really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
86,872 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.

2002 Toyota Sequoia transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Toyota Sequoia Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Feb 012012

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 99,000 miles


I was accelerating onto the freeway today and it felt as if the left brakes came on along with a screeching sound and it made me swerve left. I was able to avoid swerving into merging traffic but I nearly crashed. Over the last week the vsc off lights have started going on and off and and after reviewing some literature on line it seems that hundreds of others have had the same type of problem. The 2003 Sequoia was actually recalled for this same thing. Very dangerous and now I will have to contact the dealer to see about it getting fixed before someone is killed. I have two young children and this really pisses me off. Even if there is not a recall I should have been made aware of the danger I was putting myself in. I have been happy with my truck for 8 years but after this incident and seeing what others have gone through I will never buy another Toyota!!!

- Portland , OR, USA

problem #20

Dec 192011

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,005 miles
Driving on NY thruway transmission went. Towed to nearest service station where new transmission was installed after which we were told that the chassis was extremely rusty. Two days later, the engine light came on - took car to sears to find out trans fluid leak and frame rotted and declined servicing vehicle. Followed up at Toyota dealer for leak and frame inspection. Technician found power steering line leaking power steering fluid and excessive frame perforation / corrosion. They would not work on it. Technician installed a new hook lock and cable assembly as hood would not lock.

- Malta, NY, USA

problem #19

Aug 262010


  • 138,678 miles
2002 Toyota Sequoia transmission problem. The car stopped at a red light and died. There was no warning of any sort from the car. Everything was fine until this event. I was able to restart the car but once the gear is shift to drive or reverse, the transmission stalled and died. This problem kept on going so I called for a tow truck. Dealer said that it will cost at least $4400 to fix transmission and they have seen this problem more than once in Sequoia.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #18

Jun 212010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles


On 6/21/2010, my 2002 Toyota Sequoia SRS 2-wheel drive model at 74K miles had failure with its automatic transmission while running on highway. The automatic transmission repeatedly failed to properly engage the overdrive gears, resulted in significant dropping of engine RPM, caused sudden drop of vehicle speed, caused vehicle vibration and loud clanking sounds, and resulted in difficult driving condition. This was partially correctable only by taking the vehicle off the overdrive mode. Although no vehicle accident nor injury resulted from this mechanical failure, I noted that many discussion boards listed this same problem for 2000-2002 Toyota Sequoia and Tundra. The problem was attributed to od planetary gears and sun gear in the automatic transmission. This pattern of defect should be addressed with the manufacture to prevent any further potential dangerous incidents. In my opinion, Toyota should issue a safety recall for these vehicles with this pattern of issues for its automatic transmissions. My vehicle was never used for tow and had mostly highway miles.

- Newbury Park, CA, USA

problem #17

Jun 012010


  • 120,000 miles
The issues with Toyota hasn't just started with the 2009/2010 acceleration problems. At least for the last ten years owners have complained about Toyota's vehicles and I have 1 complaint to post. We have a 2002 Sequoia with 122K miles. Our transmission went costing us approx. $4600. We maintenance this truck religiously. I have been researching this issue online and found others having the same issue as me(some with only 70K miles, I guess we were luckily). Now this truck cost between 42K to 50K or so and 8 years later I am changing the freakin trans. How the heck(used lightly), does Toyota or any other auto maker get away with this stuff? I also have been researching to see how we could get Toyota held responsible for this piece of [xxx] trans. I had a Chevy cavalier in the 90's cost around 9K.never had 1 issue with it engine, engine light, transmission..nothing. I will continue to research and blog here until I am satisfied with an response from the CEO. If everyone who has the same problem complains and scream loud enough this issue would have been recalled. If you want to discuss further please contact me. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #16

Mar 242010


  • 166,000 miles
I was driving my 2002 Toyota Sequoia on the highway in Chicago and my vehicle completely died and would not restart. My battery was brand new and I had full power. Had the vehicle towed to a Toyota dealer and they could not find anything wrong with it. Tried to drive it home the next day and it died on the highway at 55 mph. Had it towed again to our home town and took it to a transmission shop. Mechanic stated that the radiator fluid leaked into the transmission and also that the debris from the mechanical parts of the transmission were laying on the bottom. He stated he has seen this in many Toyota Sequoias and that this is something that should have been recalled but has not.

