Toyota Bluetooth Problems Allegedly Include Voice Echo

Class action says the hands-free phone system head units cause loud echos during conversations.

Toyota Bluetooth Problems Allegedly Include Voice Echo

Posted in News

— A Toyota class action lawsuit over Bluetooth problems includes all consumers who reside in Florida and who purchased or leased any of these models.

Toyota 4Runner, Avalon, Avalon HV, Camry, Camry HV (except 2018 Camry and Camry HV vehicles), Corolla, Highlander, Highlander HV, Mirai, Prius, Prius C, Prius Prime, Prius V, RAV4, RAV4 HV, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra and Toyota Yaris.

Those vehicles must be equipped with Bluetooth hands-free phone systems, not initially equipped with Apple CarPlay and the vehicles must not have had the head units replaced at Toyota’s expense.

The Toyota Bluetooth problem allegedly occurs when using the hands-free phone system and the person on the end hears an echo of their voice.

The lawsuit alleges vehicle owners cannot maintain conversations because of the Bluetooth echo problems, making the hands-free phone systems allegedly worthless.

The Toyota Bluetooth problems with echos are allegedly acknowledged by the automaker in owner's manuals for the vehicles.

“If the received call volume is overly loud, an echo may be heard. Keep the volume of the receiving voice down. Otherwise, voice echo will increase.” — 2008 Toyota Highlander owner’s manual

Toyota Bluetooth Problems: Tech Tips and Technical Service Bulletin

Toyota issued a technical service bulletin (TSB) in December 2017 related to the phone echo in the 2018 Camry and Camry HV. Dealers were told to replace the head units if Camry owners complained about Bluetooth phone echo.

The class action lawsuit says this apparently fixed the echo problem, but only on 2018 Toyota Camry and Camry HV vehicles.

In addition, Toyota issued a Tech Tip in March 2018 entitled, “Bluetooth Hands Free Call Echo,” which applied to these models.

  • 2016-2018 Toyota Highlander
  • 2017-2018 Toyota Avalon
  • 2016-2018 Toyota Sienna
  • 2016-2018 Toyota Prius v
  • 2016-2018 Toyota Tacoma
  • 2016-2018 Toyota Sequoia
  • 2016-2018 Toyota Prius
  • 2016-2018 Toyota Tundra
  • 2017-2018 Toyota Avalon HV
  • 2018 Toyota Yaris
  • 2017-2018 Toyota 4Runner
  • 2016-2018 Toyota Highlander HV

“Some customers may experience echoing on the line calling the vehicle when using Bluetooth Hands Free. This is caused by the phone Hands Free volume being too low. These settings may need to be reapplied any time the phone is paired to a new head unit, a phone update is applied, or the phone is un-paired and re paired.” — Toyota

Customers were advised to increase the phone volume to maximum using the button on the side of the phone, then lower the head unit volume to 45 or lower.

The class action says another Tech Tip was issued in November 2020 that included certain model year 2019 models to the list.

According to the class action, beginning with certain 2019 models, Toyota began including Apple CarPlay hardware and software. The plaintiff claims Toyota vehicles equipped with Apple CarPlay do not suffer from Bluetooth echo problems.

But a Toyota vehicle allegedly cannot be retrofitted with Apple CarPlay without purchasing the hardware and software to run the system.

The Toyota Bluetooth problems class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division: Sharon Menzel, v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., et al.

The plaintiff is represented by Normand PLLC, Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, P.C., Law Office of Richard S. Cornfeld, LLC, and Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos, LLP.