rav4andrew

Rav4 Transmission Problems?

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Have just experienced transmission problems with my 2003 rav4 auto and was wondering if anyone else has had similar problems. It is still at the repairers but they said it is a fault in the computer system that is sending incorrect signals to the transmission and damaging the transmission. Apparently it is beginning to happen quite a lot with some models of Toyota and that Toyota are agreeing to pay a partial amount of the cost dependent on the service history etc of the car. Despite being out of warranty Toyota have agreed to pay for the parts but not the labour which means that i will still be paying around $3000 on a $7000 bill. Am talking to Consumer Affairs at the moment. Is anyone else experiencing similar problems?

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Have just experienced transmission problems with my 2003 rav4 auto and was wondering if anyone else has had similar problems. It is still at the repairers but they said it is a fault in the computer system that is sending incorrect signals to the transmission and damaging the transmission. Apparently it is beginning to happen quite a lot with some models of Toyota and that Toyota are agreeing to pay a partial amount of the cost dependent on the service history etc of the car. Despite being out of warranty Toyota have agreed to pay for the parts but not the labour which means that i will still be paying around $3000 on a $7000 bill. Am talking to Consumer Affairs at the moment. Is anyone else experiencing similar problems?

ANDREW,

I have just had the same problem - diagnosed today at 65,000 Ks on my 2002 3 door Rav4 cruiser (which I love). I did a google search on 2002 rav4 transmission problems and there were many pages about exactly this problem - mostly in the usa.

Before Igo ahead with the repair on Monday - about $6000 - for teh computer and transmission can you please tell me how you got Toyota to agree to pay for the parts and what progress you made with consumer affairs.

Thanks very much,

Andrea

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Hi there Guys,

I to have the same issue with my transmission. When it changes from 1 to 2 gear it hops and jerks around. I have seen on the websites that it is a engine computer or transmission or even both.

The only question I have is that on some of those sites they say that the mechanic or Toyota dealer reflash the computer and it woeks fine. How come here in Australia we have to buy a computer.

Also what guarrantee do we have that it wont happen again after a year or so???

Has anyone had any luck with Toyota??

Arty

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Using a mates account but just wanted to revive this thread as I have the same problem

rav 2000 model Cruiser with 180,xxx . Problem just happend last week but due to xmas holidays,newyears and soon Australia holiday It is taking AGES for me to sort this problem out. It is a real dam hassle for me to get to work FFS.

Anywho, Ive posted over at rav4world which is american based. But thank god there is an australian forum.

I have just taken my rav4 into a toyota dealer today and explained the situation i am in. They did not take me serious after I said 'internet groups'. But after i took out some papers of the ECU codes that i wrote down and mentioned that the exact same thing happend to my sisters car which is exact same model but diff color ALSO purchased on the same day. They then suddenly took some seriousness to what i wanted.

The car is with them as we speak , i am waiting on their reply to see if they will go through with what i want (just change the ECU or Flash it) still waiting on a call. Ill let you guys know what happens but I too am curious to see how andrew was able to get a discount.

i have spoken to toyota over the phone and they simply said they will not assist me due to no warranty.

Edited by dn5

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Have just experienced transmission problems with my 2003 rav4 auto and was wondering if anyone else has had similar problems. It is still at the repairers but they said it is a fault in the computer system that is sending incorrect signals to the transmission and damaging the transmission. Apparently it is beginning to happen quite a lot with some models of Toyota and that Toyota are agreeing to pay a partial amount of the cost dependent on the service history etc of the car. Despite being out of warranty Toyota have agreed to pay for the parts but not the labour which means that i will still be paying around $3000 on a $7000 bill. Am talking to Consumer Affairs at the moment. Is anyone else experiencing similar problems?

Hi all,

I'm a bit late on this topic but I also have a 2003 Rav4 which has just had the ECU replaced and a possible transmission problem, just wondering how everyone stands with their situation on this and whether anyone took it further to Consumer Affairs. The service and support I've received from the Toyota Dealer and Toyota Australia has been shocking, not to mention the stress mentally and financially it has had on us! The bizarre thing is I still don't know if they

really needed to replace the ECU, either way, I've asked for the old ECU and plan on testing it back in the car to see how honest they really have been as I lost a lot of faith dealing with them :(

Cheers, Shagsy.

