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fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
4,400 miles
Total Complaints:
13 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (11 reports)
  2. tsb (update ecu programming (2 reports)
2016 Toyota Tacoma transmission problems

transmission problem

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2016 Toyota Tacoma Owner Comments

problem #13

Aug 102017

Tacoma Trd Sport 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,925 miles


I've read countless problems with these Tacoma Transmissions - Here's what worked for me. Digging through this site, I came across a Toyota Tech, that gave up the fix, after getting the run around himself from Toyota. Of course that post has been removed....go figure.

In 2016 Toyota changed the design so the customer no longer had the option of checking the transmission oil level conveniently under the hood. That must have been too easy. They also stopped making them here in the US, and started producing them in Japan. They were shipped with only a little more than 1 quart of transmission fluid, and assembled in the same fashion. Unless the dealer topped that transmission off before putting that unit on the sales lot, as instructed from the design team across the pond, that transmission was doomed from day 1. Of course the dealer will never be able to duplicate the problem. Even though the service manager was covering his ass with the paperwork, I captured and measured the amount of transmission fluid that came out of my truck.....just a little more than a quart, and it was pitch black.

Along with improper fluid level - there was an update that also needed to be performed, and was never done at the dealer. Funny how I purchased a CERTIFIED USED TACOMA - and yet it doesn't have the proper update...WTF Toyota? That multi point certified used inspection isn't worth paying extra for, this isn't the only item Toyota's $102 an hour Tech's have conveniently missed. The computer update info I have is TSB-0077-16. I'm sure there is a more recent update out there, this one has eliminated the delayed engagement in my 2016 Tacoma. It's had 1 other transmission fluid change since, and been a great little machine.

- Douglas W., Buchanan, US

problem #12

Apr 252016

Tacoma SR5 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5 miles

Waiting to hear when computer flash will be available. Dealership has been fantastic.

- Paul W., Fort Myers, FL, US

problem #11

Dec 012015

Tacoma SR5 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 300 miles

When transmission is cold I back out of the garage put the truck if D and it takes 2 to 3 seconds before it engages into D. No problems when warmed up. Have a Toyota care appointment in June will talk to them about it. I had 4 Toyota Trucks before and never had any problem with shifting. I hope they will look into this problem.

Update from Apr 18, 2017: took my truck to the toyota dealer on 3-21-2017 explaining my problem with the delayed shifting. I took it in at 9am and they called me at 1pm said my truck was done. when I picked it up I talked to the mechanic and he said he knew right away what the problem was. They did a TSB which was to update the ECU programming. He said this was a common problem with the 2016 Tacomas.

- Dan H., Green Bay, US

problem #10

Mar 292017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,500 miles


My truck was parked in my garage and the next morning as usual went to take it out. I pressed the lever to reverse gear and nothing happened when I released brake. Went back to park mode and shifted back to reverse and nothing happened when I released break. reverse gear did not engage. went into drive mode and nothing happened here again. turned ignition off and tried again and nothing happened in reverse again. I have to back my truck from the garage and at this point it was really frustrating and worrisome. I once again went into reverse mode and this time pressed the accelerator a bit more. Truck lurched and engaged into reverse in a hurry. I had to press the brake hard in order to back off slowly since there is not much room in the side of truck with garage. I think it is a very dangerous situation just to press the accelerator so hard just to engage into reverse mode. I could have easily hit the side of garage at that speed if the truck were not perfectly aligned with my garage. Luckily nothing happened. I am really pissed off since it has less than 5000miles. Did not expect this from Toyota.

- Nani I., Meridian, ID, US

problem #9

Feb 012016

Tacoma TRD Sport V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles

I have been very disappointed as to the fact that I paid $40,000 for a truck that has a hard shift and erratic shifting patterns. It looks like from what I'm reading this is a common problem with the toilet Tacoma 2016. I am hoping that this will be a recall on the vehicle before the warranty is up and that it is fixed at Toyotas expense and not mine. Please let me know if anyone has been able to have this issue resolve the Toyota how we greatly appreciate it thank you!

- Mike L., Raceland, KY, US

problem #8

Apr 012016

Tacoma TRD Sport 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles

When the truck is not fully warmed up yet, when the transmission is up-shifting from 3rd to 4th gear, it flares and the engine revs (about 500 rpm) while it tries to engage in 4th gear. Happens every single morning when I leave the house. Also (related I think) is when I'm on the highway, and I'm either giving it heavy gas to merge or give it gas to downshift, whenever it tries to engage into 4th gear under load, there is a few-second flare/slip until it finally settles into gear.

