Toyota, in its plans to regain its once-stellar image among doubting consumers, recently unveiled plans to address several consumer issues preemptively.
Included in Toyota's undertaking are 235,000 RAV4s built between 2001 and 2003 and equipped with an automatic transmission, along with roughly 500,000 2009 to 2010 Corollas and Matrix models. Some owners of the RAV4s in question have complained of harsh shifting, while others have complained about a dashboard light indicating a malfunction. Meanwhile, Corolla and Matrix owners may experience steering drift.Toyota's decision to correct the transmission and steering problems is purely related to customer satisfaction. Toyota says it will fix the steering problems for owners who complain, but will not issue a notice to fix every vehicle. Toyota is however, sending a notice to RAV4 owners asking them to have their vehicle inspected by a Toyota dealership.We learned about steering drift in the Corolla and Matrix earlier this year when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into Corolla and Matrix steering. NHTSA had received 168 complaints linked to eight crashes and 11 injuries, but the steering drift wasn't deemed a concern for a recall.Shifting problems in the RAV4 are being addressed as a result of hundreds of consumer complaints filed with NHTSA. Some complaints recount minor traffic accidents and expensive transmission repair bills. Toyota has traced the issue back to solder in one of the engine control module's circuits that can cause a bad connection. Most issues can be addressed by simply replacing the engine control module, but some may require dealers to replace the entire automatic transaxle.If repairs are necessary, owners can take their affected RAV4s to their local dealership, and owners who have already paid for automatic transmission repair can contact Toyota and apply for reimbursement.Source: Reuters courtesy of Automobile Magazine