New models of Camry have bad trany or throttle design

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Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
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I have been paying a lot of attention to the newly designed 2018, 2019, 2020 Camry models in the last year with an eye to maybe perching an LE model some day. Last night I did a Google search for Toyota 2018 Camry recall and a link to a law firm called Lemberg Law had several bad posts. And a Google search for NHTSA Toyota Camry 2018 recall also has quite a few bad post. There were post about the owners having trouble with the transmission hesitating or jolting or hunting for the right gear and doing several shifts when it should have stayed in a certain gear. There were other post about the throttle response hesitating, and some post about the car suddenly accelerating much more than the driver told it to, some of those suggested a sudden un-anticipated acceleration after a hesitation, and there was even one post where the owner was parking the vehicle and he had his foot on the brake and the car accelerated and hit a post in front of it and he swears he did not touch the throttle peddle. A search on the internet shows that the dealers are aware of the problems with the Camry 8 speed transmission but do not have a fix for it. And other post on the internet about Camry transmission problems show a Camry trany failing with only 5 K miles on it, and the replacement is also acting up. While the city and highway MPG of the new models of Camry are impressive, apparently they got something seriously wrong with the 8 speed transmission, and there maybe even something going on with the throttle system. I was drooling over the idea of driving a 2018, or 2019, or 2020 Toyota Camry LE with the legendary reliability of a Toyota serving me for many years and the new improved MPG, but now I would not take one on a whiskey bet. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Would someone please post some links to the Lembrg Law lemon law post about the 2018 and or 2019 Camry, and also about the NHTSA 2018 and or 2019 Camry problems listed. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- As one person commented, if I were going to buy a Camry, it would be a older model without the recent 8 speed transmission.
 
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555
Location
MN
I've heard the same but have also heard of many people very happy with their 18s/19s. Who really knows, but, yes, their mileage is nothing short of impressive (especially for such a big car). For what it's worth, the previous gen (2012-2017) are good for around 35-40 mpg on the highway - my 2012 has had a number of tanks at 39 mpg or better in the past year; I generally drive 70-75 and use the a/c liberally. I've had one tank of almost 41 mpg. Those six speeds seem quite durable (touches wood); the five speed in our Sienna still has the factory fluid at 206k and shifts quite well. If you're concerned, you could pick up a low mileage 2017 LE for well under 20k. Just a thought for you...
 
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326
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Massachusetts
Originally Posted by TmanP
I've heard the same but have also heard of many people very happy with their 18s/19s. Who really knows, but, yes, their mileage is nothing short of impressive (especially for such a big car). For what it's worth, the previous gen (2012-2017) are good for around 35-40 mpg on the highway - my 2012 has had a number of tanks at 39 mpg or better in the past year; I generally drive 70-75 and use the a/c liberally. I've had one tank of almost 41 mpg. Those six speeds seem quite durable (touches wood); the five speed in our Sienna still has the factory fluid at 206k and shifts quite well. If you're concerned, you could pick up a low mileage 2017 LE for well under 20k. Just a thought for you...
I haven't seen much about failures, other than one report of a Highlander with an early failure. I do know that I drove a 2018 Camry myself and the shifting behavior was certainly odd, particularly when coasting at low speeds then re-accelerating. I second the suggestion to get a 2017. I am planning to do the same to replace my Sonata before the Theta II bites the dust, I'll just throw in an aftermarket Sony headunit for CarPlay and be done.
 
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Toyota is not immune to engine, transmission or any other issue. A certain percentage(tiny) have problems. The issue with Toyota is they sell a ton of models you mention so enough people complain and internet amplifies. People who are happy with performance to not typically come to internet, search out forum and explain how great it is. They simply drive it.
 
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St. Charles County, Missouri
Originally Posted by madRiver
Toyota is not immune to engine, transmission or any other issue. A certain percentage(tiny) have problems. The issue with Toyota is they sell a ton of models you mention so enough people complain and internet amplifies. People who are happy with performance to not typically come to internet, search out forum and explain how great it is. They simply drive it.
To-- SMC733. This advice applies to all mechanical deficiencies amplified by the Internet, including the Theta.
 
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JTK

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Buffalo, NY
An older model, but I find the throttle tip-in super annoying on my mom's 2015 Camry LE w/ the 2.5 and 6spd (I believe?). It always takes me a few take-offs to get used to it. Her previous Toyota was the same, a 2008 Pontiac Vibe
 
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Colorado Springs
HL and Sienna with AWD had some serious issues with 8 speed. Problem was that Toyota never issued recall but tried to remedy through various software patches and some replacements. Those were 17-early 19 models. However, this is first time I hear about transmission issues on FWD models. Programming of that tranny is definiately bad, in numerous ways as MPG is primary goal of that programming. Not that Toyota cannot do it, it does much better job of programming in Lexus vehicles. Is MPG impressive? It is OK, but there are vehicles in 300lb-ft territory that are getting similar MPG.
 
