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.

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.

8.6

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$1,856.00
Average Mileage:
99,711 miles
Total Complaints:
69 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine control module (29 reports)
  2. not sure (16 reports)
  3. replace ECU (9 reports)
  4. replace emc/rebuild tranny (4 reports)
  5. replace ecm computer (3 reports)
  6. repair ecu $ 500.00 + shipping (2 reports)
2002 Toyota RAV4 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #69

May 062014

RAV4 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

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

My Rav4 started to have harsh shifting and I did not know why until I found the TSB on the EMC. However I did not have the code it said I should have so I tried other things like adding transmission fluid additive but it never fixed it. 1 month later I finally got thee check engine light and the code to go with it.

- , Enid, OK, USA

problem #68

Aug 082013

RAV4 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,326 miles

The problem with Toyota 2001 through 2003 RAV4 ECM/Transmission is a well known and resulted in a settled class action suit brought in California. http://www.rav4ecmsettlement.com/content.aspx?c=4720&sh=1

Problem is that this settlement did not result in a recall and this problem is dangerous enough to warrant such action. I am currently in the process of filing a more comprehensive suit in NY against both the dealer who sold me the car (purchased in Jan 2012 and problem was already known) and Toyota. All of the individuals who were impacted financially or otherwise by this obvious manufacturing defect should be compensated and all of the individuals who are at risk of having an accident due to this problem should be alerted and their automobiles fixed. I continue to post my progress in this matter.

Copy of the complaint: http://www.courthousenews.com/2009/11/19/ToyotaRAV4.pdf

- , Fairfield, CT, USA

problem #67

May 142011

RAV4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I been a fan of Toyota for sometime now but since this problem occur. I have try calling Toyota corp, and complaint they don't do SH*T regardless warranty or not, What kind of BS is this. Toyota is supposed to be a reliable car manufacture. I would never buy another Toyota again even if they give me a free. transmission. I couldn't afford a new tranny so I went ahead and replaced the ECU that supposedly Toyota refurbished to fix the problem. but all it did was made the problem worse. TOYOTA DOES NOT STAND BEHIND THEIR CAR. WE SHOULD ALL FILE A LAW SUIT AGAINST TOYOTA. I have talk to a lemon laywer and he is looking in to this. Please everyone call toyota and complain. I have tried to contact the ceo or who ever is in charge but no luck. All I can say is F*CK TOYOTA F*CK TOYOTA F*CK TOYOTA F*CK TOYOTA. I rather walk the drive another piece of crap toyota.

- , Midway City, CA, USA

problem #66

Aug 182012

RAV4 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

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

BACK IN 2002 I NEEDED A NEW CAR. MY HUSBAND HAD LUNG CANCER SO I KNEW I HAD TO PURCHASE A CAR THAT WOULD LAST ME A LONG TIME. I WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO AFFORD ANOTHER CAR. I DECIDED TO BUY A TOYOTA RAV4 SINCE AT THAT TIME THEY HAD A GOOD REPUTATION. ON 8/18/12 I PUT THE CAR IN REVERSE AND FELT A SUBSTANTIAL JERK. I DIDN'T KNOW WHY. I DROVE THE CAR TO A MECHANIC AND NOTICED A JERKING WHEN THE TRANSMISSION CHANGED GEARS. I FOUND A LETTER THAT WAS SENT TO ME ABOUT A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT INVOLVING THE ECM MODULE. I KNEW IMMEDIATELY THAT WAS MY PROBLEM. I CALLED TOYOTA IN CALIFORNIA AND SPOKE WITH CALVIN. HE TOLD ME TO TAKE IT TO A TOYOTA SERVICE CENTER AND MAYBE THEY WOULD GIVE ME FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE. HE SAID I WAS 6 MOS. TO LATE WITH THIS PROBLEM AND IT WAS NO LONGER COVERED. I AM JUST SICK ABOUT THIS AND CANNOT BELIEVE THAT THE TOYOTA ORGANIZATION CAN JUST LEAVE THEIR CUSTOMERS WITH NO HELP KNOWING THAT THIS A DEFECT IN THEIR PRODUCT. EVERYBODY NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT THIS SO THEY DO NOT BUY A TOYOTA AND HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS. I WILL DO MY PART TO TELL EVERYONE I KNOW. I NOW HAVE TO BUY A NEW CAR AND IT WILL NOT BE A

TOYOTA.

- , Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #65

Apr 022012

RAV4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,000 miles

Engine started to sputter, heard a clunk and the engine looked as if it was going to jump out of the hood! April 4, 2012, I drove it to Toyota Pasadena and barely made it to the dealership and mph could not exceed 25 mph. Toyota called me the next day and said nothing was wrong. I was shocked and informed the mechanic and another person drove the car over 65 mph and did not experience any problems with the transmission. I drove it off the lot and stalled a few miles down the road, had to have it towed home. I contact Toyota and they agree to do another check as I argued that the car had not been checked the first time. The tech drives with me and husband in the vehicle and incredibly there were no problems for seven miles. I'm feeling pretty silly at this point and my husband and I are in disbelief. I run a few errands after leaving Toyota and the sputtering begins. I contact Toyota again and told to bring the car back in. April 20, 2012 around 4:30 pm I roll into Toyota and told there was no one to test the vehicle, I state that the car is currently not functioning and need anyone to drive test the vehicle 50 yards to experience the problem as it had been present and informed all of the master mechanics are gone and no one in the entire dealership can assist me. Unbelievable!! and a complete lie!! Molly the intake person assigns my car to a specific individual and would not allow anyone else to look at it, although a technician offered to look at it. Molly stated that I should bring it back on Monday after I explained to her that the car was inoperable. I sensed something was not right and argued to have someone look at it since I've brought the car back for the third time. I was told by Gabriella, the customer relations person that someone would look at it the next day. I contact Toyota Headquarters and file a complaint so to document my experience and as I sit and wait for my ride to pick me up, I witness employees of Toyota opening up hoods of cars pulling into the service area, starting engines, checking gas gaskets and discussing problems relating to vehicles. The porter that drove my car to the waiting area turned the car on and jerked forward and upon asking him if he felt the jerking motion (because I saw the car jerk) he stated that he did not feel anything wrong and that the car drove fine. Toyota is not forthcoming with the issues relating to the transmission and if I'm wrong then why can't Toyota determine whats wrong? Toyota should inform customers that the diagnostic service they offer is a hit and miss service.

- , Altadena, CA, USA

problem #64

Apr 222012

RAV4 2.0L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

I bought a "certified" pre-owned 2002 Toyo RAV4 automatic 4x2 from Performance Toyota in Fairfield, OH in 2007. I obviously was not told about any potential issues with the ECM or tranny when they knew, or should have known, since a TSB was sent to dealers/service depts in 2006 and perhaps earlier. I drove it and just assumed the way it shifted was just the way it shifted, which was rougher than the Camry wagon I had prior to that (which had 150k on it with NO tranny problems). I received a recall notice from Toyota Motor Sales in 2010 that indicated the ECM needed to be "reprogrammed". I had that "reflashing", the reprogramming as the dealer (Beechmont Toyo) I took it to calls it, done in November '10. I have now (4/2012) found that in June of '10, a Toyo Serv Bulletin (T-SB-0156-10) sent to dealers/service depts indicates that the repair SHOULD be replacement of the ECM. Further research into it indicates that the ECM has some electronic hardware on the circuit board itself (i.e. transistors or other modules) that are faulty and are failing, over time, leading to transmission failures. In July of 2010, Toyo issued a warranty "enhancement" or extension via TSB # POL 10-03, which covers the replacement of the ECM and also the tranny, if required. However, Toyota obviously took the low road and cheapest fix which was only a band-aid of the defective ECMs by reflashing them. They told only dealers/service depts. and crossed their fingers and hoped to get past the warranty period by failing to disclose this better “fix” (ECM replacement) to the OWNERS of the vehicles. Mine is no more than 1 yr outside the 10 yr/150k enhanced warranty and just failed last week. It started clunking when putting it into R then rough shifting going from 2 to 3rd (always in OD). I didn’t drive it all weekend with the intent of bringing it to the dealer for evaluation and to make sure it would be covered by warranty. I started to drive it Monday and it was slipping and acting up. After driving it a short distance towards the dealership, I had to pull off and call a WRECKER to have it towed in. Long story shortened: dealer told me I was about a year too old to be covered by the 10 year extension, even though it is a 2002 and it is now 2012. They say they go by first in service date, which they claim to be in late ’01; even though that is not how I read the TSB. To fix it, they tell me it will be $950 for a new E.C.M. and the half hour of labor their TSB says it takes to do the job. Then they will have to drive the car to determine if the tranny is fried and needs replacement (no price quote). I stopped them at that point to catch my breath and to vent my spleen. They said tough crap and told me that I could call Toyota. I called Toyo USA who listened to me but basically said “tough crap” too … that “Toyota will not offer any financial assistance in this matter”. I read them the info I had about the TSB’s and how the “recall” should have included REPLACEMENT of the faulty ECM, not just reflashing them. They said sorry but that if I felt I had action against the dealer I could try to go after them for not performing it correctly as there is no time limit on recall issues. I guess I will bring that up as I have the car towed from the dealers and get it fixed somewhere else where I won’t get raped with exorbitant dealer service dept prices. (I can get the ECM and replace it myself for $250-300). It sounds like ANOTHER class action law suit vs. Toyota might be coming. If I go that route, I will include Performance & Beechmont Toyota in the fun. Anyone in the Cincinnati, OH know of a good transmission guy, let me know, just in case I have to go that far.

- , Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #63

May 242011

RAV4 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 158,251 miles

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

Toyota should be ashamed of themselves. There was a known problem with the ECM. Even though they extended the warranty, that didn't help me since I have over 150K miles. I did all the required services over the years and still I get stuck with a bad vehicle that I had to pay for repairs out of my pocket. Every chance I get, I recommend to friend and family not to buy a Toyota. I was a loyal customer for many years. I actually took the car to the dealer when I started having trouble and the only thing they said was that the transmission fluid smelled like it was starting to burn. The machanic recommended that I just continue to drive it until it just fails and then get it repaired. He apparently knew all along what the problem was.

Anyway, I got the transmission rebuilt. It cost $2850 but by day 2 it was jerking and shifting hard again. Thats when I decided to do some research on line and found out the that this was know issue with '02 RAV4. The transmission place wanted another $1500 to replace the ECM. I told them no thanks and found a place in PR by reading post on other sites. I removed the ECM myself and shipped it off. I used FedEx which was costly and not necessary (lesson learned). It took 5 days to get there but once they received it, it only took a day for them to repair. Got it back 2 days ago and put it back in place. Have been driving it for 2 days now. I notice a slight hesitation but it's 100% better than it was before. Came with a 1 year warranty.

- , Henrico, VA, USA

problem #62

Jan 132011

RAV4 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,967 miles

here goes we received notice that toyota was giveing a warranty enhancement coverage the of the ecm and automatic transaxle. well sure enough we had all of those issues including car stalling on highway while my wife was trying to make to work..

got car in for repair toyota dealership told us they replaced the ecm problem solved .for about 2 weeks..

/car then stalled again had to be towed in. to toyota dealership they told us they could not duplicate problem kept car for 1 week duplicated problem. last communication they think it may be a torque converter problem. after telling us they just couldn't understand what could be wrong.. after going on internet then finding thousands of people having same problem shame on toyota .. now i would just like some help geting toyota to pay for repairs. and what im reading is a nightmare.

Update from Apr 20, 2011: toyota replaced transmission . at their cost . seems to be working fine.

go toyota..

- , Perry Hall, MD, USA

problem #61

Sep 112008

RAV4 4CYL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,280 miles

The dealer replaced my ECM because of the vehicle jerking when shifting into neutral. I asked them to check the ECU because of the online help at CarComplaints.com. It says in the repair order "replace ECU per TSB-06" (tsb = technical service bulletin).

FYI, I think this is related to special service campaign 601. My car had the check engine light on with codes p0420 and p0430. Despite checking at an independent shop, the catalytic converter is the Toyota original.

The main thing that makes this a really awful repair is that the ECM gave the 2002 model year problems since the get-go. The original TSB for ECM code problems started in 2007:

49 TOZ60I, SSC # 601: "Certain 2001 through 2003 model year Highlander and certain 2001 through 2002 model year RAV4 engine control module reprogramming."

"In recent months, Toyota has received reports that some customers may experience a specific malfunction indicator light (check engine light) "on" condition. Toyota has investigated these concerns and discovered an issue with the program logic in the Engine Control Module (ECM). New program logic has been developed to correct this condition.

What will Toyota do? Before you are inconvenienced by this condition, Toyota would like to reprogram the ECM in your vehicle. Any toyota dealer will conduct this serve at NO CHARGE to you.

What should you do?

