really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,907 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.

2009 Toyota Tacoma drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2009 Toyota Tacoma Owner Comments

problem #20

Apr 122012


  • 26,000 miles


I have exactly the same problem with read leaf springs as everybody else- the rear is sagging and and the front end is starting to rise(excessive tire wear) my truck has 66,000 miles and it only carries a 210lb vintage dirtbike 5 or 6 times a year. Do people have to start dying like GM's ignition switch before someone in the federal govt gets off their rear end and actually does their job? also spiral cable recall that could damage driver's airbag(cob (C1B) I have paperwork from Toyota and dealer stating the recall and now they are denying that one exists or ever existed. Also, when transmission shifts at low speeds(usually downshifting, clunk is heard in drive shaft) too much lash in rearend or junk U-joints. I have an aas in automotive technolgy and over 105 credits in automotive engineering. I'm not just blowing smoke. When I lived in nys, I had a vehicle inspection license and I would definitely fail many Toyota with these problems. No inspection sticker-no driving of vehicle.

- Richland, MI, USA

problem #19

Jan 192016


  • 70,000 miles
After going in reverse then stopping and placing the vehicle in drive, the transmission will slip, I would accelerate but the vehicle does nothing but rev up and then it will finally engage.

- Port St Lucie, FL, USA

problem #18

Jul 222014


  • miles
Rear leaf spring recall - received safety recall interim notice Sept. 2014 advising of defective rear leaf spring. Contacted dealership numerous times for repair, and advised continually Toyota has not yet designed or created a fix for the problem. As of July 28, 2015 dealership still does not have replacement part for the defective rear leaf spring. I have advised dealership multiple times that the vehicle when stopped and brake applied, vehicle abruptly without warning jolts forward on its own and makes a loud clunk immediately afterwards. Feels as if the vehicle has been hit from behind from another vehicle, when in fact it has not. Dealership confirmed that the issues explained above are definitely related to the faulty rear leaf spring, but has no answers or any remedy of problem. I was also advised by dealership that rear leaf spring may cause brakes to fail or fuel tank to be punctured and cause fire. This is definitely not safe, and we are concerned for our safety! please intervene!

- Jupiter, FL, USA

problem #17

Jul 072014


  • 45,600 miles


As soon as I came to a stop at an intersection, with my foot on the brake pedal, I noticed and felt a thump coming from underneath and towards the rear of the vehicle. It does not do it every time but this has happened several times already... updated 09/30/15

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #16

Jul 162014

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Bought a 2009 Toyota Tacoma new. When slowing down to make a turn, then accelerate the engine revs up to 3,000 rpms and the transmissions takes several seconds to engage into gear. This is a definite hazard when it comes to on coming traffic.

- Canton , GA, USA

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problem #15

Dec 012011

Tacoma 4WD 4-cyl

  • 31,000 miles
Clutch slips going up hill. You have to downshift when going up hill.

- Amity, ME, USA

problem #14

Jan 262014

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 34,000 miles


I came to a red traffic light and I hit the brakes but the car would not slow down so grabbed the steering wheel and pushed down on the brake petal but the car still would not stop so put the transmission in neutral and the car finally stopped but the engine continued to race the tack was up to 4000, when the light changed to green I put the car into drive and the car jerked forward and after about 4 seconds the tack dropped back to 2000 RPM.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #13

Jan 022014

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
When driving the vehicle, upon reaching 35 to 40 miles per hour the vehicle starts to shake for about two to three seconds. After doing research on the computer and after having the problem diagnosed at the dealer, I was told that I needed a new transmission. Apparently there is a torque converter lockup problem. I was told that the tsb does not pertain to my vehicle because it is no longer under warranty. I believe that Toyota is deliberately trying to find a way to not have to fix the problem. If this is happening in other vehicles there is obviously a problem regardless of what the vehicles mileage is when the problem occurs. Toyota will generally stand by the products they sell and these are the vehicles my family has ever purchased. However, we will definitely never purchase another vehicle from Toyota again.

