Transmission Gear Slipping Problems of Toyota RAV4 - part 1

Toyota RAV4 owners have reported 65 problems related to transmission gear slipping (under the power train category). The most recently reported issues are listed below. Also please check out the statistics and reliability analysis of Toyota RAV4 based on all problems reported for the RAV4.

car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2008 Toyota RAV4 1
Failure Date: 09/05/2017

1. Excessive oil consumption up to 1qt every 1200 miles, under normal driving conditions noticed December of 2013. 2. Ecm fails to hold reverse gear. Gear frequently slips in reverse when gas pedal is pressed, won't back up hills. Noticed December of 2013, no power when first starting up for first 10 to 15 minutes of drive. October of 2013 immediately after purchasing 3. Head gasket fail between number 2 and 3 cylinders due to faulty head gasket. Replaced head gasket June 2016 4. Very low fuel economy December 2013. 5. No oil pressure very ruff idle oil pressure light on, with oil level reading full. September 2017.

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car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2007 Toyota RAV4 2
Failure Date: 10/03/2016

Transmission slips or jerks after vehicle slows down and speeds up. This is unsafe in traffic due to vehicles following behind and stops which could cause a rear end collision due to hesitation when vehicle should be excelerated but it slows then jerks back which can be felt when driving. Even felt during excelaration in normal driving conditions. This happens during pressing down on gas petal when the transmission gears should change smoother, it slips or jerks into place, then slows back down again after acceleration.

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car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2003 Toyota RAV4 3
Failure Date: 04/02/2016

Transmission slipping when shifting from first to second gear.

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car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2004 Toyota RAV4 4
Failure Date: 07/25/2015

As my family and I were leaving my house to go to the coast, my 2004 Toyota Rav4 suddenly, without any prior warning or indication, jerked and sputtered and felt as if it were downshifting, as if the transmission were slipping or not engaging or maintaining gear. Upon taking it to the dealership, I was told that the diagnostic revealed that the transmission had to be replaced. I was also informed that Toyota would not allow it to be opened up, only replaced. I mentioned the ecm and was told that they found nothing to indicate anything other than the transmission needed to be replaced. Were it not a higher power caring for me and my loved ones that day, I believe it could have become an even more dangerous situation than it already was.

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car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2001 Toyota RAV4 5
Failure Date: 12/11/2014

I purchased my 2001 Toyota Rav4 in July 2012,. Now 2 years later and still owe a good amount on my car I am having the same issues with the ecm as the others. I called Toyota and there is nothing they can do to assist people that are purchasing these cars that have not been taken care of. This issues I am dealing with include the transmission slipping and revving higher, or the loss of power when going from a complete stop. Toyota helped the owners, with an " extended warranty" 10 years / 150000 miles. That is all good but the warranty was from the first date. Basically from day 1. That is not fair to the people who purchase these cars second hand with no knowledge of the issues. This is a huge safety issue and could case an accident cause you don't know when it is going to happen.

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car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2003 Toyota RAV4 6
Failure Date: 12/01/2014

I pulled onto the highway, and pushed the accelerator down to get into traffic, and the vehicle failed to accelerate instantly as it always had done. The transmission slipped, slowly getting into gear, and then only gradually caught, causing me to almost get hit in the interim by at least one car and a tractor trailer. Told by my mechanic that this was unusual for Toyota transmissions, he said I should go online and see if there were any recalls for this type of problem. Sure enough, Toyota had, under duress of a law suit, acknowledged the problem, and had issued an expansion of the warranty on this exact problem to 10 years or 150,000 miles. On the online description of the transmission/emc problem, it was stated that the problem usually started around 80,000 miles, which is what my 2003 rav 4 has on it. After first calling Toyota headquarters (torrance, CA) to get them to include my car under that extension, they said that it was too late and there was nothing they could do. I then sent them a registered letter begging them to help me, as the car was essentially a death trap with the slippage into the first two gears, and they responded with a letter telling me to call them back. This was fruitless, as the reiterated exactly what the first customer service rep told me. I asked them to put it in writing that they would not stand behind their product failure, which the rep said he would do. I have heard nothing from them since that call last week. I told him I did not get anything from their company telling me, the owner, that this problem in the power train existed, and that it was unfair that because I babied the car over the years I have owned it, the 80,000 miles just occured recently, past the 2013 date that was in the new warranty extension. In other words, a problem that was known by Toyota to manifest itself around 80,000 miles penalized me in this case.

