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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
1,860 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

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.

2016 Toyota Tacoma drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2016 Toyota Tacoma Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #27

Sep 292016


  • miles


Noticed my Tacoma being slow to down shift to a lower gear when trying to accelerate or it would up shift to a higher gear while accelerating/merging resulting in an unexpected change in acceleration. Also if riding between 20-40 mph the vehicle rides at a very low RPM (~1100) and shimmies the vehicle like it will stall. Vehicle will also "noticeably" down shift while the foot is off the accelerator resulting in an unexpected change in deceleration. The problem seems to be getting worse and now the shifting is starting to jolt the vehicle. While driving at constant speeds the vehicle will randomly surge high in rpms then come right back down. The vehicle is presenting unsafe conditions. Took the vehicle to the dealer multiple times. 1st time they topped off the transmission fluid as it was low from the factory. 2nd time they are aware of the issue and others were having it as well and the transmission ECU was re-flashed. This still did not resolve the problem. Brought the vehicle back a 3rd time and they didn't see a problem with the vehicle. Brought it back a 4th time to be seen by a field specialist and the issue could be duplicated but there is no fix at this time because the vehicle is operating as designed. Vehicle currently has less than 2500 miles on it. Not sure why you would design a vehicle to do this.

- Elkton, MD, USA

problem #26

Sep 222016


  • 5,000 miles
When we are driving either on city roads or on highway, either in sports mode and automatic there is a lag in the way the engine will shift into gears. In sports mode the lag in gear shift is ridiculously long when it should shift quicker. As for automatic there is also a slow response in shifting whether going up a hill as well as going down a hill. We have 5000 miles on this truck and would have thought it would be broken in by now

- Moscow, ID, USA

problem #25

Aug 282016


  • miles
Transmission has hesitation when first going in forward or reverse, once your driving the transmission is constantly shifting searching for gears until you get up to cruising speed of 50-60 mph. In city driving transmission shift to quickly and boggs down the engine and then shift right back down and gear and does this constantly at lower speeds, been doing this since I purchased the truck on August 28 2016

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #24

Aug 292016


  • 8,800 miles


Truck abruptly lost complete power and stalled while driving on a rural two lane road at approximately 40 mph. Requires a tow truck to take the vehicle to the dealership. Dealership reported a failed crankshaft sensor and replaced it.

- Moundsville, WV, USA

problem #23

May 192016


  • 250 miles
This Toyota Tacoma is always trying to shift up or down. I found where Toyota says it is always looking for a new shift point to keep the mileage up. This transmission shifts very hard with power reduction and is trying to up shift. When you are trying to come to a stop transmission trying to shift up and then it will shift hard. You will feel a driveline clunk as you stop. I took it to the dealer they said Toyota knew about the problem. They said a case was opened. I was told they drove several on their lot and they were the same. The final word was nothing wrong. This is a safety hazard. Has been doing since I got the truck.

- Jacksonville, AR, USA

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problem #22

Jun 292016


  • 4,400 miles
While driving eastbound on the 210 freeway in glendora, ca at approx 35mph the vehicle came to a sudden and violent stop and veered slightly into the lane to my right. I was not braking at the time. Rear wheels had locked and vehicle had to be dragged to the shoulder as rear wheels would not turn. There were no indications of any problem at the time of the incident. Vehicle was in drive, and seemed to be operating normally. Vehicle was taken to Toyota of glendora in glendora, ca for service. I was told that the rear differential had leaked out, and it along with the rear tires had been replaced under warranty. This was a new vehicle with less than 4500 miles on it. It had not had its first oil change nor any other service. The problem was not caused by external damage, and it was explained to me by the dealership's service advisor that the part had not been properly sealed. Vehicle has no warning system or dash light to communicate a loss of differential fluid as it would with oil, tire pressure, temperature, etc.

- Pomona, CA, USA

problem #21

Apr 192016


  • 5,000 miles


The manual transmission consistently gets stuck in gear once the transmission is hot. This typically occurs on drives over 2-3 hours or heavy stop-go traffic. The driver cannot change gears without excessive force on the shifter, resulting in significant changes in driving dynamics while this is occurring (e.g., loss of vehicle speed, loss of engine revs, lugging transmission). Examples include downshifts from 5-6, 5-4, 4-3, and 3-2 as well as upshifts through those same gears. This presents a critical safety concern when the transmission malfunctions and the vehicle does not operate as intended. It places the driver in dangerous and potentially life threatening situations, whereby the driver is taking attention away from driving in order to apply significant pressure on the shift lever in order to get the transmission unstuck. Moreover, while maneuvering the vehicle through traffic or intersections, the driver and others on the road become vulnerable to major accidents caused by a malfunctioning Toyota transmission and the inability of the driver to safely operate the vehicle. I have contacted Toyota on several occasions. Toyota relied on an independent third party dealer to perform an inadequate inspection of a malfunctioning transmission and then proceeded to deny all responsibility; even going as far as to make the assertion that "the customer can drive the vehicle as necessary". Toyota has done absolutely nothing to review or inspect the malfunctioning transmission only to conclude it is safe to drive!

