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.


definitely annoying
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
54,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
2002 Toyota RAV4 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2002 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #1

Jul 022010

RAV4 L 4WD 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles


Whine from rear differential area, loudest between 35 - 45 MPH. Pitch changes with road speed. Started very mildly a few months ago, now seems a bit louder. The fluid was changed in the differential housing at 50,000 mile service. Thought it was tires, had vehicle off all wheels on jack stands, with vehicle in drive all wheels turning I traced the noise to what sounds like the differential housing. No Toyota service bulletins or concerns for the problem noted per the local Toyota dealer in Boardman, OH. They want $85.00 just to diagnose the issue!

- , Youngstown, OH, USA

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