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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
103,325 miles
Total Complaints:
53 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission and computer (16 reports)
  2. not sure (13 reports)
  3. replace ecm only! (11 reports)
  4. replace the computer system (8 reports)
  5. problem repaired at no cost to me (3 reports)
  6. recall (2 reports)
2003 Toyota RAV4 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #33

Jan 102011

RAV4 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles


On January 10, 2011 I took my car to Aamco after having it diagnosed at Autozone. Their computer diagnostics were the same and it was the transmission. My car had been slowing down on its own and lunging forward at a seemingly random rate. Because this seemed to be a serious issue I took it in right away. NO DELAY.

Aamco wanted my first born child to fix the issue. I just didn't have the funds... so I went to Mr. Transmission.... They too wanted my life and I could not afford the charges. I called around and found a place-That Transmission Guy Inc. to take care of the problem. They told me they could fix it for less than 2k.

TTGI did a full transmission rebuild on the car and did it for less than 2k. HOWEVER, when I got the car back it did the same exact thing as before. Slow down and lunge forward totally randomly. I took the car back of course and now I'm waiting for Toyota to get back with them about the E.C.M. piece. We've been waiting on that call for roughly 2 weeks now.

After reading up on the issue it seems that I'm going to be out of pocket another 2k to have this component replaced on my car since it's not a recalled piece. I'm still paying for this vehicle and nothing is under warranty now. I am a pizza delivery driver and need my car to make a living. Currently all these costly repairs are being paid for through my student loans, which I would rather be using for school related expenses. I've shelled out 2k and it's been 2 months and I still have no car to drive. Lovely.


- , Louisville, KY, USA

problem #32

Jan 312011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles

This problem began very suddenly... one day all was well the next, the car would jerk between 1st, 2nd and 2nd and 3rd gears. I starting to look on the internet for information about transmission issues and resolutions for Rav4 and I found this complaint site and started reading and found that many people experience the same issue. All of a sudden I remembered a notice I received from Toyota regarding Hard Shifting problems, I went hunting for this notice and found it to be related to the problem that I thought was my transmission. The notice indicated that Toyota extended the warranty for this issue to 10 years or 150000 miles and if anyone has already had service on their vehicle to correct this issue they would reimburse the cost within guidelines. I hope this helps someone who may experience this same problem. I will be at the dealership in the morning and hope the process of getting my vehicle fix goes smoothly.

- , Lf, CA, USA

problem #31

Sep 082010

RAV4 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 185,000 miles

I have a 2003 Toyota Rav4 it has 185,000 miles on it I bought it new hoping to have a car for a long time, Out of the blue it seemed like the transmission was going bad, slipping, rpm racing, not shifting into 1 to 2nd, or 3rd, 4th gear, reverse started goin in hard. Took it for a tranny flush cost 100.00, the problem continued.

Went on the website for toyota car problems to discover that this is a common problem in this car. A internal memo was sent to all the dealerships in 2006 but the consumers did not know. Then they extended the warranty without telling the consumer, I had no idea and now my car is out of warranty. Took it to a toyota dealer prestige in Kingston ny and they said it was my transmission a code of EVAP was coming up, no other codes. They said it would cost 2800. I was not convinced it was the tranny so I found a guy in Brooklyn, NY that would fix my ECM unit for 250.00 so I gave it a chance and I am so happy to say my car is running better than ever. He said it had a crack in it and that all the computers get cracks they get to hot, and Toyota knows the problem it should be a recall.

My car has no more codes and the transmission is running great no problems. Check engine ETC Stillwell ave Brooklyn ny 718-449-7763 or 718-449-1734 he saved me alot of money and he gives a 1 yr warranty I highly recommend his work.

TOYOTA CORPORATION SUX you screw your customers and I will never own another Toyota ever again.

- , Elizaville, NY, USA

problem #30

Apr 112010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


We bought a used 2003 Toyota Rav4 with 60,000 miles on it two days ago. The very next day we started having problems with it. We did a quick search on the car before we bought it and did not find any complaints so we thought we were making a good purchase. Toyotas are supposed to be reliable cars, right? WRONG! The car would not respond when we pushed the accelerator and then would lurch forward. It felt like the car didn't know what to do (I know that sounds anthropomorphic, but that's the best description I can give). This happened as I was merging and I almost got hit by another car. After more extensive research specifically geared towards transmissions on this car we found an unacceptable amount of complaints! We called the dealership and told them to come tow the car....we did not feel safe driving it anywhere. We're not sure what our options are but we're hoping to cancel the purchase. I will NEVER purchase a Toyota again. If a company can't stand behind their product after numerous, similar complaints they do not deserve business and we will not be supporting them.