car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2001 Toyota RAV4 7
Failure Date: 02/15/2014

The contact owns a 2001 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated while driving various speeds on an icy and snow covered road, the transmission slipped gears without any warning. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The technician informed that the electronic control module was faulty. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 95,000.

car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2002 Toyota RAV4 8
Failure Date: 02/03/2014

Transmission slips between gear 3 and 4.

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car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2002 Toyota RAV4 9
Failure Date: 07/25/2013

The dreaded 2001-2003 Toyota well known ecm safety defect began causing the transmission to shift harshly, and start in high gear instead of first gear, especially dangerous when pulling out in traffic. Sometimes it would cause the transmission to slip, causing high rpms. If not fixed the ecm failure will eventually destroy the transmission. Toyota increased the warranty as a result of a class action suit to 10 yrs or 150,000 miles instead of having a recall. I was over the years and under the mileage, so Toyota did not cover the costs for repair of this known defect. .

car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2001 Toyota RAV4 10
Failure Date: 12/09/2011

The transmission suddenly began slipping and jerking when accelerating from a stop or while in low gear and shifting from a low speed. I became aware of the ecm problem known to occur in my make and model of Toyota upon calling the dealership; however, I am being told that the warranty only covers ten years from the date of purchase (I purchased my car 11 years ago) despite the fact it is known that the ecm, the computer that controls the transmission, is defective and causes transmission problems. This is a dangerous problem as the car will not accelerate and the transmission slips. It is difficult to understand how Toyota cannot ethically cover this knowing it is defective and is probable to cause owners problems in the future, regardless if it's 8, 10, or 12 years down the line.

car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2002 Toyota RAV4 11
Failure Date: 10/15/2011

The 2002 Toyota rav 4 transmission is now slipping & missing gears had some service on the transmission in 2011 October,but to do a full rebuild starts at $1700. Then goes $$$up.

car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2002 Toyota RAV4 12
Failure Date: 06/13/2011

I was going north on molly lane and going to turn right on us hwy 92 going east. I pulled into oncoming traffic when my car stalled and it acted like the transmission slipped. I was almost rear ended. I drove and picked up a pizza on townlake parkway and the same thing happened when I pulled out of papa johns. I knew there was a bad problem at that point. I was going to drive it home and have it towed to Toyota. Upon turning onto the entrance ramp it stalled again and had no power. The cars behind me were blowing their horns. At the top of the ramp it revved and then surged. I drove it home and had it towed. Toyota says that the ecm is bad and needs to be replaced and then they can check the transmission. I looked on the internet and found there have been numerous problems with the 2001 - 2003 Rav4's. This is a definite safety risk and Toyota should be made to do a recall to fix the ecm boards.

car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2001 Toyota RAV4 13
Failure Date: 03/01/2011

I own a regularly serviced and well maintained 108. 000 mile 2001 Toyota Rav4 with a transmission concern. Car upon acceleration will not respond, revs, slips and lunges into gear. This occurs intermittently. Two independent transmission specialists have inspected this vehicle and stated that the problem they diagnose is a computer problem which is malfunctioning communication to the transmission. They have recommended not repairing the transmission but focus on the car's computer. Toyota dealership finds no computer codes on the diagnostic check to indicate any problem whatsoever with this vehicle. Toyota case manager and dealership service manager states to drive this vehicle with all the safety concerns mentioned until a check engine light indicates a computer problem. Toyota serviceman rode in vehicle with this owner and felt the above mentioned safety transmission problems and reported it back to the manager. No repair work was recommended because the computer codes did not communicate a problem. Other than the service tech who drove in this vehicle and felt first hand the transmission slipping and not responding, Toyota refuses to acknowledges there is a problem. The computer communicating information to the transmission on many 2001 Rav4 vehicles have proven to malfunction according to Toyota's own service bulletin. According to my research a malfunctioning computer has led to many transmissions being damaged in Toyota vehicles. I am at a loss as to what to do. I am also very disappointed in Toyota's run around and their dismissive attitude when bringing a safety concern to their attention.

