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Toyota RAV4 Transmission Troubles



  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Thanks for the updates.
  • buzz2020buzz2020 Posts: 1
    edited August 2010
    Just got a letter from Toyota extending the warranty to 10 yrs/150K miles. They also say if you send them proof you already replaced the ECM and tranny that you should apply for "reimbursement consideration".
    We almost sent that in but then we saw the Class Action so I wrote to the lawyers to get their opinion first.
    At least Toyota's doing something...
  • cgd21cgd21 Posts: 1
    edited August 2010
    Thankfully I got the same letter last week, because my 2002 Rav with 82K miles started shifting hard/bucking felt like the tranny was going to break apart!

    I took the Rav into the shop today, I didn't mention the letter upfront waiting to see what they say. The shop told me the ECM and/or transmission will need replaced and I should replace the ECM first for $900 since my warranty expired. I then mentioned the letter, they said they will get back to me. They called back stated their service bulletin only covers the issue to 80k miles, and that its not covered however they will "comp" it, so no charge.

    Either the dealers didn't get the latest memo, or the policy is to only fix for free if customer complains.

    For anyone who doesn;t have the letter, for reimbursement requests must include copies of repair, proof of payment, proof of ownership. The address for reimbursement is below.

    But Buzz you are correct to consult a lawyer. I have sent an email as well to attorneys building a class action on the prius and steering issues.

    Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc
    Toyota Customer Experience, WC10
    19001 South Western Avenue
    Torrance, CA 90509
  • I got my letter also, but for toyota it is like too late because I filed a law suite last year and the attornies requested the same thing but more miles and peoples money back for this, their transmission ect.. So my law suit is still pending the class action any.
  • Im currently thinking about trading in my civic coupe (no room at all in the car) for a 2002 Rav4 Automatic with 44k miles on it. Ive been reading about the problems but should the car be avoided all together or is it something that can be avoided before it happens?
  • I Had an appt. with a toyota rep on Sept 2 for a very annoying noise I have had since I drove the car off the lot. Well after all I was right. It is the transmission and they are going to replace it. I thought one of the reasons people bought new cars is so they dont have to go back and forth for repairs. Well let me tell you I have been back to the dealer so many times in the 5 weeks that I've had my 2010 rav 4 they probably wish they never sold me the truck. I have owned a camry and avalon for the past 15 years and had no problems which had led me toward the rav 4 but boy am i disappointed. I will keep you guys posted they tell me it will take 3 weeks for the transmission to come in. Good Luck to everyone else driving a rav 4 I hope you dont encounter the problems I have had.
  • I had the same transmission problems as everyone else. Transmission fluid was full and still red(not burnt). I took my 2002 Rav4 77k miles to transmission shop who found not mechanical problems(while I was there another Rav4 came in with the same issues) Shop called Toyota dealership who said they would "Flash the memory in the computer" .Toyota fixed it for FREE!!!
    Recall 60I Reprogram ECU
    ecu reprogram 6621j2-99-99 .6
    Car is running great!! :)
  • Hello, good news, toyota recall all check engine and transmission problems!
    The did replace my ECU today gladly my tranny still good? They send me a recall notice good for 100k miles or 10 years which ever comes first? In case your ECU is not covered, look for they rebuilt ECU (computer) for your car at $189. These will solved your problem, most likely the tranny is ok, unless you end up with bad mechanics who doesnt understand ECU & transmission toyota has?
    Even if you are a second owner you should get a recall from the mail? check your local toyota repair? Good luck Philip
  • :mad: Those people are purely CROOKS! Took my 2001 RAV4L with a recall from factory, they refuses to take my care for any repair unless I pay them $100. in advance? Took my car to Glendale Toyota, they were GREAT....! They order my part and schedule me to pick it, in just 2.5 hours my car is like new! They never ask for any money? STAY AWAY FROM HOLLYWOOD TOYOTA !!!!!!!! Ca.
    Philip Wayne
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited October 2010
    Call Toyota and complain. There shouldn't be any diagnostic or other fee for getting a recall fixed. You may want to notify the NHTSA too.

    And please write a review for both dealers:

    Dealer Ratings and Reviews

    And please don't post your email address on forums; you'll get spammed if you do.
  • I got the same letter from Toyota.

