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Toyota Tacoma Transmission Problems



  • Hello all,

    Just traded my 09 double cab 4X4 Sport back in after only 6700 miles and took a loss of approx $7,000 because I felt that after two near accidents with my family in the car it wasn't worth it.

    There is a trans problem with these and it is only a matter of time till something BAD happens.

    It was a great finical cost that I traded it back in for my family's safety and I just hope that those that are stuck with them stay safe and those that are considering buying one DON'T until the problem is resolved.

    I took about 45 minutes and called Toyota at 1-888-270-9371 and explained what happened, provided my info and Vin. You all need to call also, sooner or later someone will listen and especially when you mention SAFETY of your family !!

    PS, I am a long term Toyota owner and memebr of Toyota Nation and Edmunds Forums, don't forget to mention the hundreds of post on these sights when you call!!

    Have a great day all !
  • I checked with 3 different dealers about trading mine in and got pretty much the same offers 6-7k off what i paid for it two months ago. Did you try selling it as a private party? Does anyone know from a legal standpoint what the liability is on the seller? If Toyota doesn't view it as a problem should I as a private seller?
  • Didn't even think of selling it privately as I didn't have the time. Traded the POS back to Toyota for another FJ. You bring up a good point, now we know there is a problem, what is our exposure for liability ??? We I am not a Lawyer or even want to give advice, but as long as we have done our due diligence with Toyota and they say nothing is wrong, then --who knows.

    I would not feel good about pawing the POS off to anyone but Toyota as the ultimate reason I got rid of it was safety.

    Again,,bottom line, everyone needs to call Toyota and express concerns of safety. They will give you a reference number of your complaint. I suggest you keep it in a safe place so when the class action law suit goes through, you have proof you registered your complaint. :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • Found this 2006 post at Apparently, the transmissions have been a problem for a while now and yet Toyota has done nothing to address it.

    Toyota addresses Tacoma transmission


    Took my 06 TRD Sport DC in on 7-01-06 for the notorious transmission shudder and the ever-present vibration at speeds from 50-70 mph.
    Service mgr. advised that RF & LR wheels were out of balance, causing the vibration. Drove the truck home...vibration still there as before. Back to the drawing board.
    BUT....the service mgr. advised when I got there, that the "shudder" in the transmission was "torque converter lock-up" and that it was "normal" (I was afraid he would say that). But after having the truck on the rack for 2 hours, he returned and said that Toyota had been investigating the shudder and abnormal shift patterns of the Tacomas, and were coming out with a "fix" in the next week or two. I was then asked to come into the service area and school 2 of the techs on the air intake fix that causes a loud vibration when backing up on a cold start, that I had fixed on my truck.
    As I spoke with the older tech, he said that he personally owned an 06 Tacoma with the same problematic transmission, and he had just returned from a school by Toyota, and at present, they are looking at issuing a TSB regarding the transmissions. The planned fix will possibly include installing a new (different?) torque converter, flushing the transmission fluid, and possibly a re-flash to adjust the shift points of the transmission. Toyota will reportedly advise dealers of the procedures by the 14th of July.
    So...for those "naysayers" that choose to criticize folks that claim to have problems with this truck, understand that there ARE some problems inherent to many of the new Tacomas, and Toyota is beginning to acknowledge such.
    Now....will Toyota make things right? Time will tell.
  • Earlier this week I e-mailed customer service at Toyota. I received an automated e-mail saying that I would be contacted as soon as possible concerning my complaint with the transmission on my 2009 Tacoma. The e-mail address is . I suggest we all write. It will be interesting to find out if Toyota really does "care".
  • I just placed a call to the "Turko" files here at KUSI news, in San Diego. This is an investigative segment on the news at KUSI and usually gets good results. I hope he investigates this transmission issue. I asked him to look at the complaints. Please call 858-571-3453 to leave a message for the "Turko" files. The more complaints left, the better the chance of investigation, and, perhaps, some sort of good result.
  • Ive just read a number of the comments posted and had the same speech given to me this morning about the smart computer. Im call BS first of all you have to drive the car mellow for the first 1K miles then you drive like you drive so how does it know when to switch . Then say two different people are sharing the car like its gonna know whos in the seat what does it do weigh you and give you a retinal scan. Im expecting them to tell me there is nothing wrong when i pick it up but somehow we all need to keep this up and ride them until its fixed or get new trucks. How can a company do this. I have a feeling things are going to get ugly on my end because i have the time to hassle them. This is meant to be the best truck on the road not the best suck on the road.
  • Im ready to put Giant lemons all over my car lets get this ball rolling we can not let this corporation get the best of us. How can they be allowed to keep selling cars.
  • At least you got 100,00 miles out of yours mine only has 1000 and they are trying to say nothing is wrong. Toyota needs to be served on a plastic platter for their antics right now
  • Well Mr. Unhappy Tacoma Owner. If I may inject a little humor. You tell em! I like your description. You're absolutely right about everyone continuing to complain. I'd sure like to see this fixed. Might I also say that I got a letter from the salesman whom I bought the truck from at the dealer the other day. 6 month check up don't you know. Well, I pleaded with them to forewarn future customers as to the transmission problem. What a shock it was to them. They claimed no knowledge of the problem. Yea, right! I told them that I hope they sleep well at night knowing and obviously lying about the problem. Obviously, nothing has changed over the decades. I feel bad that I wasn't able to recognize it in them. With the decades of experience I've had I'm disgusted that they got by me. Regardless, if we get enough people doing this, Toyota's reputation will suffer markedly. To bad, as we probably won't benefit from it. One more thing. I've talked to people from my state and California and Hawaii and Alaska whom I've seen and asked whether they have the problem as well. I haven't run into one yet that doesn't have the problem. I know there are some out there who don't but I haven't talked to one personally yet who doesn't. Good luck.
  • You should write him back and mention it's not just this website: e.html