- , Decatur, GA, USA

problem #29

Jul 152008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

My car started to not shift out of first gear... Took it to the dealership, which said I needed a new transmission due to a solenoid problem. $4000. Took it to the local transmission dude who said the same thing, but scratched his head because it wasn't a common Toyota problem. After 3 weeks, I googled Rav4 transmission problems, and found an internal memo from Toyota saying the problem was often with the computer, not the transmission. I gambled and told the local guy to replace the computer only... problem solved for less than $1500. Guess the dealership guys didn't get the memo.

- , Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #28

Feb 042010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,766 miles

I was told there was a problem with my solenoid in the transmission. I called another garage and was asked which solenoid it was...didn't know there were multiples in cars. Said the problem was automatic transmission shifting from 1st to 2nd gear. Was told that there is a separate solenoid for that, that I would probably have to have the transmission taken apart and that I was looking at a hefty repair cost, but that the car was worth saving. I don't have the money for this as I am unemployed!

I decided to go on the Internet and found out my complaint was a common one. My concern: I am currently visiting family out of state (from NH to NJ). The problem popped up here. Can I approach a local dealer on this? I bought the car used (a 2003 in 2007). It's warranty is expired. What should I tell the dealer if I go to a local one?

- , Nashua, NH, USA

problem #27

May 132009

RAV4 Sport 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


I had the same problem that has been mentioned several times in these posts. I was astounded by the fact that at approximately 50,000 miles I was having such difficulties with my RAV4. I had purchased a Toyota to specifically avoid such problems. On the advice of a mechanic, I researched the 'symptoms' on-line' prior to bringing my car into the dealer. I described the problem thoroughly - with the appropriate terms, when I brought it in - yet, even after keeping the car for several hours - they found nothing, and sent me away with the advice of trying 'different gas'. When I returned a second time, they kept the car overnight - the mechanic did experience the jerking, skipping, slowing, etc - and I was told that "I had trained my vehicle incorrectly", thus the missed gears, slowness in changing gears, etc. I told him I wasn't stupid, and if this was the case, why wasn't I experiencing the problem within the first 25,000 miles? He had no answer, but did 'reset' my computer. On my way home, my vehicle jerked and slipped so much I nearly hit a bus! I phoned the head mechanic immediately and demanded service - I didn't pay for an extended warranty for such shoddy service. Upon returning to the dealer again, they replaced the computer. Again I complained that this did not correct the problem! They again took my RAV4 for several days, and it was returned to me with a new transmission. I asked him why this wasn't done in the first place - when what I had described was what occurring exactly in other RAV4 models/years? He had no response. My RAV4 runs fine now, although I'm not convinced it runs as well as it should. I can not say if I would ever buy another Toyota.

- , Ruston, WA, USA

problem #26

Jul 232009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles

I am having the same problems as the 100+ other people on this page. In July 2009 I noticed that my 2003 Rav4 would jerk when switching from 1st to 2nd gear and would not shift past third gear at all! The next week I took my truck to a mechanic who told me that the transmission was shot and quoted me over $3000. I am a single mom and live paycheck to paycheck so I parked the vehicle in my driveway and told myself that I'd use my income tax return to buy a replacement transmission. Now, after reading all of the reviews, I don't know if replacing the transmission will even fix the problem. I bought this vehicle brand new because I was told that Toyotas were solid, dependable cars and now I feel duped...Toyota needs to be held responsible for this obvious manufacturer defect and replace the ECMs and the transmissions free of charge!!

- , Augusta, GA, USA

problem #25

Dec 232009

RAV4 2.0L 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Just as others have written, my car suddenly went from shifting normally one day to jerking, hesitating and almost getting us wiped out in an intersection due to an inconvenient 3-4 second PAUSE while making a left turn. Scary way to find out the extent of my new car problem. I recently got the thing paid off, of course it is off warranty and I cannot afford to bring it to a mechanic. Thank goodness for the internet. I was able to find out what the problem was and send the ecm to for repair. They were fast and the car is running great. I like my rav4, but I won't ever buy another Toyota--I bought the car new in '03--Toyota knew about the problem since '06 but never notified owners just their rip-off dealer shops.