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Had the same issue with my 2004 Auto Rav. Took it to few transmission places and they all diagnosed it was the Gearbox. $1800 later with a recon gear box the problem remained.The transmission bloke didnt want anything to do with it. No refunds etc. Took the car to Toyota dealer (where i initially bought the car from) and traded it in. Drove out with my new car and let it be the dealers problem.(Obviously they didnt know the car had a prob till later).Since have seen somebody else driving the car around but dont know how much the dealership coughed up for parts or repairs.

Not the right thing to do but thats how i got out of this problem.

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I wouldn't like this problem passed on to anyone, it truly sucks when you fork out so much money for what you think would be a reliable family car!

After 2 weeks of our Rav being at the Toyota Dealership Service centre they called yesterday and said the bad ECU had been replaced along with a faulty coil (faulted due to the ECU fault apparently - dubious) and the car was now running perfect but they suspect the transmission is damaged and not safe to drive.

I decided to go to the dealership and inspect the car myself. I spoke to the mechanic for about 20-30minutes in the car while it was idling in drive (didn't miss a beat) and then drove it only to find that it wasn't struggling to change/select the right gears but only slipped into 3rd from 2nd (ever so slightly) when you were to really floor it.

After being told on the phone that the car needed a new transmission the mechanic then said you could probably nurse it or never have a problem with it for the next 10 years, he was merely flagging the problem he'd found/noticed. I thanked him for the thought but told he we'd never drive it like a Supercar and I had nothing to lose to drive to it 'may or may not' fail completely. He agreed!

After some discussion of the situation and how unhappy I was over the ordeal they believed Toyota 'should and could' fix the gear box free of charge (sceptical they said this though to see the back of me and we'll see).

So, 2 weeks later, they replaced a fuel filter (as they believed it was contaminated fuel which caused the stall/idle/power loss), drained the fuel tank and aired it, replaced the ECU, cleaned/lubricated the valves and then replaced just one coil at a total cost of $2800 gst included!

I can't help but wonder if maybe it was just a faulty coil and I could have been charged only $400-600, but they are the experts and you take your car to them for honest practical service right?!

$2800 seems like a lot of money to be ran-around over 2 weeks, but in the end I'm happy to have the car back in my own hands and will monitor it very closely and decide where to next.

I am still unhappy with the service I received and the lack of information I was relayed and worst of all Toyota Australia's lack of support and responsibility for a blunder they are certainly aware of (ECU/Transmission).

As much as I love the Rav4 I'm now faced with the decision of either riding this problem through or buying a different vehicle, not sure where I stand yet :(

Cheers, Shagsy.

Ps. I have kept a record of everything I have gone through so if any further problems with the Transmission arise I'll definitely be taking it further, like Consumer Affairs,

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Hi Peoples,

Just getting back with some news. I went to Toyota Service in Melbourne. Great to deal with and he was honest with me. He told me that the ECU would be the problem, but if I drive it with the fault it will damage the solenoids in the trans and I will need a rebuilt.

All up I got quoted $3000 to $4000. He said that Toyota might help with some payment but don't hold your breath.

My wife decided to call Toyota head office and tell them about the fault, and they claim it isn't a common fault. She told her just check the reports and forums on the net. But they don't go by internet forums.

At the end of the day I took it to a local mechanic and told him. He ended up just changing the ECU for $1500. He said if it still does it you will have to pay for a rebuild trans.

A year down the track it is still working fine without the need of a rebuild.

Arty.

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Please read the link-Toyota is reimbursing for repairs on ECU/ECM and transmission in the States.

I checked with a mechanic who repairs the ECM and he told me that ECM's are different for different markets, however, they function the same.

http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/13/toyota-extends-warranty-on-troubled-2001-3-rav4/

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Had the same issue with my 2004 Auto Rav. Took it to few transmission places and they all diagnosed it was the Gearbox. $1800 later with a recon gear box the problem remained.The transmission bloke didnt want anything to do with it. No refunds etc. Took the car to Toyota dealer (where i initially bought the car from) and traded it in. Drove out with my new car and let it be the dealers problem.(Obviously they didnt know the car had a prob till later).Since have seen somebody else driving the car around but dont know how much the dealership coughed up for parts or repairs.

