Toyota Avalon Transmission Problems Expose Toyota’s Problem Reporting Problems

Editor’s Note: Updates to this story are available in the Toyota Transmissions Category

There is sad news to report to the thousands of owners of 2005, 2006 and 2007 Toyota Avalon models experiencing the dreaded five speed automatic transmission hesitation, bucking and binding problem: despite what your dealer has told you, Toyota is not working on any fix or reflash. I just got off the phone with Bill Kwong, media representative at Toyota, and he has confirmed that “the engineers do not see evidence that people are having problems.”

I personally own a 2006 Toyota Avalon Limited. It has been a wonderful car with the exception of the transmission, which hunts, searches, hesitates, and shifts hard. The problems (also blamed on the software controlling the torque converter) have caused me to encounter dozens of near collisions while entering traffic. Like most people, I went to the dealer service manager who told me “we get multiple questions per week on this…they’re working on a fix.”

No they’re not.

Since every dealer thinks a fix is in motion, few are even trying to report it the district managers. More disturbing is that there are plenty of documented cases where the district service managers are refusing to intervene, because they’ve pre-determined the transmission issues are “normal operation” — meaning the district managers are going out of their way to prevent the data from getting to Toyota engineers! Since none of the district managers are reporting it to Toyota, nothing is being done. The fact that Googling the issue brings up lemon law suits and discussions about it mean nothing to Toyota, because they don’t take third-party data into consideration.

Even Consumer Reports and Autoweek have reported on the widespread tranny issues. Bill gave me the same line he used in an article in Pittsburgh’s newspaper: “We’re up in the JD Power quality ratings.” Sure, Avalon has fewer reported problems versus the competition, and the rest of the car is pretty good, but that doesn’t solve the one very large, dangerous, annoying issue that is causing owners, dealers and journalists to scream “what the hell is going on?”

So what to do? If you have the issue, you must call 1-800-331-4331, which is Toyota’s national Consumer Hotline. This creates a national problem ticket that gains entry into their system. If you go directly to a dealer rather than call the hotline, you must demand the issue be brought to the attention of the district manager and sent to the national office.

We’d also like to hear about your experiences with this issue. Tell us about your car, where you’re located, the dealer (and what the dealer or district service manager) has told you.

When I asked Bill how many complaints it would take for Toyota to acknowledge the problem (percentage of the 100,000 per year made,) he didn’t have an answer.

It didn’t matter that I mentioned I have evidence dealers are even telling customers not to buy V6 Camrys until the issue is solved. Nor has it mattered that dealers have faced numerous lemon law suits.

Would you like to know why none of this matters to Toyota? Fixing the transmission software will result in lower reported fuel economy, which is something Toyota simply does not want to do. Toyota has made its surge on producing the most fuel efficient cars in class…and a software reflash would most likely reduce EPA mileage estimate on the Avalon, Camry and ES350 by 4mpg.

I’m pretty sure I didn’t sleep through that day in Advanced Marketing Strategy class at Boston University School of Management when we discussed which was worse — lower mpg or mass owner complaints due to a severe safety issue with the product….I believe the answer was: “screw the mileage rating, and protect your customers — make them happy, so they’ll live to buy another $35,000 product from you again in the near future.”

It’s great to see that GM and Ford aren’t alone…getting big means ignoring customers, even if you don’t mean to do it! Like Ford and GM, Toyota will probably wind up with a high-profile recall after too many people die — in this case when the transmission hesitates as drivers try to enter traffic or make left-hand turns.

Editor’s Note: Please see other Four Wheel Drift posts in the “Toyota Transmissions” Category for updated information regarding this issue.


201 Responses to Toyota Avalon Transmission Problems Expose Toyota’s Problem Reporting Problems

  1. Jeff says:

    I’m glad I stumbled on this website, I’m bringing my 2005 XLS in for this very problem this afternoon. I’ll hand the service manager a copy of this article and see what he says. One of the service workers I made the appointment with mentioned a possible “reflash”.

  2. Dan says:

    I have the same problem with my 2005…the service manager told me all the 3.5 liter 5 speed automatics should be avoided. I am thinking of going back to a nissan maxima or altima. am even considering going back to domestic…the saturn aura looks like a much better deal.

    Toyota will not be selling me another car….

  3. CR Davis says:

    This is not a transmission problem but a GPS accessory problem. What is shared (probabby) is the software glitch. The manager does not want to report to the district manager who does not want to tell Toyota that they have another GPS or possibly a renamed same company GPS problem.

  4. Ross Frith says:

    Same problem with 05 Camry 5-speed. First, let it learn – then, emptied computer to start from scratch – then, TSB – then, arbitration (denied). Reason? Operating as designed, which was my point, design is flawed.

    • Aurelio says:

      I agree with you. This is ridiculous and a safety hazard. My transmission started acting funny a few months ago, first when I pressed on the gas almost nothing would happen then after cleaning the fuel system with high grade gas, fuel cleaners and octane boosters and getting an oil change and checkup and having an authorized service center look at it, it’s still happening but less consistently. Sometimes when I am going slow it feels like a gas issue at first almost sputtering then when it kicks in it does not shift but revs up so high then jerks into gear.
      I wouldn’t even give this car I paid 20 thousand plus $ for to anybody because I would fear I was putting them in danger. Sometimes when I make a left turn on a busy road now I have to hope and pray the acceleration and shifting will work right so I try not to drive but I never know when the problem will kick back in. So far the problem is so inconsistent and I’ve been careful so left turns have been OK but it still worries me a little. Also, when the transmission sticks then kicks in I hear and feel a loud thunk I worry is doing real physical damage to the car.
      I have heard disconnecting the battery may help but from a few sites noting the same problem that Toyota doesn’t consider it a problem either, possibly because the fix causes people to burn more gas which may create more complaints.

      • Aurelio says:

        About a year later, but I have an update and Toyota did right by me. I almost lost complete faith in Toyota over this, and some other issues with the dealership I originally purchased from. I went to Goodyear and they replaced part of the transmission which just moved the problem to another part, and they did the research and worked with Toyota to identify an ECM/TCM problem, as many here have also discovered with some models. I called the national consumer hotline number given by many here, and they told me to take it to a dealership to diagnose and that my model and year (2003 Rav4) had an extended warranty for just this situation. I went to a different dealership this time and they were top notch professional and helpful, and replaced the ECM and the transmission under the warranty and my Rav is finally running well again. This was a serious safety hazard making the vehicle dangerous to even give away due to random, intermittent rough shifting and/or lack of acceleration. An electronic control module was physically ruining the transmission I believe and Toyota looked up my info and informed me if that was the case it was covered under an extended warranty, and they confirmed and fixed the issue and now I am willing to give both Toyota and this other dealership a chance when I’m ready for my next car.

      • Ed says:

        Ive been having the same problem with my Toyota Avalon XLS 2005. Its a great car except its probably the most dangerous car Ive ever driven. Sometime while slowing down to make a left hand turn, the transmission like goes into neutral and races for about 1.5 sec and then drops into gear and takes off at high speeds cause Im pressing on the accelerator to go across the opposite lane. This is dangerous since your estimating there is time against the oncoming traffic. I think there is a design flaw which when there is no load on the engine it simply goes into neutral for a few seconds. Ive called the district manager who just blew me off. Very disappointed in Toyotas lack of concern.

        Ill never buy an Avalon again.

  5. Steve says:

    Bought the Camry V6 LE w/ 5spd auto transmission based on my experience with Sienna and same engine. Right out of the dealer’s lot, I experienced all of the problems mentioned above and on other gripe sites. Got the run-around from dealership: It’s supposed to behave this way. Finally, they “reprogrammed” the computer. Good for a couple days, but now I’m experiencing the same behavior all over again. Less than 36000 mi and I’m ready to move on.

  6. Mark says:

    I am having the same problem with my BRAND NEW 2007 Avalon XLS that has less than 2,000 miles on it. It does not have GPS so I would doubt that the problem has anything to do with that. But, I definitely want to get it fixed!

  7. Carol says:

    I’ve had the same problems with my 05 Camry LE V6. I took it in for service twice and they said the computer needed to be “rebooted.” It seemed fine for a few days, but the problem came back. It’s really irritating, especially in the first few gears. I will not buy another Toyota.

  8. Beth says:

    We are having the same exact problem with our 07 Camry SE. It pretty much started the lovely “hard shifting” from the day we purchased it. We took it in. They told us that we needed to get a new transmission (yes, it only had 8,000 miles on it). We had to wait 3 weeks to get the car back, because they were waiting on the transmission. Got the car back, did the same exact thing.. Took it in again. They reprogrammed it… That did NOTHING. I took it in again. This time they are telling us that there is no problem and refuse to do anything about it. I am completely fed up! I can promise that Toyota has lost a customer forever.

  9. william russ says:

    I am not a toyota fan. I had a1997 toyota camry that broke down with my wife with only afew thousand miles on it. We had the car for two years and then we purchased a Ford Winstar,then a Ford expedition.We have now purchased are third expedition .They have all been problem free,tHE REASON that I am on this is that I am tring find out how a company with so many problems can keep it out of the news.I know that with all new car come some problems But toyota seems to have alot of very dangerous ploblems that the public should know about on most of there cars and trucks!

  10. Adrien says:

    I just got back from having my car serviced at the Toyota dealership. I complained again ,about the hesitation in the transmission and was told this is characteristic of electronic controlled transmissions. They suggested I use premium fuel and that should help.
    On previous occasions, they have told me the following: the computer chip “recall” would be coming; the have “rebooted” the electronics and I should be able to retrain it (this didn’t work at all), they couldn’t find a problem.
    I have always been a Toyota fan, but will not buy another toyota, nor will I recommend one to anyone, unless Toyota is willing to stand behind their vehicles and fix this problem.

  11. Chas Mudie says:

    I own a 2006 Camry/Solara, SLE V-6 and have exactly the same problem with the hesitation and hard shifting of the transmission. I got to arbitration this Tuesday, May 01, 2007 in an effort to force Toyota to deal with this issue. Legal procedings, regretably, may be required…stay tuned.

  12. Bill says:

    We have a 2007 Avalon with 2000 miles. On two occasions the transmission slipped accelerating from a stop. We had to nurse it to the side of the road. It did recover and we traveled on. We fear the day when this happens trying to merge onto a high speed highway. We took it to the dealer who said they did a complete test and could find nothing wrong. We asked if this is a reported problem but they told us they have not seen this and they could not report it to Toyota unless they found something wrong. They did admit they have seen transmission problems with Camry but not Avalon. I did call the Hotline to report it. This could be a long and painful experience but we plan to take it all the way.

  13. Mike Davis says:

    My last 2000 camry had 265,000 miles with very low maintenance and I loved it. Iam on the road for my job and need good reliabale transportation so I purchased a used 2005 with 16,500 miles now just at 80.000 the transmission is “DONE” and has to be replaced. Not like my last camry or like Toyota. A month after I bought it I returned to the dealer complaining about the constant down shifting and the tach going up to 3000 rpms going down hill which would acutally throw your body forward in the vehicle. I spoke with the trans man and he said this was normal operation due to the drive by wire transmissions in these type vehicles. I asked him to go for a drive and he said he gets these complaints all the time and there was no need for a drive this is the way it is get used to it. So now I have to replace the trans at my cost since the warranty was out at 60,000. Folks beware there is a problem with these cars and I’m not done with Toyota yet, the squeeky wheel gets the oil so you better start squeeking very loudly!!!!

  14. merva martin says:

    I purshased a 2007 camry and I have a problem with vibration in the drivers seat.I was told by the technician after leaving my car all night he couldn’t detect any thing wrong. My car is pulling to the side, I was told it was the air pressure in the tires. Yet it is still pulling. The transmission slipped I took it back to the dealer and it was recalibrated. It is still slipping.I can hear the motor and wheels turning through the car speakers
    (feedback).It is a problem with some of the 2007 4 cylinder camrys.

  15. Dee says:

    I have a 2001 Toyota Rav4 with 99,000 miles. Not alot of miles for a Toyota SUV really. Big transmission problems. The dealer just keeps charging me for being their learning tool. No help from Toyota headquarters customer service. I have always been a Toyota fan, but will not buy another Toyota. Trading it in for what it’s worth for a Honda.

    • Athena says:

      I’m right there with you – and so angry I don’t know what to do, but I can promise Toyota Motor Corporation this: I WILL NOT GO QUIETLY AWAY. So far I’m in for $4,000+. The car broke – and nearly ended my life in the process – nearly two months ago. Toyota “customer service” people acted as if I’m the first person to ever have this issue but 5 minutes of research online proved that wrong. The local dealer is the worst and that’s what has made me determined to fight this no matter how long it takes. GM at dealership here (Charlotte, NC) said he doesn’t want to set a precedent of fixing things like this because word will get around and he’ll go broke.

  16. Dee,
    This is an unfortunate situation. It is, however, unrelated to the other issues facing Camry and Avalon owners.

    Since the car is out of warranty, I strongly suggest finding a good mechanic to solve your problems. The best mechanics can make more money in privately owned shops, so you’ll often find that dealerships have inferior service to the best private shops. Look for a shop that has ASE Master Certified Mechanics.

    Dealer service centers are so centered on warranty work, they rarely walk through the possibilities, probabilities and costs like a private shop does. Furthermore, a private shop has more to lose by not fixing the problem the first time. (Every time a car is sold, on the other hand, a dealer has a high likelihood of that car becoming a service customer.)

    Also, please keep in mind that Hondas and Acuras of the same year as your car were recalled for early transmission failure. Tens of thousands of Honda Accord and Acura TL owners found themselves paying at least part of the cost for new transmissions when their car trannies failed just outside the arbitrary date or mileage figure honored by the recall.

  17. Anne Maurice says:

    I have a RAV4 wd, have had to replace the transmission to the tune of $3,150.00! And as I drove out of the dealership, after paying, the check engine light goes on and it car still downshifts as I am trying to gain speed, then revives. I go back to the dealership, now they tell me I need to spend another $1200. to put in a new computer system!
    I meeting with the GM tomorrow to talk .

  18. That is a horrible story, Anne. The RAV4, however, doesn’t share the transmission software with the Avalon and Camry, so this is a completely different issue.

    I always tell people to find a good mechanic to perform all non-warranty work. Dealership service departments are more expensive, less reliable, and have lower customer service ratings than top-tier private shops. Since dealerships have a pipeline of new customers coming from the sales department, they simply don’t have to be as good. Private shops need to beat these dealerships on customer service and price.

