Transmission issues? - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Highlander 3rd Generation (2014-2019) Forum dedicated to the discussion of 3rd generation Toyota Highlanders.

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post #1 of 36 Old 01-03-2019, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Transmission issues?

I have a 18 Highlander and just now on my way home my transmission wouldn’t shift and when it finally did it jerked really bad and made a awful sound. I have less than 2,000 miles on it. Has anyone else had this happen? I immediately called the dealer and am taking it in Monday to be looked at.
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post #2 of 36 Old 01-03-2019, 04:31 PM
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Was it purchased new or used? If new how long ago was it purchased, as supposedly the problematic transmissions ceased production in May 2017 and were replaced by an improved version, so I can't see how any 2018 that was assembled in 2018 would have got one of those original transmissions?
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post #3 of 36 Old 01-03-2019, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Nzott View Post
Was it purchased new or used? If new how long ago was it purchased, as supposedly the problematic transmissions ceased production in May 2017 and were replaced by an improved version, so I can't see how any 2018 that was assembled in 2018 would have got one of those original transmissions?
The TSB for the problem you are referencing says that some 2018 models were affected. The transmissions affected were built in Japan, and used in USA assembled vehicles, so there is a definite time delay when a transmission if built and when the final vehicle is assembled.
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post #4 of 36 Old 01-03-2019, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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It was purchased new on 11/23/18 it currently has a little under 2,000 miles on it. I know there is a serial number on the transmission that will let me know if it’s included but since I can’t find that is there any way for me to find out? I know on Monday they will be able to see but I was curious if there was any other way for me to tell.
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post #5 of 36 Old 01-03-2019, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mark888 View Post
The TSB for the problem you are referencing says that some 2018 models were affected. The transmissions affected were built in Japan, and used in USA assembled vehicles, so there is a definite time delay when a transmission if built and when the final vehicle is assembled.
When did the 2018s go on sale? Sept/Oct 2017? That is almost 6 months after the last of the original transmissions were assembled, the OP said they had done 2000 miles which I assumed was from new, so it made sense based on that many miles they purchased the vehicle sometime in 2018 and the further into 2018, logic would suggest the less likely it would be to be among the affected models or the transmissions are just dubious by design, I hope not.
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post #6 of 36 Old 01-03-2019, 05:30 PM
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I have a 2018 HL with 7000 miles on it. I towed a utility trailer with an 800# load on it. It's the first time I towed with it. The drive train was making noise and you could feel a mild vibration. Un hook it and all is well. Towed the same trailer with my Buick Enclave and Nissan Murano with much heavier loads and no issues at all. I'm wondering if I'm going to have a problem eventually.
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post #7 of 36 Old 01-03-2019, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bodon01 View Post
I have a 2018 HL with 7000 miles on it. I towed a utility trailer with an 800# load on it. It's the first time I towed with it. The drive train was making noise and you could feel a mild vibration. Un hook it and all is well. Towed the same trailer with my Buick Enclave and Nissan Murano with much heavier loads and no issues at all. I'm wondering if I'm going to have a problem eventually.
For vehicle with a 5000 lb tow limit, 800 lbs is nothing assuming your trailer isn't 4500 lbs. If the max towing is 5000 lbs though that doesn't mean you should tow that long distances over mountain passes, it does not seem wise to load a vehicle to its limit for long periods, If one needs to tow 5000 lbs buy a tundra then it is not stressed. But this transmission does not seem to take up from a standstill like my 6 speed rav4 did, at the moment I just put it down to the extra weight of the vehicle, but in the back of my mind I am just so slightly dubious.
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post #8 of 36 Old 01-03-2019, 06:02 PM
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It's just a guess on our part how many of these 2017 build transmissions made it into 2018 vehicles.

Toyota is the KING of "Just-in-Time" supply chain management, so you wouldn't think that they built up trannies and stockpiled a year's worth (or even much more that 1-2 months worth) under normal circumstances. They also know the vehicle BOM (bill of materials) for every vehicle and it likely also includes critical supply data (major component serial numbers). So someone at corporate likely knows every VIN containing a questionable transmission. The tag likely has a QR and bar code telling all.

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post #9 of 36 Old 01-03-2019, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Fibber2 View Post
It's just a guess on our part how many of these 2017 build transmissions made it into 2018 vehicles.

