9.5

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$3,900
Average Mileage:
89,900 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. replace torque converter (1 reports)
  3. replace torque converter and re-build the transmission (1 reports)
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problem #4

Feb 012019

Camry XLE 2.5L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 149,500 miles

We bought this Camry used with 82,500 miles after an extensive search on Consumer Reports and carcomplaints.com. (Even now I'm surprised that as of now only 3 complaints regarding this problem are showing up on this website).

At first we were very happy with this car. Shortly before reaching 150,000 the transmission began to shudder when shifting gears during acceleration. At first it was slight then it started to get worse. When we finally took it to a mechanic the odometer had reached something like 150,300.

When the mechanic called us he told me there was a Technical Service Bulletin put out by Toyota that stated that this was a common problem in this model and year and that a previously suggested fix of replacing the torque converter was now determined insufficient and that the currently recommended fix would also include rebuilding the transmission. The real kick in the gut was that Toyota would accept no financial responsibility if the odometer had passed 150,000.

That's when the real fun began. Our mechanic suggested a local transmission shop and they confirmed that the fix recommended by Toyota was necessary and would cost us $3900. Having no choice because we still owed payments we paid the transmission shop and left it with them.

A week later we picked up the "fixed" car and drove it away thinking at least this was a Toyota and should last us quite a few more years. Before the week was up the shudder returned and we took it back. The mechanic told us that the torque converter was under warranty and they would put a new one once it arrived.

One week later we called a call that it was ready and running well so we went and picked it up again. A couple of days later and it started again. This time the mechanic said that even though this was unusual it had happened before, so once again we left it for another week. When the call came that it was ready my wife picked it up and the mechanic said, "It should be fine now, I test drove it quite a ways and it did just fine."

As soon as my wife got it on the road she knew that it still wasn't fixed. The next day I showed back up at the mechanic's and of course he looked shocked, but he promised he would take care of it and stated that he would now have to buy a re-built transmission from one of his competitors.

This time they had our car for 15 days and considering my wife needed it to get to work it had become a real problem. On the evening of the 14th day the mechanic called me said, "I have been on the phone with Toyota and other consultants trying to figure out why we've been having such a problem because we've done everything we were supposed to do so this shouldn't be happening, but if we're not able to confirm it is fixed by tomorrow we'll just have to throw up our hands and give you the car and your money back". At least he valued his integrity even though he had already clearly paid out more than what we had paid him.

The next day we got the call. "Success! It's running perfect!" Clearly he was pleased and fortunately for both of us he was right. It was running like it should and has continued to for the past 10,000 miles. I have a lot of respect for that transmission mechanic and will recommend him to anyone. As far as Toyota is concerned, I will recommend to everyone, "Buyer Beware!"

- Jim R., Mobile, US

problem #3

Jan 162018

Camry SE 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,520 miles

TOYOTA HAS NOT RECALL THESE CARS WITH SAME PROBLEM. I HAVE SEEN A LOT OF PEOPLE WITH THE SAME PROBLEM. THEY HAVE TO FIGHT WITH TOYOTA TO GET THEIR CAR FIXED BY THE DEALERSHIP. SOME TIMES THE DEALERSHIP WOULD FIX IT AND SOMETIMES THEY WOULD NOT.

- Bmore M., Baltimore, MD, US

problem #2

Oct 012014

Camry LE 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles

Leased a 2012 Camry LE. Transmission problems from the start. Hesitation, up shifts and down shifts without warning. Cold weather, forget it. Car would slam into gear and keep doing it until about 20 minutes later. Took it to dealer and told them to drive it for a week to see what it does. Their test drive was pulling it in to the garage. No problem, drives like it should, really? Dumped it and got a 2015 Camry. Now this is a Toyota and we are going to buy it at lease end. Shifts great, no problems. Answer is if you get a good one great, if you have problems, Toyota will deny everything. The 2018's look nice but I'm not willing to take the chance again with a bad one because like I said Toyota knows they have some problems but will deny everything.

- Jerry Z., Strongsville, OH, US

problem #1

Nov 012017

Camry LS 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,565 miles

Shuttering during shifting upwards, mostly feels when travelling uphill and shift in eco mode.

- Baljinder B., Brampton On, ON, Canada