    If a private shop doesn’t fix the car right, customers go somewhere else. Dealerships, on the other hand, have a full service load each week no matter how poorly they diagnose and address issues.

  19. Greg Gurewitz says:

    I lease a new 2007 Toyota Camry XLE it has 700 miles on it I have the same problem I have had it in to reprogram the computer it gets worse everytime and I work for the dealership

  20. Greg Gurewitz says:

    I lease a new 2007 Toyota Camry XLE it has 700 miles on it I have the same problem I have had it in to reprogram the computer 2 times it gets worse everytime and I work for the dealership the transmission feels like a car with 200k on it now they may put a new transmission in it I wish I could give it back

  21. Karen McGuire says:

    I am leasing a 2007 Rav4. I’ve had it for about a year. Since day one I’ve had a prob with the way it hesitates when accelerating. The guys at the dealership keep telling me it takes a while for the car to ‘learn’ how you drive. I’ve been told to drive more ‘aggressively’. I’ve had enough! I am taking it in tomorrow to get reprogrammed. Is it possible that there is a computer issue with the RAV as well? I’ve been a faithful Toyota lover for years but now I am so disappointed I don’t think I will get another. Why do we need a computer to teach a car how we drive anyway? Doesn’t our driving pattern fluctuate according to various driving situations?

  22. Mario Duque says:

    I wish I had found this site before I bought the 2007 Toyota Carmy LE. It has been a nightmare since the time I bought it. The transmission hesitation is a dangerous problem. I complained to the dealer but all attempts failed to correct the problem. They insisted it was a ‘design issue.’ Finally, I filed a complaint with the assistance of a lawyer, under the Lemon Law here in NC. My stand was to get my money back. Under this law, I HAD to take the car to the dealer 3 times to attempt to have the problem corrected, and of course, every time it was the same answer: ‘cannot be corrected; it is a design issue.’ 5 days before the deadline to get my money back, the dealer said they had a fix. After the fix was applied, the hesitation appears to be gone. Still do not trust the car, or the dealership, or Toyota. I wish I could publish the Toyota’s technical bulletin for everyone, but it may help to tell the service department that the fix is applicable to 2007 model year Camry vehicles equipped with 2AZ-FE engines.
    I feel just like some of the folks before me who say that the car is unsafe, and dangerous, but Toyota refuses to do a RECALL to fix the problem and they tell me they will handle the problem on a case by case.
    Why don’t we have a way to fight the auto manufacturers when they take our money and leave us with a defective product? Why isn’t the press reporting on all of these problems? Why isn’t consumers report have a big HEADLINE warning the consumers of the Toyota cars hesitation problems?
    Luckily, because of the Lemon Law, I have been advised that I have a 4 year period to open my claim again if anything else goes wrong with the car, or if the transmission hesitation comes back.
    We all need to spread the word around about Toyota!

  23. Joe says:

    I have a ’06 Avalon Xl and I have almost gotten “t-boned” in this car once already. Transmission hesitates on acceleration from a very low speed (< 5 mph) and also hesitates when you step on the gas when the car is moving in a downward slope. I have about 14K on the car now and it’s going into the shop tonight. We’ll see what the service manager has to say for himself. Already have a national problem ticket number from Toyota Corporate. The engineers @ Toyota need to fix the problem before someone gets smashed or killed…

  24. ed says:

    I have a 2006 Avalon Touring with about 14000 miles on it. I have experienced all of the transmission problems listed above. I really don’t have time to fight with Toyota, so I’m off to the Hyundai dealership to get an Azera.

  25. Nate says:

    I don’t own an Avalon, but I do have a 2007 RAV4 V6 4WD which has the same power plant. Unfortunately, I have the same exact issue with transmission hesitation AND lunging and clunking from the transmission during both down and up shifts. I’ve owned three Hondas and two Toyotas thus and unfortunately both the 00 Corolla and the 07 Rav4 have not lived up to the quality standards that everyone praises. I too have had many near misses on the highway where I needed to accelerate quickly, only to have the steering respond to my command while the throttle waited a moment to do its thing. I’ve gotten to the point where I am afraid to drive as I normally do simply because the vehicle will not heed to my commands when I need it to. Being that RAV4 owners and Avalon owners are experiencing the same thing, I am convinced that this is a Toyota wide problem and not simply one vehicle model. I wonder how much of this is GM’s fault because I’ve heard rumors that they use the same throttle control modules.

  26. Rhoda says:

    I have a 2007 Avalon. I do not have the hesitation problems you poor folks are having but I have a different problem. Get the car up to 45 or 50 MPH take your foot of the gas and it feels as if there is an anchor holding the car back. The speedometer drops rapidly. This is on level ground. If you allow it to drop to 20 MPH then the car shifts into some unknown gear and the speed remains at 20MPH.

    The result, I am constantly having to keep my foot on the gas on else the guy behind me will run into my rear. They are seeing no brake lights to tell them that my speed is dropping rapidly. Then when you want engine braking as you drop into the 20 MPH range you get constant speed which requires more braking. I have 1300 miles on the car. Dealership says “car running as per specs”.

    Anyone have any good ideas. Drive by wire is strangling Toyota I guess.

  27. Rhoda,
    This is one of the problems that Toyota has yet to really address. Unfortunately, this is how the torque converter is programmed to act — so it is “per specs”, even if the specs are detrimental to the quality of operation.

    As it stands, if you have not yet had the TSB for the transmission performed, you’re feeling the that engine braking sensation until that release at 33mph. Once the TSB is done, it feels like it pulls the anchor back up at 28mph.

    It is not the drive-by-wire function that causes this, rather the computer control of the transmission/torque converter. Frequently these problems are a bi-product of attempting to maximize fuel economy. (On a Corvette, the computer forces a 1st to 4th shift of the manual transmission — but a $15 part disables this. There is no disable to the Toyota issue…yet.) This is what happens when engineers are allowed to address an issue without the benefit of a good product marketing lead to say “hey — this makes driving the car dangerous and annoying!!!”

    The bottom line is that eventually this will be taken care of, but only if good people like you call the Toyota Consumer line (listed within my article.) Tell them you’ve had it with the torque converter hanging, and that while you understand it is “per specs” that it affects your ability to drive safely, because it slows the car at an abnormal rate.

    It drives me nuts. It drives everyone nuts. You’re not alone. If we continue to band together, Toyota will fix it.

  28. Rhoda says:

    Thanks for the information. I just called the Toyota 800 number and registered my complaint.

  29. Rhoda says:

    Funny conversation I had with the Lady at Toyota customer complaint line. She has a Rav 4 with hesitation so she can appreciate the complaints of the people.

    BUT she said most people like to rant and rave on the internet but they never call Toyota to complain. How do we get people to call in? Anyone thought of a class action suit? Would that get their attention?

    Calling in is painless. Give them your problem and they give you a reference number. I am sure they measure the number of complaints and then decide if enough people gripe that they will do something.

  30. Parker says:

    I Have a 2006 four-cylinder Camry LE. The hesitation and hard shifting problems are driving me nuts. Since I use this car almost exclusively in the city, I am constantly dealing with the jerking and hesitation. The dealer said that it is a drive by wire issue and “that’s just the nature of modern, computer assisted cars.” Still he said that they had a solenoid patch that would fix it..and it helped for about a week. If it is a drive-by wire issue it is also a Toyota issue, because I just test drove a 2008 Honda Accord and it shifted smoothe as silk. My Camry only has 5k on it but I may toss it out before it reaches 10.

  31. Ronnie Buttacavoli says:

    I have a 2003 Avalon that I truly enjoy – except for the hesitation problem. Looks like Toyota has known about this “design flaw” for quite a long time and has chosen to ignore it. Fortunately, I’m not an aggressive driver but I do live on Long Island with all of its heavy traffic and there have been several times that this hesitation caused me some concern. I will call the 800 hotline number and I thank all the consumers who have posted here in order to share info.

  32. John says:

    There is a fix for the xmission problem in the ’05 – ’07 Avalons. the Toyota service bulletin is EG029-07 “Ecm calibration: enhancement to shifting performance and smoothness, ’06-’07 Avalon”. The procedure is basically reprograming the ecm with new software. The ’05 fix is a little more work including replacing the exhaust manifolds and oxygen sensor as well as the ecm flash. the TSB # for ’05 is EG033-07. The TSB says these are covered on the emissions warranty

  33. Debbie P. says:

    I’ve owned a 2006 V6 Camry that I purchased new 2 years ago that I’ve returned to the dealer for a bucking in the transmission that occurs sporadically. I was told it was due to the drive by wire and that I would just have to get used to it. It’s been two years and I occasionally get the bucking that up till this point hasn’t been dangerous, but potentially could be. I’ll be going back to the dealership with this article and insist that they take a harder look at the transmission and not just tell me to get used to it.

  34. Lexington says:

    Contact Toyota Sales out in CA. Find out the lemon law in your state and they are obligated if your car is under 15,000 miles or you have had it under 15 months to give you back your money or give you a new car according to Maryland State Law which is where I live. Do so immediately and keep a paper trail of all works done to your car when you mail out the certified letter to them

  35. Thomas Bradford says:

    I bought a 2007 Avalon back in April. On June 8 I took it back to Toyota because I hated the transmission shift pattern and the clunky, unpredictable way it shifted. I also had a problem with sudden down shifting and engine revving when on level highway with the cruise control on. As “luck” would have it Toyota had just issued their TSB on the transmission. The service guy gave me the “the transmission has to ‘learn’ how you drive” line and told me they would reprogram the ECM back to original factory specs. Well, if they did that then they didn’t apply the TSB, right? Anyway, I have been having the same experience with the transmission since as before the “fix.” So, either the TSB did not correct the problem or it was not properly applied. This became a much larger issue when yesterday my wife had a bad experience with the engine revving upon acceleration and the car not responding which nearly caused a collision. So I was planning to take the Avalon back to Toyota on Monday. In the mean time I began to research the web and found this site. Seems I am not alone. I called the Toyota 1-800 number and now have a Case Number. They are supposed to respond to me no later than Tuesday COB, so I guess now I’ll wait for them to contact me before I contact my local dealer. I did let the Toyota representative know exactly how I felt about this Avalon. It was not pretty… but I was civil.

  36. Erica says:

    I have a 2007 Toyota Solara and I have been experiencing a hesitation, which has almost caused several accidents, as well as heavy shifting. I have been to the dealer 5 times since purchasing the vehicle with no repair, I then started the arbitration process and Toyota instead offered to have someone from the manufacture come out to see if they can feel the problem. Of coarse they drove the car but they are telling me it is normal when it is NOT so now I am forced to go to arbitration when all I want is the vehicle fixed before I injure myself or someone else! I was also told like many others that “that the vehicle had to learn how I drove” but I now have 7,000 miles on the car and it has yet to “learn” anything!

  37. Doobre says:

    2005 Avalon.. Dubai, UAE.. the transmission has been ‘faulty’ since the very first day. The dealer here says its normal… what rubbish.. its dangerous, it wastes fuel and provides a jerky ride…

    there’s a few other things wrong as well, like steering wheel clamp coming loose (moving in and out) wipers interfere with the cruise control.. etc etc..

    just bad design..

    Don’t buy a toyota again, I’m not.

  38. elizabeth says:

    I own a 4 runner. When I took my 4 runner in for a routine timing belt change the Toyota dealership found that my thrust bearings were in my oil pan, that the cam shaft was damaged and that I needed an engine overhaul. My mechanic said he thought the problem was caused by a faulty torque converter. I have owned my 4-runner since new, 2002. Help!!

  39. Elizabeth,
    Wow, this is an unfortunate incident. While it is totally unrelated to the problems that Avalon and Camry owners are experiencing, the steps to address it are similar.

    First — call the Toyota Consumer Hotline at 1-800-331-4331. Instruct the representative that you were told that this was caused by a faulty torque converter from the factory, and that your expectation is that the car will be fixed as if the warranty was still fully in place (and remind them that their competitors have longer warranties — especially on the powertrain!)

    Second — Call the dealer and explain that you have opened a trouble ticket with the Consumer Hotline, so expect a call, and that you would like the District Service Manager to get involved ASAP, so he/she can authorize all the work to be done as if it was still covered under warranty, because the issue existed since you purchased the car new.

    Finally – if you receive nothing, send a letter (using quotes from the dealer when they indicated that the torque converter was “faulty”) to Toyota North America. Indicate that because their own dealer network believes the company is at fault, that you would like them to fix everything at no charge.

    Usually, things will just work out. If not, simply contact a local attorney familiar with consumer protection, and you will likely get things fixed very quickly at no charge.

    Please keep us posted.

  40. Rhoda says:

    I just went to arbitration and that is a total waste of time for yourself. 3 Toyota poker faced people came and drove my car. They put probes from my computer (car) to their laptop etc. Guess what they say the car is running normally. What else is new?? They even shined the anchor that drags from the back of my car when I take my foot off the gas. (Just kidding).

    We went through the hearing examiner and they found for Toyota. I did not know if you realize that Toyota pays for the arbitration process. No inferences suggested.

    Anyone up for a class action suit against Toyota? Any lawyer out there want to take this on?

    Let’s let them know we really mean business.

  41. Gina says:

    I’m so glad I found this site. I have read all the comments, and they are exactly what I’m expereincing on my 2008 Sienna XLE. My question is “am I stuck with it because it is a design flaw?” The dealer gave me all those same lines about learning how you drive, and drive by cable thing!! unbelievable. My car is sooooo annoying to drive, especially when I’m at the slow speeds in my subdivision and on cold mornings when the engine is reving high! You know what I mean.

    • tom says:


      Did they ever fix the problem? We have an ’04 Sienna XLE and have the same exp. when you slow down to make a turn, then try to accelerate but has a long delay.

      • Daniel Brown says:

        Tom–Same problem for me, it sounds like. Have you had any luck getting your problem fixed? I have a 2005 Sienna.

    • Daniel Brown says:

      Gina–I have a 2005 Sienna. The transmission is slow to engage at low speed (5-8 mph), usually after turning or low-speed stop. Is that the problem you were experiencing? Dealer says its characteristic of the fly-by-wire transmission design, but it wasn’t that way when I bought it. I would be interested in your experience dealing with the problem. Thanks.

