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:
No data
Average Mileage:
123,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
2001 Toyota RAV4 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2001 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #1

Sep 282015

RAV4 4 C

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles


the vehicle died at an intersection and we were afraid of being rear ended when it died on acceleration. we had to restart the engine in neutral an put into drive and still stalled. shifted to low after re-starting and move forward and shifted through the gears manually. happened one more time and ran smoothly for a while. Transmission makes noise upon starting out in the morning than goes away. Car will make noise not all the time but while getting up to speed on the freeway. Our biggest concern is being rear ended or being hit if engine dies on freeway. We are in the process of replacing the electric control module and see if that takes care of the problem if not the transmission will have to be replaced. We are both disabled and money is very tight, replacing a vehicle at this time is impossible.

- , Oroville, CA, USA

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