Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
110,300 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Toyota RAV4 transmission problems

transmission problem

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1998 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #2

Oct 292008


  • 121,000 miles


Not sure what category this falls into, but equipment seems like the most fitting: I have a 1998 Toyota Rav4. The vehicle has slightly high miles (approx. 121,000), it has always been maintained accordingly and has worked great until recently. While driving to work, via highway, fifth gear mysteriously would not stay engaged. Once placed into fifth, the gear would pop back out. In order to keep the transmission in fifth gear, it was necessary to physically hold the stick into position, otherwise it would pop out. Upon research into the problem, it was discovered that Toyota has not recalled fifth gear, although it has been an issue with the majority of their manual transmissions. The only acknowledgement of the anomaly by Toyota found was that of a "re-issue", not a recall. This could potentially be hazardous to the automobiles' driver, as well as others on the road due to an unexpected jerk caused by the gear not engaging. Another concern that arises is the fact that attention is diverted away from driving. I have heard that Toyota is notorious for issuing what I've heard called "silent recalls". if this problem falls into such a category it is assumed that Toyota does acknowledge the hazard and problem and would pay for the replacement of the gear, right? since the manufacturer's warranty is no longer in effect, the vehicle was brought to a transmission specialist and the fifth gear was replaced out of pocket. Many issues have come to fruition since the replacement, but that is a concern better brought up with the BBB regarding the "transmission specialists" rather than with NHTSA. Thank you for your time and consideration.

- Davie, FL, USA

problem #1

Jun 072007

RAV4 4WD 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 99,600 miles
On numerous occasions over a two week period, the manual transmission pops out of 5th gear without warning. This leads to a very dangerous situation when in traffic as it causes the vehicle to reduce momentum rapidly and could be easily rear-ended. The last event occurred on 6/7/2007, the day before vehicle was repaired by a private garage. I have asked Toyota for assistance on this problem, but was declined. They have a service bulletin out on the problem, but the coverage is not adequate. This problem can occur at anytime after their coverage expires.

- Jamesville, NY, USA

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