car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2002 Toyota RAV4 14
Failure Date: 01/15/2011

Several months ago my transmission began to slip and the check engine light came on. Subsequently as I drove the car, it began to lurch and I lost control of it several times. I took the car to Toyota dealer then and they could not identify the problem but suggested replacing the ecm unit as a "possible fix. " they suggested that perhaps the whole transmission needed to be replaced. I wanted a second opinion and took the car to a specialist. He could not find a problem either. After a search on the internet, I found that not only was this imminent problem well-documented, but Toyota dealers had been made aware of it in 2006! t when I took the car back to Toyota last week, they admitted that they had been informed, but could not repair the car free of charge as I have 180+k miles on it. Had Toyota notified me about the issue in 2006, I would have replaced the module then. Now the car is completely undrivable and cannot even be sold.

car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2002 Toyota RAV4 15
Failure Date: 12/24/2010

Either the ecu or the transmission is not working right. The automatic transmission can usually change between 1st and 2nd gear but it usually cannot change between 2nd and 3rd. The engine usually revs as the transmission slips. If we ease up on the accelerator or sometimes we to pump it a little, then the transmission changes gears. There have been a few occasions where the engine revs and the transmission catches on its own but this is causes the car to accelerate when we do not expect it to. This just started happening recently. We had noticed for the past few months that the transmission would change a little harder than normal, but not the car is not drivable due to safety reason.

car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2002 Toyota RAV4 16
Failure Date: 12/10/2010

2002 Toyota Rav4. The transmission slips from 1st to 2nd gear uncontrollably and causes a sudden surge in the vehicle that makes driving it not only dangerous but a liability to me. Toyota should be concerned with this, considering their recent problems with sudden acceleration and braking. The car was bought through a Toyota dealership, which makes it all the worse because of the fact that they knowingly passed this car through their inspection process and did not do a damn thing. Tell Toyota to fix this problem for the safety of millions of people on the road.

car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2003 Toyota RAV4 17
Failure Date: 09/06/2010

The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that he experienced transmission problems; the gears would slip at times. The vehicle was inspected by a mechanic who stated that the problem was most likely the engine control module; no codes were produced. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The contact called the manufacturer who offered no assistance. The current and failure mileages were approximately 89,800.

car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2003 Toyota RAV4 18
Failure Date: 07/01/2010

I was about to merge with traffic on a local highway when I stepped on the gas pedal and the car did not accelerate. It terrified me because there was a tractor trailer to my left that almost hit me. As I pressed harder on the pedal to accelerate the car, the engine made a loud revving sound, and the car started to jerk forward, in the sense that there seemed to be transmission slippage: sometimes the car accelerated harshly while at other times it was like it was on neutral. This occurred with no warning at all, as something like this had never happened before, nor was there any hint that something like this would happen. This transmission slippage occurs at low speed, right at those crucial moments when you need the car to accelerate because you are merging with traffic, or are crossing an intersection after having stopped at a light or stop sign. After searching online, I found many similar complaints. People reported that the problem was the engine control module (ecm), so I had that fixed, and now the car seems to be running fine. The worst thing is that online people discovered that Toyota issued an internal memo in 2006 notifying dealers of this problem, but it did not notify the owner, let alone recall the cars and have the problem fixed. Apparently, Toyota did not feel the problem was serious enough, though I am convinced that it was only luck that I survived that day on the highway!.

car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2003 Toyota RAV4 19
Failure Date: 06/19/2010

