New Car bad transmission


I just bought a new 2007 Sienna. The transmission went after having it 4 days. The dealer replaced it and I was happy to have it back . . . for 4 more days until it didn’t shift into gear when starting from a stop 3 times in a row. I had to manually shift to get it to go. The dealer has the car and can’t find the problem but I don’t want it back. I live in MASS and we have a lemon law. Am I on solid ground demanding a buy back?? What do I do if they try to make me take it back (besides badmouth them to everyone I know)?


What you need to do is to read the actual details of the Lemon Law in your state. These laws tend to vary a bit, but most specify that you are eligible relief after three unsuccessful attempts to repair the same defect.

Alternatively, these laws tend to specify that, if your vehicle has been out of service for repair for X number of days, you also qualify for relief. X could = 20 days, or 30 days, depending on the state.

Also, the relief varies from state to state. Some specify a new vehicle, some specify a refund of the purchase price, and some specify a refund of the purchase price MINUS a fee for the period of time that you had use of the vehicle.

So, until you know the details for your state, you do not know when you are eligible for relief, and you do not know the details of the relief. So–now is the time to educate yourself.

The details should be sitting in your glove compartment, but if they are not, the text of the law is available on the 'net, via Google or your favorite search engine.


Check out this link. There are probably other links that could help, but these folks will likely gauge the severity of your problem & be able to advise you. It’s a free phone call…can’t hurt.


Lemon Laws vary by state.
There’s always a chance the transmission was not replaced and you were BSed.

Contact the regional office and check with them if there is a warranty claim on file. Also find out the warranty claim number.

If there is no claim on file…


Am I on solid ground demanding a buy back??

NO. It’s in your best interest to read and follow the instructions given on this website-

The first gating rule is they get THREE attempts to fix the same problem.

Read and UNDERSTAND the documentation rules. You’ll want to save the prior repair attempt documentation.

One bit of advice- you can drop the hint that you are giving them their one last attempt per the Mass Lemon Law guidelines. This may work in your favor because they will think twice before turning the car back over to you without making sure it is really fixed.

Another point is to be reasonable. It may be something simple at this point that they can fix quickly. They’re only humans working there. Everbody makes mistakes at some point.


Dang, I meant to add- once the dealership has made their three attempts, then you must contact the manufacturer to give them a final attempt. Read the notification rules on the page I provided.


The only thing I have to add, is make sure its a factory brand new replacement transmission, not a factory rebuilt unit.


You must understand the Massachusetts lemon law and do exactly what it says. That is the only way to get a new car, if that is what you are entitled to. You have two visits. Do you have written evidence that you visited the dealer? No evidence (receipt), no visit. I had Ford over a barrel with a 1987 Taurus. In MD, it takes (took) 6 visits. Before the last visit, I had written Ford and informed them of my intention to seek a new car. On the last visit, the service manager looked at his computer monitor, his eyes got as big as saucers, he gasped, and said they would replace the AC compressor immediately and replace all the seals in the AC system. When you’ve got it right, they jump.


Just to bring my original point back up; the OP needs to verify the transmission was replaced.
Replacing the entire transmission on a near new car could possibly be a line of BS they were told to get them on down the road.

The way warranty works is that if the transmission has a problem, warranty will only pay for repairing that particular problem in the transmission. It will NOT pay for a complete transmission assembly unless the original trans was totally wiped out and this is highly unlikely on a near new car.

Maybe the OP needs to do a bit of research here and get the serial number off the transmission. It can then be traced back to the VIN and one would know if they’re lying or not.


If you decide to listen to OK4450’s advice (and I would reccomend it). Attached is a TSB showing the location of the trans serial numbers. The Sienna is on page 3 of the TSB.


Another legit alternative is to replace the entire unit with a manufacturer rebuild. This is legit by the way warranties work. They may have replaced the entire tranny with a Toyota reman. This is in reference to ok’s comment.


Be aware that toyota has had some problems with transmisions