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Toyota RAV4 Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) TC002-06

Today I drafted a letter to Toyota seeking reimbursement for Michele’s transmission change which she had done to troubleshoot an issue she was having with her transmission.

In case you haven’t already heard, Toyota issued TSB TC002-06 in response to issues surrounding defective ECMs causing the transmission to shift harshly, shift in-and-out of gear, cause the transmission to enter “limp mode”, illuminate the check engine light, and other issues. These issues aren’t related to, but were brought to light by, the “sudden acceleration” issues.

The actual TSB from Toyota (tc002-06) reads as follows:

Some 2001 – 2003 model year RAV4 vehicles equipped with an automatic transaxle
may exhibit a harsh shift condition and/or M.I.L. “ON” with DTC P0750, P0753, P0755,
P0758, and/or P1760 stored. Improvements have been made to the Engine Control
Module (ECM) (SAE term: Powertrain Control Module/PCM) manufacturing process to
reduce the possibility of this condition occurring.

Toyota states that you can take your vehicle to a Toyota dealership for service; or, if you have already had service performed, you can submit for reimbursement for covered repairs, so we’re doing just that. Below is a copy of a letter I have drafted to Toyota.

[Removed]

October 7, 2010

Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc
Toyota Customer Experience, WC10
19001 South Western Ave
Torrance, CA 90509

Request for repair reimbursement according to TSB TC002-06 on VIN [Removed]

I am writing to seek reimbursement for repairs to my vehicle under TSB TC002-06. The following explains the issues I have experienced and the repair timeline:

  • On May 15th 2010 the vehicle began experiencing a harsh shift condition.
  • On May 17th 2010 Marden’s serviced the vehicle, which was described as having frequent harsh shifts. Neither Marden’s nor I was aware (at the time) of TSB TC002-06. Marden’s recommended the transmission fluid be replaced in an attempt to remedy the issue. Services were performed and the total paid was $213.17. The vehicle was checked in under my father’s name, [Removed], so that Toyota would have a point of contact as I work 8-5pm daily and cannot take calls while working. You will find proof that I paid this bill enclosed. On the way home from Marden’s, harsh shifts continued to occur and the Check Engine light illuminated. I learned of TSB TC002-06 regarding the ECU failure condition and the symptoms which included harsh shift conditions and an illuminated Check Engine light. I then contacted the Toyota dealership at 6555 E. State St, Rockford IL 61108 (815) 397-8995. I described the issue and referenced TSB TC002-06 to the service person, who acknowledged the issue. A service appointment was made for 5/19/2010.
  • On May 19th, 2010 Toyota replaced the ECU per TSB TC002-06. The vehicle was driven and verified that it operated correctly following the repair procedure.

I recently received a letter from Toyota which included the following:

What if you have previously paid for the repair of your vehicle for this specific condition as it applies to your 2001 through 2003 model year RAV4 vehicle?

If you have previously paid for … this specific condition on your vehicle …, during the applicable period, please mail a copy of your repair order which includes the reason for the repair/replacement, proof-of-payment, and proof-of-ownership to the following address for reimbursement consideration…

I insist that I be reimbursed for the repairs performed on my vehicle as the repairs performed were directly related to the failing ECU per TSB TC002-06. The harsh shift issues I was experiencing were resolved by replacing the ECU as mentioned above. The transmission fluid was replaced inside of the normal service interval in an attempt to resolve the issue, which it did not. The issue was resolved only by replacing the ECU, which demonstrates that the issue was undoubtedly caused by the faulty ECU.

Enclosed you will find copies of the relevant documentation pertaining to this request.

If you have any questions or concerns with this request, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

[Removed]

Enclosures

The exact verbiage of the letter reads:

If you have previously paid for the replacement of the Engine Control module and/or the automatic transaxle for this specific condition on your vehicle (VIN noted above), during the applicable period, please mail a copy of your repair order which includes the reason for the repair/replacement, proof-of-payment, and proof-of-ownership to the following address for reimbursement consideration…

The words “replacement of the Engine Control module and/or the automatic transaxle” make me think we’re going to get a good bit of pushback from this… but with the reputation Toyota has gotten, can they afford to say no to a $200 repair reimbursement?

