fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
105,000 miles
Total Complaints:
20 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (13 reports)
  2. torque converter/transmission replacement (7 reports)
2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser transmission problems

transmission problem

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2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser Owner Comments

problem #20

Jun 012018

FJ Cruiser V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,151 miles


My wife first reported the issue as the car stalling. After driving it myself I found the issue occurs between 25 and 45 mph, typically when at near coasting or with very light load on the motor, the vehicle will shudder. For those who have driven a stick shift, it feels similar to what you'd experience if you shifted from first gear to 4th gear. I've found that tapping on the gas pedal makes this stop.

Took it to Toyota dealer after reading reports of this issue and they said I had to replace the entire transmission that the issue was a leaking torque converter. As soon as I explained the issue the technician nodded to indicate he knew exactly what the issue was. I think it's wholly irresponsible of Toyota to ignore this issue as it's an obvious manufacturing/engineering issue. I asked whether it was a critical issue and whether it could lead to catastrophic failure and was told they didn't think so and that if it got bad enough I'd just begin to notice slip (the engine racing when applying power).

I guess Toyota must be comfortable with this issue since they don't seem overly concerned. I told my wife that if I am ever killed in the truck and it turns out the transmission locked up to get the best damn lawyer she can find and sue them for $100M.

- Scott S., Austin, TX, US

problem #19

Apr 032009

FJ Cruiser

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Seems to be a very common problem with the 2007 FJ.

- Dave M., Savannah, GA, US

problem #18

May 012016

FJ Cruiser TRD V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,761 miles

I've had the same shuddering issues as everyone else. Its been over two years now. Notice it around 25-45mph at random times. Local Toyota dealership in 2016 recommended a new rear differential assembly for $2400. My personal mechanic did not recommend it but he couldn't recreate the shuddering when he test drove it. Started researching online and didn't realize how much of an issue it is.

- Veh L., Oakland, CA, US

problem #17

Apr 082018

FJ Cruiser 4x4 SUV V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,650 miles


Shudder 20-30 mph and 35-45 mph. Toyota service center charged $2000 initially for the bearing and brakes --> but the problem remained unchanged --> Complained and left the car in the service center --> then now they quoted $5,500 for transmission.

I am very disappointed by the Toyota service center for their dishonest service. They pretended that they didn't know about these obviously common problems for the FJ Cruiser and ripped me off with unnecessary services (brake and bearing changes) charging $2,000. They said the $2,000 service was necessary because brakes and bearings were part of the shuddering problem -- again, this didn't improve the condition at all. If I knew about the $5,500 transmission, I would have refused the $2,000 service. I was too naive when discussing with the service center people.

- Samson K., Columbus, OH, US

problem #16

Mar 012018

FJ Cruiser LL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,642 miles

Toyota will have a class action suit against them! Get On the list I'm starting the process 573-820-0259

- Leon S., Dexter, MO, US

problem #15

Jul 022012

FJ Cruiser 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

I currently have 127, 806 miles on my FJ. I started feeling a shudder while driving 30 - 40 mph and about 1500 - 1800 rpm's. The shudder lasts for a short period of time and then goes away. However, it happens every time. I have not had it fixed as I can not seem to find anything online stating a repair that has worked.

- Earl B., Queensbury, US

problem #14

May 022011

FJ Cruiser 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


This problem is all over the internet for the 2007 FJ Cruiser and should be a recall by Toyota. The idea that a simple Google search shows countless people all with the same problem with no remediation from Toyota is terrible.

- John C., Mahomet, IL, US

problem #13

Feb 152016

FJ Cruiser V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Same as all the rest......shudder between 35-45 mph. Dealer supposedly ran some type of diagnostic test and determined transmission fluid was down 1 quart. Test cost around $300 so basically it cost me $300 for a quart of fluid! The FJ ran fine for about 12000 miles then it all started up again. Shudder is back same as before. I was running the truck in D only on highway, in 4th local roads. Toyota should come up with a solution. Problem is they stopped making this model and could care less about any of us staying on as repeat customers. Face it, we're screwed!

- ruaa, Seaford, US

problem #12

Oct 012016

FJ Cruiser

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles

Bought this vehicle new- full price. Problem was subtle at first. Went to the Toyota dealership in October ('16) asking them to diagnose the problem. Next day they claimed they had no idea but dangled the prospect of a new transmission for beaucoup bucks- they suggested we should keep driving it to see what happens. Couple of months went by it got very noticeable- took it to three independent transmission shops. One guy who actually seemed to know his stuff says this is a problem with Toyota FJ Cruisers based on his own experience. He says the problem is likely an imbalance in the transfer casing/housing that activates at particular RPMs. He said he can't obtain a replacement because they are no longer commercially available, so you need to shop online for the part in hopes that someone is parting out a trashed FJ. He said he'd keep his eyes peeled for one, but I doubt this is a priority AND I'm guessing, given how widespread this problem seems to be that such a tranny is almost impossible to find. Never heard back from him. Talked to another mechanic last night who may be more pro-active on the parts search.