Not the right thing to do but thats how i got out of this problem.

You did the best you can. You already forked out $1800 which wasn't fair. I'm sure given this sort of circumstance many people would have done the same thing including myself and I did exactly that, although in a slightly different situation and my RAV4 was a 2 year old manual.

Coming to this forum, made me realise even Toyota have consistent problems.

.... but they are the experts and you take your car to them for honest practical service right?!

I am still unhappy with the service I received and the lack of information I was relayed and worst of all Toyota Australia's lack of support and responsibility for a blunder they are certainly aware of (ECU/Transmission).

As much as I love the Rav4 I'm now faced with the decision of either riding this problem through or buying a different vehicle, not sure where I stand yet :(

Cheers, Shagsy.

You'd think they are experts right... ? I bought a 2008 model manual RAV4 from a dealer on Parramatta Road. Had my car in for warranty repair on the manual gearbox, yet I had already gone back at least 5 times for other related problems, including oil leak and still had more problems to fix which upsets me so much, I decided to call it quits take my losses and traded the car in. Which I wasn't meant to do at least for another 2 years.

Truth be told, I'm not sure if there aren't going to be other related problems after the warranty runs out.

I already made the complaint to Toyota Australia, but as you would expect, the guy at customer service told me all he could do was talk to the dealer on my behalf and just take my car back to them... whopee!

Funny thing was I already voiced my opinion to the service manager prior to dropping the car in the first time that, usually from past experience once you take the car in for warranty repair, it'll just keep coming back with other problems and guess what?

Makes you wonder then why some people prefer to take their car to an independent mechanic for a service.

I've owned 5 brand new Toyotas in the last 13 years including the new one I am currently driving, four of them bought from the same dealer that sold me the RAV4. I'm pretty sure, this is going to be the last Toyota I'll probably ever own unless they can convince me otherwise.

Right this moment, am ****** as I can be with Toyota and the reason why I decided to buy another Toyota is simple money. Not that they gave me more value for my car, even from the same dealer, far from it. Just that I don't want to spend too much on a change over.

Edited by conroe

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I guess that every one already know that Toyota Company is extending the warranty on these cases with 2001, 2002 and 2003 RAV4's with automatic transmission harsh shifting problems.

They extended the warranty for 10 years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first, and will cover both the transmission and the ecm computer. I heard that they did it after some pressure from California's government, but extended it to all the USA.

I had the bad luck that mine was around 162,000 miles, so no warranty extension applied to me and I was in need of a new ecm computer to fix this problem. Luckily enough, I fixed it by sending it to an aftermarket ecm repair Company for an affordable price (http://www.OtherDeal.com - $197.00) and after driving about 1000 miles since the repair was done, I can tell that the problem is gone for good.

Toyota is not covering ALL the 2001 - 2003 RAV4 vehicles with this problem, as the friend who recommended me the service I paid, had the same situation and though his car was less than 150,000 miles, the dealer told him that it doesn't cover cars with some letter in some location in the VIN number.

I do not remember what letter and in what position in the VIN number, but you will easily find out by calling to your local Toyota dealer. I guess that the letter must have something to do with the location of the manufacturing plant of that specific ecm computer.

It is a pity, as Toyota knew it all the time and did not took action until today, but limiting the span of such action, as as mentioned, it depends on the VIN number and will not cover if the vehicle is outside the USA, even if it has the same problem, which in first place, was a manufacture problem.

Just my 2 cents here.

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Hi been reading the auto probs i see somebody has tried the consumer mob , good luck i think you will find its just another agency set up to give somebody a job they have no power at all no clout its just a token agency . same as the ombudsman , lets face it most of the toyota stuff is imported and the main office is in japan , a few yrs back they got a big fine and hauled over the coals in Japan for fitting faulty parts , and we are thousands of klm away, its the old case of mind over matter.