Toyota is the KING of "Just-in-Time" supply chain management, so you wouldn't think that they built up trannies and stockpiled a year's worth (or even much more that 1-2 months worth) under normal circumstances. They also know the vehicle BOM (bill of materials) for every vehicle and it likely also includes critical supply data (major component serial numbers). So someone at corporate likely knows every VIN containing a questionable transmission. The tag likely has a QR and bar code telling all.
I presume the transmission are made in Japan and then have to shipped to indiana, so 2 or 3 months I would guess then I it would depend how long they sit at the factory before installation, say a month or 2 , so say 6 months tops lead in time, so a Nov 2017 could have one I guess, but when buying a 2018 from a dealer if it is a less popular color or model it could have been in stock there for many months. Late Nov 2018 purchase would seem very unlikely to have one of those transmissions?
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post #10 of 36 Old 01-04-2019, 06:56 AM
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Beyond that, we don't know how quickly production resumed after the revised built transmissions conversion date of May, 2017 serial number 3416. It could have been the next day, or not for a month or more. Were pre and post built units shipped together, or was there a gap? When did production of 2018 vehicles in the US begin, and were the trannies used in date order of build or arrival? Are Sienna and Highlanders built on the same line in mixed succession, or on a different line, and how were crates of trannies routed between plants?

I believe that Toyota does know exactly what VIN has a potentially 'good' or questionable transmission, but the data might be such a jumble that for simplicity they just tell dealers in the TSB to look for a number on the transmission case. But TAC likely already knows the answer when the dealers calls in looking for authorization and assistance.

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post #11 of 36 Old 01-04-2019, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fibber2 View Post
It's just a guess on our part how many of these 2017 build transmissions made it into 2018 vehicles.

Toyota is the KING of "Just-in-Time" supply chain management, so you wouldn't think that they built up trannies and stockpiled a year's worth (or even much more that 1-2 months worth) under normal circumstances. They also know the vehicle BOM (bill of materials) for every vehicle and it likely also includes critical supply data (major component serial numbers). So someone at corporate likely knows every VIN containing a questionable transmission. The tag likely has a QR and bar code telling all.
Yes it is just a guess (and "probably" not many) but the bottom line is that the TSB clearly states that some 2018 models are affected, for Sienna and/or Highlander.
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post #12 of 36 Old 01-04-2019, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Fibber2 View Post
I believe that Toyota does know exactly what VIN has a potentially 'good' or questionable transmission, but the data might be such a jumble that for simplicity they just tell dealers in the TSB to look for a number on the transmission case. But TAC likely already knows the answer when the dealers calls in looking for authorization and assistance.
I suspect you are correct, but they probably don't have a consecutive range of VIN's that they can easily put in the TSB, and they do have a range of transmission serial numbers that they can (and did) put in the TSB. This makes it easy for a tech to check it, without going to a computer and trying to find the info.

Keep in mind that this is not a recall, or even a mandatory service campaign, and only transmissions that are experiencing specific problems (as described in the TSB) are eligible for remanufactured replacement transmission.
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post #13 of 36 Old 01-04-2019, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by bodon01 View Post
I have a 2018 HL with 7000 miles on it. I towed a utility trailer with an 800# load on it. It's the first time I towed with it. The drive train was making noise and you could feel a mild vibration. Un hook it and all is well. Towed the same trailer with my Buick Enclave and Nissan Murano with much heavier loads and no issues at all. I'm wondering if I'm going to have a problem eventually.
I would find out if your transmission falls into the serial number range that is affected (see posts above on how to do that). If your transmission continues to make noise, take it to a dealer and bring a copy of the TSB.
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post #14 of 36 Old 01-04-2019, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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I have a appointment with my dealer on Monday to have it looked at. I contacted Toyota customer service to see if there was a way they would know if mine was in the serial numbers affected. She put me on a hold and when she returned she said to take it to the dealer to see what they want to do and see if it’s somethibg covered under warranty. With it having a total of 1,975 miles it should be covered since it’s new. She said she did look and it appears as though mine isn’t covered under the TSB and has no recalls.
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post #15 of 36 Old 01-04-2019, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by lots2luv View Post
I have a appointment with my dealer on Monday to have it looked at. I contacted Toyota customer service to see if there was a way they would know if mine was in the serial numbers affected. She put me on a hold and when she returned she said to take it to the dealer to see what they want to do and see if itís somethibg covered under warranty. With it having a total of 1,975 miles it should be covered since itís new. She said she did look and it appears as though mine isnít covered under the TSB and has no recalls.
I doubt that the customer service person knows if your transmission is affected by the TSB. The people who answer the phone, just like at any big company, are low-paid workers who work from a script. She may have looked to see if there were any recalls for your VIN, but the TSB is not a recall or even a mandatory service campaign.

Take it to a dealer with a copy of TSB. The must be able to reproduce the problem, or see that some codes have thrown. Not all transmissions in the TSB range are going to replaced, unless they have a problem.
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