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Toyota 8-Speed Transmission Problems: What Toyota Owners Must Know

Toyota 8-Speed Transmisson Issues

Toyota 8-Speed Transmission Problems Key Takeaways

Toyota models equipped with the 8-Speed Transmission have been reported to have issues such as hesitation when shifting under partial or full throttle, and harsh or jerky shifting behavior.

Users have shared mixed experiences regarding the transmission’s performance. While some mention lag and slow response, others suggest that software updates from Toyota may have resolved some of the problems.

Owners are advised to monitor for early signs of transmission issues and seek professional advice promptly for diagnosis and potential software updates.

Toyota 8-speed transmission problems have been a pebble in Toyota’s shoe.

Toyota has long been synonymous with reliability and quality in the automotive industry.

However, no brand is immune to challenges, and the Toyota 8-speed transmission problems have been a concern for many consumers.

This article takes a deeper look at these issues, and how Toyota and the NHTSA decided not to issue a recall.

Toyota 8 speed transmission outline

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Analyzing Toyota 8-Speed Transmisson Problems

Toyota 8-speed transmission problems have posed a serious safety risk for drivers. The transmission, also known as the UA80, as some very specific symptoms such as:

Hesitation and Shifting Irregularities

A recurring issue with the 8-speed transmission is its hesitant response under varying throttle conditions. This manifests as:

  • Delayed gear shifts.
  • Unpredictable shifting patterns.
  • Discomfort during acceleration.

Harsh and Jerky Shifting

The transmission is often reported to exhibit rough and abrupt shifting behavior, particularly noticeable:

  • While downshifting.
  • During acceleration from lower speeds.

Intermittent Transmission Failures

Some owners have experienced sporadic transmission failures, characterized by:

  • Sudden jerks or RPM spikes.
  • Unusual noises or whining sounds.
  • Temporary malfunctions without warning indicators.
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Which Toyota Vehicles Have an 8-Speed Defective Transmission?

2017-2020 Toyota Highlander and Sienna

2018-2020 Toyota Avalon

2018 Camry and RAV4

2019 Avalon and Lexus ES 350

Toyota Automatic Transmission Troubleshooting

Toyota has not issued recalls specifically for these transmission issues as of September 2023.

There are civil lawsuits filed like Morales v. Toyota Motor Sales. The lawsuit states that the new 2019 Lexus RX350 has an 8-speed transmission that pulls and jerks on acceleration and that there is sudden unintended acceleration without pressing the gas. 

Toyota Motor sales are suggesting owners to follow the following precautions:

Diagnostic and Repair Strategies

  • Regular maintenance and check-ups.
  • Software updates for the transmission’s electronic control unit (ECU).
  • Professional assessments for unusual transmission behaviors.

Owner Awareness and Precautionary Measures

  • Monitoring for early signs of transmission issues.
  • Seeking timely professional advice.
  • Understanding the vehicle’s warranty and service options.
Toyota ZF 8 Speed Transmission Problems

The Evolution of the Toyota 8AT Transmission

Toyota’s quest for enhanced performance and fuel efficiency culminated in the development of the Direct Shift-8AT.

This 8-speed automatic transmission, designed for vehicles with transverse-mounted engines, was first seen in the 2017 Toyota Highlander and Sienna.

Its deployment expanded across various models, including the 2018 Camry and RAV4, as well as the 2019 Avalon and Lexus ES 350.

Key Features:

  • Engineered for front-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles.
  • Non-user-serviceable, using Toyota World Standard (WS) fluid.
  • Aimed at boosting performance and fuel economy.
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Toyota Transmission Development and Production History

Exploring the development and production history of the Direct Shift-8AT provides insight into Toyota’s engineering approach and the transmission’s evolution over time.

Evolutionary Milestones:

  • Introduction in high-demand models like the Highlander and Sienna.
  • Expansion to popular models including the Camry and RAV4.
  • Continuous refinement in response to consumer feedback and technological advancements.

Toyota 8 Speed Transmission Problems FAQs

The main issues include hesitation during shifting under various throttle conditions and harsh or jerky shifting behavior.

As of the available information, Toyota had not issued specific recalls for these transmission issues.

Some reports suggest that certain problems may be mitigated or resolved with a PCM (Powertrain Control Module) update from Toyota.

Owners should monitor their vehicles for early signs of issues and consult a Toyota dealership for a thorough diagnostic and potential software updates.

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