- , Bend, OR, USA

problem #24

Nov 042009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,700 miles

A few days ago I started on my way in to work. Within the first half mile, my car started "acting up." When pulling away from a stop sign, for example, my car would just take off--skipping first gear altogether and going right into second gear.

Of course, I had to keep going, and thought maybe it was doing this because it was a cold morning and the car hadn't warmed up enough. But even while traveling at higher speeds, out of nowhere, the transmission would just kick in and jump up to 4-6,000 RPM without me even trying to accelerate. This problem literally appeared overnight--I never had the check engine light come on or anything.

When I got into work, I asked our garage mechanic to take a look at it. He took it for a drive and said the transmission was definitely slipping. Someone suggested I do an online search to see if anyone was having that problem and, sure enough, it seemed as though every RAV4 owner was experiencing this.

I took it in to a local transmission shop, where they hooked up a computer and found absolutely nothing wrong--although they, too, drove it and knew there was obviously a problem.

To cut a long story short, I saw that quite a few people had recommended a shop out of Brooklyn, NY called Check Engine. They said they could rebuild the Engine Control Module (ECM) which is the real problem...not the actual transmission. (However, they do add that if you continue to drive the car with this problem, the faulty ECM will eventually fry the transmission and then you will have to replace both the ECM and the transmission to fix the problem). I had called Toyota and they wanted $1121 to order a new ECM, plus $95 an hour for labor. But of course wanted to "look at it" before replacing it.

No, thanks. The part was no longer covered under warranty so I decided to take my chances with the NY shop. Following instructions from their website, I removed the ECM and shipped it out overnight on Thursday evening. (Both removal and re-installation took about 30 minutes total).

Amazingly, the shop had the rebuilt ECM back to me on Saturday morning around 11 AM. Talk about quick service. Since installing it, there have been no problems at all. I am fortunate that I caught it early and seemed to have saved myself a blown transmission.

For all of you who experience this, stop driving the car right away and look into getting the ECM rebuilt. It will save you a ton of money. And considering that Toyota has been too greedy to issue a recall on a potentially life-threatening ECM malfunction, I prefer to give my money to someone else to fix this. I would recommend the place I used, but I am sure there are other places that will rebuild these ECM's. Good luck--and keep me posted on any class action lawsuits out there.

- , Ludington, MI, USA

problem #23

Oct 102009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles


Have owned several Toyotas in the past, with no problems. Toyota needs to issue a recall with so many people having the same problem. Can't afford to have it fixed.

Update from Sep 22, 2011: Toyota is now saying that my vehicle doesn't fall into the settlement because it has over 150,000 miles on it, even though the trouble started over 2 years ago. Said if I had fixed it back then ($4900.00 worth), they would reimburse me but since I couldn't afford to have it fixed, I am out of luck. Said my only options are to contact the BBB or seek legal counsel. With they would just do what is right and fix the car.

- , Minden, LA, USA

problem #22

Sep 032009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,922 miles

Everything was going well with my Rav4, I was keeping up with it, doing all the right things as a responsible owner, oil changes, check ups etc. My first car was a Toyota Corrola 1977 and it was a great car. I decided to buy a Toyota again based on my first experience with a new car, what a mistake that was. Last Saturday my car started acting scary hesitating and jerking. I was hoping for the best until my engine light when on and then I had it checked out. They say that I need a new computer $1,180.00. I started asking a lot of questions and found out that if my light goes on again I will probably need a new transmission at $3,500.00.

I haven't made any decision yet it is the Labor day weekend and I am borrowing a car. I want to know if anyone out there actually went through the process of replacing the transmission and how long did it last after that?

- , Fair Lawn, NJ, USA

problem #21

Aug 032009

RAV4 LX 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

Ok, lets see where should I begin. I have a Toyota, RAV4 and my car begin to decrease speed and then about two weeks later it begin to start jerking and driving in a lower shift. My check engine light was on so I stopped by Auto Zone and had them to do a quick check. I was told my shift solenoid is going bad. So then I took my car to my mechanic who told me again after he checked it came up with the same code. My shift solenoid is going bad. So he told be I could just have the shift solenoid replaced which may resolved my problems but if not then I would probably need a new transmission. Until I stumble on this site, I am not sure what to do. I am trying to see if I should pay $170.00 to replace the bad solenoid or should I just look into having the EMC reset? I am highly upset and I just don't want to lose my money. I am going to contact and file a complaint to the Toyota headquarters and to some of the numbers I jotted down from this site. What should I do now?

- , Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #20

Jun 012009

RAV4 Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

When the trans first started slipping and I looked for help on internet and found this site! What a great find. I took the car to dealer for ECU check, they wanted 1,395.00 to replace, no recall or $$ help was available from Toyota unless your under warranty? Next I went on e-bay and found a place to send the ECU in Tenn for rebuild, it was 325.00 but now only 275.00, just type in rav4 ecu and the site will come up, you can read the feed back, they even have directions on how to remove ECU. 3 weeks later the car is still shifting and running great. It,s not hard to remove the ECU and they will have it back to you in a week. Other then this problem my rav4 has never had problems runs great and is still very tight. Hope this helps someone save some $$$.

- , Pittsgrove, NJ, USA

problem #19

Apr 292009

RAV4 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

My husband and I have been buying Toyota's for almost 14 yrs. When I finally bought my 2003 Rav4, I was very happy with it and this year I would have been even more happier because I would no longer have a car payment. No car payment now..but now I have issues that is costing me more then what my monthly payments. I had to replace the catalytic converter which ran me $750.00 after feeling the car jerk on me on several occasions when I would come to a stop then continue on. I really can not afford to purchase a new car. What I can not understand, if there has been so many complaints, why do the car dealers not say anything? When I called to report this issue, the dealer rep informed me to bring it in to see what the status is, but I would need to pay for the diagnosis. Why? If you know there issues with the transmission/P0755..Is there a real recall on these models? What can we do?

- , Hampton, GA, USA

problem #18

Jun 012009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,250 miles

Drove to work one morning no problem. Time to got home stared the car pulled off then the car started jerking engine raced then back to normal. made it home to in to toyota for service. After several hours was taken into the GET IN YOUR POCKET ROOM as was told i need a transmission and ecu for the car at a cost of $6000. I told him hell no how can the trans just go with no warning. Thats when i was told i could take it up front and trade it in because it is in good shape. I vetoed that also.He then said i could just replace the ecu at a cost of $1000. I said i would thick about it. went back home got online and discovered that there are many 2001-2004 rav4 with the same problem which Toyota doesn't seem to want to acknowledge. The tech that told me the outrageous cost of repairs. I said that the ecu is just the computer that has to be replaced and you drive he did not want to answer Now i see that Toyota send out a letter fo dealer tech about the ecu failure without a recall.Does greed overshadow safety with Toyota? Are they still in our pocket if we pay for the ecu and trans that we don't need if you don't continue to drive the car with the bad ecu. Is that the way to become the # one automaker? NO RECALL THERE IS NO PROBLEM IN RAV LAND.Sell them anyway

Update from Jun 21, 2009: Sent my ecm to check engine etc in NY on a Thurs got it back Sat around noon put it back in low and behold no transmission problem. The car rides and shifts just fine.No thanks to the folks at toyota whom won't fix a defect that they are aware of. I was going to purhase a new truck from the but this incident has changed my mind. For anyone that needs it # for check engine etc 718-449-1734. they saved me big time.

- , Glassboro, NJ, USA

problem #17

May 022009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

I was horrified to read the complaints about the awful shifting issue and the check engine code p0755. I took it to a local mechanic who said it need to go to a Toyota dealer for an ECM (computer) so I did. When my mechanic said it was a "known issue" with the vehicle I decided to call Toyota Headquarters to ask about this "known issue" they say that the mechanic was incorrect. They suggested I ask the dealer for some "out of warranty assistance". I prayed the whole way to the dealer that I get there safely. I was so scared because I was stuck in stop and go traffic on RT I93 and this makes the "issue" bad when you have to stop and go. You can feel the RPM's going up but the car feels sluggish and does not want accelerate. Once it gets going it drives like new. I brought it to Woburn Foreign Motors in Woburn, MA where I purchased the vehicle and after diagnosing the problem they told me it needed an ECM and a new Transmission price $5k. I was now faced with a decision either to fix which is not worth it or buy a new car which I was not planning on having to do for a long time since I purchased what I believed was a reliable vehicle. When I asked about the out of warranty assistance they said because you are not a loyal Toyota customer and do not get my scheduled maintenance done by them that they where not able to assist me. I was so upset because where I do my oil changes should not matter, My husband and own a 2001 Corolla and the 2003 Rav-4 that is my Toyota loyalty which to them meant nothing! The dealership sales guy offered to trade in my car for $4k if I bought a new car with them and of course they are not willing to budge on the MSRP price. I began doing some intensive research online and discovered that this was in fact a "known issue" and came across the official Toyota Service Bulletin #TC002-06 dated March 3, 2006 which explain the problems we are all having! I called Toyota Headquarters very upset after my discovery, they are currently looking into this. I hope after all I have read that Toyota recalls these vehicles. Read the Bulletin it explains EVERYTHING!