- Brandywine, MD, USA

problem #12

Feb 012010

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
Shortly after purchase, I noticed that the truck nudges or slightly moves while at a stop, brake on and engine running. When brake is released it nudges again. I am unable to determine if this is a transmission issue or a brake issue. I have taken to Toyota on number of times. Nothing done. One comment from Toyota online was this is the characteristic of that year transmission. Funny, it did not do this when purchased. Now I cant sell it because of this problem. It seems to be getting worse, but no assistance from Toyota. Another find online from others was that this is a drive line wrap. Something to do with the drive shaft while under load. The truck runs great and I do not experience any issues with the shifting or drive-ability of the transmission while moving. New tires were installed last month and the problem seemed to diminish. It is now back to the same pattern...at every stop. Can you assist with any solutions? I just would like to have it fixed. Hopefully by Toyota on their nickel. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Corpus Christi, TX, USA

problem #11

Jun 142012


  • 19,000 miles
At freeway speeds grinding noise from driveline upon deceleration. It sounds like something is going to break/lockup. Dealership had the truck for 2 weeks trying to diagnose the problem. They opened a service ticket with Toyota and eventually a field service tech came to diagnose the truck. He didn't acknowledge it stating "no abnormal noise heard during operation at highway speeds. No further repairs authorized". I called Toyota customer care and they told me "we stand behind our techs". tcc would not allow me to speak with the field service tech"!? I expressed my fear of an accident to tcc to no avail. Why would the dealer be so concerned about my truck but Toyota blew it off" I am very displeased with Toyota.

- Allentown, PA, USA

problem #10

Jan 012010

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 15,000 miles


My Tacoma has a constant shimmy in the steering wheel. My mechanic and Toyota service have tried balancing, alignments and road-force testing, but nothing works to eliminate the shake. It is at its worst when I first accelerate to cruising speed after the truck has sat for eight hours. At these times it is an approximately a 1/4 inch shimmy in the wheel, and is quite a violent shake. It seems to dissipate after a while, but the shimmy never goes away completely. It exists with both my all-season tires, and my snow tires.

- Colebrook, NH, USA

problem #9

Dec 102011

Tacoma 4WD 6-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
Manual transmission clutch difficult engaging. Slipping feeling in forward gears and reverse. The center section of the clutch disk have separated from the friction material section of the clutch disk. Defective clutch.

- Covina, CA, USA

problem #8

Feb 202010


  • 4,000 miles
Purchased new Toyota Tacoma trd sport in Aug 2009 with zero miles. All seemed ok, other than a few frustrating cab rattles here and there. However, I also noticed that as my truck neared more miles (7,000 current), I now have to press on the brake pedal a bit harder, yet when I brought this up to the dealer, they stated all was normal and could not replicate. I've had a couple of instances where I've had to press the brake pretty hard to come to a stop or slow down. It seems I need to ride it a little harder than when I first bought my truck. I also want to add, that besides the irritating rattles (door panels/tray holder in center console below the steering wheel - which was replaced, but still make pop sounds here and there, the other smaller rattles - some of which were coming from ill-fit window seals were not really fixed. The dealer replaced the seals and the popping sounds stopped for a day or so then returned. I found the problem is the seals tend to be somewhat improper fit. In other words, they are too large and cause the rubbing. I personally corrected this by removing all door panels only to find out that some of the rattle sounds I had complained about merely had a small piece of felt on the backside, which did not completely cure the problem. I purchased an entire roll of this material myself and coated the inside of each door panel then added a small piece of weather stripping to the inside of door panel edge where it touches the glass window. This helped considerably in reducing air noise and no more rattling. My complaint is still with the brake pedal sometimes, not always, needing to be pushed harder than normal to come to stop or slow down. On other thing I addressed with the dealer was the fact that when I slow down and make turn, not complete stop and go, my engine RPM's don't decelerate quickly enough for the transmission to catch up. Dealer states this is normal operating rpms catching down to shift down of tranny.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #7

Feb 222010

Tacoma 4WD 6-cyl

  • 1 miles
I have 2009 Toyota Tacoma double cab 4X4 V6. I also had 2008 model of the same vehicle. Both these vehicles shared a common negative characteristic. The engines have sudden RPM increases that are significant enough to propel the vehicles forward. This usually occurs while the vehicle is stopped and the transmission is in the drive position, at a red light for instance. Additional pressure must be applied to the brakes to maintain control of the vehicle. This problem was identical on both Tacoma.

