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. # NHTSA — Power Train Problems ## 2002 Toyota RAV4 (Page 4 of 6) CarComplaints.com 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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
94,433 miles

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.

drivetrain problem

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problem #44

Jun 132011

### RAV4

• 155,475 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I was going North on molly lane and going to turn right on us hwy 92 going East. I pulled into oncoming traffic when my car stalled and it acted like the transmission slipped. I was almost rear ended. I drove and picked up a pizza on townlake parkway and the same thing happened when I pulled out of papa johns. I knew there was a bad problem at that point. I was going to drive it home and have it towed to Toyota. Upon turning onto the entrance ramp it stalled again and had no power. The cars behind me were blowing their horns. At the top of the ramp it revved and then surged. I drove it home and had it towed. Toyota says that the ECM is bad and needs to be replaced and then they can check the transmission. I looked on the internet and found there have been numerous problems with the 2001 - 2003 Rav4's. this is a definite safety risk and Toyota should be made to do a recall to fix the ECM boards.
problem #43

May 272011

### RAV4

• 72,750 miles
I experienced sputtering and hesitation while driving my 2002 Toyota Rav4 a few weeks ago, the Friday before memorial day. The car has around 72,800 miles on it. Over the memorial day weekend the car was fine. The next week I experienced the same problem. Once I stopped the car at a light and then accelerated, the car would lurch and sputter. I feared the car would shut off in traffic or I would not be able to keep up with the flow of traffic. I stopped driving it. Two different mechanics (non-Toyota) have told me I need a new transmission. I then took it to a Toyota dealer after calling the national customer service number, mentioned in a New York times article from August 2009. There was a recall on the ECM which the dealer who I bought the car from was uncooperative in replacing. So far the car is still at a different Toyota dealership undergoing "diagnosis".
problem #42

Jul 012010

### RAV4

• 154,000 miles
Driving normally nearing a stop sign/light/potential need to stop. Apply brakes, vehicle jerks. Beginning to release brake and continue driving engine shuts off and all warning lights on panel light up. Shift gear normally into park, start engine, it turns over, shift gear into drive and engine shuts off. Try shifting into 2nd gear, 1st gear and engine shuts off. If car sits for a while (not able to determine that amount of time it varies) it may start. Has happened at intersections and am placed in the center of an intersection trying to get started. This has occurred in rush hour traffic several times. Have taken car to dealer where it is now for the fifth time. They placed a computer on the computer to get a reading and it did not display anything. I cannot afford to purchase a new car and cannot afford thousands in repair costs.
problem #41

Dec 172009

### RAV4

• 101,830 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that she experienced problems shifting. All of the gears were affected whether the vehicle was accelerating or slowing down. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the electronic control unit and the transmission needed to be replaced. The failure mileage was 101,830. The current mileage was approximately 105,000.
problem #40

Jun 132010

### RAV4

• 95,000 miles
I have a 2002 Toyota rav 4 and am experiencing transmission problems. I understand that there are numerous Toyota customers with the same problem. I also understand that Toyota will do nothing to fix the problem and that writing you would be my best bet. The problem is caused by a faulty ECM (engine control module) and costs about $1200 to replace. Driving the vehicle as is also hurts the transmission which can lead to an additional$4000 to fix. Please let me know what or if anything can be done. Thanks. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

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problem #39

Jun 082010

### RAV4

• 47,680 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Rav4. While driving 30 mph up a hill, the vehicle lost power. The vehicle will be taken to the dealer for a diagnostic test. Report 1006100118 was filed with the manufacturer; however, they will not offer any assistance with the repairs since warranty has expired. The failure and the current mileages were 47,680.
problem #38

Jun 042010

### RAV4

• 96,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Transmission slipping and slamming into gear. Vehicle shudders like it was going to stop running, then RPM's jumped up to about 4,000 and slammo! slams into gear. Almost got hit by a large truck behind me. Check engine light doesn't come on. Took it to dealership and they say without error codes they cannot diagnose the problem. Had a recall on ECM a couple of yrs. Ago. Had it done(re-flashed) at dealership. No help from Toyota.
problem #37

Apr 222010

### RAV4

• Automatic transmission
• 61,500 miles
problem #34

Apr 112010

### RAV4

• 79,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

2002 Toyota Rav4: ECM computer problem causes the transmission to burn out. The ECM has a design blunder which causes it to lose its ability to control the solenoids. The transmission is damaged quite suddenly.
problem #33

Mar 012010

### RAV4 4WD 8-cyl

• 73,000 miles
Have a 2002 Toyota Rav4 with a transmission problem related to the ECM. The vehicles transmission hesitates, makes noises, does not shift correctly. There is a Toyota tech. Service bull. (tc-002-06) issued in 2006. Toyota never notified owners of this problem and therefore owners have driven past warranty time frames. (which is my case by 1 month) as there is only 73000 miles on the vehicle. Toyota should of contacted owners once they knew there was a problem.
problem #32

Mar 022010

• 87,000 miles
problem #31

Jan 012002

### RAV4

• 100 miles
Transmission sticks from 1st to 2nd. Has done it since I bought it new in 2002. Took to dealer way back then they told me I had "special transmission fluid and I would have to pay to get it fixed". I never had it fixed and it still sticks. Takes about 1/4 mile to shift. Purchased from kissimmee Toyota which is now Toyota of orlando(?) adding complaint for engine seize.
problem #30

Feb 152010

### RAV4

• 52,200 miles
Very suddenly my transmission felt like it would not shift from 1st to 2nd gear. It would free spin, then force into gear. Toyota replaced ECM, apparently the problem referred to in a 2006 tsb. Unknown if my transmission was damaged.
problem #29

Jan 162010

### RAV4

• 86,000 miles
My 2002 Toyota Rav4 transmission is jerking at low speeds. It seemed that the automatic transmission was not working properly. The jerks would be particularly strong when going up or downhill. After releasing the brake pedal during a complete stop, the car does not roll forward normally either.
problem #28

Nov 212009

• 91,000 miles
problem #26

Oct 302009

### RAV4

• 99,935 miles
In 2004 we purchased a 2002 Rav4 Toyota after checking with consumer reports. The car has not turned over 100,000 miles and the transmission and the computer went out. The charge for replacing both was \$3708. Research shows that the computer/transmission problem for 2001 to 2003 Toyota is growing. We are retired living on social security and did not have this kind of money for this problem. There should have been a recall or some type of adjustment by Toyota for the computer/transmission problems.
problem #25

Oct 012009

### RAV4

• 59,897 miles
Our ECM, engine control module, is faulty and has been sending our transmission the wrong signals and telling the transmission to shift at the wrong intervals. This caused our transmission to hard shift and mis-shift between 1 and 2, and 2 and 3. as a result, my wife and I almost got into a accident because our SUV would not move until it finally went into gear.

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