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DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE COROLLA’S TRANSMISSION DEFECT YET?

grey toyota corolla

Why Don't You Know About Your Corolla's CVT Transmission Defect Yet?

Update August 2, 2018 - Toyota announced Special Service Campaign JSD to address the defect in the covered Corolla CVTs. Owner notification letters should be mailed. 

On March 18, 2018 Toyota announced Special Service Campaign J0D to its dealers. SSC J0D covers approximately 1.3 million vehicles including certain 2014 – 2017 MY Toyota Corolla vehicles, certain 2017 MY Toyota Corolla iM vehicles, and certain 2016 MY Scion iM Vehicles.

Toyota explained that a component within the CVT (continuous variable transaxle or transmission) could become damaged leading to “warning lights” and a spontaneous “reduction of speed” in which the car can “be operated up to approximately 37 mph.”

Toyota executives did not classify this campaign as a Safety Recall, but as a Special Service Campaign. You can read about the CVT defect Honda classified as a Safety Recall here. You can read about the CVT defect Mitsubishi classified as a Safety Recall here.

Mitsubishi explained their classification of the defect as an unreasonable risk to safety stating:

"If the range switch momentarily experiences a loss of signal, this may result in reduced vehicle acceleration. Unexpected reduction in available acceleration during every day driving, such as acceleration from a stop, merging on to a freeway, or turning left against traffic, could result in an increased risk of an accident."

Special Service Campaigns are not as stringently monitored as Safety Recalls by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. For example, uncompleted Special Service Campaigns are not listed on NHTSA’s vin specific safety recall check tool on the SaferCar.gov website. Uncompleted Safety Recalls are listed. Historically the completion rates for Specials Service Campaigns are also lower than Safety Recalls.

Toyota acknowledged a known CVT defect on March 18, 2018 through letters to their dealers. However, Toyota has not notified owners of affected Corollas and iMs about the potential of their vehicle experiencing a spontaneous “reduction of speed” accompanied by illumination of “warning lights.” (update: Toyota has since launched SSC JSD and notices have been mailed)

Similar to past potentially inadequate “remedies”, Toyota attempted to utilize a software update as the “remedy” for the CVT defect in affected Corollas instead of replacing hardware. Almost immediately problems with the software update “remedy” became apparent. The CVTs in affected Corollas began failing and experiencing a “reduction of speed” (among other symptoms) after receiving the software update “remedy”.

On April 11, 2018 Tom Trisdale, Toyota’s Vice President of Product Quality and Service Support, sent correspondence to dealers suspending the J0D Special Service Campaign and instructing dealers to stop performing the software update “remedy” on affected Toyotas.

Surprisingly, Tom Trisdale also states in his correspondence that, “As the owner notification schedule was April 2018, Toyota has not yet sent owner notifications about Special Service Campaign J0D. Toyota will notify owners when J0D is no longer suspended.”

The J0D campaign is still suspended as of the publishing of this post and many owners have not been notified. It is unclear how many CVT failures have occurred on unsuspecting Corolla drivers throughout the United States since the suspension of the J0D Special Service Campaign.

Additionally, Toyota has often replaced the failed defective CVTs with “remanufactured” CVTs. One Toyota owner who had put less than 700 miles on the odometer of his new Corolla had a CVT failure and received a remanufactured CVT transmission from Toyota.

While 2018 Toyota Corollas share the same CVT part number, they were not included in the J0D Special Service Campaign.

Before announcing Special Service Campaign J0D Toyota had released Technical Service Bulletins for CVT conditions.

Below are some complaints registered on NHTSA’s www.safercar.gov website.