  42. Hal says:

    Very happy to find this website! My wife drives a 2005 Avalon XLS (early vin number) we purchased new in March 2005. She has complained about the strange shift patterns and the car not being eager to move after stopping at an intersection. After reading this website, I realize it’s not her imagination! I plan to make an appointment with the local Toyota dealer tomorrow to have this addressed along with the oil leak at the top of the motor on the passenger side. After web research I found a TSB that covers the problem — EG064-05. This appears to be a common problem in early 2005 Avalons.

    On a side note, counting parents, siblings, etc., we’ve owned at least 20 Toyotas over the past 25 years. With all honesty I can say this is the poorest quality Toyota we have ever owned. The roof gutter molding has been replaced (it started coming off at the rear), all the little doors on the dash had to be replaced since several got to the point they would not close – including the hidden cup holder. The paint is the poorest of any Toyota ever owned. After 34K miles of normal driving and lots of TLC, the hood needs a paint job. I have almost used up my first bottle of touch up paint. The slightest road dirt will take the paint off.

    So, I wish I could buy back the 1993 4cyl Camry LE Wagon the Avalon replaced. It was a great car – the best Toyota we ever owned — even better than my ’96 Land Cruiser! Our Avalon has spent more time at the Toyota Dealer for warranty repairs than any Toyota we’ve ever owned. Maybe it’s time to consider another brand. The ownership experience with this car has been frustrating.

    Thanks again for the imformative website!

  43. Hal,
    Like you, many Avalon owners have been experiencing the same paint chip issues, as well. My car is no exception, showing more chips down to the metal in 20,000 miles than any other car I’ve owned at 85,000 miles.

    There are a couple of issues at play here. First, pedestrian-impact regulations have Japanese companies raising the frontal area significantly. (Look at the new Accord, Infinitis, Camry, etc…) The high front into the rising hood-to-windshield angle have changed the way air (and debris) flows/hits.

    Secondly, paint is simply more environmentally friendly now — as well as significantly more expensive. This translates to weaker…mostly by being less “hard” and there’s simply less product on the panel. You’ll also notice that paint on all cars (BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Cadillac all included) show significantly more orange peel in the last decade.

    Remember everyone, if you’re unhappy with your car, call the Toyota Consumer Hotline (listed in the other posts in the Toyota Transmissions Category) to let them know.

    By the way, one way to help your transmission shifting after getting the TSB done by the dealer is to put the shifter into manual shift mode — just leave it in FOURTH GEAR until you get onto the highway. I’ve found my Avalon doesn’t hunt for gears, and the “anchor dragging” feeling of the torque converter around 30mph has disappeared while in 4. The car will select correct gears on its own (you won’t “stall” from a standstill in 4.) You’ll just need to remember to shift to 5 or move the lever to D if you want to cruise on the freeway in top gear.

  44. steve says:

    I just got off of the phone with Toyota National Headquarters concerning a letter that I sent to the President of Toyota Georgetown (where Avalons are produced) and to the President of Toyota US. The letter detailed the problems that I have had with transmission shifting issues as above. They said that there is nothing that can be done except go back to Dealer or see the Area Service Manager.
    I purchased the 2006 Avalon Limited in August 2006 and wish that I had seen these sites before I bought.
    I am blown away by Toyota’s lack of customer focus.
    Let’s do a class action law suit, I bet that will get their attention!

  45. John Polites says:

    I purchased a Avalon Limited for my wife in June, 2005.This car over the 2 years I have had it , has displayed the same hesitation problems as other have had, and I came across this website.
    I called the Toyota Consumer Hotline 1-800-331-4331, reported the problem to them, they replied that my dealer would call within 3 days.
    The very next day, The person from customer relations with Don McGill Toyota in Houston, TX called, and I explained the problem and the TSB # EG033-07 service bulletin to her and she replied, bring the car in and we will take a look at it.
    I took the car in for a oil and filter change, and explained the problem to the person in service. Don McGill called later on that day, and confirmed my problem with the hesitation and said the parts are on order, they asked if I could leave the care overnight and will fix it the next day exactly the way the service bulletin reads.
    Problem solved no more hesitation.
    I feel sorry for the horror stories listed above, but maybe it,s your dealer.
    This dealer has always had 5 stars with me. This is my 6th Toyota in the last 20 years.

  46. Tyler says:

    My 2007 Solara Sport Coupe has embarrassingly lost power when accelerating from a stand still after a light change and after making a turn. I have also noticed various humms and odors from time to time. If you ask my super friendly service adviser (as the fifty vacant cheerleaders incessantly say hi) it all comes from the “drive by wire” operation and is completely normal. I’ll tell that to my insurance company after being rear ended.

  47. Scott in Tulsa says:

    Have a 2008 Avalon XLS with the 6 speed tranny. I don’t see any major problems with it, but only 3,000 miles so far. The only thing, and it is very minor, is that when going down hill (say 40mph) and I take my foot off the gas, it down shifts a gear and slows the car down just a bit more rapidly than I am used to. I have had no problem with hesitation in excellerating or anything else related to tranny.
    I did get a chip on the hood about the size of a pencil lead, that happened in the first week!! None since then. But I don’t recall having any other GM vehicles that I have owned do that in the past.

  48. Scott in Tulsa,
    This is great news. From what we have all been hearing, Toyota’s six-speeder is so much better than the five speed from 2005-2007.

    Now if Toyota would only upgrade all 2005-2007 Avalon owners to the new, better-shifting six speed at no cost, they might have some happy customers. Of course, this is not a reasonable request.

    However, there is no reason why if they can make a six speed work, they can’t make a five ratio box shift well. Hopefully, they’ll figure it out sooner rather than later.

  49. EV says:

    I have an Avalon XL 2007 (TEXAS), I am having the same issues as everyone else. I want to take the car to the dealer but I am discouraged by the lack of results from all these people.

    What are the long term effects on the transmission?

    I will be calling the 1800 number, but it appears that the only way Toyota will pay attention is by a class action law suit.

  50. Jared B. Robb says:

    I am experiencing transmission problems with a 2007 Avalon Limited. I purchased this car off the car show floor during the 2007 show here. It has had transmission problems from the day I bought it and recently after they so called reflashed by computer it has stared to drag during deceleration. It is so aggravating and uncomfortable since I paid top dollar for their so called equal to a lexus car. I am going to call the 800 number and lodge a complaint and I will not sell the car I will be on there door step on a daily basis to I get results to my problem. Beleive me when I am done with them they will want to give me back my money just to shut me up. I will be on every television station, blog, and newpaper I can get to in order to resolve this problem

  51. Lee Gainesville, GA says:

    I bought a 2008 Avalon in Sept 2007.
    1. Before I got home with it the transmission started slipping, not between the same gears and not every time. I called the dealer and was told to drive it for a thousand miles or so and it should clear up. Since then I’ve had it in the shop at 2000 miles and 3000 miles. Each time I was told that they were unable to duplicate the complaint but that they were sure that Toyota was working on a downloadable fix. At 4000 miles they didn’t even bother to write it up they just said Toyota hasn’t come out with anything. I called the Toyota 1800 number and was told that no one else had registered such a complaint and recommended that I take it to another dealer.
    At 5000 miles I took it to another dealer – same response – I did however notice that when they logged it in it had 5085 miles and when they logged it out it also had 5085 miles. Don’t guess they have to drive it far not to find anything.
    2. For the first approx 2k to 2500 miles I was running my A/C and getting approx. 25-26 MPG. We got a cold snap and I turned off the A/C and started getting 20-24 MPG. Yes, I have tried turning the A/C back on to no avail. I also brought this to the attention of the dealed and was told that it was within standards 19-28 MPG and that was why there was a range not one set MPG.
    If any others are having these issues I would love to hear about them.

  52. Shams Naqvi says:

    I bought an Avalon Limited 2007 from Toyota of Concord in California. I have driven this car for less that 4,500 miles in one year. Found exact same engine/transmisssion issue within a couple of months, and reported it to the dealership. The service manager told me that “it is an advanced drive-by-wire” car and you will need time to get used to it”. Being in advanced technologies myself, I know that the dealer is deciptful.

    Now Toyota wants to go for arbitration. Has anyone any experience with California Dispute Settlement Program? Is it auto-industry funded? The darn thing is based in Michingan, how can it name itself like this.

    Please advise if I should accept this outfit as an arbitrator.

  53. Shams,

    When dealing with these types of issues, we strongly suggest contacting your own attorney. Since there are thousands of dollars on the line, it is worth talking to your attorney…In this day and age, there are so many attorneys that chances are you already have a friend or relative capable of giving solid legal advice.

  54. saasona says:

    the same problem with my friend car “camry 6 slendar

  55. dhom says:

    we have many proplme about avalon in saudia arabia

  56. michael metzler says:

    Own a 2005 Avalon XLS that just started having an oil leak problem. Brought it into Colonial Toyota of Milford, CT and they are doing a $6000 job under warranty to fix the problem. Up to this point the car has been unbelievable with great acceleration and mpg both in city and on hiway driving. I will buy another from them when I am ready…

  57. Stephen says:

    I purchased my 95 Avalon new. It had a wind noise problem that Toyota tried to fix, with limited success. Other than that, the car has been very dependable. It presently has 236,000 miles on the original engine and transmission, has plently of pep, rides well and appears to be ready to provide several more years of reliable service. This contrasts sharply with the totally unreliable maintenance nightmares I’ve owned in the past including several almost worthless Chrysler pieces of junk, a Mercury with an engine that blew at 60k, and two lovely Lincoln Continentals that were, unfortunately, constantly breaking down. Thank you, Toyota.

  58. Great to hear, Stephen. Avalons from 1995 are still running strong across the country and around the world. Most current generation Avalons are very reliable, but simply suffer from problems relating to the transmission software.

  59. ariyan says:

    i am in kurdistan and here we have about 200 avalons 2005-2007 but no one had this problem

  60. Shams Naqvi says:

    Since my last posting, I have spoken with Toyota USA Sales a few times. The person that I spoke with confirmed that on some units of Toyota Avalon (I have Limited 2007), they do have problems with transmission and brakes’ software. She asked me to “trade-in this car with a 2008 Avalon”.

    Obivously I wouln’t spend money just to get overl their software problems.

    I have a 1997 Avalon XLS that had the wind noise problem and extremely soft shocks that Toyota did not want to fix. The car runs well otherwise, except that there is a known problem with engine oil sludge formation, which means I must change oil every three months.

    My experience with Toyota was quite good from 1976 through 1997.

  61. mercifullyfree says:

    2007 XLS – Had the TSB applied last week. In my 17K miles of ownership, I consistently got 31 – 32 mpg at 70 – 75 mph with cruise. Great!
    After the TSB, I got 25 – 26 mpg in yesterday’s 300 mile road trip. What happened??

  62. I’d actually guess that it wasn’t just the TSB at work. The TSB hasn’t shown to have that much effect on MPG.

    If I were a betting man, I’d wager that the dealership set your tire pressure down too low (like 32 psi, but done when the tires were actually warm.) Use a tire gauge before you start-up the car for the day and see where the pressure is at. It should be somewhere between 32 and 37 psi. The lower the pressure, the worse the mpg. Don’t go too high, or your teeth will rattle!!!

    And this might be stating the obvious, but hopefully you have changed the oil in 17K miles, because bad oil decreases fuel economy.

    Start with those, and let us know what you find.

  63. Marty says:

    I was shocked to see your site depicting Toyota problems.
    I had finally deceided to not buy another GM car due to similar problems, particularly with their attitude of not correcting continuing known problems.

    I have been shopping for a low mileage used 2004-2007 Toyota Solara. Do you know of any problems with Solaras?
    Thanks for your help and work in running this site.

    Best regards,

  64. Marty,
    From the reports we’ve heard, Solaras with the 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine and five-speed automatic transmission will experience similar problems to the Avalon and Camry.

  65. David says:

    I have the exact same tramsmission problems noted above with a 2007 Avalon Limited. Took it in and got the same response. Toyota has blown this one.

    To deny there is even a problem undermines their credibility.

    Lucky for them it is otherwise a great car. It is irritating but not fatal to the experience.

    Buck up Toyota. Even if you can’t fix it admit it.

  66. Stany says:

    I had so many problems with my 2004 Sienna 3.3 liter and 5 speed transmission, that i just gave up on it. The Sienna was pure garbage. It is the only car that left me stranded twice, due to no discharge battery protection. The 5 speed transmission is junk, so is their drive by whatever wire, the brakes, the rear ventilation controls, the acceleration from stand still, and faulty HP and Torque values, very faulty. The Japanese made me believe.. They sold me a 242 foot pouds of torque engine that was just 222, and hp was not 230, but merely 215 with super unleaded. What about the weak brakes.. The noisy relay for the front delay wipers, and the doors are welded, so dont drop one into the wind, or you will need to re-solder them and repaint, and the alternators are not up to the job and fail, so is the radiator, and so forth. The 3.3 liter engine is simply discusting, guthless. So i am back to the General, just purchased a 2008 3.9 push rod coupled to VVTi Uplander with infinite valve positioning. Better than the two position only VVTi from Toyota. And Toyota called their engine intelligent. . hello, any body home in Japan…

  67. zack says:

    Hey guys and gals…check out this link. Seems like the problem is fixed for some Avalon owners with the fix stated in earlier post:

    John Says:
    October 12, 2007 at 6:13 am

    There is a fix for the xmission problem in the ‘05 – ‘07 Avalons. the Toyota service bulletin is EG029-07 “Ecm calibration: enhancement to shifting performance and smoothness, ‘06-’07 Avalon”. The procedure is basically reprograming the ecm with new software. The ‘05 fix is a little more work including replacing the exhaust manifolds and oxygen sensor as well as the ecm flash. the TSB # for ‘05 is EG033-07. The TSB says these are covered on the emissions warranty.

    check out the link below:

  68. Gino says:

    Thanks for listing the 800 # for Toyota corporate. I just filed a report with them. I live in Chicago and driving this Avalon tranny on ice and snow makes for a difficult and dangerous ride. I hope we all get to the magic number for them to issue a wholesale repair for all Avalon owners. It’s the only real complaint I have about the car but it’s a big one.