- Grayson, KY, USA

problem #6

Dec 042009


  • miles
During slowing down and coasting around 10-20 mph transmission not being able to find right gear and pressing on accelerator revs engine like it is in neutral not responding. When I called dealership workshop I was told by someone that is common problem for Tacoma and there is no fix for it. Contacted Toyota usa customer service who set me appointment with dealership manager who said all car needs is resetting and for car "relearning" but problem did not go away.

- Simpsonville , SC, USA

problem #5

Dec 202009


  • 7,200 miles
We were going to park the Toyota Tacoma truck in our garage and it all of a sudden accelerated, increasing the speed which caused us to hit a tree and the neighbors cement wall.

- Yorba Linda, CA, USA

problem #4

Jan 142010


  • 2,100 miles
I am reporting an incident I had with my 2009 Toyota tocoma pickup truck. I was stopped at a red light, with both feet on the brake, when the engine started revving up. I engaged the emergency brake as well, and shiftedinto neutral. The engine continued to race, until I repeatedly pumped the accelerator and it slowed back down. A trip to the dealer (cobb county Toyota, kennesaw ga) revealed nothing. The floor mat was still fastened by its hooks, and was nowhere near the accelerator pedal. This occured on January 14, 2009 when the vehicle had approximately 2,100 miles on it. Before this incident there were two times when the vehicle refused to shift gears until it was turned off and then back on. These incidents were also unsolved by the local dealer.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #3

May 012009


  • 1 miles
I have a new 2009 Toyota Tacoma truck which has exhibited transmission problems since I purchased it. This is not a quality issue as much as it is a design issue since the problem I am experiencing is well documented and occurs with all the Tacoma using their new 5 speed ect-I automatic transmission. Here are some web sites referencing the problem www.aboutautomobile.com/complaint/2009/Toyota/Tacoma townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.F0de869 when slowing down around turns or decelerating for other reasons, the car will downshift into a non-responsive mode and there is an extreme lag followed by a lurch forward as the transmission desperately sinks which gear to go into. I have discussed it with my dealer to no avail. They recognize the problem but can not do anything to resolve it. This situation is of great safety importance since the truck fails to respond for safety and avoidance measures.

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #2

May 232009


  • 243 miles
My husband and I purchase a Toyota Tacoma double cab 4X4 2009, on Friday May 22, 2009, and we are having problems with the transmission and the radio. When we are slowing down to turn on a curve and when we depress the accelerator the transmission downshifts into what appears to be the 1st gear. The engine will race up to a higher rmp as the car suddenly slows down. This is definitely a safety hazard. This possess a possibility of an accident as our vehicle now slows down quickly as we are coming out of the curve, light intersection or entering into an intersection. This has been occurring since we purchased both vehicle. We took it to the dealer to be checked, but cannot see anything wrong with it. They told me they can't do anything to correct the issue.(Toyota of St. Croix, us virgin islands). Radio has been ordered because in both vehicles the radio doesn't work. It shuts off, and in the other one when you accelerate (gas pedal) the volume goes down and sometimes up. What can you do to assist us. Thank you.

- Kingshill, VI, USA

problem #1

Mar 012009


  • 1,000 miles
My new 2009 double cab trd 4X4 has dangerous shift patterns. When you slow down to go through an intersection and begin to make the turn the automatic transmission jumps down into 1st gear and races the engine making it hard to control the vehicle properly. Toyota sent me to the dealer they tested it and stated, "normal for the model" on my ticket. They reset the "learn code" and told me off the record that other Toyota cars had this problem in the past - Toyota fixed it with a new software/firmware release, but we just don't have a software fix for the 09 Tacoma". I sent another email to Toyota last week they opened a case - but have no solutions. Other owners are complaining about this as well.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

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