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Brand new Prado 2022 with intermittent engine/transmission stutter

El Pulpo Salsero

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Hi, back in February this year I spent $80k on a brand new Toyota Prado GXL from Sunsine Toyota in the Sunshine Coast. This is the first time I've owned a Toyota and whilst I'm generally happy with the vehicle I am beginning to get concerned with a subtle stutter that happens at random times when driving the vehicle. I haven't been able to figure out if it is an engine-related stutter or a transmission stutter, but it appears to happen when the the engine is revving at about 1500rpm and under a bit of load (so for example when starting to climb up a slightly inclined road). It isn't something that can be heard (so it doesn't appear to be engine misfire) but you can feel the stutter, which makes me think it could be a transmission issue.

I haven't discussed this with the Toyota dealer yet because, since this happens randomly, I'm thinking it will be hard to convince their technicians that there may be an issue with the car if I take them out for a test drive and the stutter doesn't happen. So I thought I'd post my experience on this forum to see if anyone else has experienced something similar, and if they have, what the outcome has been? Keen to hear from you.

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Hi Tony, I understand your concern and frustration at having spent a lot of money and having to experience little niggles with it. 

It's really difficult to say what it could be, unless someone here has actually experienced the same condition. 

I tend to think it could be transmission related and not in a mechanical sense because everything is run by computers these days and when the software has a brain fart it can translate into a mechanical one. 

I would definitely bring it to the attention of the dealership and perhaps take it back under a warranty claim. It's possible it may need a software update or something insignificant as that. 
The old chestnut that seems to be the flavour of the day, is that people are saying that "I took it to Toyota and they could find nothing wrong". Don't accept it. If it's not driving as it should then they are responsible to offer a solution and fix it under the terms of the warranty agreement and consumer law.

Hopefully, it turns out to be nothing major. It's brand new, so I cannot imagine anything serious. Minor hiccups can occur with the high complicated electrical systems these modern cars have. 
I'd hate to be a car technician these days to be honest. Issues like this can take you down a rabbit hole if you're not careful.

Let us know how you go.

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Thanks for responding Tony. I have literally just sent a couple of emails making Toyota aware of this. It is an interesting one and I guess I will be about to experience what Toyota's customer service is like. As I mentioned in my post, it's the first time I've owned a Toyota, and after doing extensive research on options available, I specifically decided to purchase a Toyota based on drivetrain reliability and durability. I have owned other four-wheel-drive vehicles and SUVs and my main comparison (in terms of reliability and durability) is that I have been running more affordable Hyundais and Kias for the last 15 years (covering about 600,000kms) without missing a beat! And on top of that their customer service has been exceptional.

So whilst I am willing to endure the reality that some Toyota vehicles will inevitably have teething technical issues that will need to be resolved along the way, it will all come down to how Toyota deals with this issue. If they prove to be empathetic and willing to cooperate to try and find a solution then I'll be happy enough with that. If they adopt a stubborn, uncooperative approach then I guess I'll have a bit of an issue to deal with. For now I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.  

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