    • J. Allen says:

      The VSC installed in my 2007 Avalon makes it impossible to drive in winter conditions. The “put the brakes on” function when a wheel spins and puts that wheel ‘s brake on, causes a loss of forward motion just when you need it. I have found a way to disable the vsc system for the winter by pulling a relay in the fuse box on the left side of the engine.It disables the ABS brakes but I am able to drive without that feature. I live in Canada, and have to drive in ice and snow conditions, which I was very able to do before “VSC”.

  69. Mario Duque says:

    And the problems continue with the Toyota Camry 2007! (See problem with transmission posted on August 22, 2007) The car now has 10,000 miles. It has developed a leakage in the oil pan. Amazing how the quality of Toyota cars has gone down and down. All I am waiting for is the last payment to get rid off this piece of junk.

  70. Pat Hoelke says:

    We too are having many problems with shifting in our 2003 Avalon and the car has only 30,000 miles. Our local dealer is telling us it needs a transmission flush. The check engine light is on and off all the time, and now in addition to the rough shifting it is also missing. The service department’s answer is to tell you to trade the car for a new one soon. Count me in on a class action suit!!

  71. Pat,
    You have more than one problem going on here. The Check Engine light comes on when you have an issue with the emissions system, which is confirmed by your mention of a misfire. This is independent of any transmission problem.

    Misfires on modern cars can often be traced to a bad plug, wire or coil pack. Plugs and wires are cheap, and can be done quickly to see if either are the culprit. If not, the coil pack is probably going bad. It’s not uncommon for coils to be in a position where some leaking fluid (either water from the cowl or coolant from a leaking heating hose) can short it out.

    In any event, you’ll want to get on the problem quickly, since misfires cause raw fuel to spill into the catalytic converters, shortening their useful lives.

    As far as the transmission issue, your 2003 has a different transmission than the ones that started in 2005. If you’re having trouble shifting, ensure the software was updated per the TSB for that generation of transmission.

  72. Linda says:

    I would love to find other owners of the 2004 Toyota Sienna XLE who are interested in a class action suit. Besides the tires, the front seat heaters quit after just 2 1/2 years, the back door hatch can fail at any time, and the side sliding doors have had issues too. It’s becoming quit the lemon, and an expensive one at that.

  73. Linda says:

    Feel free to email me at

  74. Adrian says:

    I own a 2006 Avalo0n limited that I drive alot on the highways. It has 46,500 miles and I have had the engine light and VSC light come on 3 separate times so I have taken to the dealer that last time today 03-07-08
    They now tell me all 6 coil packs are bad. Has anyone ever heard of all 6 going bad at once?

  75. Adrian,
    It is very, very, very, very unlikely that all six coil packs went bad, unless, of course, there is a bad electrical/electronic issue that is contributing to frying the packs. If all coil packs were indeed bad, your car would be running horribly — or not at all.

    To me this sounds like a typical case of another poorly trained dealer service “technician”. I would ask what they plan to replace upstream of the coil packs, and why they believe that all the packs are bad (and how they think the packs got that way.)

    This also doesn’t explain why the VSC light is coming on.

    If the car runs fine, with the exception of the lights coming on, I’d ask the service person if he can confirm (under penalty of death) that he’s checked all the connecting points in the wiring harness.

    Don’t hesitate to go above the service writer and talk to the manager of the service department. Challenge the logic (or lack thereof.)

    I once had a ’91 Chrysler LeBaron that three dealerships couldn’t fix– it would cut-out and buck. They kept throwing parts at it (under warranty) until each dealer told me they’d have to charge for more parts, since it wouldn’t stop happening (despite the factory warranty!) Months and months of struggle ended when I visited a trusted mechanic who fixed it in ten minutes! It was a loose wire in the harness. It cost me $50 out of pocket.

    Unfortunately, dealers often hire nitwits who have limited problem solving capabilities. Your only line of defense is to speak to the manager and ask if he will stand behind the logic of all six coils going bad without something else causing it.

    You can also call Toyota’s Customer 1-800 line and force them to get involved, which they will do.

    Let us know what happens!

  76. David says:

    For the attention of:

    * Dee (June 21, 2007 at 12:15 pm)
    * Anne Maurice (July 26, 2007 at 6:20 pm)
    * anyone else experiencing transmission issues with their Toyota Rav4
    * anyone who can give advice on how to start a class action lawsuit

    My Toyota Rav4, with a mileage of 119,000, has exactly the same transmission problems that you both describe. I have just spent $3300 to replace the transmission and now Toyota tells me that what I really need a new computer module at “$1395 less 10% discount”.

    Why don’t we team up and PUSH FOR A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT?

    The information I have gathered so far is that Toyota has been aware of this problem for at least couple of years. The ECM (Engine Control Module) HAS A DEFECT that, (in layman’s language — I am not technical but I understood what was explained to me):

    1) causes the “check engine” light to go on,

    and more to the point
    2) fails to “balance or rev up the engine” when the vehicles is idling in Drive mode. This loads/ puts pressure on the transmission mechanism, causing the car to vibrate/rattle hard while on idle. This eventually wears down the mechanism.

    It is my belief that Toyota could have averted the transmission problems we are now having by recalling the affected models and fixing the ECMs. Why should we be spending close to $5,000 for no fault of ours? THE TRANSMISSION PROBLEMS ARE NOT DUE TO “NORMAL WEAR AND TEAR”. THEY ARE DUE TO A DEFECT OF THE ECM.

    Anyone out there who feels the same about this?

  77. Debbie Brin says:

    In Sept 2007 I purchase the Toyota Avalon XLS-I have visited my dealer 3 times for shift, acel concerns-I have owned a 1996, 1999 Avalon XLS-I loved the cars. I am totally afraid of my 08. 1st time back-no problem found reflash computer and sent me on my way. Three weeks later-Same concern the shift/acel hesitation lack and almost getting hit. I was in a provided loaner-dealer test drove (20miles) in 5 days unable to duplicate,they reflash computer. Not wanting to deem my car a piece of JUNK, I drove off and hoped for the best. One week later I made a call. I have worked for Toyota (8 Years) Asst. Service Manager and writer. I was told to run TWO tanks of High Test fuel and call-I took the car to another Dealer-My longtime friend and Master Toyota Tech found my car low 1 qrt low of transmission fluid. (should have been caught at time of Predelivery Inspection) After fluid was added he drove and vehicle did its “normal” shift,slip as he called it and he again reflashed the computer. -I had the area Warranty District Manager, SET (Southeast Toyota) Technical Support Mechanic and Master Technician all involved-They all state “The car operates as its designed”
    Three weeks later brings me to this web site-It’s doing it again-I am not sure to Lemon Law since I only have 1 repair attempt and no one else can duplicate my concern-
    Any suggestions?

  78. Debbie,
    Lemon laws vary from state to state. You can check the specifics of your state’s law by going to the web site for your state government and searching for Lemon Law. Usually Lemon Laws only require one problem with multiple times (which average about five) to attempt to fix with no solution.

    What really is the big issue is that Toyota considers the performance of the transmission “normal”, so that they will claim that there’s nothing to “fix”. Basically, the normal operation for the 5spd automatic is what others would consider inherently broken.

    The reflashes and fuel make no difference. Those were grasping at straws-type suggestions.

    If you haven’t done so already, please call the Toyota Consumer Hotline 1-800-number (the number can be found on this blog in postings under the Toyota Transmissions category.)

  79. ali, ny says:

    In April 2001 I purchased RAV4 costing me 32110.96 and now 7years later being told need to replace transmission for almost $6000. Had extended warranty which was never used and experiencing this same problem everyone is stating lazy excellerating, pressing on gas pedal to get the vehicle moving and other old cars passing me on the highway since it will not move pass 40mph without reving up the rpm gauge, I took vehicle back to dealer 4times before the warranty expires advising them of this problem of not moving and was told it is okay need to break it in it is new. I never had any other complaints other that this one and very disappointed that such a large cooperation as Toyota will not care about the valid customer interest that are representing them out on the road on a daily basis by driving their vechile. I guess it is all about sales not customer satisfaction.

  80. nauset says:

    Is the 2008 Avalon a “safe” buy? Have the fixed the problems?
    (I was thinking of a 2007 used model, but won’t now.) Any recommendations

    My husband has a 1995 Avalon with 270,000 miles on it, but it is really time to move on. It has been an incredible car.
    He is really wanting another Avalon, but after reading about all the problems with the trans, I am not so sure.

    For a die-hard Toyota fan, is there something else he should be looking at? It will be hard to convince him. He likes the ride and size of the Avalon. Was thinking about a Highlander at one point. Don’t have tons and tons of money to spend, but maybe something else used–Lexus, BMW?–that would fall in the low to mid $30,000 range.

    We have owned only Honda and Toyota for the last 20 years and are leery of Amer. made cars because of quality issues. Guess they’re not the only ones any more.

  81. Since the 2008 Avalon has a different transmission — a six-speed automatic, it is probably a “safe buy”. We have heard that there are some gear hunting problems with the six speed, but that is not a deal killer.

    What one must keep in mind is that all cars have some inherent problem (or problems). The transmissions in Hondas for three years failed with alarming regularity. BMW V8 engines one year were replaced under warranty due to a specific issue that could cause failure. Subarus leak oil.

    The question then becomes: what problems are you willing to live with for the sake of what is good about the vehicle. The 2008 Avalon is a fantastic vehicle, even if the transmission doesn’t provide the crisp, positive shifts, over all the car is much better than a crisp-shifting Ford or GM.

  82. Paul B says:

    Hi folks,

    I have owned a new Camry from Sept 2006. It has the exact same
    problems described. Toyota New Zealand a total waste of space.
    This car is a piece of s..t !!!!!!!!!!!!
    First and last Toyota.
    Toyota NZ tell BS story about not having a problem here.
    The morons say take it back to the dealer…..why waste my time.
    Can’t wait to get rid of the junk and try the new Mazda-6
    cheers from Down Under

  83. Dominick D. says:

    Hi All,
    Wow! I didn’t think I was crazy!! We bought our new 2006 Camry 4cyl Auto Trans in January 2007 and had it serviced 3 times for the very symptoms noted on this website. The 4th time I called to bring it back to the dealership, (Norm Wagner Toyota) the Service personnel told me very nicely not to bother. They were aware of the problem and the Engineers in CA are working on a fix and I would be notified as soon as they resolve it. (Boy was I duped!)
    On the 1st appt. the tech test-drove our Camry and acknowledged that he felt it too and said to drive it for a while and see if it continues. Then call them back.
    The 2nd appt. the dealership reflashed the transmission. (I think it got worse).
    The 3rd appt. a transm. flush was preformed. (no change).
    The 4th was don’t bother wait for fix.
    Then I googled and came upon the website. UNBELIEVABLE to say the least. We finally bought our 1st Toyota and this is what it is?!! I immediately called Toyota to open a case ticket. (last Friday) Waiting!! Our Camry is definitely unstable when shifting into high or low gear and it truly concerns us regarding safety.
    Have any accidents been reported for this issue? Does anyone know if the Attorney General is aware of this in the state of MA or any class action law suites are occurring in the US? I’m definitely going to call and find out because this LEMON is too big to squeeze for the little guy.
    Thanks for the Heads Up!!

  84. used jones says:

    another reasn why I just can never trust an automatic transmission. I would prefer to drive my car than just simply steer. I usually like toyotas, they hold up pretty well and I have never had any major repair costs. but this is weird to see them adopt the american practice of mediocre vehicles.

  85. Narg says:

    ALso keep in mind that Toyota was sued by the Japanese government for keeping recalls from being released to the public. Toyota is a liar and a cheat of a company. Don’t trust them.

  86. Dena says:

    I had a question I have a toyota rav 4 I was driving today and my engine light went off and so did the VSC light does anyone know what that is?

  87. Dena,
    If you’re saying that the engine light AND VSC lights both came on and stayed on at the same time, I’d guess you have an electrical issue. It is possible that if there is a malfunction in your Vehicle Stability Control it might also illuminate the check engine light.

    What you should do is take the vehicle to get the “codes pulled”. If the car is still under warranty, simply take it to the dealer and ask them to fix it. If you are already out of the warranty period, go to a reputable shop (not a dealer), and ask them to quickly “pull the codes”. The on-board computer will store fault codes related to the warning lights.

    If the VSC isn’t working correctly, that should be addressed ASAP, since it is a safety issue. (It simply won’t work.) Generally speaking, a check engine light that comes on in a Toyota is either indication that it’s time to change the oil or that there’s a fault in the system that would mean you might not pass emissions testing.

    In any event, the codes will likely tell you what is wrong.

    • Kris says:

      I have a 2004 Sienna XLE and the VSC keeps coming on. The first time they replaced the chip then they replaced a sensor and now ??? Anybody having these problems. They have hooked it up to their computer and they have no codes. If anyone is having problems please let me know…..

  88. Icestation says:

    I own a 2007 Avalon Limited. My wife loves the car, but we have an issue with schizophreniic hi beams. From time to time, (When they are not flashing on and off) the stay on and I can’t turn them off. the lights eventually turn off after about a half hour after I turn the car off. Anyone ever had this problem? 3 visits to the dealer for the same problem reflashed and replaced the ECM, then the headlight module.

  89. Libby says:

    After reading all these it makes me regret buying my 2004 Solara (SLE V6) back in October 2007. I love the car but the hesitation and shaking is getting worse. I brought my car in for the 2nd time today thinking it was a broken motor mount; they called and told me there was nothing wrong with it. Seeing as I brought it in just 2 weeks ago with them driving it and it “ran like a top”, I flat out said, “No, there is something wrong with this car – not sure if it’s the transmission or what – but there is definitely a surging and hesitation.” They have reprogrammed the ECM, but from reading the other responses it doesn’t even seem like this will help. No wonder the extended warranty I purchased was cheap – the idiots won’t even fully check everything and fix things like they should. Not to mention I have a baby on the way – safety is my number one concern! Just let this car make me have an accident while I’m pregnant or have a baby in the car – and Toyota will really hear it from me!!! I definitely will not buy another Toyota after this hassle!

  90. Bob Smith says:

    same problem as my 2002 Rav4. Just google the different makes and models with “transmission” and it will just show how bad quality is getting.

    $4000 to fix my RAV4 LAST YEAR. Just today, it’s failing AGAIN… 2 months after my transmission’s warranty ran out. I still don’t know what to do.

    Part of it will likely be making a sign that says “My New Toyota Transmission DIED AGAIN…Toyota is NOT helping” and placing it on my side windows and then park my car in front of Toyota dealerships.

