Toyota / MMT Gearbox — dishonest sales tactics - advertising and selling vehicles equipped with mmt gearbox as automatic
In 2008, Toyota Egypt advertised its new Corolla as an automatic vehicle with a 140hp in local newspapers. My father booked a Corolla in 2009, after a chat with one of the salesmen in its dealership in Centre Town (and not a distributor), who neglected to mention that the makes and models from 2008 are equipped with MMT gearboxes. He was also handed a specs sheet which clearly state that the cars are equipped with an automatic transmission - there was no mention of MMT (which is a manual gear), and the book of the sale also indicated it was an automatic. Little did he know at the time of the horror stories this new transmission comes with.
Being one of around 6000 new owners of the corollas equipped with MMT gearboxes, he was baffled as to the symptoms he experienced with his new automatic car. Complaints were filed against Toyota by many owners to consumers protection in Egypt, the only action that was taken was to oblige the dealer to fix the problem. The fix (loosely speaking) was an update to the computer that controls shifting, to make it quicker in order not to mask the shift-shrugging, now the gear shifts from first to 4th before the speed even exceeds 60km/hr, leaving the driver vulnerable to hazards incase of slowly making a u-turn or any turn and trying to accelerate to join traffic and avoid getting bumped from behind. Needless to say that the updates to the gearbox made the car even worse, the resale value of the vehicle is next to nil.
In late 2010, the dealer abandoned this magnificent gearbox, and stated importing newer models with a full automatic gearbox, leaving the 6000 doped hopeless owners stranded.
I had posted inquiries in other sites in the past as to the possibility of changing the gearbox completely to an automatic one, to date I had received no response. Having been shopping for a car myself nowadays, I had scratched Toyota off my list due to the case above, and the indifferent attitude I had witnessed first hand when talking to a service manager and a sales person about the problem.
Sherif Zakaria ([protected]@yahoo.com)
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