    My transmission had failed and I had the work done at a non-Toyota shop. I was pretty angry about it at the time when my mechanic told me that the Toyota factory technician told him it was an ECM problem in all this model RAV4.

    I sent them all the paperwork they requested. They then asked for a letter from the transmission shop. I actually wrote the letter myself and took it to the manager for his signature. Lo and I got a check from Toyota for the FULL amount.

    I figured they'd try and screw me over...but they didn't. Hooray. :)
  • I have 2008 rav-4 with 6cyl engine, vehicle has 24K on it and has been humming since I bought it with 12,000 miles. Today I took it to a diff. toyota dealer. They said they have a tech. service bullit. on it and will install dampers (whatever that is) in the tranm. The noise was more pronounced between 35-45mph.. They have to send off for the parts so I will keep you advised.
  • I have an 02 rav4 that has transmission problems. It has 85k on it and I brought to a transmission shop and they worked on it not 1 but 3 times and still could not fix the problem. I then heard of some sort of recall through toyota for the ECM the computer that controls the transmission and the shop thinks this is the problem. So now I think Toyota will reimburse me for the money I paid to fix the transmission at the shop and the toyota dealership will fix this problem for free. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
  • I had the dampers put on my rav 4, 6 cyl. That seem to solve the problem of the noise. There was a tsb on it. Harry
  • I took it back to Toyota, they put in a NEW ECM MODULE for free!!!!!
    I was told the warranty is good for 10 years or 80k miles(I had 79k!)
    Car is running perfect, 6 weeks.
  • Hi,

    I spoke with you on another forum regarding transmission noise with the A/C on.

    Did the new transmission solve the problem?

    Thanks. Merry Christmas!
  • Can you send details of the repair, and location? My RAV4 2001 just did the Uncontrolled Surge for the first time, and no one knows why at the dealer. Your fix sounds very logical. Thank you.

    ps. I am sure it is the computer that controls the throttle as I was stopped and about to turn off the engine when the car suddenly lunged forward and crashed into another car.
  • gonz3gonz3 Posts: 5
    I know of these guys:

    They are located in Puerto Rico, USA. They did an excellent job on mine (2001 RAV4 L 4x2 2.0L Automatic).

    I hope that helps.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited January 2011
    Funny that their web page says "We are located in USA" and doesn't mention PR. They probably figure that most of us on the mainland think that Puerto Rico is a foreign country next door to Cuba. :D
  • bbeekbbeek Posts: 1
    If you have a 2001-2003 RAV4 that has had a transmission problem due to a defective ECM, Toyota will pay for the entire repair. Please see this article for details. You can call the Toyota Customer Experience Center in Torrance, CA. to go over exactly what documentation is needed to get a refund. I will be getting $4300 back for my transmission and ECM repair. 001-3-rav4/
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Thanks for the link. Interesting that CARB in California put the pressure on and Toyota responded by extending the warranty to owners nationwide. Good to see.
  • liujnliujn Posts: 27
    My wife complained about her 2001 Rav4 3 weeks ago. She is senseless to cars so when she used word - STALLING, I knew something really bad was happening, so I took a test drive immediately. The car had 89K of miles and didn’t have any problems in its almost 10 years of life. During a 7 miles trip, I hit this problem 4 times. In one occasion, I was almost hit by another car because when I step on the gas, engine rev up but the car doesn’t move. Worse, the tranny behaved like its going to fall apart. I said to myself, oh-oh, this is going to cost me. Stepped into the house and worried, suddenly, I remembered a ECM extend warranty letter I received last year. Bing-go! I pulled out the letter, read 3 times. What a horrible explanation of the symptom! Searched online including this site, I was able to link ECM issue to our problem. Today, I took the car to a nearby Toyota dealer. Up front, they asked me to sign a paper work for $59 checkup fee. I asked, “Will I be charged if the problem is covered by the extend warranty.” No, service manager said. “Good, I also hope I won’t walk out of here with a broken wallet.” Two hours later, he stopped by and told me that they have replaced the ECM, reprogrammed it, test drove the car and washed the car; the problem is fixed at no cost. I couldn’t be happier. The invoice said that dealer charged Toyota $800 for the job. Two months before the extended warranty expires, our car exhibited the problem and was fixed at no cost. Thanks to the class action filed by owners who made Toyota bend.
  • telynnbtelynnb Posts: 1
    Back in August 2010 took my 2002 Rav4 into the dealer to check engine light on & "slippage" I was feeling in the transmission. I had received the notice about the ECM. Dealership said they would check and if it was the ECM there would be no charge and it would be replaced. Came back and said "The Codes showed it was a canister hose leaking not the ECM" issue but recommended transmission flush, etc. which I did. The Canister hose replacement would be $400+ for a $125.00 hose. I had them on other occaisions prior to this look at the engine light being on and it was always said to be the gas cap issue. Took it to another mechanbis who checked and could not find any hose leakage or breakdown. The this week, with 79,900 miles...the slippage started again and when the mecanic drove it sounded like the transission would fall apart!!! AM FURIOUS that, after researching this site and others, that Toyota knew how bad this issue was and did'nt investigate my complaint further back in August!!! Am now on hold whether to go ahead and take it to transmission specialist to have checked, or back to dealership. The service manager won't be in until I will be calling him..and also Toyota's Customer Service in Ca. as listed here. Any suggested form you all will be appreciated. Have copied the info here and have my copy of the work order from August cearly stating I complained of feeling transmission slip!
  • I'm having the problem that a lot of you are talking about, however, not getting support from Toyota on it. I know my case might be a stretch, but is anyone else having the experience that I'm having...erratic check engine light, not informed of warranty extension, etc? You can see details of my case here: se/

