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.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,628 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.

2002 Toyota Tundra transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Toyota Tundra Owner Comments

problem #11

Jan 162010

Tundra 4WD 8-cyl

  • 111,000 miles


I encountered the same transmission failure that's similar to other NHTSA ODI reports. The problem - which I understand is fairly common with this 2002 Toyota Tundra - started with rough shifting and clunking noises in the power train at around 60,000 miles. The odd sounds started intermittently at highway speeds and then became more frequent and then finally resulted in failure at around 111,000. The transmission quit at a highway intersection stop 140 miles from home in January, 2010. It would not go into proper gear after stopping on the highway. The vehicle was towed to the nearest Toyota dealer in victoria, Texas on Saturday evening for repair work that was eventually done four days later at a total out-of-pocket cost of nearly $4,000 (parts, labor, rental car, towing; does not include missed work)...this vehicle has been maintained properly by my Toyota dealer. So the transmission should not have failed so soon, as my other trucks (Ford, Dodge, and even Nissan) never required transmission replacements, leaving me stranded in harm's way along a rural highway. So my next pickup truck will most likely not be a Toyota.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #10

Aug 102008


  • 85,000 miles
While driving on the highway I would occasionally hear a slight "clunk". sounded like it might be the transmission. This first occurred around 85K miles. Then again about a year later. After the second or third time, I took the car a transmission specialist. They reported that the overdrive gear bearing was failing and this was common on the early Tundra. Apparently the needle bearing begins to fall apart and eventually the whole transmission goes out. Rebuilding the transmission costs just about as much as replacing it and there was already damage to the gears. End result -- I had to replace the entire transmission at 100K miles. If this is truly a common failure, it seems that Toyota put these trucks on the road with a transmission that wasn't up to the task. I rarely haul heavy loads or trailers and consider my use of the truck to be very gentle. Hardly anything that would cause the early demise of a transmission.

- Oak View, CA, USA

problem #9

Dec 202008


  • 34,500 miles
While driving on the freeway my truck made a bad sound from the transmission a gear grind clunk noise. I pulled off the freeway asap and put it in park. There was no fluid draining or any thing. When I went to put it in drive it was hard to go into gear. But it drove ok so I went to my appointment less than a mile away. From there my wife picked me up and we did some christmas stuff and got back to the car later than expected and I had to drive it home (aprox 5-7 miles). At first it was ok then clunk grind jump neutral in a bad spot on the freeway. I was able to get it about another mile to safety it jumped again and no gears. I had to push it out of harms way and jacked up my back. I was trying to stay off the operating table for my back now if im on my feet more than couple of hours I am bed ridden from days to weeks. At the beginning of the day perfect vehicle with 34000 miles now needing a $4500 transmission. I checked with some shops and a couple of dealers and they all said the same thing broken main shaft, factory defect weak main shaft. Toyota would not pay for it. 2002 vehicle. I notified Toyota the vehicle was in storage in California and would be started from time to time to keep my warranty as I am handicapped and could not get back to it. Now they had no info on this and I had to pay to fix a 34K mile Toyota for a defect and now get a back operation.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #8

Nov 282008


  • 67,000 miles


Premature transmission failure on my 2002 Toyota Tundra pickup truck. This vehicle had regular maintenance and currently has 67,000 miles on it. The transmission shop that I took it to says this premature failure is a common occurrence on 2000 to 2002 Tundra and requires complete rebuild of the transmission. I have never owned an american made vehicle that required any transmission work until well over 100,000 miles.

- Williamsport, PA, USA

problem #7

Aug 082008

Tundra 6-cyl

  • 84,900 miles
2002 Tundra 6 cylinder automatic transmission with 84,900 miles on it had total failure on I-10 while going 70mph. The engine continued to work but pushing the gas peddle did nothing. We safely pulled over, but the truck would not go forward or in reverse. I had complained to 2 different dealers of a bumping feeling and other abnormalities for several months, but neither dealer could detect a problem. I have maintained this truck as directed by the manufacturer and it is otherwise in excellent condition. I have only towed a trailer once with the trailer and cargo weighing less than 2000 lbs. However, the problems I complained of to the dealer occurred before I towed the trailer. Fortunately, I had the Toyota extracare extended warranty (7 years or 100,000 miles) which covered the cost of replacing the transmission with a reconditioned transmission.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #6

Dec 232006

Tundra 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles
Automatic transmission failure, truck was not abused, well maintained, trans fluid was changed several times and always clean. Very dissappointed in having to replace. Have driven 3 Toyota's over 200,000 miiles with no transmission problems. Have heard of other trans failure in this year and model. Only 12 months warranty on replacement.

- Clayton, DE, USA

problem #5

Jul 012002

Tundra 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles


I have had multiple problems with my 2002 Tundra trd 4WD. I have had it in more than 4 times for the brakes vibrating/pulsating and looks like I will be taking it in again as they are starting to vibrate again!! reno Toyota has always done all the maintenance on it and keep trying to say it is my fault the brakes are bad and the rotors are warping. They replaced the rear axles a couple of months ago but I had to pay the $50 deductible. They also had to install a gasket on the crossover for the engine coolant as the factory never installed it. The ac doesn't get cool enough to cool the interior. Whistling noise but don't know where it is coming from...sounds like coming from side mirrors"?" I replace the wheels recently because of vibration because the wheels were warped. Always have excessive brake dust on front wheels. Transmission feels and sounds like it is slipping all the time. Rough idle after warm up. I bought it new in July 2002 and now have 69400 miles on it. Most of which are highway miles with no towing heavy hauling ever. Am too afraid to drive it off-road because of all the brake problems...Nevada=mountains=cliffs=death...I am not ready to risk my life or my grandchildren so will not even let me ride with me anywhere.

- Sparks, NV, USA

problem #4

Feb 022005

Tundra 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,000 miles
While driving 70 mph, the transmission stalled. The vehicle was towed. Dealership repaired the problem. The driver heard and felt a loud bump in the rear of the vehicle. The engine continued to run but the vehicle would not move when the consumer applied the gas pedal. There was rear end grease leaking from the right side rear showing on the wheel and tire. The mechanic stated that there was no connection between the rear brake, rear end leaking grease, the drive shaft and the failure of the transmission. The brakes were a major problem, the cruise control never kept speed or smooth, the left lower front ball joint had a catastrophic failure that caused the entire wheel, brake line and all essential components on the left side of the vehicle to come loose. The consumer requested reimbursement. The brakes were a problem on the vehicle, and the drums were replaced.

- Forestburg, TX, USA

problem #3

May 312002

Tundra 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
2002 Toyota Tundra 4X2 SR5 with under 18,000 miles, at 45 degree angle while in drive and no load, vehicle will roll backwards and will continue to roll until the brakes are applied. While rolling a loud constant clicking noise eminates from the rear end as if gears were slipping. Vehicle seldomly driven and almost never pulls any loads, never abused or wrecked and maintained regularly. This has occurred since the vehicle was purchased in may of 2002. Lakeside Toyota informed me today 9-20-04, this was normal for the truck and that they simulated it with another truck.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #2

May 162003

Tundra 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,507 miles
At 20,000 miles, the transmission started to shift very hard and the cel came on. Dealer said there was significant damage to the transmission and the error code from the obd II stated "mis shift". it took 7 weeks to get the part.

- Stevenson Ranch, CA, USA

problem #1

Dec 042001


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When vehicle is fully loaded brakes will overheat when applied while going down a hill.also, automatic transmission will not go into correct gear, resulting in more excessive brake application.

- Boron, CA, USA

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