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
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
118,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
2003 Toyota RAV4 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments

problem #1

Mar 122010

RAV4 /Gray 4 Cyclinder

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles


My Rav4 started acting up on 3-10-10 after having no problem whatsoever since the day I brought it 11-23-2002, had only 310 miles on it. Now to present time on 3-12-10 the problem got worse. I quit driving it that same day. On Wednesday 3-17-10 took it to my mechanic whom I have complete trust in, he called me Thursday 3-18-10 told me it was the transmission. I brought a Toyota because I figured that would be the last I would own being in my sixties and because Toyota was one of the best companies. I only have 118,000 miles on it, always changed the oil every 3,000 miles and took it in for regular checkups every 6 months. I am a Senior Citizen and I feel that Toyota needs to step up to the plate on this issue like they are trying to do with other models. I don't have a money tree so who is going to help us, the ones that trusted them. I am going to fight this its almost like Daniel going against Goliath. Need to ban together, and get this information out.

- , Topeka, KS, USA

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