  91. Rich says:

    Another…even deadly problem that Toyota has with thier traction control.
    My ’07 Avalon has traction control that shuts down the wheel RPM when the wheels slip. Being from Buffalo NY, I am quite adept at winter driving. With the Avalon, I found myself stranded in the middle of a busy intersection, on level ground because the wheels slipped in the snow and the engine RPM dropped to idle. The accellerator was completely unresponsive. Is there a way to shut off traction control? Or does someone gotta die first?

    • jeffs says:

      There is a button on my 2004 Sienna XLE on the lower dash that lets you turn traction control off.

      You should have something similar. Check your owners manual.

  92. Doyle Gougler says:

    Although the trans problem in my 2008 Camry six-cylinder is not as severe as those with the Avalons, here is what is happening: When I take my foot off the gas pedal while driving 35 or 40 mph, instead of the car coasting smoothly as it is supposed to do, the third gear does not release and I get braking action from the trans. The gear finally releases at between 20 and 25 mph. The result is not smooth driving. I’ve had the car test-driven by an independent mechanic and a trans specialist. Both verified the trans problem. Of course, the dealer says he can’t do anything about but will send a complaint to Toyota headquarters. My service man at the dealer says other new Camrys have the same trans action. My advice: Before buying a new Camry, test-drive it on a smooth, quiet street. If it does the same as mine does, take it back to the dealer and skedaddle. I suppose that Toyota has been so successful over the years with its cars that it has grown careless with quality control.

  93. Doyle:
    Call Toyota’s 800-customer complaint line (listed above) ASAP.

    This is a known issue discussed within the comments of this article. The transmission drags until 24 mph (or 32 if the transmission hasn’t had the TSB “flash” performed yet.)

    There will be no “fix”, because Toyota is trying to convice people that this is “normal operation”. Of course we know better!

    By calling in on the 800-number, Toyota gets another complaint to let them know that owners are calling its bluff.

  94. Susan says:

    Adrien says “I have always been a Toyota fan, but will not buy another toyota, nor will I recommend one to anyone, unless Toyota is willing to stand behind their vehicles and fix this problem.”

    Yes, I agree. I have been a DIEHARD Toyota fan for 12 years and now my 2001 Rav4 has the tranny/computer problem. It will cost about $5000 to fix and I only bought the car 1 1/2 years ago at a certified used Toyota dealer along with an extended warranty that expired in March. The check engine light came on multiple times and several mechanics were unable to figure out what was wrong until I brought it to a tranny specialist who found that Toyota has issued “bulletins” about the problem.

    Not okay.

  95. Bill Johnson says:

    2006 Toyota Avalon – Transmission looses itself, it has been to multiple dealers they reprogram but no resolution. Now the engine is leaking oil terribly, the rear seal is shot in addition to the other Avalon leak.

    Having been a loyal Toyota customer for 30 years, I am sick over this. I opened a case and they are telling me it is within normal operating specifications. We need to get this story out. A snowflake does not stop a train but a blizzard does. We need to tell everyone we know about this dirty little secret. Toyota has become a sub par overpriced manufacturer living on a reputation that they have long since abandoned. What a tragedy!

  96. Ernie Laing says:

    My wife just bought a 2006 Solara convertible with 30,000 miles on it and we have only had the vehicle 8 days ! The transmission “lurches” and downshifts itself and there is a wobble in the front end ! ( this is our first foreign car, and the LAST one !) This thing sucks gas and drives like a truck ! I am trying to work with the dealer but they say nothing is wrong with it. I called the Toyota customer service and they were RUDE ! They gave me a case number. I called the service dept at the dealership and they told me to drive the car for two more weeks and then bring it in. This is disgusting !

  97. Ernie Laing says:

    HEY…anyone out there got any class action lawsuits going on this problem ? We are located in Michigan. I am still trying to get the dealer to solve this and the only way I see to solve this is by getting another vehicle…(AMERICAN MADE !!)

  98. Chris says:

    I just found this site today and I now understand what my wife keeps telling me about her 2006 Avalon. Multiple times she had issues in intersections! The problem….I can tell you what happens once the factory powertrain runs out….$5,100.00 transmission repair bill!! With only 63, 987 miles on the car Toyota said this is unheard of on Avalons. I called and complained in a nice way to Toyota via the 1-800 number and I guess we will have to see if Toyota will step up and replace the transmission on their dime. So far, they say they will only cover $1,000.00 on this repair. With the known problems, do I dare get a new 5 speed transmission??? What the F___???? Any thoughts?? Glad I have the 2008 Jeep Wrangler 4D. 7 Jeeps and still loving the product and the manual trans. (American Made) plus the lifetime Powertrain warranty. I will never buy Toyota again.

  99. Larry says:

    Isn’t it a shame that so many of us are having these problems and Toyota is doing nothing about it. we purchased a new 2007 Avalon LTD in Mar. of 2007. and started having all the same issues with the transmission. They have erased the computer and reinstalled the program. This year they installed an updated program and still the problems persisted. After getting the Customer Relations Manager and the manager of the service department involved, a Toyota service specialist was brought in to check out the car. I told him that the hesitation entering traffic when making a left turn was a major concern and that I had already had three very close calls. He took the car on a test run and tried unsuccessfully to duplicate any of the problems. He did how ever sat that the braking affect when the foot is removed from the accelerator is normal as is the coasting sensation when the speed drops to around 30 mph. He said everything was in spec. Corporate told me as a result of the inspection my only recourse was arbitration but from a previous writers experience it sounds like that is not much of a choice. I am afraid that one of us is going to be struck by an oncoming car when the transmission fails to respond. I love the car otherwise. what a mess.

  100. Mike Smith says:

    I know the feeling. But mine is (I thick) the drive-by-wire.

  101. Mike Smith says:

    This is just a follow-up. The problem with the “drive-by-wire, transmission, torque converter” is in the metering of fuel. It is in my case. I can not feather-touch the pedal. I can either accelerate like my grandmother, or jerk forword with no control. The pedal had no middle ground. No semi-hard acceleration control. What is the problem. I have taken it to the dealership and they say: ” Yep, them things is bad about that”. For an otlherwise great car, the fun of driving is a big goose egg. Any help?

  102. Mike,
    What you are describing is not a problem plaguing all Avalons — it doesn’t happen in the Four Wheel Drift’s Avalon, nor does it happen in any that I know of. It also is not an issue specific to all cars with drive-by-wire. From the time that the fifth generation Corvette appeared in 1997 (model year), drive-by-wire has proven an effective technology. The D-B-W in the ’99 Corvette I owned and 2002 Corvette that is still in my stable have been nothing other than perfect.

    Toyota dealers have blamed drive-by-wire for many things, which simply indicates the horrible lack of training by dealer technicians.

    If you are indeed experiencing problems of this nature with “no middle ground”, I would expect that there is a throttle control or throttle position sensor issue. By all means, take it to a different dealer and make the manager of the service department — or GM of the dealer drive it with you. If they say that it is “normal”, simply ask to drive an Avalon on the lot with them, and show it is not normal.

    And by all means, call the 1-800 consumer hotline number to complain. With a 33-percent reduction in sales from last year, the last thing the dealers want is to alienate another customer.

    Good luck.

  103. Mike Smith says:

    I would like to thank fourwhelldrift for this web site, the response, and the info. about the service bulletin about the “reflash” for transmission control. My “touchey” acc. pedal problem would not have been solved otherwise. Upon telling my Toyota Dealership about this Tech. Service Bulletin, they did make the reflash and it seems to have not only solved my jumpy take-offs, but has improved the shifting(both up and down) and even the brakes. My problem was so hard to communicate, and without some sort of service warning light comming on, and without the knowledge of a service bulletin, I was lost. Thanks again. Mike Smith

  104. Justin Joseph says:

    Nice to see that, you have put this in a blog.
    I have faced a problem in transmission, where the service guys told Transmission Chip Control Solenoid not working, on my brand new Corolla LE-2009…JUST 3 DAYS OLD…
    I have already given a compliant in the toll free number. Hidden issues in the vehicles must be exposed! no body should get cheated…

  105. Jeff J says:

    It seems to me that finds it uncomfortable admitting that Toyota has a brandwide problem with disclosure and responsibility for their products. Of course Avalon and RAV4 don’t share the same software in their ECMs, but the fact that both vehicles have exactly the same mechanical failure from exactly the same cause would seem to indicate that they’re doing something wrong on a large scale.

    Could it be that ALL their vehicles might have a lower tested mpg, resulting in lost sales margins, if they properly programmed their ECMs from day 1?

    Anyone who has done any on-line research on this issue knows that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Toyota customer all trying to individually battle with the corporate giant, and to assist them by discrediting any connection between these obviously related transmission failures is doing a disservice to ALL fourwheelers, not to mention plain old consumers.

  106. Jeff,

    We certainly don’t have a problem “admitting” the connection, if there is indeed a connection. And we have not tried to “discredit” any connection. The reason we have not specifically talked about a connection between the RAV and the Avalon/Camry is simply, because we have no research to show the two are related. They have two different trannies and two different computer controllers.

    NOW, that doesn’t mean that we can prove or will even claim that in our hearts we believe there isn’t, in fact, a connection…Toyota may have indeed botched both transmissions in a similar fashion… we haven’t done enough research to accuse them of that.

    We are happy to provide a forum for and report on any connection you (or anyone else) might find regarding corporate-wide engineering-in of troublesome shift patterns for the benefit of higher reported MPG.

    So if you have more information, let us know!

  107. HOSS says:

    I have had the same problem. The main thing is that the transmission’s performance is erratic. Some times it will work fine but most of the time it will work as many other users have described it. What I have noticed many times is that it is very slow to accelerate between 0-20 MPH (i.e. from a red light), then at 20-40 the RPM’s rev up, and then 40 and up is usually OK, although I have had problems accelerating by using the cruise control accelerate feature at 65-70 MPH.

    The shifting is indeed rough and it it just always feels like the car is in the wrong gear because the RPMs rev but the speed is not there and it feels (as Rhoda described it), like there is something holding the car back, even if you punch the accelerator. The big thing is the hesitation from 0-20MPH.

    In addition to contacting Toyota via the 1-800 number, I suggest that everyone file a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They have the legal authority to recall vehicles (or convince Toyota to do it voluntarily). NHTSA’s Web site is If they get enough complaints (and I don’t think it would take that many), you can be sure that they will have the ear of someone high-up at Toyota. A federal government recall would be disastrous and the company could be fined.

    Also, it may not be a bad idea to submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission also (

    Great Web site! I am glad that I am not alone.

  108. Mike Smith says:

    I regret to report that the tech. service report “fix” I received at the Toyota Dealership did not last. The hesitation/jump my 06 Avalon has from a standstill has come back. The “fix” did help with the shifting, but the hes/jump came back. And my MPG has droped for intown from about 23 to 19. ?? I’m going to keep looking for a solution. The preformance of the car is not right, and I guess it must be in the programing of the acc. control chip (layman talk). The Dealership seems to know nothing. I have driven several cars with this problem, and several without it. It must be widespread. Surly someone knows the problem/solution. Any input or direction on a solution would be appreciated. Thanks, Mike Smith

  109. Amaury says:

    Hello everyone,

    After reading many of the postings (intend to cover them all) I see myself now as a very lucky person. I purchased a 2008 Avalon Limited back in September ’07 and I have logged 7k miles so far. I haven’t had any, and I mean ANY of the issues expressed here.
    The car’s 6-speed transmission and shift points are as smooth as silk my friends, and gear change occurs when it suppose to be. The fact is, no major electrical/mechanical issues affect my car (there are some minor, “cosmetic” ones thus).

    The anchor-dragging effect when releasing the gas is very noticeable but it does not bother me that much since the car’s mpg is very acceptable for city driving (New York City). For highway mpg I’ve gotten up to 33.7 (manual method).

    For those with the tranny troubles, I think the fault is not the transmission itself but the TCM (transmission control module), which is the computer that tell the tranny how to behave under any load and driving condition.

  110. Indeed it is the TCM software that is the bulk of the problem.

    Still, it would be nice if Toyota replaced all 2005-2007 five-speed automatic transmissions with six-speed automatics under warranty, since the six-speed fixed so many of the issues. Unfortunately, that will never happen.

  111. Amaury says:


    Since reading all your postings I became very interested about the anchor-dragging effect, since this is the only “issue” with my tranny yet the car manage to return very good fuel efficiency numbers for city driving as I said earlier. My daughter owns one of my previous cars, a 4-cyl ‘01 Camry, and with the gas pedal depress, that car rolls like skates on ice yet that car’s FE for city driving is very close to mine. With that dragging effect on my car, I expected the Avy FE to be way off but it isn’t.

    Spent the whole evening reviewing some information and these are my findings:

    1) The dragging effect is INDEED within specs. Between 1 mph and 30 mph the Avalon tranny cycles between low gears only (1 to 3); at 31 mph it will go to the 4th gear. These gears have higher ratios than the Camry’s (hence the stronger engine braking force in the Avalon).

    2) Many of you may be aware that engine braking in many modern cars, including the Avalon, uses no gasoline at all. Ask me why and I tell you.

    3) The dragging effect on the Avalon is part of its fuel efficiency, which can be explained by the reasoning of items 1) and 2) above.

  112. Bryan says:

    Hello All –

    I stumbled on your site looking for answers to my RAV4 Tranny issue. Seems that my 07 RAV4 V6 has the same problems as many other vehicles. I too have been to the dealer and called the hotline and gottne nowhere. I encourage all that read this to go to and register your complaint with the NHTSB. They are a government watchdog that forces car companies to fix defects, and if enough people complain, they will force Toyota to fix this problem.

    It is too bad that Toyota does not realize that the laurels they created and have ridden on for so long will come crashing down. So what if they are as big as GM? If their vehicles aren’t safe and reliable, people will stop buying them. I have always owned American and European cars until now, and I won’t make the mistake of buying another Toyota!