They dont mind because you dont matter

there units used to be good you could not kill them , but competition and so called computer management totaly stuffed the car industry and flooded it with cheap crappy parts from china / taiwan / india / and the like all made for just a few bucks in sweat shops by the million . even the top brand cars are now getting big problems ferrari have had to recall many top of the range units because they were bursting into flames

i agree Toyota should recall all rav 4s not just a few and they should be made to fix it at there expence no a half and half deals were is there duty of care to the buyer /owner and his safety ,

maybe they need a big protest and online put down to wake them out of the 20billion dollar snooze they take

Edited by tell
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THESE ARE THE SO CALLED TOYOTA'S GUIDING PRINCIPALS yah right no spirit of the honorable samurai here guy's maybe the DIRECTORS should commit sepuku

Honor the language and spirit of the law of every nation and undertake open and fair corporate activities to be a good corporate citizen of the world.

Respect the culture and customs of every nation and contribute to economic and social development through corporate activities in the communities.

Dedicate ourselves to providing clean and safe products and to enhancing the quality of life everywhere through all our activities.

Create and develop advanced technologies and provide outstanding products and services that fulfill the needs of customers worldwide.

Foster a corporate culture that enhances individual creativity and teamwork value, while honoring mutual trust and respect between labor and management.

Pursue growth in harmony with the global community through innovative management.

Work with business partners in research and creation to achieve stable, long-term growth and mutual benefits, while keeping ourselves open to new partnerships.

Established in 1990, revised in 1997. (Translation from original Japanese.)

Always be faithful to your duties,

thereby contributing to the Company and to the overall good.

Always be studious and creative, striving to stay ahead of the times.

Always be practical and avoid frivolousness.

Always strive to build a homelike atmosphere at work that is warm and friendly.

Always have respect for God, and remember to be grateful at all times.

We completed CSR POLICY : Contribution towards Sustainable Development, which interprets and explains the Guiding Principles at Toyota taking into consideration of our relationship with stakeholders.

had enugh B/D yet LOL,

Copyright/Terms of use | Privacy Policy | FAQ | Sitemap

Edited by tell
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has anybody had experience with Injectronics in melbourne rebuilding the ECM's to fix this problem. there are a few places overseas Cheers

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I just discovered today that the transmission problem I have been experiencing in my 2003 RAV4 is the ECM. With the help of my Brother we have tracked down an ECM repairer in the States (Puerto Rico). The site is called OtherDeal.com It is a very interesting and informative site. The symptoms of ECM failure they described are spot on. They claim to repair the faulty components in the ECM unit and reboot the program, they guarantee their work for 12 months and the reviews are very reassuring. You just remove the ECM (located behind the glove box), post the unit to them and then plug it back in when it is returned. It takes approximately 10-14 days mostly postage time, and costs around USD$250.

I would be very interested to know if -

Anyone experiencing transmission problems of this nature had their ECM's repaired by this company?

If you have, has it fixed the problem?

Did you encounter any problems dealing with the company?

Is there a company in Australia which offers the same service?

Does anyone have any updates of the extended Toyota Warranty, has it reached Australia yet or is it still confined to the States?

Any fresh info will be very much appreciated.

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I ended up with a very tight time scale to resolve this problem. I looked into the various options overseas and they would appear to be a bit of a mixed bag, from very slick professional circuit board companies to small "backyard" operators.......this is not commenting on their ability to fix the problem, just observations.

Because of the timing my vehicle finally went to a Toyota dealer.....they swapped the ECU.....the problem is completely resolved. A week later it went on a 1500km trip without a hiccup. If you go down this "new ECU" path, make sure that all of your keys are re-programmed in the deal.

There is no sign whatsoever of Toyota Aust acknowledging this problem.....this is something that will ultimately hurt them and what is generally a good reputation. They cannot turn a blind eye on something like this and expect that it will not have an impact.

I have been trying to think of ways of getting the word out there about this problem. I purchased without doing enough homework and got caught out. I have considered Gumtree listing warning people about this, but am not sure if it would be their T's and C's. Must be a more public way than these forums. Perhaps we should encourage the overseas suppliers to offer their services locally on line (via Gumtree) as a way of spreading the word

Adrian

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Hi All.