    Seriously, I wonder if all of us should start sending emails to the local equivalen of "Turko" in our respective geographic locations? A lot of bad PR all at once CAN'T be good for a company.
  • Hello all,

    Check post #214

    EVERYONE call 1-888-270-9371, it will take a few minutes, but advise Toyota of the problem, have your Vin# and ask for a conformation number of your complaint.

    Read my post about trading in a 3 month old vehicle and taking a 6-7k loss because I felt the safety of my family justified it.

    I told them the main reason I was confirming it with them was so I could be a part of the eventual class action when it happens and that I was just lucky enough to get rid of it before I had a accident after two close calls coming into a intersection and then having the trans delay.

    It will make a difference, make the call!! :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • Just one more thing, when you call 1-888-270-9371 and confirm you have a confirmation number for you concern, you have put them on notice through their system.

    Its important you save confirmation that you have put them on notice and you expect a resolution to the problem or something from them acknowledging the issue or stating it is not a issue.

    Sadly someone is most likely going to be in a accident before they pull their heads out, I just hope it isn't a bad one. ;) :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • My husband and I bought a 2009 Tacoma in May of this year. I was told to run it easy for about 1000 miles until the truck got used to my driving. I am having the same problems everyone else is having. When I go into turns or decelerating it downshifts and then when I press the accelerator the transmission lags the RPM increases and then it lurches forward. The first time I took it to the dealer I was told that there was nothing wrong with my truck. They told me it was new technology and I would get used to it. I am taking it back this Thursday. I have owned many toyota trucks/vehicles, but if they refuse to acknowledge this design flaw it will be my last.
  • Amazing that Toyota is conducting their biggest recall ever for floor mats that may cause an accelerator to get stuck, yet they are ignoring the Tacoma transmission issues. What is that commerical they have right now, that 80% of Toyota's on the road today will be on the road in 20 years? I bet 80% of the Tacomas on the road today won't be on the road in 20 years, if not 10 years!!