Do you think we should submit the issue to the Better Business Bureau? Can you suggest any other action to take? Do you know anyone who is experiencing the above described issue, or you have an affected vehicle? Please share your thoughts, suggestions, and comments below. Please share and forward this article!

UPDATE 13-October: Confirmed delivery to Toyota. Now we wait 4-6 weeks for a response.

UPDATE 14-November: We received the following letter from Toyota today:

November 5, 2010

[Removed]

Dear [Removed],

We are sorry to learn of the situation you encountered with your Toyota and for any inconvenience or expenses you may have encountered. Toyota makes every effort to manufacture a quality product, conducting extensive research and planning, thorough testing, and constant monitoring of performance.

Unfortunately, the repair performed on your vehicle does not meet the criteria for reimbursement under the Csp 01-03my Rav4 Transaxle Ecm Warranty Enhancement. Additionally, your concern is not eligible for reimbursement under any other warranty, Special Service Campaign, or Special policy adjustment in effect at this time.

Toyota values you as a customer and we appreciate this opportunity to review your request. Should you require any additional information, please contact our Customer Experience Center at 1(800) 331-4331. Our hours of operation are 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PST Monday through Friday and 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. PST Saturday.

Sincerely,

Toyota customer Experience
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A,, Inc.

… For serious. Typos and all.

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  1. #1 by Jeff Nimmy Ruiz on October 7, 2010 - 8:12 pm

    The following should be edited:
    "The following explains the issues I experienced and the repair timeline:"
    should read as:
    "The following explains the issues I have experienced and the repair timeline:"

    • #2 by Mike Beach on October 7, 2010 - 8:14 pm

      I will update. Thank you.

  2. #3 by mlbeilke on October 7, 2010 - 8:12 pm

    Thanks, Mike.

  3. #4 by Sam on October 7, 2010 - 9:58 pm

    I think you should threaten to never buy another Toyota and to tell all of your friends and family members not to buy a Toyota if they don't reimburse you. Then, I would complain to the BBB. Or, better yet, tell them you're going to also report them to the BBB if they don't reimburse you. That is complete B.S. if you ask me.

    • #5 by Mike Beach on October 7, 2010 - 10:23 pm

      Thanks, Sam.

      Check back on this post — we'll be updating it whenever there is something new.
      My recent post Toyota RAV4 Technical Service Bulletin TSB TC002-06

  4. #6 by Jeff Nimmy Ruiz on October 9, 2010 - 9:43 pm

    received any hits on this site from Toyota yet?
    My recent post Hello world!

  5. #7 by Michele on November 16, 2010 - 7:53 pm

    EXACTLY,” I said. “Ms. Beilke, my sister happens to have an 01 RAV, the same car as you, and she LOVES it,” she said. “Really?” I asked. “Did her ECM go out, too?

  6. #8 by Leon on November 17, 2010 - 4:22 am

    Buy american!!

  7. #9 by Nola on November 17, 2010 - 7:31 pm

    IT’S SAD TO SEE TOYOTA DROPPING THE BALL ON THIS ISSUE YOU SHOULD GET A REFUND FOR THE SOLE REASON TOYOTA FAILED TO PUT OUT A RECALL ON THIS EXTREMLY DANGEROUS PROBLEM HAD THEY DONE SO YOU WOULD HAVE GOTTEN YOUR RAV IN FOR DEALER PAID REPAIR SHAME ON YOU TOYOTA INDUSTRY!! IN THE FUTURE I SAY BUY A FORD NOW MORE THAN EVER PEOPLE MUST REALIZE WE NEED TO BUY AMERICAN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, I KNOW OF A COMPANY THAT MAKES TOOLS AND THEY ARE NOW INSISTING ON PARTS THAT GO INTO THEIR TOOLS BE MADE IN AMERICA EVEN DOWN TO THE WIRE TO MANUFACTURE FASTENERS IN THEIR PRODUCTS HATS OFF TO EKLUND TOOLS AND GO USA !!! NOLA B.

