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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
98,333 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.

2001 Toyota RAV4 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2001 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments (Page 7 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #1

Aug 252001


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Vehicle exhibits intermittent hesitation upon acceleration from stop or low speed.hesitation has occurred since shortly after vehicle purchase date, with increased frequency during last 60-90 days. Hesitation occurs both with air conditionong on and off, and with 4-speed automatic transmission overdive on and off. 2-3 occurrences per week are currently experienced. Most frequent when vehicle is making slow turn (both right and left) and lasts 5-10 seconds even if accelerator is nearly fully depressed. Hesitation has also occurred when moving straight ahead from stop or from low speed (5-10 mph) stop and go traffic. Dealer has been notified and could not replicate problem or offer a solution, however vehicle was driven for only a short time by dealer's service technicians. Dealer indicates no report of similiar problems either at this dealership or to Toyota usa although I know of other 2001 Rav4 owners who have reported a hesitation problem to their dealers and have not had the problem resolved. While this problem is intermittent, this is, in some ways, worse than if it happened every time because there is no way to pedict the event and compensate for it.

- Elk Grove Village, IL, USA

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