    By the way, I have had three more phone calls in regard to my sign on my tailgate warning potential buyers of transmission issues with the Tacoma. So far, that is four people who have thanked me for the information and stated they probably would not buy the truck now. Take that Toyota!
  • I bought my Tacoma in May as well. I hardly had it home when I noticed the same thing as you. When you slow down to make a turn without making a complete stop and then press on the accelerator there is a hesitation and then the truck lurches forward. It is not a smooth shift.
    I bought a Toyota because I was sold on their quality and reputation. I am very disappointed and let down. Like you, I complained to my dealer when I took it in for the 5,000 mile service and was told there was nothing wrong.
    Have you had any satisfaction to this point? I called Toyota yesterday and they are supposed to get back with me but I am expecting the same old brushoff.
    I live near Columbia, Mo. and would appreciate keeping in touch. If you want to e-mail directly mine is Thanks.
  • casteebcasteeb Posts: 13
    Welcome to the club son.
    The only resolution I can see it trading the stupid truck on a Nissan, but as it works out Nissan has no LE inventory in the SouthEast region to trade it on. I have been waiting since March and I am still waiting to replace the POS with a Frontier LE.
    After 3 trips to the dealer, talking with the Toyota rep.. and many emails - it's clear we have no other resolution. Sorry - I feel your pain brother.
  • I am going to write to Toyota and to my dealer to make the complaint formally in writing. That address is: Toyota Motor Sales, USA
    National Customer Relations
    19001 Southwestern Avenue
    Dept. W C 11
    Torrance, Ca. 90509