  8. #10 by Michele on November 17, 2010 - 9:19 pm

    Toyota, you’re a damn shame. I paid you $311.69 for five years… you can’t give me $200 of that back for unneccessary work to my car… work that was done because of your poor quality? My RAV did not NEED a tranny flush.

    I’d like to share what I posted on Toyota’s Facebook wall:

    Dear Toyota,
    Christmas is coming soon, and I’m about $200 short for gifts for my family, including my beautiful little daughter, because I had to shell that money out for tranny work before learning about the bad ECMs in your deathtrap RAV4s. That’s a damn shame.
    Love,
    Michele
    P.S. I asked Santa for a Ford for Christmas.
    …Read all about how Toyota screwed me at http://www.mikebeach.org, how they refused to reimburse me for work I had to have done because of their poorly built cars. And to those of you who are oddly and blindly obsessed with your Toyota (or the weirdos that work for the ****** **** camp known as Toyota and like to post comments on here), the facts don’t lie! You can’t slam the truth.

  9. #11 by Michele on November 17, 2010 - 9:22 pm

    And Toyota tries to say the RAV4s are not dangerous. Really? My car would jump from 5 to 25 MPH in about 1.5 seconds. Ten minutes later I’d step on the gas and barely move at all, with semis rolling up behind me at full speed.

  10. #12 by Paras Hakukoneoptimointi on November 19, 2010 - 2:37 am

    I have Toyota RAV4 myself and I haven had any problems with it at all. I can highly recommend it to all.

    • #13 by Mike on November 19, 2010 - 12:00 pm

      I wonder… spammer? Toyota employee? Paid endorsement?

  11. #14 by Jon Worthington on November 20, 2010 - 5:27 pm

    Man that’s not cool. I thought about trading in my car for a Toyota but not anymore

  12. #15 by Serge on November 25, 2010 - 1:30 am

    I’m glad you posted this because I think Toyata, as a company, should be hauled over the coals for the poor quality of this affair. I wonder if their reputation will ever recover, this could devastate the company but they probably deserve it. Might give a boost to US companies as well.

    S

  13. #16 by alex j... on December 7, 2010 - 6:35 am

    Your a pinned……Toyota rules whoppi….do one problem…do you have any idea how many recalls the big 3 hid from idiots…..Toyota will own the world of cars one day Toyota is the future……jackass its not their fault your too broke to buy your kids Christmas gifts get a better paying job…..dumb ass…how about you ask the big three for your kids gifts since they took all that bail out money…now any one else have some to say……we should all buy just Toyota…too many drunks building our cars in the states……

    • #17 by Mike on December 7, 2010 - 6:27 pm

      Alex — At first I thought a dictionary threw up on your keyboard, but then I realize you probably don’t own a dictionary. Why don’t you take the check Toyota gave you to post that and go buy yourself something nice, like manners.

    • #18 by Kirsten on December 7, 2010 - 6:59 pm

      Alex~ I TOTALLY agree with Mike. You? Well, you are an ignorant lost little boy! You needed to feel like a big smart boy didn’t you?!!! Obviously, you dont have to put much thought into your job because you cannot type, let alone spell, nor make sense. You sound drunk yourself, did mommy and daddy fail you? Then you bring kids into this? Sounds to me that more than likely you carry foodstamps and probably look for attention in any way that you can get it! I can only chalk it up to, Alex does not have a life. Toyota is not the future, did your crystal ball tell you this, or was this your failed attemp at trying to sound smart? Will you understand this or do I need to use more special education technique? Well here is my prediction, you have no life, you crave attention and either you are not old enough to know any better or you are just plain stupid. I opt for stupid. I am willing to bet you have been arrested at some point and fail society all together! By the way what business is it of yours if someone can or cannot afford Christmas gifts, especially when you cannot afford an education, or a dictionary at the least? Let me leave you with this, you are a worm, and I know you are very troubled, go get some help!