  113. ZAHEER says:

    i m having toyota corolla 2005 xli while driving my car automatically come in neutral position not every days but it behave suddenly any time pl tell me the reason and solution

  114. Johnnie says:

    I leased a 2008 Rav4 AWD I4 base model, and it comes with a safety feature of down-hill engine braking function. For those that are not technical enough, an example is what a tractor trailer driver does during a long steep down hill descent. The driver will manually down shift the transmission and use both the engine and transmission clutch to slow down the big truck, because the over usage of the brake will melt the brake pads and cause the braking system to fail. In the case of the automatic transmission vehicle, the clutch is the torque converter. With the down hill engine braking feature in my car, the computer will keep the torque converter locked, if the vehicle electronics senses the vehicle is in a down hill descent, and use engine to slow down the car, while my foot is off the gas padel. For cars without automatic engine braking feature, the driver should pump the brake to let the brake pads cool in between brakings. Now back to the topic in this post, I do notice the engine braking stays on in my car even on a perfectly flat local streets when coasting (this means keeping your foot off the gas padel and the brake, and let the car go by momentum). I verified this by manually shifting the car into neutral gear when coasting (Warning: this is very dangereous if you don’t know what you are doing), and noticing the RPM changes and the drag feeling. With 5000 miles on the car, I calculated that my local driving fuel economy is about 17mpg vs. the stated EPA 20mpg in city. I first thought the problem was probably the down hill sensor malfunction. I was about to contact a nearby dealership, and decided to google the web for similar problems, and found this website. I have not noticed any acceleration hesitation, since I rarely do hard acceleration, but I do have a concern about it now, it is an extremely dangereous situation. I am glad I found this website and read all these posts. I will call the Toyota hotline and contact the dealership to report my concern, so they will at least look at the issue more closely.

  115. Thierry Aube says:

    I have a ’02 Rav 4 in Benin, Africa, with an automatic gear box. It simply does not work. The ECU was replaced, to no avail. When passing from 3 to 4, the car hesitates and then there is a shock. Extremely unpleasant. Is there anything I can do, like joining a group complaint against Toyota ? I no longer trust Toyota after years of being a Toyota fan !…

  116. Brian Duguay says:

    In Sept of 2008 I purchased my first toyota ever it was a 2008 Avalon Limited. I am not a mechanic so I need help to understand what may be causing my problem. Unlike the older Avalon’s my car for some unknown when I was accelerating to the spend limit of 25 miles per hour the accelerator went to the floor. I reached speeds of 85 to 90 miles per hour. I tried using my brakes that only caused the back end of my car to skid out of control. I tried to shift car to neutral but gear shift would not respond. I was to a point looking for some place to crash my car but decided to hit gear shift 1 more time, which it finally responed to neutral. The accelerator was still stuck to the floor my car smelled of smoke I thought was going to catch fire. I stomped on gas pedal as hard as I could and car went to normal. I drove the car home slowly and on Monday Nov 10th I had the car towed to the dealership where it still sits. We are scheduled for arbitration on Thursday Jan 22. I know for a fact that it was not the floor mats in the car that’s what Toyota want to blame it on. Something is wrong with this car, I have been researching the NHTSA site and other people with 06, 07 and 08 are having the same problem. I no longer feel safe to drive this car.

  117. Tom Kelley says:

    I have inserted the complaint from Rich in Buffalo below. I would like to talk with Rich if he is willing. You have my permision to forward my email address to Rich.

    I have the exaxt same problem as Rich has with my traction control system.

    I am not sure what a website is.

    Below is Rich’s complaint.

    Can you help me contact Rich?


    Tom Kelley

    Rich’s Complaint follows

    Rich Says:

    July 17, 2008 at 6:44 am

    Another…even deadly problem that Toyota has with thier traction control.

    My ‘07 Avalon has traction control that shuts down the wheel RPM when the wheels slip. Being from Buffalo NY, I am quite adept at winter driving. With the Avalon, I found myself stranded in the middle of a busy intersection, on level ground because the wheels slipped in the snow and the engine RPM dropped to idle. The accellerator was completely unresponsive. Is there a way to shut off traction control? Or does someone gotta die first?

  118. Rose says:

    I Purchased a certified preowned 2006 Avalon two days ago from Chatham Parkway Toyotta in Savannah, GA. It is going to servcie tomorrow because the TRANSMISSION is not shifting properly. It is an awful shame that some people will stoop to any level to make a dollar.
    I was nearly rear ended several times in that piece of junk. I called Toyotta consumer hotline today. Let’s see what happens. That car is a big safety issue, but I can not afford another car. I will have to sale my house to pay the negative equity down before I could even consider trading that car…

  119. Carol says:

    Thank you for this website. I reported this problem when i bought it and I am disappointed that no one believed. I even went into artibrition to get another. Now my toyota has been in the shop Since Feb. 10 due to a tramission pump breaking and now an engine hose part. I have gotten no compensation and I drive a rental camery and still make payments. This is not even comparable. Never again will i buy a new avalon.

  120. Mel says:

    Reading this very long list of complaints was like having someone read my mind and printing it! I have an 07 Camry xle v6 with very similiar transmission problems as stated by so many other Camry owners. From rough and jerky, and some times sluggish accelerations and deaccelerations to less than honest service managers, my faith in Toyota has diminished so much that my inclination to purchase another Toyota product is all but a figment. I called the 1-800 to file for the “buy back” program that the service manager suggested. I have great doubts that Toyota will do anything positive in my direction, but my product complaint has been noted.

    • Mario Duque says:

      When I did not get any favorable response from the Toyota dealer in Henderson NC regarding the hesitation problem with my 2007 Toyota Camry, I found a lawyer firm that deals with LEMON LAW cases as authorized here in NC. These folks got in touch with them and in 3 weeks, Toyota ‘FOUND’ a fix for the computer on board that corrected the problem. Maybe it will work for you also if you have a LEMON LAW in your state.

  121. B.B. says:

    I have spent a great deal of effort to save enough money to buy a used Toyota Avalon. I have had Toyota’s for years and have been very happy with them. Recently, I have saved enough money and wanted to buy a used Toyota or Lexus. I found the ’05 Avalon Limited (Loaded) at a Lexus dealer. I feel in love with the look of the car and test drove it and paid cash for it. Within 24 hours of getting it home, I experienced slippage with the transmission. Two days later I took it to my mechanic who disconnected the battery in hopes the computer would forget all of its preprogramming preferences from the other driver. I left there and the car ran so much better for about a week. Well, now I am experience slippage again. I think the car is a piece of shit and I am so very dissatisfied with my purchase. What I paid for this car is half my salary for one year. I had to truly sacrafice many years to get what I thought was the car of my dreams. I am so disappointed and I am sitting home tonight afraid to drive this car for fear I am going to get rear ended. I am disappointed as to what I am hearing about the problems with these cars. I am very interested in taking part of a class action suit regarding this transimssion. I truly want my money back. Very disappointed Toyota owner.

  122. George Monroe says:

    Relief is on the way???
    My wife’s 05 Avalon has always had a somewhat rough transmission and then last week she came home with the shakes and told me it had taken a big lurch at a stoplight. I hit the net and found lots of sites that showed this was a very big problem for lots of folks. Called the Toyota hotline and got a case number. Also found two TSB numbers. They called my dealer and made an appointment. Took it in and they did a reflash and replaced some tranny parts, all covered under original warantee at 27,000 miles. We’ll see if it fixes the problem. Thanks to Four Wheel Drift for the info on the hotline number and TSB. Saved a lot of hassels with the dealer, I’m sure!!! Maybe Toyota is finally getting the message on this one…….

  123. Dan DeFeo says:

    I have a 2007 Avalon Touring addition. I love the car . The only problem I have is the vibration at highway speeds (65-75 MPH) . The dealer keeps balancing my tires to no avail.
    Good News!! I found on line a service bulletin (#TSB-0106-08)that states Toyota: front suspension- some 2007-2008 model year avalon, camry, camry hv, and solara vehicles may exhibit a steering wheel flutter and/or a body vibration (floor or seats) at highway speeds (approx. 65-75 mph [105-121 km/h]).. I am going to present this to my dealer and see what happens. This is exactly whats happening with my car that’s been driving me crazy for two years!

  124. rich b says:

    have the same anchor drag on my 2009 corolla automatic had it reprogramed now worse since i’m stuck with it till i pay down the loan what is going to be the long term effects on the trannie also have any solutions to the problem been found

  125. mike and kathy says:

    we here all you guys this is just a buch of bs we own a 02 rave that had simalars problems toyota said it was the tranny messing up do to all the miles we had on the vehehical and we did some looking around on our own to find out what was really the problem . first i talked to another person with the same buckin hesatation and it was only when you take off going fronm first gear to second gear that we would have this same problem so these people finally did what toyoto said and put in a brand new out of the box tranny for over 4000 dollars to find out that it was the control modual which the brain of the tranny which they hadent even noted that till recenty which is still bs we still have it and drove 2000 iles sence to fix it should be on them being that its the brains of the car nothing else good to you all we got nothing @ this point yet they have given others thousands of dollars for old 95 trucks that had ad frams i dont get that

  126. Greg Spencer says:

    I just purchased an extremely clean 2006 Avalon Limited. Today I experienced my first “slip of the trasmission” which scared me to death. I was nearly broad-sided by a 3/4 ton truck while making a very safe left turn. The car sounded like a dragster, but would not move for an estimated 5-6 seconds. It finally kicked in and I jerked with what seemed like several G-forces. I have owned 10 Toyotas, including 4 Avalons, over 20 years. This issue WILL make me look at other brands like Acura. I will miss an Avalon, but safety comes first. Why doesn;t Toyota get it?

    • Aurelio says:

      It is almost unbelievable Toyota wouldn’t voluntarily recall this or make sure people know. It seems like this has been going on for years yet I never heard any recall or anything about it or my line before it started happening.
      I heard about the sudden acceleration in some but this one is a potentially dangerous lack of acceleration or unresponsiveness then a hard clunk after revving up high in low when something does happen sometimes.
      I would go into debt for a new tranny maybe if I had to, since I am almost done paying the 2003 Rav4 off but I am so glad I didn’t yet if the problem persisted for so many after doing so. At least it’s something to think about but I hope Toyota owns up! I wish you could flash the bios yourself like a computer, though messing up your bios would be worse I’m sure. Still if the jerking’s going to ruin the transmission, what should you do?

      • Aurelio says:

        As I posted to update my other comment, Toyota did own up to this for me and replaced the ECM and transmission under a warranty they extended for my exact model for this exact situation. Calling the national consumer hotline at 1-800-331-4331 was a great suggestion because they looked up my info and told me if the problem was what it appeared to be I would be covered under the extended warranty if an authorized dealer confirmed my issue was covered. They did and it was. I kind of wish this hadn’t taken a year to figure out what was wrong, since the issue was so intermittent at first, but I could not be happier with the end result.

  127. Sheila Norman says:

    My 2006 Avalon XLS has the same jerky transmission problem. I asked Toyota twice about it and was told something similar to Amaury’s Nov. 21, 2008 entry – when accelerating, the gas passes through several components instead of what we are all used to and that’s hit the pedal and go. I told my dealer (by the way this is my 4th Avalon) that my previous Avalons ran great before Toyota changed the acceleration and that they really messed up a great but expensive luxury car.
    Is there hope for me to get a reflash or anything? I asked them twice to check my transmission while under warranty and they refused. Now I am out of warranty. I welcome anyone’s help on getting some help through Toyota.

  128. Steven Pratt says:

    I have a 2005 Sienna which stopped shifting between 2nd and 3rd. No errors showed on the computer. Toyota dealer charged me $300 to flush transmission fluid and reprogram the computer, only to then tell me needs whole new transmission. Took to 3rd party transmission shop who has now replaced the entire transmission (including putting in a used computer) and it still has the same problem! I called the 800 number and opened a case. I have asked that this be sent to arbitration to have Toyota buy my Sienna back at full book value (if working, I estimate about $12k) + cost of work done. Problem is that takes 40 days and I need a vehicle. Interested to know if anyone else has tried the arbitration route?


    • Daniel Brown says:

      Steve–I have a 2005 Sienna also. The transmission is slow to engage at low speed (5-8 mph), usually after turning or low-speed stop. Is that the problem you are experiencing? Dealer says its characteristic of the fly-by-wire transmission design, but it wasn’t that way when I bought it. I would be interested in your experience dealing with the problem. Thanks.

      • Karen says:

        Have a 2004 Sienna and it has the same tranny problem since purchased. Took to the dealer 3 times and they gave me the same line about tranny learning how you drive and then they got a bulletin about a “fix” and reset the computer. That lasted several weeks and then problem began again. Returned to dealer and forced them to reset again. They did, but all along knowing it wasn’t going to last. Again the “fix” lasted several weeks. They then told me that this is “normal” operation for this electronically controlled transmission and that Toyota had no intention of fixing until complaints reached a certain level and they advised me to file a complaint. Knew it would be a waste of time and of course, current events have borne out that this was a company-wide policy on many complaints and issues. At this point, I drive the car differently to adjust for the hesitation and rapid deceleration when taking foot off the brake. Owned a “96 Corolla that was fabulous. This Sienna does not seem to be made by the same company….aside from tranny problem, rear doors freeze shut in winter, weather stripping all around the vehicle doesn’t do it’s job. Toyota seems to have decided to operate like an American car company and will have the same results….loss of business. Just not sure where to turn now for next vehicle….who’s left?

      • Nick K. says:

        I have Toyota Sienna 2006 which have exactly the same slipping issue described by Daniel and Karen. When I turn on 20-30 mph the transmission slips. It keeps winding without engaging. Went to dealer 3 times. The first time they changed software. It did not help. Then they reset the computer. Helped for few days. Third time they said- it is normal for electronic transmission in Toyota to do this. Nobody knows how to repair it because mechanically it sounds. It is actually software issue. Mechanics do not do programming…
        One suggestion I received from experienced transmission mechanic at Toyota dealership (in a private conversation) – to reset computer myself every night (or whatever interval seems appropriate).
        You need to disconnect battery at least for half an hour. Do it at night for instance. In the morning connect the battery back.
        What happens is that the “learned” by software parameters are re-set to default ones (set at the factory). Then the car drive great for awhile. It slowly starts to learn from you and degrade again. I guess there is some instability in the transmission program that allows the “learned” parameters to affect the transmission and put it into bad state.
        So I asked is it possible to turn the “learning” feature away? How difficult it would be? I was told that Toyota does not provide this option. The learning feature is only needed for improving the gas mileage. I doubt that it really saves gas from learning my habits. Does not matter what I do it is always near 21-22 mpg. I do not want the transmission to learn anything from me. My foot is much better at this.
        In fact I think some people are much better in controlling the speed and adjusting to transmission demands on hilly slopes than others. When I drive I never use cruise control because my speed is steady and controlled by foot. My friends are amused by my ability to do this when driving in mountains. I guess many people can do the same thing. So, my thoughts are that transmission tries to “improve” my habits (considers my dummy) and changes the transmission parameters to correct me. Then I adjust to the new “learned” values. The sowtware again tries to improve the parameters and the cycle continues until it ultimately ends up in unstable state that allows slipping.
        We need to ask Toyota to change the transmission program with an option to turn the “learning” off.
        This is the software problem and not mechanical problem. I suspect that famous sudden acceleration is also caused by software and not “hardware” issues. This is just my opinion.
        So we also have software issue with transmission but it is less severe in a way.
        It also can be very dangerous. Sometimes when I stop at light or intersection my car jumps forward like it wants to accelerate at the last moment. I keep my brake pedal very tightly and nevertheless. I could be in two serious accidents already. It happens from time to time occasionally. This is also transmission failure when it gives momentum of fly-wheel to the car wheels. But there is no mechanical failure here. This is crazy software!