    I am a state court judge in Missouri and am familiar with a lot of plaintiffs law firms. I realize that class action lawsuits generally do little or nothing for the customer but it might be the only thing Toyota understands. Unfortunately, the plaintiff attys are generally not interested unless somebody actually gets hurt due to the condition.If anyone has knowledge of anyone who has sustained some type of monetary damage due to this they should post the info.
  • tige77tige77 Posts: 2
    Well, I took my Tacoma back to the dealer today. They drove it 12 miles and I was told the same thing today that I was told the last time, there is nothing wrong. Then I had the customer service representative behind the counter tried to explain to me that I just needed to get used to the new technology and that it would learn my driving habits. I asked her how does this truck differentiate between drivers? She didn't have an answer. I told her I was not alone with having a truck with a transmission problem. I told her that I had owned Toyotas since 1980 and this would be my last. Strange enough the Service Manager was no where insight. :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • You'll notice there are 232 postings here concerning the Toyota products. Who knows how many there are who aren't aware of this site to post on. Tell everyone. I've talked to people in multiple states personally who suffer the same problems. I notice you've had a judge from Missouri respond. I agree with him about what it'll take and the real outcome tragic as it may be. However, things are what they are. This is probably the best method we have to attack (as it were) Toyota. Good luck and keep the spirits high. By the all, when you look at this page scroll down and you'll see the window entitled Learn More? Take the time to write a review under Do More. I didn't see much mention of this in there. Maybe we need to put our complaints in there as well.
  • An update on my situation. I first called Toyota and talked to two different people who got back with me and said there was no problem with the vehicle and nothing could be done. I then wrote to Toyota customer relations and included a copy of the complaints from this site and sent a copy to the president of my own dealer. I got a nice telephone response from someone at the dealership. He said that this was the first complaint that they had received about the Tacoma but that several years ago Toyota had a similar problem with the Camry and Avalon. They finally fixed those although it took them almost two years to do it.
    He believes that it is not a mechanical problem but is instead a software problem with one of the computers that relays instructions to the transmission. For some reason it is "confused" and not properly relaying those instructions thereby causing the transmission to hesitate and jerk. He thinks that it will require a software patch to fix if Toyota does ultimately acknowledge the problem.
    He did say that they could try to "wipe it clean and reset it"(I am paraphrasing) the next time I brought it in for service to see if that might help but truthfully was dubious that it would. You might want to ask your dealer to do the same.
    The bottom line here is that everyone who has this problem should document it in writing with Toyota and send a copy to your dealer. Only by creating pressure on Toyota will the problem be solved.
    I do want to say that I received a prompt and I believe honest response from my dealer which I appreciated and it made me feel better about the situation.
    Gary Sprick
  • Well Gary? I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings as I started out just like you. I was told the same story and took it in and it resolved nothing. Believe me it was a lie when they said they'd never heard of it. I copied all the complaints and brought them into the dealer. They know of the problem, believe me. Had the rep from Toyota come up to test drive it and the dealer was sympathetic with me until it came time to take a stand with Toyota. You'll be left in the cold my friend. Again, I tell anyone to write a review that you see on this web site under "Learn More" as the postings you see here are not on the reviews. Do have a good day.
  • I was searching desperately for any info on my suddenly lurching/out-of-sync/tranny and accelerator and found your forum. I have a 2004 Tacoma that I'd taken very good care of and the next thing I know it's not shifting into 3rd until about 50mph. It was scary to begin with then I figured I'd just run it into the ground or hope it got stolen because any transmission problems are going to cost a fortume. Hardly worth putting $3-4k into a base model 4-cyl Tacoma that's 5 years old. Anyway, I bit the bullet and had it estimated at the dealer--I trust them, Piercey Toyota in Milpitas, CA--and it was about $500-600 to have the cable replaced (it was broken, so they couldn't adjust it). From what I understand a kick-down cable goes from the tranny to the accelerator and that what it felt like, things were out of sync and it wasn't shifting when it was supposed to. The check engine light never even came on. Hope this helps some folks out there! This was my third Toyota pick-up and I agree, they ain't what they used to be though I've had no other problems with the '04 Tacoma.
  • I bought a 2010 Tacoma last week. First off I cannot believe I am here reading this, I should have done my homework so shame on me this is my second go around with Toyota. I bought a 1986 MR2 they removed and rebuilt the transmission when the car had 800 miles. the misery finally ended a year later when I sold it So I have 251 miles on my truck and I am having the SAME problem as the rest of you. I spoke to my local dealer I had to go out of town really search HARD for this truck and the service guy told me he feels my pain he owns a 2009 Tacoma and has the SAME issue. I am going to take it there tomorrow for my first service again it has 251 miles on it. They want to check it out and make sure nothing is wrong. he did tell me it is a learning process, it is designed that way everything I have read here. I will give them this they have their story down now. This leads me to think maybe they know they have an issue. So I will keep you posted. Too BAD I forgot I had been screwed by Toyota in the 80's..........
  • 09taco09taco Posts: 33
    Well don't be shamed of yourself about not doing your homework when looking for the right truck. Let me tell you, I did my homework for about 8 to 10 months before I bought my 09 double cab off road tacoma. I do believe its good truck I like it, I like the looks and the drive, But HATE the trans. Under the reviews at the time i was doing my homework, the 09s have not been reviewed. I was reading about the 06,07,& 08s. It seems like this is the one.....??
    I found out Toyota did some big changes to the drive-train for 2009, they added the downhill assist control and computer changes that leads to shifting problems, High revs at low speeds, downshifting hard and not shifting at times.
    My truck now has only 5800 easy miles NO off road miles. I had my truck into the dealer for service and questioned the dealer, They said no one else complained about this, which is bull S***. My truck checked out fine per the dealer. It works as intended by the manufactor.....I'm going to try to get in touch with an engineer from Toyota...not sure how..??? Keep us posted with your 2010...
  • 09taco09taco Posts: 33
    what is the email address to the Customer Service at Toyota, I'll send an email also. I would like to hear what the fix will be, My truck is 2009 Double cab off road, with trans problems like everyone else.
  • 09taco09taco Posts: 33
    2009 Was a big change for the tacomas, They added the downhill assist control and computer changes to the trans.(different shift points) 2008 would be the truck to have not the 2009 or new. When they change something, the screw it up. Never had problems before, so why the hell change it. Downhill assist control get rid of it Toyota, I don't need it.
  • I purchased an 09 Tacoma standard 5spd one month ago and I am in shock after reading these posts! I own an 89 toyota pick-up standard trans and it still runs
    perfectly. Does anyone know if there are any problems with the standard transmissions? It seems most of these posts have to do with automatics. I should
    have done more research, but the toyota trucks I've owned have been outstanding.
    I really love the truck features even though it's just the basic model 4x4. I'm really worried now. Please let me know what I should be looking for in the way of problems.
  • Well my friend this particular issue does deal with automatic transmissions. There are however other issues with the standard transmisions. Take some time and stroll thru them. It is a problem that Toyota doesn't want to deal with for what ever reason. Again, the issue will not get resolved until enough people complain about it that it becomes worth while, due to money loss from Toyota. It is about money right?
  • Some people have this problem some people don't. I can say that Longo toyota in El Monte are sold out of 09 v6 double cab tacomas :lemon: . Those truck do sell quickly.
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