 

April 17, 2018 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11088606

Components: FUEL/PROPULSION SYSTEM, VEHICLE SPEED CONTROL

NHTSA ID Number: 11088606

Incident Date March 30, 2018

Consumer Location CARRIERE, MS

Vehicle Identification Number 5YFBURHEXHP****

Summary of Complaint

CRASHNo

FIRENo

INJURIES0

DEATHS0

WAS DRIVING IN MIDDLE LANE OF INTERSTATE 10 WHEN VEHICLE LOST POWER. CAR WOULD NOT ACCELERATE. CAR COASTED FOR APPROX. 5 MINUTES. HAD TO PUT ON EMERGENCY FLASHER, PUT CAR IN PARK TO RESTART ENGINE. CARS COMING UP BEHIND ME DOING 75/80/85 MILES PER HOUR AND HAD TO SWERVE IMMEDIATELY TO KEEP FROM HITTING MY VEHICLE. I HAD A FRIEND IN PASSENGER SEAT AND WE WERE BOTH SCARED FOR OUR LIVES. TO THIS DAY, I AM AFRAID TO DRIVE ON INTERSTATE OR ANY OTHER BUSY HIGHWAY BECAUSE TOYOTA SAID THEY COULD NOT FIND ANY PROBLEM.

1 Affected Product 

Request Research (Services fees apply)

 

May 15, 2018 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11093969

Components: POWER TRAIN

NHTSA ID Number: 11093969

Incident Date April 27, 2018

Consumer Location PERU, IL

Vehicle Identification Number N/A

Summary of Complaint

CRASHNo

FIRENo

INJURIES0

DEATHS0

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2014 TOYOTA COROLLA. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE CHECK ENGINE INDICATOR ILLUMINATED. WHILE DRIVING AT UNKNOWN SPEEDS, THE ACCELERATOR PEDAL WAS APPLIED AND TRAVELED TO THE FLOORBOARD. THE VEHICLE FAILED TO ACCELERATE. THE VEHICLE WAS TAKEN TO AN INDEPENDENT MECHANIC WHERE THE CODES WERE RESET. THE MECHANIC REFERRED THE CONTACT TO A DEALER. THE VEHICLE WAS TAKEN TO A LOCAL DEALER (BILL WALSH TOYOTA, 4000 N COLUMBUS STREET, OTTAWA, IL 61350) WHERE IT WAS DIAGNOSED THAT THE TRANSMISSION NEEDED TO BE REPLACED. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOTIFIED AND OPENED CASE NUMBER: 181200125. THE MANUFACTURER STATED THAT THE VEHICLE WAS NOT INCLUDED IN A RECALL NOR WAS IT UNDER WARRANTY. THE VIN WAS UNKNOWN. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 70,777.

1 Affected Product 

Request Research (Services fees apply)

 

June 11, 2018 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11101175

Components: POWER TRAIN, VEHICLE SPEED CONTROL

NHTSA ID Number: 11101175

Incident Date June 11, 2018

Consumer Location DULUTH, GA

Vehicle Identification Number 5YFBPRHE3FP****

Summary of Complaint

CRASHNo

FIRENo

INJURIES0

DEATHS0

SPECIAL SERVICE CAMPAIGN J0D - REMEDY NOTICE CERTAIN 2014 - 2017 MODEL YEAR COROLLA VEHICLES CERTAIN 2017 MODEL YEAR COROLLA IM VEHICLES CERTAIN 2016 MODEL YEAR SCION IM VEHICLES - (SUSPENDED)

VEHICLE WILL LOSE ACCELERATION OR NOT ACCELERATE AFTER COMING TO A COMPLETE STOP AND TRYING TO ACCELERATE. VEHICLE WAS SERVICED AT TOYOTA SERVICE CENTER FOR A SIMILAR ISSUE INCLUDING AN IDLE ISSUE. ACCELERATION ISSUE COULD NOT BE REPLICATED, BUT STILL HAPPENED SEVERAL TIMES AFTERWARDS. INITIAL ISSUES STARTED AT 8K MILES AND HAS BEEN SERVICED ON TIME, MULTIPLE TIMES FOR SAME ISSUE WITH NO RESOLVE. TOYOTA HAS ISSUED A RECALL IN MARCH 2018 FOR ISSUE AND SUSPENDED IT DUE TO THE RECALL MAKING THE ISSUES WORSE. NO SOLUTION OR OTHER SERVICE OFFERED TO REPAIR PROBLEM.