Please contact your authorized Toyota dealer to make an appointment to reprogram the program logic in the Engine Control Module (ECM) with improved logic. This can also be done during your next scheduled maintenance (California residents, please see special vehicle registration requirements below). Please inform the dealership of this campaign when you schedule your appointment. The reprogramming will take approximately 30 minutes. However, depending on the dealer's work schedule, it may be necessary to make your vehicle available for a longer period of time.

Please present this notice to the toyota dealder when you bring the vehicle in for your service appointment. If you no longer own the vehicle, please indicate so on the enclosed psotage paid form, providing us with the name and address of the new owner.

What if you have other questions? Your local toyota dealer will be more than happy to answer any of your questions and set up an appointment to perform the update. If you require further assistance, you may contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-888-270-9371 Monday through Friday, 5:00 am to 9:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday 7:00 am through 3:00 pm Pacific Standard Time.

What if you live in California and don't have this Special Service Campaign performed? The State of California requires the completion of special service campaigns on emission related parts prior to vehicle registration renewal. In addition, the State requires that every vehicle must pass an emission test (SMOG Check) every two years and before it is sold. Without the completion of this no charge special service campaign, your vehicle may be more likely to fail this test. State of California regulations require Toyota to provide the Department of Motor Vehicles wtih a record of all vehicles that have not had the special service campaign completed.

Your Toyota dealer will provide you with a Vehicle Emissions Recall Proff of Correction Form after the campaign has been completed. Please ensure you retain this form since the DMV may require that you supply proof that the campagin has been completed during your vehicle registration renewal process.

We have sent this notice in the interest of your continued satisfaction with our products, and we sincerely regreat any inconvenience this condition may have caused you. [blah blah] thank you toyota motor sales, u.s.a. , inc) " --2007 sometime.

1-2010: So because of (A). 5-12-2007 -- TSB ECM recall ECM Reflash-Rav/ High W 49TOz60I, and (B). 8-9-2008 -- ECM replacement (extra care warranty) (C). 9-09-2008-- new transmission (because of bad ECM ruined the original transmission) (D) I had to replace the cat converter (when the engine light came on) code p0141 oxygen heater code p0420 and p0430 (replaced all oxygen sensors downstream) because the super-crappy ECM had been sending a "too rich" mixture for like "ever" and broke my cat. converter. Yea, toyota (clap, clap, clap, clap, clap). Thx. Love , your toyota rav-4 citrus-fruit owner.

Btw, my roommate said we can "see" the o2 sensors ourselves under hood and thinks we could've installed parts personally.

I got an independent quote for maybe $100 less (on labor) but could not save much more b/c the Cat. Converter and O2 Oxygen sensors had to be Toyota, are only available OEM from Toyota parts.

- , City Name, State, USA

problem #60

Jan 122010

RAV4 2.0

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

Just this same story.Didn't find out early and my transmission is damaged.Need to buy the ECM and transmission before the car will be on the road again.

- , Aba, Abia, Nigeria

problem #59

Sep 052010

RAV4 L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,120 miles

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

Toyota Rav4's are junk, look anywhere on the internet and you will find this out. My ECM went bad and will cost more to fix than what the car is worth. Buy a honda or ford

- , Richmond, MO, USA

problem #58

Jul 102010

RAV4 LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 148,000 miles

My problem is with Toyota corporate. They knew about this problem back in 2007, when they had a recall and had the ecm flashed. They knew that this didn't solve the problem, but let it go anyway. They notified the dealers, with a "in house" memo. I just recently got a notice (August 3ish) that they have extended the warranty to 150,000 miles. GUESS WHAT...MY CAR HAS 154,000 MILES ON IT. They will not repair it because it is over the warranty. I called corporate on several occasions, and filed a case number. This did me no good at all...because I haven't had Toyota do any repairs/oil changes etc. (My brother is a foreign car mechanic, and so are a couple of my close friends.) so why would I go to toyota for an oil change, when I can do it myself. We all know that when you go to a dealer they charge you an arm and a leg. So now the local dealers won't do it for me out of a courtesy, because I don't do any business with them. I have no problems with my car up until July, and my mechanic said I may need a new transmission; codes PO155, PO158 were coming up.

I went to the dealer, and they said they wouldn't be able to get the code, because the engine light was not on, so m car must be okay. BTW if the light comes on for 2seconds it will have a history (you'd think the mechanics at Toyota would know that).

The end result is they will not help me for a problem they have know about, and if I WAS NOTIFIED SOONER I WOULD HAVE BEEN WITHIN THE NEW WARRANTY.

