Toyota Motor Sales, USA / 2002 rav4

United States

We had a RAV4 2002 Model, and early this year, problem presented itself as a transmission issue with hard shift into reverse; starting off in 2d or 3d gear. Engine was bogging down dropping in and out of gear. Several times, it was bucking violently (scared the crap outa me!) with a large truck bearing down on me. The check engine light never came on which made me wonder if it was really just the transmission. I brought it to the local Toyota dealership and was told the next day that the transmission and the ECU need to be replaced, and cost estimated about $5000. Too expensive to afford. I knew the car in it's present state was unsafe to drive. I decided to check out this site to see if anyone else had similar problems. What a revelation! I was able to get a local mechanic to pull my ECM out. I sent it to Check Engine ETC in Brooklyn N.Y..They rebuilt my ECU and my car is now running smoothly. I asked him to drain the transmission fluid and check for metal filings. Thanks to this site and Check Engine ETC I saved myself some huge money.

However, after a couple of months, we got a letter from toyota motor sales USA, inc., telling us that certain 2001 to 2003 rav4 vehicles with transmission problems and had repair before could have the expenses reimbursed.
I sent all my documents and expenses receipts to Toyota, but was denied to reimburse to me, because I had my ECU rebuilt/repair, but not replaced.
What a stupid policy. We are not happy with this decision and will never buy Toyota anymore.

The following is the letter we sent to Toyota customer service early this month.

November 06, 2010


Dear Toyota Customer Experience Manager:

On October 13, 2010, we mailed you a letter, briefly described the situation on the bad experience of harsh shift of the automatic transmission of our 2002 RAV4 vehicle, together with copies of repair invoices. (see attached document).

Unfortunately, today we got a letter from your company, declined our request for reimbursement. We do not understand why.

As a loyal Toyota customer, we have purchased three Toyota vehicles in past ten years. They are 2001 Corrola, 2002 RAV4, and 2008 Tundra.

The RAV4 ran well until early this year, we experienced harsh shift when the vehicle reached the speed about 20 to 30 miles/hour. At this moment, you have to pump the accelerate pedal several times to "gear in", after the vehicle reach over 35 miles/hour, it ran OK. Several times on the local roads, the car behind our vehicle almost hit our rear bumper due to the sudden slow down of the vehicle because of the harsh shifting. It was horrifying.

On May 11, 2010, we took the vehicle to the local Toyota dealer, Star Toyota in League City, Texas, after diagnostic, we were told that the transmission was broke and we need to replace the transmission and the ECU. The estimated cost would be $4835.40. We thought it was too expensive to afford, therefore, we paid $98.00 for the diagnostic fee to Star Toyota and took our vehicle home, trying to find a less expensive place to repair our car.

We stacked the vehicle for over a month in our garage, then we tried a local repair shop, Morrow's Transmission on June 21, 2010. They diagnosed that fault code 0755, solenoid "B" shifting malfunction. They cleaned the solenoid and tested other solenoids, and charged us $195.00. but the harsh shift problems still existed.

On June 28, 2010, we learned there was company called Check Engine, Etc. in Brooklyn, New York, they repair the ECU. We then shipped our ECU to this company and had it repaired. After we put it back on, the vehicle ran OK.

Not long after that, we received your letter of ZTL- Certain 2001 through 2003 Model Year RAV4 vehicles Customer Support Program. It tells very clearly on what to do if we previously paid for the repair of the vehicle due to the harsh shift problem. We then prepared the documents and mail to you, anticipating to receive a refund check. But to our astonishment, we got a decline letter.

We are totally puzzled that our vehicle "does not meet the criteria for reimbursement under CSP )1-03my Rav4 Transaxle Ecm Warranty Enhancement" as your decline letter stated. We need to know WHY??? We need a satisfactory explanation.

It is quite clear that every expense we submitted for reimbursement is directly related to the repair of the harsh shift problem.

Think it this way, if we had our vehicle replaced the transmission and the ECU on the first hand when we took our vehicle to Star Toyota dealer, we would have our refund check by now. That is $4835.40. almost five thousand dollars.

However, we only submitted a total expenses only $717.04 last time, but, you refused to refund. TELL US WHY??? We need a satisfied reply.

Do you really want to pay $5000, rather than $700???



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