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Colorado Springs
Originally Posted by JTK
An older model, but I find the throttle tip-in super annoying on my mom's 2015 Camry LE w/ the 2.5 and 6spd (I believe?). It always takes me a few take-offs to get used to it. Her previous Toyota was the same, a 2008 Pontiac Vibe
Old trick by manufacturers to hide lack of power.
 
I agree about the internet magnifying the problems with cars. In my case, hanging around the f150 forums, you'd think that every Ecoboost engine had bad timing chains and phasers. I've had several EB powered vehicles with no problems at all. As noted above, just think of the people who drive their EB powered vehicles, getting services on the OLMs recommendation, using dealer bulk oil, that go 100k blissfully motoring, because they don't hang out on forums and everything's fine! Because of forums and web derived opinions there aren't any good: refrigerators, washers, driers, dishwashers, TVs, etc. How did we ever make it without the web?
 
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Exactly the same "complaints" happened in 2004-05 with the Camry and Sienna with the E151U 5 speed transmission. And I mean exactly, word for word. It happens with abrupt throttle changes and the programming of downshifts resulting in a lurch as the lower gear and electronic throttle control "decide" how fast you want to accelerate. If you roll on and off the gas pedal, it doesn't lurch. Stab your foot down and it does. Test drive one and try the stab versus roll method. It'll clear up if it's a deal breaker for you. From 2004: https://www.carcomplaints.com/Toyot...power_train-automatic_transmission.shtml
 
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326
Location
Massachusetts
Originally Posted by csandste
Originally Posted by madRiver
Toyota is not immune to engine, transmission or any other issue. A certain percentage(tiny) have problems. The issue with Toyota is they sell a ton of models you mention so enough people complain and internet amplifies. People who are happy with performance to not typically come to internet, search out forum and explain how great it is. They simply drive it.
To-- SMC733. This advice applies to all mechanical deficiencies amplified by the Internet, including the Theta.
Hardly, the Theta is failing left and right. Whether it was their attempted retaliation against a whitstleblower, which led to their corporate offices being raided, or just the sheer number of NTHSA reports, it's definitely a problem. The fact that they claimed the issue was isolated to a few models/model years, only for that to be proven wrong, and then rinse and repeat. First it was 11-12 only, then 13-14 were blowing. Now, no no no, 2015 re-design fixed it, but wait, there's 200+ NTHSA claims of 2015s failing, and plenty of 2016s and 2017s turning to massive oil burners. There's a reason they've had to settle all of the class action suits, they were caught, red-handed. Camry transmission issues = A design issue that leaves some customers displeased with the product. Theta II engine issues = A known design flaw that is dangerous and will impact every engine sold with the issue.
 
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Kendall, FL
I think you'll find what you want on the internet. I've heard nothing by great things about the newer Camry.
 
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JHZR2

Staff member
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New Jersey
I had a new camry as a rental car recently. Drove it around 100 miles. It returned around 40 MPG on the highway, which was great. The legroom in the front was incredible too - Im pretty tall, and with the seat back, I could extend my legs fully. Its probably a car you could camp in if you reclined the seat all the way back. But its like a boat - yes the suspension is firmer than older ones, but its essentially a boat. Far different feel, including for things like u-turns, compared to my Accord. But what stuck out to me was the non-responsive mode it would go into, that had to essentially get "waken up". Its probably how it returns great MPGs, but it is in some sort of mode where the throttle response is nearly non-existant, and it takes a few seconds to make much change. Im used to a lag before getting pep from driving turbo cars and hybrids. This is none of that - just a lethargic period of time before it gets up and goes. Even then, floored, it feels slow compared to modern cars. Maybe the gears are overly optimized for economy? I noticed also that (thankfully) it has none of that Toytota first gear jump, that makes the throttle too jumpy or aggressive from a stop. Ill pass on the camry until they get back to a more normal design (the attempt to appeal to a younger group by trying to appear "sporty" is just plain stupid for this vehicle). With a little tuning the one I had would be pretty good, but the throttle response did stand out to me...
 
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Colorado Springs
Originally Posted by JHZR2
I had a new camry as a rental car recently. Drove it around 100 miles. It returned around 40 MPG on the highway, which was great. The legroom in the front was incredible too - Im pretty tall, and with the seat back, I could extend my legs fully. Its probably a car you could camp in if you reclined the seat all the way back. But its like a boat - yes the suspension is firmer than older ones, but its essentially a boat. Far different feel, including for things like u-turns, compared to my Accord. But what stuck out to me was the non-responsive mode it would go into, that had to essentially get "waken up". Its probably how it returns great MPGs, but it is in some sort of mode where the throttle response is nearly non-existant, and it takes a few seconds to make much change. Im used to a lag before getting pep from driving turbo cars and hybrids. This is none of that - just a lethargic period of time before it gets up and goes. Even then, floored, it feels slow compared to modern cars. Maybe the gears are overly optimized for economy? I noticed also that (thankfully) it has none of that Toytota first gear jump, that makes the throttle too jumpy or aggressive from a stop. Ill pass on the camry until they get back to a more normal design (the attempt to appeal to a younger group by trying to appear "sporty" is just plain stupid for this vehicle). With a little tuning the one I had would be pretty good, but the throttle response did stand out to me...
One cannot have it both ways. Toyota is doing everything possible to keep engines simple in the US, that is how they gained reputation. However, in order to return competitive MPG they have to go to great lengths. Recently I think Motor Trend retuned on BMW 330i 42mpg and they did not spare the car. So, how you keep up with other manufacturers but also keep it simple? Throttle that does not respond, weird programming of Aisin 8speed etc. etc. That Aisin 8 speed is capable to be programmed much better. VW has it, BMW has it in their transverse applications etc. The question is: how long they will be able to keep pushing this before will have to exert to turbo engines in Camry?
 