Update from Jun 18, 2009: Toyota unable to assist with any out of warranty assistance. Took the vehicle for a second opinion to Toyota of Nashua. Toyota of Nashua was very helpful and knew exactly what the problem was before they even looked at it. They told me it was a 50/50 chance I may need a new transmission but they could not say for sure until they replaced the ECM. I authorized them to replace the ECM and it fixed the problem! I did not need a transmission in fact they said my car was in great condition. When I told Toyota of Nashua what Woburn Toyota said about needing a new transmission they said they should have never jumped to conclusions on this issue. Toyota of Nashua keeps extra ECM on hand and my car was fixed in one day. My car drives great and am thankful I took it for a second opinion! If I've learned anything is that I should always get a second opinion, I would have spent $4k in a new transmission that I did not need. I recommnend Toyota of Nashua and appreciate their honesty.

- , Dracut, MA, USA

problem #16

May 252009

RAV4 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,774 miles

i started having the same problem with the transmission as the others, the feeling of slipping, the jerking, etc. my 2003 rav4 has 127,774 miles on it. and of course its paid for. im just sick about this as i don't make a whole lot of money, im checking to see how much the pcm computer will be and hope that i can borrow the money. i have someone who can take out the computer and replace the new one, thanks GOD!!!, i intend on calling toyota in the morning and voicing my complain, i would suggest if any one buys a rav4 to get this checked out before the truck runs out of warranty. i love my toyota rav4 and have done but praised it, but toyota needs to replace this problem. if i thought i could collect pain and suffering, from all this i would defiantly go for it because this has put me into a big pickle, all the way around. i have to try to find transportation to and from work now, and still be able to get this thing fixed. i will keep u posted




- , Southaven, MS, USA

problem #15

Mar 202009

RAV4 L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

The situation is the same as what's been described here on many other occassions. Hard shifting, lurching and missed shifts. I bought the RAV used in 06 and was very happy with it until a few months ago. Of course, my extended warranty ended back in November. As I began to research the problem, I was very disappointed to find out that this is all too common yet Toyota refuses to do anything about it other than issue a TSB.

I was not surprised when the mechanic called me to inform me that the ECM was bad and that it had fried the transmission. So now I'm out $700 for the new ECM and $2,400 for the transmission rebuild.

If Toyota went so far as to develop an upgraded ECM for this problem, why the hell didn't they recall it? With that in mind, I did not have the repairs done by a local Toyota dealer. My regular mechanic recommended a transmission guy that was very helpful. A small gesture, that they will never feel, but it made me feel a little better.

Update from Jun 29, 2009: The final bill for all the repairs was $3,500. $1,100 for the new ECM and $2,400 for a transmission rebuild. I sent a letter to Toyota requesting reimbursement and followed up with a phone call. The representative that I spoke to put me on hold to "research" the issue. He informed me that since there were no recalls there was nothing that they can do. When I brought up the TSB regarding this specific issue, he seemed a bit put off and told me that he could be of no further help. I'm now waiting for a call back from his supervisor. I'm not going to let this drop.

Update from Aug 25, 2009: I finally spoke with a supervisor (Reginald) who informed me that since my car was out of warranty and that I wasn't eligible for any loyalty compensation, I was SOL as far as Toyota was concerned. After a few minutes of complaining about their lack of accountability I ended the call. Reginald was the perfect corporate drone and refused to even acknowledge that the TSB was applicable to my situation. He suggested that if I was still unhappy, I should seek relief "outside of Toyota" which means "get a lawyer". I've already spent enough money on this and now I have to lawyer up to get restitution?