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #20

Jan 212016


  • miles
It's important to note that I own two identical 2016 Tacoma trd off road automatic and both have less than 10,000 miles. One is fine and the other has serious power train (engine/transmission) problems resulting in extremely slow acceleration and overall sluggish performance, transmission constantly shifting to compensate for lack of power, transmission slow to engage gears causing dangerous hesitation and surge, occasionally slamming into gear causing sudden jerk and lunge, cruise control in unusable due to constant gear hunting even on flat highway, vehicle is very unsafe in stop and go traffic due to hesitation and surging, and merging into traffic and busy high speed highway travel is a nightmare. The following business day after taking delivery I brought to dealer with the above complaints and was told that the computer needed to lean my driving style and it would take up to 5,000 miles. At one point dealership service tech, service adviser, and service manager acknowledged the problems and I was told that Toyota was already aware and working on a flash upgrade that they hoped would fix. I was told that I had no choice but to drive the vehicle and wait for the flash. Dealership personnel now deny any problems. I filed a claim with Toyota and dealer now refuses to try and fix the problems. This model is being shipped with very low transmission fluid according to the service tech which is certain to diminish the life of the transmission. He also said that something is wrong with the torque converter. I have filed a claim for repurchase but dealership is uncooperative and Toyota reports that after reviewing my claim that they were unable to verify any of my concerns. There are many owners reporting to be experiencing the same problems and to date Toyota has done nothing to resolve that I am aware of.

- Bossier City, LA, USA

problem #19

Jun 182016


  • 850 miles
Manual transmission is hard to shift out of 4th, 5th, and 6th gear after extended highway driving. Issue seems to more present when driving up an incline after driving in stop an go traffic.

- Livermore, CA, USA

problem #18

May 182016


  • 6,000 miles
Hi to whom this may concern, I have trouble shifting my vehicle once I drive it after 4-5 hours, this is an intermittent problem that the dealer can't replicate because it doesn't happen too often. I have called corporate Toyota and they claim that no one else has called in with the issue even though there are many others that have the same issue. I have opened up a case with them with reference #: 1607081673 note: This is on a manual transmission link to a tacomaworld thread with others having the issue: Https://

- Dover, NH, USA

problem #17

Jul 142016


  • 10 miles


Transmission seems not to engage very quickly. Very sluggish. Mostly in the morning when put in reverse it does not seem to engage. There's also a clicking noise up by the engine passenger side. Dealer says it's normal. Never heard anything like that on any vehicle I've owned

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #16

Jul 152016


  • 1 miles
Vehicle is sporadic when shifting. Earlier today at a left turn at the vehicle would not shift gears giving me the feeling that the vehicle would only go at 10-15mph on incoming traffic. This was at a green light with yield if possible. If it weren't for other driver coming and being able to use breaks the vehicle would have been in an accident. I attempted to step on the accelerator but it seemed as it would not shift. Please investigate further as I've noticed the issue before but when driving straight it is not a problem. Thank you.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #15

Apr 012016


  • 1,500 miles
Clutch system developed loud sound and vibration a few months after getting brand new from Toyota. Doesn't matter if clutch was pressed for first time to turn on to shifting gears. My previous 2013 had same issue and some clutch parts were replaced by Toyota to fix the issue.

- Alamogordo, NM, USA

problem #14

Jun 012016


  • 2,006 miles
Vehicle gets stuck in gear when driving on highway for extended amounts of periods on the highway 90km +, only when transmission gets to operating temp. It also gets stuck in lower gears 1-3 when decelerating and the truck is at lower revs. Extremely dangerous when trying to downshift for a hill or corner, your foot is off the accelerator petal and truck gets stuck in gear. Toyota has taken a month and still has not come up with the decision to replace, they do not care if it's dangerous to drive. I need a truck though....

- Calgary, AL, USA

problem #13

Apr 012016


  • miles
Audio system resets on its own and displays "check charging station". I had dealer look into it and they said that usb cables were defective. I thought they were looking into all possibilities and purchased new usb cables. Not the case, it still happens from time to time and does not work properly. As written by many other Tacoma owners, the shifting delay from reverse to drive and vice versa. I have 7000 miles on the truck and Toyota said there was a break in period for the transmission. They told me I had the most up to date software for the transmission. I should've never traded in my 6spd.

- Branchville, NJ, USA

problem #12

Jun 142016


  • miles
Vehicle has a noticeable delay and abrupt shifting when changing from reverse to drive. The delay in shifting from reverse to drive feels dangerous because it often causes the vehicle to lurch forward unexpectedly. My vehicle currently has 4000 miles on it. I have contacted the dealer regarding this problem, they have said that this behavior is normal.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #11

May 192016


  • 1,448 miles
Shifting from reverse to drive there is a delay so when I go to take off it slams into drive.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #10

Jan 102016


  • 1,000 miles
Windshield cracked 2 weeks after purchasing the truck. Had to pay $500 deductible through my insurance, windshield from Toyota cost $1,000. Next issue is my transmission slipping when shifting from reverse to drive. Took it into the dealership and they found the transmission to be low, they topped it off and it's still lagging when shifting. Miss the engine in my 2012 2nd gen. Come on Toyota!!!!

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #9

Feb 012016


  • 3,000 miles
When shifting from reverse to drive there is a delay of about 1 second before it is fully engaged in first gear. Automatic transmission

- Mastic Beach, NY, USA

problem #8

Feb 172016


  • 600 miles
When starting the vehicle in the morning (30-40 deg F) I let the truck warm up until the the thermostat needle begins to move. When I put the truck into reverse the engine rpms surge and then a second or two later the truck will engage reverse and the truck will often lurch rearward unexpectedly. When put into drive the same thing happens. After driving a mile I get on the freeway and the vehicle will not shift into top gear no matter what I do and the vehicle seems to have reduced power as it does not want to maintain a speed greater than 60 mph without great provocation. The speed limit is 70 mph so this causes a safety concern as my vehicle is traveling at a much lower speed than the surrounding traffic. This behavior persists for approximately 4-5 miles before returning to normal operation. Even when it is indicated that the engine has reached optimal temperature the reduced power mode and erratic transmission behavior persists.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

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