The 2013 Rav 4 is on its way. We are planning a "Rav Roast" [event to showcase the new vehicle] in a few weeks and would like to invite you all along. Let me know if your interested and I will forward the details.

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I bought a 2002 RAV4 in late 2003 and was very happy with it until Friday night when it suddenly stopped changing

gears properly- I nearly didn't make it up the hill to my house. I googled and found info re the class action in the USA etc. I rang Toyota and was told it was a transmission issue and I would need to have the car towed. When I started asking questions, the guy said he wasn't a mechanic, only a despatcher.

Later he offered me Toyota Roadside assistance for an annual fee of $78 but that as I have reported an existing problem, I would have to pay the $100 towing fee if my car breaks down due to the transmission. I advised that a) its a KNOWN PROBLEM for Toyota,(not me) b) the call centre guy could not possibly diagnose the problem as an existing one for MY car if he is just a despatcher...anyway,I signed up and drove the car all weekend as I needed to - with the problem nbeing intermittently worse or OK.

This morning I took it to the Sydney City Toyota Waterloo NSW Service Centre and was quoted $914 to have a new
ECU fitted and possibly $9000 to fix the transmission - one guy told me he knew of another customer who drove his car for a year with the problems and it didn't damage the transmission, so my car should be OK. When I
challenged them on the fact Toyota knew about this problem and IF the transmission HAS been damaged,
and no one from Toyota even gave owners the heads up, why should we pay anything?

He just said sorry, but you'll have to call Toyota Head Office......which I did.....and was told that the recall in the USA was because
the Rav 4 is made in Canada but the Australian Rav4 s are made in Japan and Japan has not issued a recall.

He admitted there had been a few calls about this problem but not many. I pointed out the problem is the same no
matter where the Rav4 has been made. I asked for someone to contact me after Japan has
been notified and was told it was unlikely for anyone to contact me and that what Waterloo told me was correct - ie that I would have to pay. He also said it could take months before Japan makes any decision about a Recall ( after all
these years of knowing about the problem????) So I advised him I won't be waiting months for a reply as I will be contacting the Department of Fair Trading well before then.

The Dept of F T has just advised that I need to contact Toyota first, if not happy to call them back and lodge a
complaint !!

Just had a call from Waterloo telling me they need to keep the car overnight to test it for hot and cold
starts, but there are no courtesy cars available...so how to get home. So I have phoned
other dealers and found it takes an hour to install a new ECU.

Just got another phone call fromToyota saying the technician has gone home without installing the new ECU and
the glove box and aircon have been removed so will have to keep the car overnight, that they
have tried to help me as usually they need a weeks notice and ‘the ball is in your court’. I told them the ball is in Toyota’s court actually. They reduced the price to ‘ Fleet ‘ rates : $827.50. Now they are going to put the glovebox
and aircon back in and I will drop the car off again tomorrow- they could have explained all this this morning, as I was there for about an hour and a half.

I am now going to lose 2 days of part of my business activities – lost sales etc plus I have to walk 1.8kms back
to Toyota and do it all again tomorrow – 2 days = 7.2kms of walking with a foot injury.

Not happy and I object to all the ducking and weaving and general dishonesty regarding this problem.

I will be lodging a formal complaint with the Department of Fair Trading as there needs to be an URGENT recall on
these vehicles and Toyota needs to be held responsible for the trouble and expense it has caused its customers.

One of the dealers I called this afternoon said they sell lots of these ECUs every month, so a lot of
Australians are unware of the US class action and Toyota obviously wants to keep it that way.

Just phoned a local auto electrician and he said he can do the job for about $700 - by tomorrow afternoon - he is about 5 minutes walk away, so Toyota have missed out. Will post back with the results of the local guy. My fingers are crossed



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As promised, I am posting back with the latest update regarding my 2002 Rav4 gear changing problem. I now have a new ECU fitted and the car is driving like a dream. I was very fortunate that Gary of HiTech Auto Electrical, 15 Ralph St Alexandria NSW was able to fit my car in as his workshop is overflowing with cars. The folks there did a great job, all done in a day ( actually about an hour) - unlike Toyota Sydney City at Waterloo, and the cost? They charged $600 + GST and $100 Labour + GST - $770 all up compared to Sydney City Toyota who first quoted $700 for the ECU and $214 labour ($914)- then reduced the total to $827.50 as a ' Fleet Rate'- and then didn't even fit it. What a joke.they are. HiTech Alexandria NSW is moving to Gardeners Road soon but I can highly recommend them - they understand the customer ( their sheer panic!) and really help out. Now for some attempts to get reimbursed by Toyota!

