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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,000 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

problem #1

Jan 282008

RAV4 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles


I have a Toyota rav 4 4WD 2001 model. At 47,000 miles I had an engine replacement done by lynch Toyota under warranty. 25,000 miles later vehicle was diagnosed with a cracked flex plate. Repair was done by aamco and in their written report they state that due to an alignment dowel that was cut off when lynch replaced the engine, the engine became misaligned and the flex plate cracked. In addition the torque converter also had to be replaced. The reports were handed to lynch and their service manager does not accept responsibility for this and reported that the cracked flex plate was more than likely due to poor materials. I still have the flex plate and would like to know if there is a way to have it checked to find out if indeed it was made from poor materials. Aamco don't appear to believe this to be the case.

- Glastonbury, CT, USA

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