    • #19 by Mylan on December 7, 2010 - 7:35 pm

      Alex, I don’t see the point in you calling other people names. From what I understand Toyota is responsible…whether they are the car of the future or the big 3 hid recalls has nothing to do with Michele’s experience. I happen to know Mike personally…and he wouldn’t make that up. Now, if they had done something to the vehicle that would be different, but they didn’t. And I think toyota should pay them the money. IF toyota is the car of the future they can afford to pay out the 200 she had to pay for something that was toyota’s fault. I will admit that I think posting about the gifts on toyota’s facebook page may not have been a good idea…that is only my opinion. And for all we know that will get the results needed. The company is responsible for the repair and she had to pay for it. So…toyota should pay her back in my opinion. If nothing else at least offer services equalling the amount she paid. I think money would be better…but services equivalent to the money paid would be useful as well assuming they still have and will continue to have the vehicle. Your spelling and grammar suggest to me that you are posting that only to get a response. And I’m sorry to say that it is working with some people. But, I also think it shows how you feel about other people. And it’s a sad story in my opinion.

  14. #20 by Catherine on December 7, 2010 - 7:18 pm

    Alex-

    I was prepared to give you a piece of my mind, but I doubt you could comprehend much of it. I tend to use words that exceed first grade knowledge.

    “Your a pinned……Toyota rules whoppi….do one problem…”

    What? Taking out the spelling errors, that makes NO sense.

    “do you have any idea how many recalls the big 3 hid from idiots”

    By “big 3” do you mean Ford, Chrysler, and GM? I’ll assume that you do. Obviously, jackass, you don’t realize that ALL auto companies (along with any company that makes for profit items) try as hard as they can to “hide” problems. Actually Alex, if you would pay attention to the world around you, you would know that in many cases, these problems are known by the company but they don’t issue recalls on their products immediately. They attempt to go with the cheapest option. Some cases the cheapest option is recalling, sometimes it’s settling quietly out of court. It all depends.

    “Toyota will own the world of cars one day Toyota is the future”

    Perhaps. I’m sure your opinion was valued deeply by the highly intelligent Michele, who probably cringed while reading your ignorance. We iz what we iz tho- rizight?

    “jackass its not their fault your too broke to buy your kids Christmas gifts get a better paying job”

    Again, please educate yourself. While I’m not perfect, my 10 year old cousin could write better than you. Get a better paying job? Really? Do you understand that jobs are scarce right about now, and even if they weren’t- not everyone can have a fabulous high paying job. From your lack of intelligence, I think it would be appropriate to assume that you live with your parents, accept welfare and if you have a job, you probably take my order when I swing by McDonalds. If Toyota hadn’t created a faulty product then Michele would have more money to spend on her family.

    “dumb ass…how about you ask the big three for your kids gifts since they took all that bail out money”

    Well since you feel using nasty belittling names is good- I’ll return the favor. You stupid mother f***er- do your research. Ford did not take bail out money. I think we all should ask our banks for Christmas presents- better yet- Wall Street, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac can send everyone a little cash. We bailed all of them out. They could even send you to college for a few classes in English, History and Economics.

    “now any one else have some to say”

    I sure did. I have to correct you. Attn: people reading this blog! What Alex meant to say:
    Now, does anyone else have anything to say?

    “we should all buy just Toyota…too many drunks building our cars in the states……”

    I say go with Honda- they rate very high on consumer reports lists- even higher than Toyota in cases. You seem to be one of the drunks Alex. Just so you know, this may come as a surprise, the people on the assembly line just piece together the cars. The engineers do the actual designing of the cars. Not all of those engineers live in the States.

    So, in closing Alex- a little ghetto talk for you. Sit down, slam another 40 and shut the f**k up you ignorant little *******.

  15. #21 by NMI on December 23, 2010 - 8:03 pm

    Toyota pays $10m to fatal Lexus crash family

    Toyota has paid $10m (£6.47) to the family of four people killed in a runaway Lexus car in the US in 2009.

    The amount, agreed in September but kept confidential, was released by a lawyer for the dealership that lent the Lexus to the family.

  16. #22 by Paul on December 24, 2010 - 2:54 am

    Toyota seems to be a serious company, i am sorry for what happened

  17. #23 by chris on January 11, 2011 - 9:20 am

    Your issue should be with the dealership misdiagnosing it, not Toyota.