  129. Fran Roach says:

    I have a 2008 Avalon limited… Having acceleration hesitation at times..
    Also something has happened with the automatic engine braking system.. on steep inclines during mountain driving.. It use to work, Now it doesn’t… Steering issues.. some sort of play in the steering.. Going from 0-20mph is very slow…. Can someone e-mail me with some solutions they have tried… at I took my car in for the steering issues and they said the car was out of alignment.. I just found out about the braking issues on hills today.. all advice appreciated… This was a huge investment and we traded in a 97 Avalon and a Tundra Truck… I’m feeling very sick… Please put Toyota problems in the subject line… thanks…

  130. Phil Daniell says:

    Mine is a 2007 Avalon Limited which I purchased new. Now two years and 25K miles old. Since day one tranny slips or “seeks” after slowing to 10 to 15 mph, and then asking for power. Dealer, MY TOYOTA in Muskegon, Michigan. Service Mgr told me, “live with it.” and mechanic told me it would learn my driving. I described the problem on the Q’aire the Co sent me after the purchase. Did not hear back.

  131. Al Turner says:

    We test drove a 2006 Avalon and did not buy it because of this problem. We went to Toyota because of the service we’ve had with our 1997 Camry which we still have. We have since bought a 2009 Camry XLE based on our experience with the ’97. When asked about the abruptness (not severe, but there) of the accelerator the dealer said it was “drive by wire” so was not quite as smooth as a direct linkage. I didn’t like the idea, but we had already bought the car. That was a year ago and no problem so far. I have a strong suspicion that the current “floor mat” problem is actually a drive by wire problem which Toyota is not willing to admit since it appears to be ongoing and thy have no immediate solution. I have thoroughly inspected my floor mat installation and it is a real stretch (literally) to imagine it getting on top of the accelerator. I realize that some people are not particularly tidy, as reflected in the way they keep their cars, but a floor mat on top of the pedal would be rare even for those people. My vote goes to the drive by wire system as the actual culprit causing the wreck in California that prompted the recall.

  132. Bill says:

    Just read the article about the transmission problem with my Toyota Avalon. Thank God! I thought I was the only one with the problem. I talked to the Service Rep at the dealership who said they had an update to the software to fix the problem. He lied. Problem still exists. I’ve tried everything to eleviate the problem including driving in the S mode and manually downshifting. I now drive in S mode when I’m in stop-and-go traffic. It does seem to help a little. But I’m probably ruining my transmission. I’m for the Class Action Suit, so deal me in.

  133. Ruben Gonzalez says:

    I bought a Camry 2005 LE a month ago. I was hopping to get all those good numbers found in reviews.
    Now, I have the same hessitation I use to feel with cycling of the torque converter of my old 1982 camaro .Transmission torque converter lock was cycling on and off.


  134. Marisol says:

    I’ve been experiencing alot problems with a 2006 Toyota Avalon Touring, This car has been like a nightmare, Since I purchase this car this car has only gave me problems I’ve taken it to the dealer numerous time because my car has been having hesitations When your going to take off it hesitates to take off and when your driving it feels like if its going to turn off on me, The car starts jumping Also the steering wheel vibrates I take it back to the dealer and I go pick up the car at the dealer and they tell me the car is fixed. I take off on the car and the same problem occurs again, I then call the dealer back and notify them the car is doing the same thing as when I took the car back and the engine light goes on. They tell me to bring the car back so now I’m bring the car right back to them, mind you they had kept the car for 6 days.
    This is really upseting.
    I don’t know what to do anymore

    • Conni says:

      My 2006 Avalon was doing the same thing. Hesitating from a stop, acting like it was going to die, and the sterring wheel shaking. Then the engine light came on and it started misfiring. I took my car to a mechanic to read the engine light problem. He said the report showed it was misfiring from all 6 coils. He said that can’t be right and said it must be something electical or the computer system.

      I took it to my Toyota service and was told I have 2 bad coils. I asked what causes them to go bad? They said age. My car has less than 50,000 mi. I told them what the other mechanic said and was told he didn’t know Toyotas.

      The next day I drove the car…it did it again. First the engine light then the hesitation and jump. They told me another coil went out. I asked how do 3 coils go out? Again, they said age. I am calling Toyota Consumer Hotline 1-800-331-4331.

      • Fran says:

        I have a 05 Avalon and it is bcuking and wanting to turn off when I’m on the interstate with the check engine sign on. I changed my spark plugs and still. I called dealer and they had the nerve to tell me they never heard of this

  135. Haven says:

    I recently was told Toyota is definitely recalling all vehicles as a result of acceleration troubles . My sister owns a Toyota, should the car be used before it’s fixed?

  136. Joe says:

    I have a Toyota Avalon 2007, with only 8500 miles, and it has this annoying and dangerous hesitation problem. I been to the dealer a few times and they told me the gas pedal design is the cause, and Toyota is a where of this!
    I just can’t understand why know one seems to know the real cause. I’m sure Toyota knows, and it’s probably an expensive remedy.
    Can this be such a mystery! The people who designed this transmission and linkage must know the cause!!!!

  137. Bob says:

    I have a Toyota Avalon 2007, with only 8500 miles, and it has this annoying and dangerous hesitation problem. I been to the dealer a few times and they told me the gas pedal design is the cause, and Toyota is a where of this!
    I just can’t understand why know one seems to know the real cause. I’m sure Toyota knows, and it’s probably an expensive remedy.
    Can this be such a mystery! The people who designed this transmission and linkage must know the cause!!!!

  138. AE says:

    I’m having issues with my 01 Avalon transmission. Still apply here?

  139. David Bauer says:

    I have a 2007 Avalon and I have been complaining about it to the dealer also. They tell me it is fine or that if they come up with a solution they will let me know! I just had the recall work on the gas pedal done. I actually think the hesitation is worse. I am happy I stumbled on this site as I thought it was me or the gas I was using. I have told Toyota by phone that the pedal fix did nothing for the hesitation and bucking. They said they will call me back.

  140. I have noticed the transmission problems with my 2006 Avalon.But what bothers me even more is the fact that it is very difficult to put gas into the tank. The pump must be run at its lowest speed or it will keep shutting off. I told Toyota about this problem and they said the charcoal cannister, the fuel filler neck and cap needed to be replaced. Price: $1150.00. This same problem occurred at 14,000 miles and was replaced under warranty.We live on a dirt road and dirt actually get inside the filler neck even though the cap is on tight.Has anyone else had this problem? I have reported it to the 800 number.

  141. GregS says:

    I’ve been a faithful Toyota owner/customer since 1996. We’ve had a new ’97 Camry, new ’02 Camry, new ’06 Sienna, and new ’07 Avalon.

    Up until 3 weeks ago I had a 2007 Avalon XL, purchased new in 2007. I too experienced issues with the transmission seeming to be unable to effectively get out of 2nd gear. I had mentioned this to the service manager at the Toyota dealership where I had it serviced and he said they could find nothing wrong during their test drives of my vehicle. Even when I was in the vehicle with the tech and pointing out the noise and sluggish feel of the transmission (he was driving at the time) the response was that it was normal activity of the transmission. After several more complaints, usually at my service intervals, the service manager said they would perform a software upgrade to the transmission recently made available by Toytoa Corporate and that this should address the issue. It didn’t do anything other than lower my per gallon performance by about 2 miles.

    Finally, about 3 months ago, I was exiting an off ramp and the car bucked several times. I called my dealership and said I’d like it checked and that I was close to needing an oil change anyway and that they can perform both tasks. I pick up the car a day later and they say nothing came up on the computer diags re: the transmission and that it may have just been condensation in the line.

    2 days later my transmission locked up after coming to a complete stop at a stop sign. Towed it to Toytoa dealer and they called me the next day saying that they had dropped the tranny and that a new one would be in the next day. Luckily I still had warranty left on the 5 year/60K miles. (I put approx 20-22K miles a year on my vehicle). When I went to pick up my Avalon I asked if the tranny was new, which it was, and if it is devoid of the issues I had experienced with the original, new, transmission. The answer was “Sorry, no gurantee on that.” When I asked if they would stand behind the new tranny for 5 years/60K I was told that they wouldn’t and that the only warranty on the new tranny would be the 3K+ miles left on the original 5yr/60K warranty.

    Today I am thouroughly enjoying driving my Certified Pre-Owned ’08 Mercedes Benz E350 4MATIC. I picked it up 2 weeks ago, it has 22K miles on it, and I’ve got a warranty for the next 40 months/78K miles. And the cost was less than buying a new Avalon. Sorry Toyota, but you’ll not be getting any more of my money for many, many years. Clean up your act.

  142. I have had my 2006 Avalon, which I purchased new, in for service at least 8 times complaining about transmission slipping, gas pedal hesitation and car bouncing so bad I thought I would be stranded. They always claimed they could not reproduce the problem and when I rode with them it would run fairly decent, days later it would start running poorly again. I feared for my safety and sanity. I traded the car in likely taking a financial loss. I am so frustrated and upset that I just could not deal with the service dept any more. I had other problems as well but the transmission cost me financial loss because I had to get out of the car. Driving a chevy now and very upset with Toyota ethics.

  143. Joe says:

    I have a 2007 Avalon Limited with 45,000 mi on it that I purchased off the showroom floor. I do not have the hesitation problems (that suddenly showed up in 2010) anymore since the TSB “reflash” along with the sensor packs and manifold replacement recalls that were done, but I have a different problem. When the car gets up to highway speed and you take your foot off the gas, it feels like there’s engine braking. The speed drops rather rapidly and sounds like the brakes are dragging. This happens even on level ground as well as downhill. If you allow the speed to drop to 25 MPH or so then the engine braking sound stops and the car acts normal.
    The dealership says the brakes are fine and that the “car is running per specs”, but it’s the torque converter control in the computer programming that causes the braking action. Apparently, this process is part of the updated normal computer program operation and cannot be adjusted. It is very annoying and somewhat disconcerting, but not particularly dangerous. However, I am fearful that the transmission (or torque converter) life will be severely shortened with this continual stress. Are there any reported failures due to this engine braking programming? Is mileage affected? Joe

  144. Cindy Gladney says:

    Thank you so much for the publication of this article. I thought I was going crazy of just simply paranoid. My 2007 Avalon Limited has shown definite signs of transmission problems for several months. My car was purchased new and only has 38,000 miles as of Feb, 2011. I just had my 35,000 mile inspection, as suggested by the dealer, costing me approximately $500.00 and no problems were brought to my attention. I’m disturb to say the least. I simply don’t have anymore more money, time or energy to throw at this car. I may never purchase nor suggest to any of my colleagues to purchase any vehicles manufactured by them. I will definitely call the 800# provided and hope that Toyota will step to the plate and address this problem. I hope they realize they are potentially risking the loyalty of customers like me. I have driven Toyota vehicles exclusively since 1987, purchasing vehicle after vehicle – satisfied with our long standing relationship until the purchase of my 2007 Avalon. I am sick and tired of taking my car back to the dealer for anything other than routine maintenance. It just appears to be one recall after another. I thought I was all alone. Now that I know I’m not, I hope our joint efforts will propel Toyota to show that they value us as loyal customers we are. Please keep me inform on all matters concerning my vehicle – will share Toyota’s response to my complaint.

  145. Kathicee says:

    Today I took my 2007 Avalon Touring (purchased new showroom floor with 6miles) to my Toyota dealer for the third time with the same problem, VSC and skid light on. 1ST time was told the problem was an ignition coil, this was covered by extended warranty. 2 weeks later lights came back on while driving at 70-75 MPH, vehicle steering wheel pulled left and car (I think tires) made funny sound, similar to when you run onto median and you’re alerted by the change in pavement. Took home and parked it until back to dealer, “codes ran this time told found nothing wrong, bring it back if it happens again, lights off. 1 1/2 weeks later on highway again 70-75mph VSC and skid lights back on, back to dealer again and this time I’m told I need a cam replaced, will have to pull motor to get to it. Hopefully covered by extended warranty (i’m at 92,800 miles). Has anyone else had trouble with VSC and skid lights? They said it’s OK to continue driving until repair. I’m afraid of the way it handles now.

  146. Kathicee says:

    Correction to last post. 2007 Toyota Avalon Touring with 92,800 miles with repeated VSC and traction control lights on. I was told a shift cam is damaged and need to be repaired, have to remove engine t repair. Has anyone else had this problem? What is a shift cam?

  147. Dawn says:

    Same problem here with my 2006 Toyota Avalon. Major Hesitation for a second by turning right then the transmission kicks in. Huge safety issue & dealer denies there is a problem. I feel they are stone walling me. I am very nervous about this problem however dealer keeps telling me nothing is wrong. Thank you for this article.

  148. Aubrey Barbour says:

    I own a 2007 Toyota Avalon and I’m having problems with the transmission. I have had the fluids changed 3 times in the last 1 1/2 years and $13 a quart times 5 quarts is alot of money. I have talked to the dealerships and I have been blown off several times.

  149. Wow, how sad to hear about these problems. I too own a 2007 Avalon Touring and landed on this site while researching alternative ways to service my transmission, having just declined to pay $100 to have it done by a dealer.

    Since trans fluid costs only $5-7 per quart @ four quarts capacity = $28 max. – I couldn’t see paying $70 to drain and refill the pan.

    I live in Seal Beach, CA where gas prices are always the highest in the nation, so I’m a little freaked out when I read the former posts about the incredible higher costs incurred for the same service elsewhere.