1 Affected Product 

Request Research (Services fees apply)

 

May 26, 2018 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11098047

Components: ENGINE, VEHICLE SPEED CONTROL, UNKNOWN OR OTHER

NHTSA ID Number: 11098047

Incident Date May 23, 2018

Consumer Location Unknown

Vehicle Identification Number 5YFBURHE4HP****

Summary of Complaint

CRASHNo

FIRENo

INJURIES0

DEATHS0

BOUGHT THE CAR LAST APRIL, IT HAS GIVEN ME NO PROBLEMS, UNTIL NOW. THE CAR START TO LOOSE ACCELERATION WHEN DRIVING ALMOST GOT INTO TWO CAR ACCIDENT ON THE ROAD, CALLED TOYOTA BUT THEY WANT TO CHARGE ME TO INSPECT THE CAR, THE CAR SEEMS TO BE STUCK ON GEARS LIKE IF IT WAS ON NEATRUAL.

1 Affected Product 

Request Research (Services fees apply)

 

February 28, 2018 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11075447

Components: POWER TRAIN

NHTSA ID Number: 11075447

Incident Date February 21, 2018

Consumer Location MIAMI, FL

Vehicle Identification Number 2T1BURHE4EC****

Summary of Complaint

CRASHNo

FIRENo

INJURIES0

DEATHS0

PURCHASED CAR ON 2014 ON 02/21/2018, 4 YEARS LATER THE CAR SLOWS DOWN WHILE DRIVING ON THE HIGHWAY. I PULL OVER TO THE SIDE MEDIAN AND TOW THE CAR TO TOYOTA DEALER. THEY EXPLAINED THE TRANSMISSION LOCKED IT WILL NEED A NEW ONE FOR 6K OR REBUILT FOR 3K. HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN TO A 4 YEAR OLD TOYOTA .

1 Affected Product 

Request Research (Services fees apply)

 

September 30, 2017 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11030609

Components: POWER TRAIN

NHTSA ID Number: 11030609

Incident Date September 29, 2017

Consumer Location WHITE PLAINS, NY

Vehicle Identification Number 2T1BURHEXEC****

Summary of Complaint

CRASHNo

FIRENo

INJURIES0

DEATHS0

DRIVING AT 30 MPH, CAR ON ITS OWN DOWNSHIFTS TO LOW GEAR WHILE IN DRIVE MODE. HAPPENED 2 TIMES IN HEAVY AFTERNOON DRIVE TRAFFIC ON SIDE ROADS. TRANSMISSION IS JERKY UP HILLS. DOESN'T HAPPEN AT FREEWAY SPEEDS, BUT CAME TO A STOP OFF THE FREEWAY, AND THEN COULDN'T GET IT OUT OF LOW GEAR. BECAUSE I CAN'T TRAVEL AS FAST AND TRAFFIC BEHIND ME, CAUSES AN ENORMOUS SAFETY PROBLEM. DEALER SAYS COMPUTER SAYS NOTHING WRONG. COROLLA HAS FEWER THAN 69,000 MILES ON IT.

1 Affected Product 

Request Research (Services fees apply)

 

May 24, 2018 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11097741

Components: POWER TRAIN

NHTSA ID Number: 11097741

Incident Date May 24, 2018

Consumer Location ALPHA, NJ

Vehicle Identification Number 2T1BURHE7FC****

Summary of Complaint

CRASHNo

FIRENo

INJURIES0

DEATHS0

AN INTERMITTENT PROBLEM WITH THE TRANSMISSION: THE VEHICLE WILL DOWNSHIFT EXTREMELY HARD WHEN ACCELERATING. THIS PROBLEM OFTEN HAPPENS WHEN GOING UPHILL AND CAN BE VERY STARTLING. THE DOWNSHIFT IS JOLTING AND IS BY NO MEANS A NORMAL DOWNSHIFT. THE VEHICLE HAS BEEN BROUGHT ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS TO THE DEALER WHICH THE CAR WAS PURCHSED. THE DEALER HAS BEEN UNABLE TO DUPLICATE THE PROBLEM WHEN TEST DRIVING. THE INTERMITTENT PROBLEM HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR OVER A YEAR.

1 Affected Product 

Request Research (Services fees apply)

 

Click here to lodge a complaint with the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration.

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