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New York
I have 18 SXE 2.5 . About a year now. I can live with the occasional jerk shift. I do however think ours was updated via flash when it was traded at 5000 miles. It's not that bad honestly. We get one of those hop shifts about monthly, thats about it. Sort of like the cvt hesitation thing. For me it likes to do it under just certain gentle acceleration and I sort of back off . My daughter who rarely drives it says it drives her nuts but they got a 19 the same model and I don't hear the [censored]. It could just be much of it is the way the car learns your driving style. It does have some sort of learning function as to driving style which accounts for some of it I'm sure. What you are missing is dealing with cvt s most of ...my old favorite Honda has mostly gone to. No turbo either whitch Honda has fallen for along with the rather smallish 1.5 . the daughter and hubby wanted a new car and we looked at a few SI, Sport and Civics and came up lame. SI needed Hi test and like accord has boosted 1.5. Sport just wasn't impressive with it's 2. O standard but at least you could get it. they finally settled on what we have 2.5 Camray SXE identical to ours but 19 model. They aren't griping either. It's just something to be aware of that bang shift and or slip shift. It happens on occasion only for us. If you are OCB and demand perfection you won't like it surely but other than that it's a solid performer in realistic terms with that little quirk. Engine is the same solid 2.5 mpfi as prior models, one exception . It's primarily a DI with the MPFI kicking in and out to keep buildup off the valves. Delivers a solid 32 and change mixed honest readout. FYI Range isn't increased really as it's a smaller gas tank, like 12 gallon +-. I've seen guys bragging 40 MPG, well maybe at 50MPH surely mostly downhill drafting but not realistic for a heavy car, maybe 35 highway real life but what do you want from a sedan , Gretta🧟. My advice is to take one out and feel it out. Ou can find low mile trade ins like mine kicking around. Ours was in Fla so who knows maybe somebody died or it may have been the tranny and they hated it, hard to say. Sometime you get lucky but they still aren't cheap...¬. I'm not selling mine anytime soon though. Here's the Camray forums. Take a look around in here, happy hunting. https://www.toyotanation.com/forums/camry-8th-generation-2018.802/
 
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CA
Have you driven one? Of the few that I have driven (one was an early build 18 with over 50K), the shifting is no better (or worse) than other 8-speed automatics.
 
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NYC
I've heard complaints about the 18+ I4 automatics 18 and early 19 I4 cars have a TSB for a reflash Test drive the V6, see if it's any better I'm also hearing people being happy with throttle controllers to remove some of the lag Go take a look on /r/Camry
 
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New England
Our 2018 VW Tiguan supposedly according to internet is cursed with the AISIN 8 speed transmission hesitation. Maybe once it jerked in 53k miles clocked so far. I get it's programming but if VW can manage.....
 
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USA
One thing that stands out is that the exchanged a bulletproof 6 speed auto for a questionable 8 speed for an extra MPG or two...bad decision. Very bad. Engine problems ...even Scotty Kilmer has said that Toyota is becoming just as problematic as the average car now...not that this is terrible but it hurts the very reason why Toyota is so well respected..bulletproof reliability.
 
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Location
Massachusetts
Originally Posted by AC1DD
One thing that stands out is that the exchanged a bulletproof 6 speed auto for a questionable 8 speed for an extra MPG or two...bad decision. Very bad. Engine problems ...even Scotty Kilmer has said that Toyota is becoming just as problematic as the average car now...not that this is terrible but it hurts the very reason why Toyota is so well respected..bulletproof reliability.
Time marches forward. I just exchanged my 2016 Sonata, which was showing signs of engine issues, for a 2017 Camry. Test drove a 17 and 18, liked the 18 but I wanted a 10-year car, plus the older one felt a bit more comfortable, sits up higher, and doesn't look as... different as the new one. Having said that, they can't stick in 6-speed land forever, they have to remain competitive. Scotty Kilmer might be a well respected mechanic, but he's no engineer. I bet Toyota sticks with this 8 speed for a decade or so until everyone begins full-electric transition, I'm sure most of the issues will be worked out in the next revision.
 
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