- molitacoma, Smithfield, RI, US

problem #7

Jul 072016

Tacoma TRD Sport V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles


I bought a brand new 2016 Tacoma from a dealer at Tomball. I do not like to complain, but I am trying to give them feedback on this new design. Every time, I shift to reverse; it will take some time for the gear to engage..please take a look into this. Thanks

- Roy J., Houston, TX, US

problem #6

Dec 012015

Tacoma TRD Sport 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,700 miles

Like so many complaints with 2016 Tacoma Automatic transmission, sluggish and slow engagement of transmission when cold.

I think this is a safety problem, I was almost involved in a wreak pulling into traffic and transmission acted like it went into neutral for a few seconds when i let off the gas and got back on it.

I am due for a visit to dealer at 10,000 miles, I'll see what they say.

- Michael M., Macon, GA, US

problem #5

Mar 012016

Tacoma TRD Off Road 3.5L V5

  • Automatic transmission
  • 400 miles

  • Slight delay when moving from P to R or P to D from a cold start.

    - Sluggish "jittery" acceleration from a stop to highway speeds.

    - Erratic shift patterns as if shifting to a higher gear on acceleration too soon and then downshifting to make up for the loss in acceleration.

- khakim, Portland, OR, US

problem #4

Oct 122015

Tacoma Sport 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10 miles

surging when cold

Why the hell does the vehicle lunge either forward or reverse when the engine/transmission is cold, I'm not talking cold temps, but when the vehicle is first started even in mild mid 60's temps, backing out of my garage I get the lunge, like accelerating on it's own. Frankly I think the transmission sucks, have thought that from day one of ownership, they should have kept it a 5 speed automatic, it shifts far too much, and is very sluggish at low speeds. Again, might just get rid of it. I like the looks of the truck, but the tick tick tick engine and the crappy transmission will have me in another vehicle soon.

- Scott H., Surprise, AZ, US

problem #3

Dec 242015

Tacoma Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10 miles


I live in Az so this is not just about the transmission not engaging in cold weather as it was 102 here today. The transmission will not engage without a 5 to 10 second delay anytime of the day. When you start the truck and place it in reverse it will hesitate before shifting, if you press the gas before it engages the engine will race and then it will drop into gear and fly backwards. If you place it in drive it will hesitate at least 5 seconds every time before it drops into drive and starts moving forward. This is especially dangerous if you have backed out onto a street as the truck will not move for 5 to 10 seconds.

I have taken it to 3 different Toyota dealers in Az and they all say that it is normal, the truck is designed that way. I traded in a 2008 Tacoma on this truck and I wish I had it back, 8 years old and was never in the shop for anything. Love the truck but hate the drivetrain/transmission, am really disappointed with Toyota over this design.

Update from Jun 1, 2016: I backed out of a driveway with a slight up hill grade. When I moved the gear in to drive the transmission would not engage. After waiting for app 1 minute without the transmission engaging I had to place the truck in park then back into drive before it would engage, this is a major safety issue as you can be stranded in traffic until the transmission engages. I took it back to the dealer who again says there is nothing wrong with the truck that is the way it is designed. I no longer have to worry about it though as today I took it to a ford dealer and traded it in on a new F150. A Toyota Tacoma 5 months old, app 4000 miles on it and I lost over $5000 on the deal but at least I don't have Toyota with a bad transmission anymore. I have had several Toyotas and loved them but the 2016 Tacoma is a failure.

- jtcunningham, Scottsdale, AZ, US

problem #2

Mar 032016

Tacoma Off-Road 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,500 miles

Transmission delay in the morning when cold from going from reverse to neutral to drive. Happens consistently. Took in to dealership several times, they could not replicate issue. Several forums on state this is a low ATF symptom and some users have reported the dealership topping on transmission fluid and it helping the problem. Toyota needs to release a TSB asap.

- Bryan H., Albuquerque, NM, US

problem #1

Feb 152016

Tacoma TRD Off Road 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 600 miles

Transmission is cold. Backing out of driveway, neutral, then into "Drive". There will be a brief, 2-second pause, before engagement and the vehicle can be driven forward. No clunks, no noise. It simply acts as if it were in still in neutral. No issues if the transmission has been warmed up.

- Mark W., Byron Center, MI, US

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