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:
106,262 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

Feb 032012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,262 miles


Received letter from Toyota saying they would pay for repairs to transmission of my RAV; can't find letter. On slight incline, my car seemed to lose power and shimmy, maybe this was because the transmission was not shifting into a higher gear. As I gave it gas, it started shimmying. The overall effect was that it lost power. But after receiving the Toyota letter about transmission problems in this vehicle, it might be the transmission. I called a Toyota service department and they denied that Toyota said that they would pay for repairs to the transmission and more or less stonewalled me. I don't know what to do. This car only has 106,000+ miles on it even though it is a 2001. The letter said that they extended my warranty to 10 years or 150,000 miles whichever came first. But a problem is a problem, I think they should repair my car if it needs it. I am a grandmother living on Social Security and drive my grand kids around. I need a safe car and can't pay a fortune to have it fixed. Also my engine light is on.

- , Columbus, OH, USA

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