- Valparaiso, IN, USA

problem #15

May 112004


  • 80,000 miles


While traveling any where I would lose power and my vsc trac warning lights and skid trac lights will come on and I will have to wait for the lights to go off in order to get my power back. And also I had to replace two of my door handles. And before my SUV was 3yrs I had to replace the transmission.

- Ellenwood, GA, USA

problem #14

Feb 032002


  • 108,000 miles
Transmission failure at 108,000 miles. From what I am reading, there are a lot of transmission failures on the 2002 Sequoia around this mileage. Is this acceptable?

- Millis, MA, USA

problem #13

Nov 062009


  • 142,100 miles
2002 Toyota Sequoia transmission fail.

- Lithonua, GA, USA

problem #12

Feb 112009


  • 70,500 miles
I have just had the transmission on my 2002 Sequoia fail. Cost was $3200 at aamco, plus $200 for a car rental. Every forum I go on I find at least 8-10 owners with this same problem, od planetary gear failure. So one has to wonder why Toyota has not had a recall. Aamco told me the new part was an improved version. This implies that Toyota is aware of the problem. I'm thinking of talking to a lawyer about looking into a class action lawsuit. I'm very disgusted.

- Rockledge, FL, USA

problem #11

Oct 222008


  • 134,000 miles


Vsc skid control lights come on and now the skid control does not work. The truck has twice in the last 6 months failed to go into forward and reverse without turning the it off and letting it S it for 5 minutes. This could be a serious safety issue if it occurs as I was trying to merge into a high speed intersection.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #10

Jan 122009


  • 72,000 miles
2002 Toyota Sequoia, transmission failure, local repair shop got transmission to work, says it will fail again soon and recommended the Toyota dealership replace it. The Toyota dealership denied there was any problem with our vehicle. A quick google search shows that there are widespread and documented problems with '00 to '02 Toyota Sequoia/Tundra transmission failures.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #9

Dec 132008


  • 81,613 miles
My 2002 Sequoia needed a new transmission December 13, 2008. I am the original owner, it had only 81,000 miles, had every recommended maintenance done. I went in for a minor service October 30 and they replaced a pulley and belt also (about $500) because of san engine hissing when the car was idle. The car never was the same after I picked it up. When I would be driving I would feel something "slip" occasionally when it was changing gears. The gear shifter would also randomly be very hard to move from park to drive, or from park to reverse, etc. I took the car back to Toyota service the day before thanksgiving out of fear of driving the family and breaking down. They had me drive a mechanic with me and of course it did not do the "slipping engine noise and the car shifter went easily into park and drive for the short time he was with me. He reassured me it was nothing. So thanksgiving day I loaded my family into my husbands Mercedes because I knew my Sequoia, and I knew something was not right. This continued on with me having to alter my plans because I knew something was not right. Then Dec. 13th I was thankfully by myself, on the 91 fwy just exited the fast track and was in the far left lane on a busy sat afternoon when the accelerator just stopped making the engine go. I was going uphill and luckily I thought quickly to get over 5 lanes of busy traffic to the shoulder with no engine speed except what was left before it !!!. I saw my life pass before me but was lucky!so after a $300 tow back to my dealership, they told me that I needed a new transmission. $4000 later with only 81,000 miles. That just is wrong. For a company that likes to be associated with quality and good customer service, I find this disgusting!

- Lakewood, CA, USA

problem #8

Aug 312008


  • 100,027 miles
My 2002 Toyota Sequoia died at a red light. It started fine but when put in gear the car dies. The dealer states to replace the transmission. My personal mechanic tells me to replace only a couple of sensors. Tried to contact Toyota Corp. But just got the run-around.