All I can say.....it has been a great car (no Problems) and just to let everyone know that Toyota DOES NOT stand behind their vehicles, unless you get all your repairs through them as well......because if I did, then I would be considered a loyal customer. Guess they have no problem taking my money to buy the car. I don't think normal wear and tear would include A FAULTY COMPUTER.

- , Raymond, NH, USA

problem #57

Jul 032010

RAV4 2.0L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,000 miles

I actually decided to comment here, not to complain (mostly), but to offer advice on the repair. I had the same problem mentioned many times on this site: out of the blue, it seems, my '02 Rav4 began having "transmission" problems. Hard shifting, jerking, slow acceleration, crazy high RPMs, you name it. Oh, and just FYI, it has about 143K miles on it.

Before I took the car anywhere, I looked online just to see what I could find. Imagine my surprise when I found, quite literally, thousands of accounts of the very same problem! Anyway, realizing that the problem was most likely the ECM, I went ahead and took it to the Toyota dealer in town. They, of course, could find no error codes and assured me I had a bum transmission. And, for a mere $3300, they would be happy to repair it. Needless to say, I didn't okay that.

Next, I made a trip to a local transmission shop (Chippy's -- they were very nice, honest, and helpful... I recommend them to anyone with actual transmission problems) just for a second opinion. Chippy himself had heard of the ECM problem and suggested I get a new one. That would have been $1300.

By the way, have I mentioned that I am 25, a new profession, and thus have very little savings for any expenses like this?

Back to the story. As I said previously, I had already read up on the ECM problem on this website and others. I read a few accounts of a place in Brooklyn, NY called Check Engine, Etc. I was slightly wary of sending my ECM off to a seemingly random shop in Brooklyn, but I decide that spending $250 in an attempt to avoid spending a possible $3000+ was worth it. After nearly 3 weeks of car troubles and bumming rides to and from work, I made a choice. I removed my ECM last Sunday evening, sent it Express via the Post Office on Monday (insuring it for $1500, just in case -- total shipping was about $25), received the repaired ECM on Wednesday, and reinstalled the ECM on Thursday evening.

My car drives like a charm now! Granted, it's only been a day, but I am so excited and relieved to have a reliable car again. Not only is my car back to normal, it is actually running much better than it was before the noticeable problems began! I plan to take the car to Goodyear tomorrow to make sure the transmission fluid is okay after the whole fiasco, and I expect that will be the end of my car troubles.

So, if you are reading this forum because of Rav4 ECM problems, please send your ECM to Check Engine, Etc. I also want to add that, if car tinkering doesn't worry you, you can remove the ECM on your own. It took some time and patience, but I avoided a labor fee from a shop! By the way, I'm a somewhat wimpy 25 year-old girl with no car knowledge... and I managed to do just fine!

- , Morgantown, WV, USA

problem #56

Jun 292010

RAV4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I recently had a failure of the control module (ECU), which cost me $758.50 to replace (with a refurbished one) and I had to rent a car during the replacement process which cost me $131.32 therefore a total of $889.82. I was told by my mechanic that this problem came up frequently for RAV4s of years 2002 and 2003 and that Toyota was aware of this issue since 2006 but never recalled the cars!

After searching on the internet I noticed that there were hundreds of complaints regarding exactly the same issue and even a class action lawsuit for the same matter filed in 2009. So far the transmission has not given a problem, though I noticed that many people complained that these two issues were happening almost at the same time.I always buy Toyotas this is my third Toyota. I have written to Toyota asking them to reimburse me for this faulty manufacturing issue. I intend to take this matter much further if I do not get what I asked for. I feel betrayed and cheated on!

- , Glendale, CA, USA

problem #55

Jun 112010

RAV4 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Same as everyone else , transmision slips, bumps, hesitates etc... read your complaints, sorta knew what to expect. My car is two months over warranty and has 75000 miles on it. Took to the Laconia nh Toyota dealer and they said it will cost me1,300 to fix. I know from all records its the ecm. Called Toyota in California and put in a complaint and just gt off phone with them and they said sorry too bad two months earlier we may have been able to help you not now.

With all this crap going on you would figure they would just recall this part and fix everyones car and keep good customers. I for one because of this will never buy a Toyota again and will pass this on to anyone who will listen. If there is anyone with any info on what I can do besides what I have allready done please letme know.