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Jocelyn1411, thank you for your timely post as my 2003 Rav4 started the same problem on Tues of this week. I have it scheduled for maintenance at a mechanic nearby my office, but your post of HiTech Auto has changed my mind given they know the problem and addressed it so quickly. I don't want to mess around with anyone else trying to figure this out at my expense.

I'll update on the outcome if I can get the ECU changed straight away tomorrow!

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Hi Luke

Glad to have been of help - remember to take BOTH keys with you as they need to be re-programmed - I forgot to take my second one in and have consistently forgotten it and it is now Thursday!!:-))

Did you see on the news last night that Toyota is recalling the PRIUS car due to what sounds like a VERY similar problem but have not and seems will not recall the RAV4 2001-2003 models. Do they want us to hate them forever or something :-))

According to one of the dealers I spoke to the other day, they sell about 4 ECUs a month - its not a big dealership, so multiply that by 12months, by say 30 dealers by say 8 years Toyota has known about the problem = 11,500 RAV4s - and this figure does not include the Auto Electricians who also replace them ( probably more of them do it for all we know) nor does it include other countries - I found even Nigerians are having the same problem. Its very dangerous to have an erratic car especially in high speed zones. Maybe a journalist somewhere could find out exactly how many replacement ECUs have been installed Australia wide. Toyota will surely know.

Regards

Jocelyn

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Hi All,

HiTech Auto replaced the ECU and thankfully nothing catastrophic occurred to the transmission over the 2 days I had to nurse it around town. I fortunately can drive on back roads to work and avoid high speed zones!

For me personally, we bought the car used, and I've bought enough cars over the years to know that a used car always has 1 or 2 surprises in it. I've owned probably 9 different Toyotas over the last 15 yrs ranging from a 1978 Toyota Celica to a 2007 Toyota Tundra (when I lived in the US). I love Toyota and this experience won't jade me...disappointing that they won't acknowledge something isn't working optimally which could be a safety concern.

Thanks for this thread everyone - helped a lot to avoid unnecessary transmission work proposed by other repair shops.

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Well it's now my turn! ! I love my 2001 Rav4 and have never had anything go wrong with it until now! ! I too have the problem of the gears getting stuck from first to second gear.... I've been to my local mechanic and he suggested flushing oil thru it and changing the oil filter.... He didn't guarantee or would work. .. Do you think I should bother or should I go straight to replacing the ECU???

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Hi Tess

Well, I have been meaning to post back here after I had the new ECU installed - I am still having trouble with the gears not changing and being very sluggish - its better than before the new ECU was fitted though ( not dangerous and I can now drive up hills!!)- so Gary at Hi-Tech suggested it will be the oil filter - these are meant to be changed every 40,000kms but he said a lot of mechanics don't do it because they have to remove things /engine ( something like that!!)..anyway, I am going to give that a try as soon as I can get back to the mechanic that charged me a small fortune a year ago claiming among other things that they changed the oil filter ( Midas Alexandria ).....my guess the problem could be both - if you haven't had the filter changed for ages you will need to do that anyway...so maybe start there....I don't understand Toyota - they have recalled so many models of cars lately but will not do anything for Rav4 owners- the problem seems to be the same or at least very similar to a lot of the recalled vehicles.

Let us know how things go

Jocelyn

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Thanks Jocelyn

This is starting to feel like trying to find a needle in a hay stack!! It doesn't seem like anyone (so far) can really tell us what is wrong with our cars. I have 2 small kids and I'm really apprehensive to drive to far with them in the car in case something goes wrong. I'll give this oil thing a try and let you know how it goes.

That's a bummer your car is still not right after spending $$ on it, that really frustrates me.

There is plenty online on this topic, kinda off putting, I am a really big fan of my Rav4 and the last thing I want is for it to end up on the metal heap :(

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