- West Covina, CA, USA

problem #7

May 022008

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
I own a 2002 Sequoia. Saturday May 4, 2008 my transmission completely failed. Now the dealership wants $5,000 to repair. I have searched online and found numerous Toyota Sequoia owners with the same problem. Those who were lucky enough to have the problem correctly diagnosed have found that other sloppily manufactured parts disintegrated and got into the transmission causing it to fail. I have repeatedly contacted Toyota's customer line only to be repeatedly told to return to the dealership and try to work out a deal. I feel that this is a recall issue. I have also had to have coil packs replaced twice on this vehicle. The only thing the dealer keeps saying is this is way out of the norm for a Toyota, nevertheless charging ungodly amounts for it to be fixed. Had this car broken down on me while driving on the interstate I would not be here to make this complaint.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #6

Dec 222006

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,800 miles
"vsc/trac" warning lights come on and stay on, and car tries to go back/forward at the same time. I bought this car used with 66,000 miles on it, and problem is chronic. Dealer says they can't recreate the problem. I looked online and there are lots of problems with this in Toyota Sequoias. Date of most recent incident is recorded below.

- Gold River, CA, USA

problem #5

Sep 282006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles
In 8/06 I noticed a roaring/grinding noise coming from my end. L. bearing replaced X2. Problem remained. Then replaced the right front bearing. Still to no avail. I then took my car to Toyota in tampa who stated the replaced bearing had been pressed in too tight. I took my car back to the mechanic who then took the entire assembly over Toyota in clearwater to replace the entire assembly. Still no resolution. Tire problem? so, I took it back to the tire kingdom who put on new Michelin cross terrain SUV tires. Problem remained. So I took it back to them and they then put on a new set of Michelin ltx tires. Problem remained. So, I then took it to collisiontec in clearwater, thinking that perhaps tire kingdom might have bent something when they originally rotated the tires. (the certified Toyota mechanic had previously inspected everything under my car when he first had it but had been unable to detect any damage). Collisiontec drove the car and did an initial inspection, but could not detect anything. They have asked to have me bring the car back so that they can keep it for a week and do a complete inspection. In the meantime, my check engine light came on and the vsc/vtc light came on, so I took it back to the Toyota mechanic. The O2 sensor needs to be fixed/replaced. To fix the vsc/vtc Toyota doesn't sell the one part needed, only the complete set for $900! this is all on top of the original roar/grinding/vibration problem which still exists!! reapairs now up to 2K & no resolution. Also, my car was recalled for the ball joint problem. There is no sticker indicating ball joints replaced. If the ball joints were not replaced as they should have been, could this be the source of the roar/grinding/vibration? this roar/grinding/vibration is coming from the front and occurs only when the car is in motion.

- Clearwater, FL, USA

problem #4

Dec 122005

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
We pruchased this 2002 Toyota sequioa in 8/2001 we had the truck for about 6 mths and then the transmission went out the dealer replace the transmission. In 4/05 the right rear axle seal was leaking cause us to replace the seal. Now 12/05 the rear differential has locked up and the truck is no longer under warranty causing us to pay for repair out of pocket. We dealer has refused to cover the cost for any of the repairs.

- Powder Springs, GA, USA

problem #3

Sep 192005

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,585 miles
I put the vehicle in park, then got out and closed the door. The vehicle was fully stopped when I got out. It then started to move forward, the vehicle picked up speed and moved forward approximately 25 feet. I opened the door as it was moving and pushed on the emergency brake with my hand just as it crashed into the staircase in my garage. When I got back into the vehicle after the crash the car was in drive. Thus the car automatically shifted from park to drive. It is possible it shifted from neutral to drive but I don't think so. Either way this still poses great concern. This incident happened on September 19, 2005. My vehicle is a 2002 Toyota Sequoia.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #2

Apr 052005

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
(1) grinding noise on acceleration. Engine cutting off when stopping vehicle. (2) stuck in middle or road trying to get truck to stay cranked. (3) replaced transmission at 1/2 dealer cost and 1/2 my cost when complaint started on problem while vehicle was still under warranty.

- Gainesville, GA, USA

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