- , Mou;tonborough, NH, USA

problem #54

Mar 202010

RAV4 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

2002 toyota rav4,with 2.0l engine,i purchased it used in 2007,it had 55000 miles on it,and it ha one owner before a got it.i had it for 2 years and it ran like a charm.after i put 15000,mile on it,after heading home from work,my transmission just went heywire'.it stated slipping,then shifting hard,the check engine light came on.sent it to the used car dealer i purchased it at,and they told me it was the,''ecm unit failure'',it was a toyota recall.he said thats was the cause of my transmission failure.so i called a toyota dealer to verify any recalls for transmission failures for the 2002 toyota rav4,gave him my vin number,and he said yes thier is a recall for the 'ecm unit'engine control modulater'.i ask him what year was this recall issued,and he said it was issued in 2006,i bought my car in 2007.so i got a warrenty from the used car lot i purchased my car from.they are going bonkers on what path they want to choose to resolve this problem,toyota said they will replace the recall ecm for free,since its a recall.just wander how my used car dealer,sold me a car with a recall on it,before i purchased it.now thier runnig around,looking for a junk yard that has a transmission,they can put in my 2002 rav4.lol

Update from May 8, 2010: update.the used car dealer put a used trans in my rav for,the next day i took it to toyota,for a re-call,for re-programming the'ecm''.engine control madule.2 days later,my car didnt shift ,at 'stop and go driveing''properly.then started shifting hard,and slipping again.i believe the 'ecm',for the re-call,is shorting out,and cant be re-programmed,it needs to be re-place with a new one at toyotas exspence.jerry.

Update from Oct 22, 2010: well,toyota didnt re-place me ecm they re-flashed it under thier recall.after the place i perchased the car re-placed the trans, a used car dealer i got it from,carvision in norristown pa, then it faild with in one week.so i took it to a toyota dealer,they said concern was '''ecm and trans axel'' estmate 5.157.11 cents.i had them do the job.and i paid the toyota dealer to fix it.-now things get better- 5 weeks after toyota fix my car,toyota sent me a letter to re-emburse me for the work done,and they paid me back.5,157.11 cents.if i had my car fixed outside toyota,they would of never sent me a letter,so.contact '''toyota motor sales,u.s.a.dept,wc10.19001 s. western ave.torrance,ca.90509,.on subject.write re-fund request.include your ''vin number''',recipt for the work.and a copy of the canceld check.if you fixed your car out side a toyota dealer.i dont know what they will do,but here's a gold ring,so grab it jerry,hope they pay you back too.good luck.

- , Norristown, PA, USA

problem #53

Nov 042009

RAV4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

Like many others, the ECM had to replaced in order to fix the difficult shifting. The dealer feigned ignorance about how common this problem is in the 2002. Told me to write to Toyota after I paid $1400 to get it replaced. I'd like to join a class action suit because there was no warning to owners to get it checked out before 80,000 miles. Now I've got another transmission problem - leaky seals in the transaxle output housing. ARG!!!!

- , Colchester, VT, USA

problem #52

Mar 052010

RAV4 Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

This is the same complaint as all that I've read on here. It is really annoying that I have no other option than to have the dealer replace it.

- , Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #51

Oct 152009

RAV4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,500 miles

I had problems with my 2002 Rav4 getting into gear. In the lower gears it would shift really hard or it would shake like it was trying to get into gear. When it got into the higher gears it seemed like it was alright. I tried not to drive on it too much and I think that ultimately saved the transmission. When I took it into the dealer they told me the ECM was bad and that it would have to be replaced (the ECM is the Engine Control Module, roughly it is the computer chip that tells your vehicle when to shift into gear). The warranty covered any problems up to 80,000 miles and mine had 81,000 on it...sigh. So I forked over the $1200.00 for a new ECM and my vehicle has run fine ever since (put on another 2,000 miles with no problems).

Like I mentioned before I believe driving the vehicle as little as possible and getting it to the dealer right away will save your transmission. You shouldn't drive on something that is malfunctioning anyway (you wouldn't drive on a flat tire would you?). Hope this helps everyone.

- , Salinas, CA, USA

problem #50

Feb 252010

RAV4 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Apparently, this is a common problem with the 2001 to 2003 RAV4's. I found this out after the fact. A significant amount of time and money could have been saved if Toyota had notified it's customers and proposed a preventive measure.

- , Downey, CA, USA

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