Attorneys working with ClassAction.org have decided to close their investigation into this matter. One lawsuit has been filed over 2017-present Toyota Highlander and Sienna vehicles and any significant updates in this case will be posted to this page.
Sign up for our newsletter for the latest and check out our open list of investigations here. The information below was posted when the investigation began and remains for reference only.
At A Glance
This Alert Affects:
Anyone who owns or leases certain Toyota or Lexus models and experienced problems with their car’s transmission.
What’s Going On?
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org would like to speak to owners of certain Toyota and Lexus models as they pursue a class action lawsuit against Toyota Motor Sales, USA.
What Problems Have Been Reported?
Rough, delayed, or sudden shifting; failure to start; delayed or harsh acceleration/deceleration; hesitation, bucking, jerking, sudden loss of power; premature transmission wear; and transmission failure.
2017-2020 Lexus ES, 2017-2020 Toyota Highlander, 2017-2020 Toyota Sienna and 2018-2020 Toyota Avalon.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org would like to speak with anyone who owns or leases one of the following Toyota or Lexus models and experienced transmission problems:
2017-2020 Lexus ES
2017-2020 Toyota Highlander
2017-2020 Toyota Sienna
2018-2020 Toyota Avalon
They’re pursuing a class action lawsuit against the automaker and need to speak to additional owners and lessees to help with their case.
What Transmission Problems Have Been Reported?
Toyota and Lexus drivers have reported issues related to a possible defect in the cars’ transmission that causes hesitation, bucking, jerking, or even sudden loss of power. Other reported transmission problems include:
Problems shifting – including rough, delayed, sudden shifting, or failure to shift
Acceleration problems – significantly delayed or harsh acceleration and deceleration
Damage to transmission – ranging from premature transmission wear to transmission failure
Transmission Complaints Reported Online
Toyota drivers have turned to several online forums to report their vehicles’ transmission problems. Some of their complaints can be read below [sic throughout]:
The van struggles to accelerate. There is no way to turn off eco mode. No button is available. Van struggles to go up hills, excelerate thru intersections and always hunting for gears or stuck in a gear and sounds and acts very heavy on power train end. There is an option to turn off eco light.turning off eco light does nothing but hide the problem. We need an option to complete disable eco mode with update or with a button.” — Newington, VA, 10/10/2018, CarComplaints.com
My 2018 Sienna LE is experiencing acceleration problems. I had the software up dated but after approximately 1,000 miles the problem is returning. This problem is especially unsafe when merging onto the highway.” — North Reading, MA, 09/26/2018, NHTSA.gov
Additionally, there are transmission upshifts at inappropriate times such as coming out of corners and slowing for speed bumps. After inappropriate upshifts, the transmission over compensates with overly aggressive (and rough) downshifts. Further, accelerator control in first gear is often overly sensitive. The more I drive this vehicle the more annoying it becomes. When I take my complaints to the dealer, service techs look at me like I have 2 heads (they don't admit anything is wrong) and want $75 to look at the vehicle. Would not mind paying if I thought they might correct the problem.” — Laurel, MS, 9/26/2017, CarComplaints.com
My 2018 Toyota Highlander is experiencing the same noted problems at low speeds, especially when first driving it when it's cold. Around 3rd gear, the car sometimes bucks and jerks. Around 30mph and needing to accelerate, I often have to step on the gas more than I'd expect to have to do and it'll downshift, but it does it roughly - instead of a smooth and seamless downshift, it's abrupt and causes the car to lurch a bit, almost like shifting a manual without having experience working a clutch smoothly.” — Peter, CLASSACTION.ORG
While driving various speeds and depressing the accelerator pedal, the vehicle would not immediately respond. Approximately two seconds after depressing the accelerator pedal, the engine revved and the vehicle abruptly accelerated forward. The vehicle was taken to conicelli Toyota (550 w. ridge pike, conshohocken, pa) on several occasions, but no failure was found.” — Lafayette, PA, 3/13/2018, CarComplaints.com
Severe hesitation when gas is applied, especially when crossing heavy traffic and instant power/quick acceleration needed. Also noted when going around corners, after car has slowed down below 5 mph to make the corner. Gas is applied with hesitation. Noted more when car is at a complete stand still/moving at slow speed then gas applied to move forward. Car does not move/react instantly. I notice this problem on a weekly (at least) basis.” — 9/9/2019, CarProblemZoo.com
It has been alleged that Toyota should have known about the transmission problem due to the number of customer complaints it received.
How Can a Class Action Lawsuit Help?
A class action lawsuit, if successful, could pay back Toyota and Lexus drivers for money they’ve spent repairing their vehicles. It could also force the carmakers to fix the problem.