14th Oct 2009, 12:01

I'm surprised to see that dealers specify a transmission rebuild when you have an electronic malfunction. But I've been there myself with a malfunctioning transmission. My problem happened overnight and had every sign of malfunctioning electronic ie. the transmission did not 'wear out', it just started to slip from one day to another. I got what seem to be the standard recipe, transmission rebuild, some rewiring and new electronic unit at a cost exceeding the value of the car. I questioned the whole diagnosis and went out for answers myself.

It was a vibration issue that had made a small crack in the electronic unit between the print and the terminal for the wiring, which was fixed for less than $230 by a company that REALLY KNOWS what they are doing. They see this a lot. The average Toyota dealer is clueless and completely incompetent in these matters. All they are capable of are changing modules at astronomical costs. They really don't understand the car electronics. Many people are ripped off sadly to say because they are trusting their dealers.

The car electronic company doing the $230 repair basically says it's not much more complicated that repairing a TV. The one doing the repair actually started out repairing TV sets, but found out that there's more money in repairing cars.

20th Oct 2009, 15:21

I too have a 2001 Rav 4 72000 KM. Transmission seemed to be the problem, but after checking various web sites, I opted to buy the lesser ECM at 822.00 from dealer. Installed it myself in 20 minutes. That was on September 28th and I can tell you my car is the same as new. More responsive and no sign of any transmission problems.

Toyota knew about this problem and issued a Toyota Service Bulletin to the mechanics on March of 2006. My vehicle was under warranty then, but they did not do a recall. I have tried to get Toyota Canada to own up to the repairs, but I have been totally stone walled. I wish there was someone doing a class action suite. I have reported them to the Transportation Safety Board as I almost got T-Boned when the tranny slipped and I was pulling out from a Stop sign.

Note ******** This is definitely a hardware problem with the ECM not a Software problem **** No updates of the software at the dealer will help.

21st Oct 2009, 15:51

I too am part of the 2002 RAV4 jerky or go no where tranny club. Does anyone have the contact info for a place to have the ECM repaired? Prefer one that they have used with success?

3rd Nov 2009, 22:05

Google & print: Toyota Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) #TC002-06. You will be amazed at what Toyota is hiding from the public.

You must call Toyota's 800 support # in your owner's manual and file a complaint! That will get you registered on the legal side (my thoughts). I wish I was a lawyer.

Lets get organized! Some have said that they are contacting the State Attorney General's office and filing a complaint.

Some one out there has been injured perhaps killed due to Toyota's silence, and others "like us" are being milked for thousands. It's time for the David's to take on Goliath.

Lets get action groups in each state and unite just because we can! We can win! We will win! We will not take no for an answer.

It's not what you know it's who you know that will help us fight this fight! So who do you know? It's time to approach this through You Tube. Start working on your videos! Email me at robsnbox@yahoo.com.

My wife's 2002 RAV4 went to the Toyota dealer for a engine light that resulted in replacing the Bank#2 #2 oxygen sensor. While there she complained about the jerking that the trans was doing; they said it would help to get the trans fluid flushed; well they have agreed to refund that bill after I took the TSB and insisted on the refund!

Our vehicle has 115,000. I would like to know if any of you have had any success in the ECU rebuilds. At the moment the warranty goes up to 80,000 miles or 96 months. Keep your receipts!

Word to the wise: before you purchase any vehicle from now on insist that you get all the TSB's on that vehicle from the dealer or Internet. Lets get to work!

5th Nov 2009, 01:20

Here's a company rebuilding ECM's: http://www.ecmoutlet.com/

I haven't used them myself, but a colleague of mine used them for a rebuild. Better paying $200 than $1000 or so. Fitting one yourself is usually straightforward, BUT REFER TO A REPAIR MANUAL, always!

They do all kinds of makes including Toyota. Here's what they say about the RAV4:

Rav 4 ECM

If your ECM has failed as a result of a transmission shift issue related to the Toyota service bulletin, it will have to be replaced. We no longer offer rebuild services for this vehicle. The only option available is to purchase a used computer removed from another Rav4. $425.00 recycled ECM.

Conclusion: If your trans slips because of the ECU, it seem that this is covered (or should) be covered by Toyota. Else you have to buy a second hand one from them, with no send in of your old unit.

5th Nov 2009, 13:34

Hello all, this is an update from my 3 Nov 09 comment.

Current situation; I have a dealer in Richmond, that has agreed to sell us if needed the ECU & trans if it is further determined to be damaged at whole sale.

This is not the dealer that was ripping us off. I am leaning towards purchasing the items through the dealer because after researching the credibility of some of these rebuild shops through the Better Business Bureau (BBB), we may have to just pay the $887.00 for the part and $100.00 for installation and programing. The dealer also offered us a trade in.

Further investigation revealed that Toyota has 800+ of these ECUs in stock. That means that they are well prepared to take a big chunk of hard earned cash from this area's RAV4 owners. That's EIGHT HUNDRED PLUS! Talk about intent, they know this is messed up.

We are still looking to hear if there is a good rebuild shop our time is running out though. If you would like to exchange info or you have a good shop that you would like to recommend, I can be reached at robsnbox@yahoo.com.

Thank you for the ear. Keep fighting! Jars of clay. It is in you O' lord do I put my trust! :)

9th Nov 2009, 04:11

To 5th Nov 2009, 13:34

What have you found out about them? A collegaue of mine used a rebuilt unit sent overnight. He fitted it the following night and paid $200 or so to have a shop clear some error codes and reprogram it. The whole operation was less than $500.

9th Nov 2009, 07:04

This is Rob in Richmond with the update from 3 & 5 Nov 09 post. We had the dealer replace the ECU. The final cost was $830.00 for everything; not the $980.00 that we thought that we would have to pay for part and installation. They also took off the $60.00 rental car fee that the wife used. They took off another $150.00 when it was picked up. So that turned out better than we thought. Thank God for an answered prayer! At this time the 2002 RAV4 is running normal. Remember to file your official complaint with Toyota!

Thanks also to those who offered any leads on the ECU rebuilds. After looking into it I was not comfortable (overall) with going that route. I could be wrong and I hope that there are good shops out there, but we had to get the car back on the road. This has been an expensive learning experience.