I've got a bad ECU in a box and $3,500 less in my checking account. This has totally soured me on Toyotas and I will never buy another one.

Update from Oct 14, 2009: After paying out of pocket to have the repairs done and the ECM replaced, and getting no satisfaction from Toyota, I decided that enough was enough. Yesterday I traded it in for a Honda CR-V. I will never buy another Toyota again.

Update from Jul 15, 2010: VICTORY IS OURS!!!!!

Toyota has announced that it will voluntarily repair a number of issues that have arisen with 2001-2003 RAV4 crossovers as well as certain 2009-2010 Matrix and Corolla vehicles. According to Reuters, around 235,500 RAV4 models will be repaired outside of a recall for a "hard shift" problem. Owners have complained that under certain circumstances, the vehicle's transmission would either abruptly shift or otherwise fail to change gears properly. The culprit is typically a faulty engine control module, though in some cases, damage to the transmission may lead to outright replacement. Owners who have previously had to pay for this work out of pocket can apply for reimbursement.

Update from Sep 22, 2010: After sending in tons of documentation, I was informed by Toyota Customer Care on 9/21 that my reimbursement had been sent on 9/20. After nearly 1 1/2 years, I'm finally satisfied.

- , Norristown, PA, USA

problem #14

Jan 012009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

As with the hundreds of once-loyal Toyota owners I too am having problems with my vehicle. It is a 2003 Rav4 S model and problems occurred last year in the middle of 2008. I was at a stop light and my car completely shut off. No noise or jerk, just silently turned off. I then took my car to my cousin who is a mechanic and he did a tune up on my car. Then the car drove normally until November 2008. My transmission started mis-shifting and would start off in second gear, then lurch forward. The two mechanics I've seen call this a "lazy transmission". When both mechanics (I saw two total, but one for a second opinion) hooked my car up to a diagnostic machine, it gave the same error code. The error code was saying that I have an ECM problem. Which is the cars main computer. Basically the ECM tells the transmission when to shift gears. So i did a little research and Toyota is "aware" of the problem (which is complete b***) and will only compensate owners who are still under the 80,000 mi mark. My problem occurred after, even my extended warranty expired shortly before my transmission problem. So you're pretty much screwed in the situation. Why doesn't Toyota assist all who are having this problem? Why pawn the problem off to the consumer when this is bad PR and a manufacturer problem?! I feel for all of the rav4 owners out there because we are getting screwed over. Now it is our responsibility to pay for this out of our pocket. SO I CALLED TOYOTA HEADQUARTERS to see if they actually care and this is how the conversation went:

I spoke to a woman and I asked her if there were other people complaining about this rav4 ECM/transmission problem. She responded by saying that she hasn't heard of any complaints today besides mine. I also asked her how toyota is compensating people affected by this and she went on with this long schpiel about "if your past 80,000 miles we can't help you." She kept saying how she was sorry about the situation, but how can you be sorry about the situation when you sound like an unhelpful robot reading off of a cue card? I also asked about how many complaints are needed in order for toyota to do a recall of some sort and she said that the situation "wouldn't be considered a recall." What? Not considered a recall? Just like you and I and the people in the many forums complaining about this problem, there are people spending money and even people getting in accidents because of this. So this wouldn't be considered a recall?! This is a joke. So here I am now stuck between a rock and a hard place saving to fix my car (about $3000-$4000) which I was quoted by transmission shop. Also, here's the kicker: When I told the toyota rep about the hundreds of people complaining about this i asked her "How about the hundreds of people complaining about this problem online and in forums? They don't count? It's obvious this is a huge issue." I couldn't believe the answer she gave me. She said "The people complaining for all you know may have not taken care of their cars. Plus, they aren't complaining on credible websites, like toyota websites." Very cold response. So basically she is saying that you and I and all of the Rav4 owners are responsible because we probably don't properly take care of our cars. What an insult. How can we complain on the toyota website? They won't show the complaints openly. Why would they? I am just frustrated at the whole situation because I have put so much money into the car. Taking care of it, never abusing it, and now I can't drive it until its fixed. It breaks my heart because out of all of the cars I had wanted I wanted a toyota because of their great reputation. I am a student and I worked really hard to save to purchase this car, and now this is how Toyota treats us? If I had a time machine I would have taken my business and hard earned dollars elsewhere and bought a different car from a different manufacturer.

- , Sc, CA, USA

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