Based on similar to identical complaints, sounds like we have a major and expensive design flaw, which may explain why Toyota discontinued this beast. If the vehicle's price tag had a $4000 add-on for a new tranny, would you buy this puppy? I smell class action if Toyota doesn't do the right thing. I'm pissed!

- Alex M., Long Beach, CA, US

problem #11

Aug 102016

FJ Cruiser

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

I own a 2007 FJ Cruiser and just finished payments in August 2016. In September 2016, the FJ started consistently shuddering while accelerating to 20mph. The local Toyota dealership took a look and confirmed it's the the transmission. I was told, depending on how I drive, it may be months or a couple of years before I have to replace the transmission.

Fast forward, now early December 2016, the FJ shudders at an additional point of acceleration 40-45mph. I have switched to driving it in "4" and not "D" as suggested in other posts regarding this same complaint.

On a side note, I have noticed what feels like the car body slightly slide when in a turn. All 4 tires remain on the ground and this is NOT a hydroplane situation. The slide isn't consistent nor weather dependent. I'm wondering if this is linked or a completely separate issue from the transmission and if anyone has experienced this?

Oh...another thing, when reversing, the FJ has a dulled knocking to it. It's more prevalent when the vehicle is cold...this has been happening since last winter and continued through summer.

Now what? Trade in or fix? I thought I had a special vehicle since they stopped making this last year but instead I have a headache on the road. Today I'll be getting quoted for a new trans :( What's a girl to do?

- sym, Portland, ME, US

problem #10

Nov 012016

FJ Cruiser 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles


Bought my FJ new in 2007. Love it. About 2 years ago I noticed the car would shudder when I was gently applying the gas and going up a slight incline in the road while in overdrive gear. The problem was very faint and only occurred at low RPM's and inclines, never at high speeds on the highway, so I never complained about it. I recently started getting a rattle underneath the vehicle that I have had at the dealer twice now. The first time they replaced the metal skid plate for $300 dollars, still rattled. Second time they added clamps to something, not sure where. Still rattles. It sounds like a metal vibration at acceleration and gear shifting. I am not sure if this is related to the shuddering. The last service when they added the clamps, I had my throttle body cleaned thinking that was the issue with my shuddering problem, but that did not solve it. The car is shuddering very badly now at low RPM's in overdrive gear. When I release my foot off the gas pedal or increase the gas pedal position the shudder goes away. It also goes away if I shift to 4th gear (RPMs go up). I haven't had the issue diagnosed yet, but knowing that it happens at inclines in the road, this tells me there is something wrong with the torque converter. I have 133,000 miles on the vehicle. It is basically still new for a quality built Toyota. I thought this car would last me a lifetime. I baby this vehicle, do all my scheduled maintenance, and even replace parts as preventive maintenance. I would like to know if I truly need to replace a torque motor or transmission or if there is a simple fix. I read somewhere else in a blog that an owner replaced his STL solenoid and that fixed the problem.

- mvnj, Riverside, NJ, US

problem #9

Aug 272015

FJ Cruiser 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

The car just shakes and feels like it loses power. It makes the car seem 'whimpy' even though it looks tough

- mocifuentes, Arlington, VA, US

problem #8

Jan 152016

FJ Cruiser STD 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

I am at least 6th to complain of this recently noted problem. Seems most likely to be induced when applying just enough gas to maintain speed and encounter small bump in road. Not incurred at 60 or above or while coasting. My local mechanic was unable to provide any diagnosis. Increasing frequency of incidents says not a problem to be ignored. Temptation to get rid of truck I otherwise like pretty well if alternative is 4500 for replacing transmission

Update from Jul 27, 2016: Dealer suggested drain/flush treatment for $300. Seemed somewhat less for 2weeks. About 8 mos. / 8000 mi. Later I'm still living w problem, using approach suggested by another victim of selecting "4" for all "non-cruising" use in preference to "D" to avoid overdrive.

Damned if I'll spend 4 or 5 K on replacement x-msn. Features of this model fits my needs quite well, so extra disappointment with the shortcomings in design & manufacture.

- d_easterday, Marion, MA, US

problem #7

Nov 132012

FJ Cruiser LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,756 miles

I noticed the problem right after I bought it. Everyone said it's nothing but I always noticed something was wrong, came upon this site, now I know I was right. The car shudders around 35 mph and worries me that it will go completely out. Now I don't know what to do. I really Love the FJ and don't wish to get rid of it. Any advice? Lorrie007

- Lloydette D., Beckley, WV, US

problem #6

Apr 012015

FJ Cruiser

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

Started as a small shudder between 30-40mph around 95,000 miles and has become gradually worse now with 105,000 miles on it. Toyota dealership said I "may" need a new transmission or it could be bearings in the drivetrain/driveshaft that need to be replaced. A new trans quote was $4000-$5000 and the bearings $2000-$2500.

