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:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
0 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2001 Toyota RAV4:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2001 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #1

Mar 202008

RAV4 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


I have not had an accident or injuries to what my complaint is about. I personally think this is a safety issue. I drive a 2001 Toyota Rav4 and recently started having shifting issues. I started to research this issue and came across this website called and found many others with the same issue. Toyota is aware of the problems because they came out with a tsb in 2006. When you come to a complete stop and then go to drive the car forward the vehicle doesn't shift properly therefore could be a safety issue with not being able to move out of the way of on coming traffic. Please visit this website and see the amount of people having the same issues and I like many others feel there is a defective ECM in these vehicles sending faulty signals to the transmission causing the vehicle to not shift properly and could potentially cause accidents. The other problem is that this is not happening all the time, its sporadic and even the dealer is having difficulty duplicating the problem. I hope more people make complaints and I would be interested in seeing how many have. Thanks!

- Woonsocket, RI, USA

Not what you are looking for?