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. Notes: If you're looking for a vehicle with one of the most complained about transmission on the road, look no further than the 2001-2003 Toyota RAV4.

In 2001 Toyota completely redesigned the popular SUV. While some enjoyed the new look, they did not enjoy the harsh shifting, jumping from gear-to-gear and eventual transmission failure that cost owners well over $3,000 to fix. The problem stems from a malfunctioning Electronic Control Module (ECM).

Consumer outrage coupled with pressure from different agencies led Toyota to extend the warranty nationwide back in 2010. The previous power train warranty only covered 5 years/60,000 miles, while the extended warranty now covers the transmission and ECM for 10 years/150,000 miles. Toyota also pledged to reimburse any owners who had previously paid for repairs, if they had "proper proof". Good luck collecting on that one.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
84,400 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transaxle output housing and seals (1 reports)
2002 Toyota RAV4 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2002 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #1

Mar 152010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,400 miles


After replacing the ECM three months ago, I'm now treated with another costly repair. I had a very bad burning smell which the heater fan brought right into the car. You could smell the burning oil in and outside the car. Turns out there's a leak in the seal within the transmission which was leaking fluid/oil on to the exhaust system and burning. The transmission has to be taken apart to get at it. It's a 9 hour job and the part has been ordered. What next???

- , Colchester, VT, USA

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