The dealerships are playing stupid and acting like this isn't a know common problem so the MANY people that are having the same issues are getting screwed. I've always been a Toyota guy but this has changed my loyalty. This is my third Toyota and I doubt I'll ever recommend or buy one again because of these issues being so common and basically being ignored by Toyota. VERY disappointed.

Update from Feb 2, 2017: My FJ now has 127,000 miles on it and the "shudder" has become worse but not terrible. It also does it sometimes around 45-50mph now. I haven't been able to get any positive results from Toyota World the dealership where I bought it in 2008. They play dumb and want THOUSANDS to replace the trans when they can't even tell me 100% that's what it is. lol....crazy. I tried contacting Toyota reps to no avail. So at this point I guess I'm one of the guinea pigs to just drive it until it fails completely and then maybe someone can tell me exactly what "IT" is. Hopefully I don't get stranded far away from home. DISAPPOINTING TOYOTA....from someone who's been a life long customer.

- Paul M., West Grove, PA, US

problem #5

May 072014

FJ Cruiser V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

Google "FJ Cruiser transmission shudder" and you will find the exact same problem that I'm experiencing. My FJ Cruiser experiences a "shuddering" sensation when traveling around 25mph and 50mph, which I believe is more so related to the RPMs than anything else. It appears the problem is attributed to a faulty torque converter, which needs to be replaced.

Before purchasing a new torque converter, I tried flushing my transmission which brought up another problem. You can't do it! Toyota states the 2007 FJ Cruiser has a sealed transmission with a lifetime transmission fluid. There is no apparent way to change the transmission fluid. The techs at the Toyota stealership didn't even know how to change the fluid. I ended up doing a transmission fluid flush utilizing vacuum lines and draining the entire pan, which gave me some insight into the inner condition of my transmission. The transmission fluid was black with small traces of metal around the drain plug.

Changing out the fluid seemed to help for a few months, however the problem is back. I'm sure I need a new or rebuilt torque converter, but now I'm worried that I need a new or rebuilt transmission as well. Shouldn't these be items that last? What happened to the days of owning a Toyota and being able to put 200,000 miles on it with simple maintenance.

- dailycruiser, Concord, CA, US

problem #4

Feb 132015

FJ Cruiser V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,984 miles

I have a 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser, I started feeling a little vibration going on as I reached speeds 35-45, I took the vehicle to the Toyota dealership, I was told that I needed a new transmission. I asked about a transmission service, he stated that this type of vehicle does not require a transmission service, the transmission fluid that is installed is supposed to last thru the life of the transmission. A new transmission will cost me 4500.00. With that being said is it my transmission, and should it have already gone bad.


Madisonville TX

- mh-madville, Madisonville, TX, US

problem #3

Dec 102014

FJ Cruiser 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

I purchased the FJ Cruiser last year, not long after it developed a transmission shudder. It didn't occur if the vehicle was placed and driven in 4th, but would if placed and driven in "D". I self diagnosed it with a torque converter failure and this was confirmed by a Toyota dealership. The entire transmission was replaced and the issue was solved. Without a warranty this will cost a decent amount of money.

- gadsdan, Puyallup, WA, US

problem #2

Dec 012014

FJ Cruiser

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

While driving around 40mph, the truck begins to shudder. This has been going on for a while and the only way to get it to stop is to take your foot off of the gas, (which is not always so safe on icy roads). While at the dealership getting a bunch of other recall work done, I asked the guys there about the problem. One of the guys AT Toyota told me that it was a problem with the computer talking to the transmission, and it can't decide which gear to be in. When I asked him how to remedy the problem, he shrugged and told me "nothing". I bought this truck at their dealership when it was brand new, (and paid a pretty penny for it too), now with less than 99,000miles on it it's crap? Really Toyota? Toyota needs to step up before someone gets killed from their negligence.

- Ann P., Madison, NH, US

problem #1

Sep 272014

FJ Cruiser

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

My 2007 FJ Cruiser has 98K miles on it. About 2 weeks ago I noticed that the car starts to shudder when the car reaches 35-45mph. The only way to stop it is to release the gas pedal for a second and then press it again.

I took it to the dealer and they said I needed a tire rotation, new battery, new air filters, etc.... $400 later the problem still exists. I took it back to the dealer and they tried to charge me $300 to flush the transmission. I was able to speak to the manager and get them to flush it for no cost. The problem still exists. Their excuse was that the car is old and the transmission is going to go out soon. They said to save for a new transmission - $5000. They have no clue.

After reading the forums, I found that this is a very common problem with 2007 FJ Cruisers. Toyota needs to step up to the plate and admit that this is a major problem. They need to do a recall or at least provide the dealerships with a viable solution.

- kalei, Plano, TX, US

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