    Any help or insight would be much appreciated! Thanks a lot.
  • gonz3gonz3 Posts: 5
    Hello Rick.

    About getting help for implementing the warranty, I guess that you will unfortunately have no success, as many of us have tried before with no luck. There was even a class action attempt and none have progressed.

    Lots and lots of dealers, either do not know about this or are just ignoring it, but believe me, most will bring no help at all, even telling them the whole story. I just don't know what are they up to about this.

    One thing that they said to you is true and it is that if you keep using your RAV4 like that, you will have a dead transmission soon. In my case, everything was as you described and it all suddenly disappeared for good after bringing my ecu to the guys I mentioned above in post #54.

    Believe me, you will feel so good at driving it after their service, that you will forget all about the whole issue and move on.

    I was very happy because in my case, the issue was so annoying that I was almost sure that it was the transmission, but it wasn't and these guys were not even expensive.

    Just my 2 cents,

    R. Gonzalez
  • austinsaustins Posts: 9 is a great site for checking out TSBs for your specific vehicle. Another site is, it has an extensive database of owner-submitted problems and also gives you a breakdown of the top problem vehicles, etc.
  • jnb757jnb757 Posts: 3
    In April 2009 my transmission blew on my 02 RAV4.. when it was towed to AAMCO there were 5 other Rav's with the same issue.. Trans was relaced... flatbedded to Toyota and an new ECM put in.. 18 months later? They repaid me... HOWEVER.... the new (or supposedly new) ECm started gived errors and AAMCO inspected the car 2 times and replaced a solenoid valve.. In May 2011 I took the car to Toyota and the dealer told me the ECM was defective... I had to pay $1000 & Toyota said "sorry" you were covered the first time and now the car has more than 150,000 miles Tough Sh--... I just brought the car back AGAIN because the banging on the O/D was getting bad and now? They tiold me I knew a new transmission AGAIN... And I called Toyota and their answer was "Sorry"... Is anyone interested in beginning another class action suit? The additude by TMC is so uncaring 3 times they replaced the ECM and now it has damaged the transmission AGAIN but they claim "it's not their problem' PLEASE can ANYONE help...
  • My mother's RAV4 pooped out this week with the ECM problem. We found this forum and contacted Toyota who was doing just fine in resolution until they decided they weren't going to cover the repair because the car, while a '01 model year, was purchased in Nov. 2000. Had it sat on the lot for eight more weeks, no problem, but since the person she bought it from bought it early (as a fleet vehicle), she's S.O.L.

    Keep this little tidbit in mind. We're currently in talks with a lawyer. I'd love to see that company try to defend that ridiculousness in court.
  • I am currently going through the same issue. I would love to know how things are progressing with the lawyers, because I may be interested in doing the exact same thing. I am a college student, where i need to drive back to school and im left without a car to get back if they decide not to fix my car. I was quoted by an automotive shop for $5189 to fix the ECU and transmission due to this very recall which I was never informed about by Toyota.
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