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:
No data
Average Mileage:
142,545 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
2003 Toyota RAV4 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #1

Apr 022016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,545 miles


Started experiencing slippage in shift from 1st gear into 2nd. Not sure what the problem is but definitely a scary thing when you're trying to merge into traffic and your car isn't changing gears as quickly and with ease as it should.

- , San Diego, CA, USA

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