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:
61,000 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 #4

Jun 072010

RAV4 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 170,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Toyota Rav4. While the contact was driving approximately 15 mph, the manual transmission began to stutter and then the vehicle completely stalled. The engine restarted and resumed normal. The failure occurred intermittently. The failure was not diagnosed or repaired. Updated 03/16/11 updated 10/12/11

- Newton, MA, USA

problem #3

Jan 012008


  • 74,000 miles
Toyota Rav4 2001 model - standard transmission that failed at about 74,000 miles.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #2

Sep 082007


  • miles
Circuit board for transmission failed and valve.

- Mount Airy Md 21771, MD, USA

problem #1

Oct 202000


  • miles
The transmission shifts slowly, pops into reverse while in the car wash and the RPM gauge shows high RPM's when accelerating in third gear. Nlm

- Livonia, MI, USA

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