    With all due respect to those who have had trans problems, may I dare to play the voice of reason? Let’s put this into perspective.

    I’m not an employee of Toyota, nor do I own any stock. I am just a very satisfied owner /operator of two Avalons – ( a 1997 with 194k, and a 2007 with 53k). I bought both of them used, (a year-old), with under 20k on each.

    The only maintenance performed on either has been twice yearly oil changes. I never have serviced the transmissions, or even changed the engine coolant. Literally, the only things I’ve had to replace have been tires, brakes, freon, and batteries on my ’97 – and so far only brakes on my ’07.

    As for the transmission on my ’07 – when I first got it, I noticed the lag & drag, seizing & bouncing reported by others. I was a little wary, because my ’97 is as smooth as silk, and jack rabbit quick.

    After a month or so, I finally just accepted that the ’07 is heavier and the added optional manual five-speed shift gives it more of a sports car feel and operation. Now, I actually like the trans, and have never had a problem beyond the initial getting used to the minimal nuances.

    I concede that I am not a regular commuter, as my mileage clearly indicates. The climate here is consistently mild, and the air quality excellent year-round.

    But when you consider that the total of all the posts on this page number less than 100, (from February 2007 thru May 2011), and that Toyota sold about 130k Avalons in 2007, It appears that the reported issues are comparatively rare – representing less than 0.1% of all 2007 Avalons sold.

    Perhaps the reason Toyota is not addressing this problem as it would with issues demanding a recall, is because the overwhelming majority of Avalon owners don’t have issues.

    According to Kelly Blue Book, my four year-old Avalon is still worth 55% of its original value! This statement is from the KBB website: “Avalon offers full-size car buyers a modern, front-wheel-drive sedan with an impeccable history of excellent service, outstanding quality, and best-in-class resale”.

    “Best in class” means that Avalon is the standard that similar autos strive to achieve. I’m a two-time Avalon owner because they are the best in terms of dependability, performance, quality, and lasting value.

    Nothing is perfect in this world, and I feel for those of you that ended up with the few flaws produced by an otherwise best-in-class vehicle. I just wanted to go on record as one of the
    majority of Avalon owners that fully appreciate and enjoy their cars.

    • Dan P says:

      Its amusing you are here praising your new Avalon even though you experience the transmission problems. I had been a loyal Toyota owner until I purchased my 2006 Avalon new and now I wouldn’t touch another Toyota. My 06 Avalon has had the same tranny issues for almost 3 years and over 30k miles. Dealership can’t figure out problem so they keep replacing parts. Toyota customer care couldn’t care less and I was offered $7000 on a trade for my Avalon which I paid $35000 for 6.5 yrs ago. Go back to your Toyota job and quit trying to praise a losing product.

  150. C. Fischer says:

    Because I had absolutely no problems with my 1996 Toyota Camry, and I work hard for my money, I thought I deserved an upgrade. Purchased a 2006 Toyota Avalon XLE. Immediately noticed the hesitation problem. Went the route of gasoline additive engine cleaners, premium gas, and always maintain regular oil changes and level checks. I still have the hesitation problem. I was happy to find your website, but unhappy to know Toyota is making no effort to correct the known problem. I will be calling the 800 number to register my complaint and get a national problem ticket assigned. More recently, my shift handle has been locking in the Park position, not allowing me to move from Park to Reverse. I called my local Toyota Dealer at noon today when this problem reared its ugly head again. The Service Manager gave me instructions to remove a small square section of the plactic shift face plate (upper left corner) on the counsol. Then with a key, press down on the release mechanism and the shifter could move from Park to Reverse. This is technically a back up system if the car needs to be towed. From reading other blogs, I understand that when I put my foot on the brake, it is supposed to release the shift selenoid mechanism (?) and allows the shifter to move freely. Apparently I have a malfunctioning selenoid. Has anyone experienced this problem, yet? If so, what was the solution? How much did it cost to repair?

  151. Robert says:

    I purchased an ’05 Avalon Limited for my Mother back in May ’05. I have recently started driving it for the past six months on a regular basis since my Mother doesn’t drive anymore. The first thing I noticed was how sluggish the car felt once in 5th gear and that acceleration was very poor unless the tranny downshifted and the downshift was quite violent. 5th gear appears to be too tall, which explains the violent downshift to 3rd. At first I thought it was the nature of the car, being what I call a “geezer pleaser”. It seems that the tranny wants to go to the higher gear as fast as possible for fuel economy. The same thing happens when at at a stoplight and trying to turn either left or right. The tranny doesn’t stay in 1st or 2nd gear for very long and immediatlely goes to 3rd, which some of the posters on this site interpret as “hesitation”. I will call Toyota to see if their sw upgrade will take care of these issues.

    I drive an ’06 Mercedes SL55 and it too has a 5-speed auto tranny but it does not behave like the one in the Avalon. It holds the gears long enough to accelerate properly.

  152. Brannon Getridge says:

    My 2000 Avalon starts up fine but the can will not go into drive, reverse or park. I was driving the car & press the cruise controll and the went into forever neutral.

  153. Ranjan Mada says:

    I am experiencing a similar issue with my 2007 Avalon with 87000 miles. I have had it serviced at Toyota dealerships only. Car almost comes to an abrubpt stop and then reengages again.

    Dealership informed me that the 3rd gear is not always engaging and that I need a new transmission – quoted me $4200!

    I have contacted the hotline and registered the complaint but no luck. I will not be buying another Toyota if they dont step up with a no charge remedy. Thanks for all the posts on this issue.

  154. Bobby says:

    Hi everyone. i got 06 toyota avalon xl.51000mi. trany acting crazy.
    actually when engine cold. now manager of toyota dealership told me that i need new trans, hate it. i did called to hot line,but it’s hopeless..

  155. chip sandy says:

    Hey all. It would appear, by my experience with my 2011 scion tc that Toyota is still up to no good where their transmissions are concerned. 3 weeks after buying my Tc I started experiencing numerous issues, it’s not as bad as the above complaints (Yet), but I feel it’s only a matter of time before it is that bad and my transmission will fail completely. Probably just after my warranty expires too! I have been to my dealership 6 or 7 times with these same problems and keep getting the same, seemingly pre-programmed responses that it is either operating as designed, or my concern did not occur. Had a tech record data while I drove, even though the problem did occur, Toyota miraculously, still found that it was operating as designed. I have COMPLETELY lost confidence in Toyota’s quality of product & Service. This will be both my first & last Toyota. Just waiting on the courts for my lemon law claim.

  156. Rachael Calhoun says:

    2005 Toyota Avalon, my transmission went out and no one can fix the problem I had problems for more than 6 months .

  157. Gene- Unhappy Customer says:

    The tranny in my ’06 Avalon is terrible and, at times, dangerous in the way in hesitates and then takes off like a rocket. I will go back to driving a Honda or Audi after this fiasco. Love the room the car has but I could have gotten that from a Chryler 300, I went for Toyota quality and didn’t get it. I have notified Toyota several time and in several ways- they just do not care.

  158. I am looking for information concerning the transmission on my 2007 Avalon XL. It has been shifting awkwardly as of late and there is a persistent droning sound coming from the vehicle. It also appears overly sluggish during deceleration and the rpm is jumping during idle. I have been on-line researching vehicle owners with the same malfunction and I keep coming across “Toyota Service Bulletin” EG029-07 ECM calibration, enhancement to shifting performance and smoothness 06-07 Avalon. I have owned this vehicle since new and was not made aware of any service needs regarding my vehicle from my dealer nor the Toyota Consumer Hotline. I am curious to find out if this was a recall-type fix. I had prior correspondence with your company regarding my vehicle in January 2009 regarding a washer fluid leak and it was only after calling Toyota directly was I made aware that the leak was a recall. Thankfully, the repair was made without incident. My question now is, ” Is my transmission undergoing a similar fate, and, if so, why am I again researching a problem with my vehicle that has apparently been made public via service bulletin?”

  159. John B says:

    I own a 2007 Avalon Touring. I have had the same problem as reported in this post, hesitation on acceleration then a hard grab that could be dangerous. I too have been to the dealer who reports that “that’s the way its suppose to work”. I’ve been through transmission fluid changes and keep the car well serviced but the problem remains.

    • A says:

      I would go to a different dealer. The original one I got my 2003 from just tried to squeeze me for more without fixing things but I tried a different official dealer that investigated and found out it was the ECM/TCM computer system ruining the transmission and took car of things finally, after going to other places that couldn’t find the problem.

  160. benjamin ezeadikwa says:

    hi, i’m a nigerian. I’m making plans of buying a toyota avalon 2005 or 2008 model but the transemission problem is what i don’t know how to manage. I thought is only honda accord 2003 that nomarlly having the transmission problem. I don’t want to make any mistake, thanks

  161. Abu Mohammed says:

    I am a Nigerian here too, i use a toyota avalon 2012, bought it brand new and i have not been able to use both the audio system and the navigation system. the audio wont come on and cant accept cd, the error message on the navigation screen says “A program cannot be read, please consult to a dealer”
    i have been to ELIZADE here in Nigeria to no avail, does anyone know what i have to do or somewhere in Nigeria i can fix my car.
    so bad using such exotic car and not be able to use at least the audio system. that is so boring.

  162. Robin Bilodeau says:

    I was almost ready to buy a 2006 limited Avalon. Not sure anymore with the trany issue. Are there any possible fix or is this a dead end?

    • onceproudamerican says:

      It’s not every vehicle which is affected. My 2004 Sienna XLE XLE has 150k and I haven’t had any issues, while a friend with a 2003 CE says his are very noticeable. It’s a good idea to have any used car you are almost ready to buy inspected and let a tech you trust evaluate any potential issues…

    • Dan P says:

      I would stay away. Dealership had a “Toyota engineer” come to look at my car. He stated TCM is problem and 2 days later same issue again. Now they are replacing tranny again. If I had a choice I would stay away.

  163. Dan P says:

    2006 Avalon with hard jerk when slow down to stop. Transmission replaced, mounts replaced, TCM just replaced 2 weeks ago at Fort Bend Toyota in Richmond TX. Now they will change the transmission again. Initially got kicked out of dealership when I wouldn’t allow service manager Aubrey Cook to reflash computer. After taking issue to BBB and social media they called me. Hope car gets repaired properly this time.

  164. John says:

    2000 Toyota solara SLE V6
    I’ve had this car for some time now and have maintained it meticulously I receive compliments on it reguarly.
    Recently I’ve noticed if he step on the gas (to enter traffic on a main st or what have you) it seems something cuts out as there will be a complete loss of response but its like a switching effect off/on quickly the cel and TRAC off lights illuminate and I have to completely let off the gas and ease the accelerator to resume operation but once the lights are activated it will not repeat this defect once the lights are rested however it will occur again if I accelerate to aggressively, any help?

    • ssxt says:

      Your car doesn’t have the same transmission that this thread refers to – the U151E – used in the 2005-2007 Toyota/Lexus.. Yours has the A541E.

      Please search online for your specific model year and transmission. Depending on the # of miles your transmission may just be ‘tired/worn’, regardless of maintenance.

      Good luck,

  165. Valerie says:

    It costed me $2500 for a rebuilt transmission and I know that nothing should have sent wrong hesitating while on a major highway merging into traffic with my sister and grandchild in the car but I was so freaked out I paid and with what’s going on with GM people TOYOTA is going to Pay as well for keeping quiet and allowing its customer’s to drive around in these health traps well they finally got GM they will get TOYOTA too

  166. Andrew S says:

    82k on a dealer maintained 07 Avalon and the transmission failed; $2909 later it’s working but for how long? We bought Toyota for reliability and instead I just paid the most expensive maintenance bill I’ve ever paid and my first transmission ever after 35+ years of driving, on a Toyota, with 82k miles!!! We’re now looking at options to sell and buy something a different brand as I’m not sure we can take the risk of more incidents and problems.

  167. TJ says:

    Hi there, I have a 2007 Toyota Avalon XLS with 69k miles, and I think my car is having the issue listed above. From 0-28mph regular revving and 29mph+ it revs REALLY loud. The Rpms, and everything else are fine, no check engine lights on. ALL service done at Toyota from day one. The transmission does not thud, thunk or jerk. Its smooth. It just sounds AWFUL. Like its not shifting out of gear. Is this what everyone else is experiencing? One dealer said free estimate, and the other said $130 diagnostic fee. But the free estimate dealer is on a 2 week wait- HELP!

  168. william says:

    I have a 2005 toyota avalon with 70,000 miles on it that the trans slips between 5 and ten miles per hour. Is there a recall for the computer chip that I am hearing is causing this?

  169. Jamie Dick says:

    UG its happening to us on our 2007 avalon xls……..:((((((((((((((

  170. Charles says:

    I own a 2008 Toyota Avalon Limited, great power, wonderful car, I notice the transmission feels like it slips some especially after going down hill, when I hit the accelerator it takes 1 second to catch, Seems to work better using manual shifting, My question here would be, will this get worse?

  171. jesse says:

    My 2006 Toyota avalon recently about two weeks ago noticed the transmission was downshifting a little rough and sometimes and when shifting up sometimes it takes longer too shift than it use too before . But mainly when it downshift s I can hear a little knock.

  172. wade says:

    2015 Avalon Limited developed leak in the transmission in March 2017 and was replaced with new transmission by by Alexander Toyota Yuma, Az. Today 10/2017 the vehicle-left us stranded in Pocatello, I’d and is inoperable with transmission again gone. This time burnt smell and metal in fluid with slipping and rough shifting plus check engine light. First transmission lasted 29000 miles , the second barely 12000. Is this the Toyota reliability we spent over $40000 to enjoy? What options do we have other than another new transmission and possibly getting stranded in another town while we wait to see what Toyota will do yet again. We have lost confidence in their “Flagship of the Fleet.

  173. Juan Madrid says:

    Hello, I own a 2007 Toyota Avalon Touring and it has the exact same problem with the tranny. The transmission does 1st gear good, second also, when it hits the 3rd and 4thgear it lags the gears, I’ve noticed that with accelerating the car a little harder than normal it seems to reduce the gap that there is between the gears. Also when I come to a red light/stop and I let go of the gas pedal it seems as if the car breaks by itself, it’s like I hit the breaks even though I don’t touch the brake pedal. This problem needs to be fixed because apparently I am not the only one whom exists with this problem.

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