned that the replacement parts for your vehicle have been status upgraded to get them to the dealership pronto. You've been very patient; tmsusa thanks you and appreciates your candid feedback to us.
  • max_99max_99 Posts: 28
    Toyota has said a lot about what they are doing to catch defective transmissions. I would like to hear what Toyota's transmission suppliers are doing to reverse this perception that automatic transmissions in Japan have poor metallurgy, poor quality and can't to handle the torque required for larger engines. I understand Toyota is usually good about catching problems. What are the suppliers doing? I own a 2001 Honda Odyssey and a 2007 Camry. There are too many cars in my garage with potential transmission failure issues. Next time I will go out of my way to understand who built the transmission in any new or used car I buy.
  • filodfilod Posts: 189
    tmsusa, thank you for this reply and I quote:

    ‘I also mentioned several days ago that we had instituted a countermeasure, so vehicles being sold today are not impacted--We definitely have not issued a stop sale’ tmsusa

    Rest be assured tmsusa that I understand the measures cannot be 100% foolproof. It just gives me comfort that at least Toyota instituted measures to avoid the tranny issue on the car I might be buying next week or earlier when it is available.

    This is exactly what I was looking for – and increased my wanting to buy the car when available instead of waiting few more months because of the issues I read. Scale is now 75% buying when available vs 5% before I read your post.

    You have tried your best to answer the questions – and you are doing an excellent job considering the constraints of what you can and cannot say. Best regards,

  • angela8angela8 Posts: 11
    Thank you very much...yes today my phone was ringing away.

    First from the Service Mgr @ Star Toyota, then from your customer center and lastly from the Customer Relations Rep with Star Toyota. All to called to tell me that my transmission will be at the dealership no later than next Tuesday (5.9.06) and I should be able to drive it out by Thursday. I am looking forward to driving my new again!

    I am so glad to see that my 4-6 weeks wait has now been backed down to 2 1/2 weeks. It's good to know that Toyota cares for it's owners and is so responsive.

    I don't want close this on a negative but I still don't understand what Toyota is doing to prevent dealer stock with transmission issues from being sold and creating hardship and disappointment for another anxious buyer.

    Is it Toyota's position that all of the cars with issues have already been sold?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    How would you evaluate Toyota's performance in regards to their handling of this V6-auto transmission problem? Being in a critical response business my evaluation would be as follows, but would be interested in some others' thoughts who have actually experienced the transmission failure.

    Report Card:
    "A" : General acknowledgment that a problem exists, was both open and timely.
    "A" : Prevented propagation of problem (new build). Stopped the mfg and distribution when problem first surfaced, as of some date.
    "D" : Prevented propagation of problem (existing inventory). No known/visible activities to take carstock out of inventory pipeline or on dealers lots that may be defective, and correct problems before new customers buy and experience problem. Some salesmen are cautioning buyers.
    "A+" : Responsiveness to owners who experienced defect. Loaner car, expedited transmission shipment/repair, warranty extension, buy back, lease payment....all top notch, best of breed.
    "F" : Pro-active preventive notification to owners who have vehicles subject to problem. No definitive VINdata provided, no data/information to give owners 'piece of mind' or early warning symptoms, no way to avoid potentially serious failure. Drive it and see if it fails approach.
    "B" : Communications. This is comprised of an A for Toyota stepping up in public forum to expedite information dissemination, and a C because information is not complete and detail enough. Rough helpdesk information startup typical. Dealer communications rough startup as well, but now reported as verygood.
  • sojerhoosojerhoo Posts: 6
    tmsusa - I have been following this discussion re: 6AT problem with great interest, as I am expecting delivery of an 07 XLE v6 on 05/15 (according to the dealer). Am I correct in thinking that my car was most likely produced with a trans manufactured after the "corrections" were instituted, and therefor should not be subject to failure?
  • cwopete2cwopete2 Posts: 6
    Just checked the build date on my car...March 2006. Hopefully this won't be a problem. The car is beautiful and runs very well. My 2005 Camry's transmission never shifted correctly, even after being reprogrammed per the TSB. The 2007 XLE V-6 has none of the hunting and hesitation I experienced with the 2005. The car has 388 miles (I've only had it for a few days) but so far, so good.
  • angela8angela8 Posts: 11
    Mine was built in March 2006 as well and my trans failed at 351 miles. The last four digits of my VIN are 0489, I hope yours is nothing close to that...if so good luck!
  • tmsusatmsusa Posts: 81
    Too many numbers and dates lately, so tmsusa won't even try to figure out that GPA, but thank you for the A-for-effort on communication, and we'll work on completeness . . .and getting the job done. Anything less than an A in customer satisfaction is unacceptable.
  • angela8angela8 Posts: 11
    Good News to report!

    My trans arrived ahead of schedule on 5.5 instead of 5.9 and my car will be ready either today or Monday.

    Thanks for all of your assistance.
  • tmsusatmsusa Posts: 81
    That's terrific news angela8. Thanks for working with us on this issue and for your patience. Very much appreciated.

    I've seen the dialog on this forum slow the past few days, and tmsusa feels he has provided as much information to readers and participants as is available right now. We make over 2,000 Camrys daily and are continually working to ensure those vehicles and all of our other cars and trucks wind up in the hands of happy owners, built with the highest standards of quality.

    We regret the transmission issue with our brand new 2007 Camry v6 6-spd automatic and appreciate very much the direct candid feedback provided by our customers and others via this forum and through our dealers and Customer Experience Center.

    For now, I'll remind readers here that our representatives and case managers are thoroughly familiar with the transmission issue and eager to help and answer questions. They are contacting customers, but you can get them by calling our center at 800-331-4331.

    If there are any new developments re this issue, tmsusa will be happy to jump back in the forums and talk directly with you. Thanks for your participation.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Thanks very much tmsusa! We've really appreciated your participation and your efforts here. You've been most helpful.

    I hope things go well enough that you don't have to come back to deal with any other problems, but we'll be glad to have you back under any circumstances!

    :) :)
This discussion has been closed.