No warning when transmission slipped from stopped to first. Would jerk then be fine. Drove approximately 50 miles while this was happening with hazard lights on. Took to a local transmission shop & was quoted $3,200 for a new transmission. No mention of the ecm being the cause or needing repaired. Will have to trade in. Failure 110,000.

car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2001 Toyota RAV4 20
Failure Date: 06/05/2010

On 06/05/10, my personal vehicle (2001 Toyota Rav4) began to experience transmission slippage which developed into "harsh shifting"; this problem worsened over the next several weeks but, due to the car's electronics failure (from a known malfunction which Toyota was aware of but failed to ever notify me about) this was not immediately identified as a transmission-related issue. Upon finally reaching dangerous levels of jerking and decelerating on major highways, etc. , I finally took the Rav4 to a Toyota dealership, where they informed me of an ecm "recall" related to the transmission -- of which I had never received notification. The reprogramming did not work and the harsh shifting worsened. I had to take the vehicle back about a week later, at which point the dealership told me I would have to pay to replace the computer. I did so, only to receive a notice 3 weeks later from Toyota headquarters stating that they knew about a "harsh shift" malfunction related to the ecm in 2001-2003 Rav4 models. However, all Toyota did was extend the warranty to 150,000 (my repair was done at 154,000) rather than issue a safety recall. This is utterly ludicrous, as my car had the potential to just suddenly stop moving in the middle of heavy highway traffic, which could have resulted in my severe injury or even death. The issue apparently developed around 06/05/10 and led to the vehicle needing transmission replacement as of 08/21/10. The harsh shifting took place over several weeks between those dates.

car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2003 Toyota RAV4 21
Failure Date: 05/31/2010

Rav4 transmission slips, jerks and slams into gear. Very unsettling and unsafe. No "check" light. Took it to the dealer and they gave a lame excuse about my husband driving it and confusing the computer. Symptoms never stopped so I took it to a trusted independent shop and am having to pay $4000 for repairs. Toyota should be held accountable, especially since they know about the problem and even issued a TSB on it. Unfortunately, that only covers up to 80k miles. Please lean on them to make this right!.

car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2002 Toyota RAV4 22
Failure Date: 05/22/2010

I have a 2002 Rav4 I purchased used in may 2010 for $9,000. A few days after purchasing it, the transmission started slipping. Almost had numerous accidents when needing to accelerate when pulling out into a busy road and the transmission failed to get out of 2nd gear into 3rd gear. Had the transmission replaced/rebuilt for $3,500, the ecm flashed for $265, 3 new oxygen sensors put in for $900. Now the car is still doing what it did even after all that money spent. Looking up on the web, found many owners had the same problem and almost all had to replace the ecm. I am now trying to get an appointment with a Toyota dealer to get this done. Very disappointed in Toyota.

car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2001 Toyota RAV4 23
Failure Date: 05/20/2010

When driving my 2001 Toyota Rav4 l, I started to notice that after taking off from a stop light/sign or basically accelerating, it acted as if it did not want to go into gear, there seemed to be no power, then the engine would revved, finally it lunged and jerked into gear. It felt as though the transmission was slipping. I took it to my mechanic who has serviced my car religiously every 3000 miles. He could not find the problem, in fact the diagnostic test showed nothing. After doing much research online I read all the other complaints regarding the same issue, including one from the new york times--I'm upset to find out that Toyota corp. A company who I have trusted for many years has know about the problem with the ecm. Driving this car in this condition poses a very frightening situation whereas this is an "accident waiting to happen" with serious injuries and/or death.

car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2002 Toyota RAV4 24
Failure Date: 04/30/2010

2002 Toyota rav 4 transmission slips and jerks at odd times. Especially though, when trying to merge or pass in traffic.

car image   Transmission Gear Slipping problem of the 2002 Toyota RAV4 25
Failure Date: 04/18/2010

When pulling into traffic transmission slipped and car stopped in middle of intersection.

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