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Toyota recently recalled 1,700 model year 2018 Camry cars due to pistons that are too large.
Pistons are the heart of any engine. As the crankshaft rotates, the pistons move up and down inside the cylinders. Going downward, they pull air into the engine. Traveling upward, they create compression. Both of these actions are required to create combustion – the series of small explosions needed to generate power and propel the vehicle.
A piston that is too large will have reduced clearance with the cylinder wall. As a result, the piston may make contact with the wall, causing extensive engine damage and eventual seizure.
And that’s precisely what’s happening with 2018 Toyota Camry models. Cars equipped with the 2.5L four-cylinder engine have been found to seize up and stop running while the vehicle is moving. Also, the car may emit smoke from the tailpipe and display a myriad of dashboard warning messages.
Toyota has stepped up to the plate and will replace the engine free of charge on affected models. The automaker’s number for this recall is J1M/J0M.
2018 Toyota Camry Engine Recall Information
Engine may Stall due to Incorrectly-Sized Pistons
An engine stall can increase the risk of a crash.
NHTSA Campaign Number: 18V200000
Manufacturer Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing
Components ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING
Potential Number of Units Affected 1,730
Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain 2018 Toyota Camry vehicles equipped with a 2.5L, four-cylinder engine. The pistons on these vehicles may be larger than specified, possibly causing the engine to stall.
Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the production date codes of the pistons and, if an engine contains a piston from the affected production period, the engine assembly will be replaced, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 25, 2018. Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371. Toyota’s number for this recall is J1M/J0M.
Jerky Transmission / Powertrain
For 2018, the Toyota Camry got a brand-new, 8-speed automatic transmission referred to as the Direct Shift-8AT. The NHTSA website lists numerous complaints about this unit’s performance.
One owner from Pewaukee, WI, wrote in,” Vehicle has issues with (the) transmission. There are times when the car can’t seem to decide what gear to pick and when to engage it, resulting in a second or two of dead acceleration. Once the vehicle decides what to do, it sends an excessive amount of power to the wheels with unintended acceleration rates. This has been an issue since the car was first bought in November, 2017.”
Even journalists have noted the problem. An article in Autoweek about the 2018 Camry reads:
“It’s a quiet, nicely trimmed sedan with an upscale dash design and good rear legroom…But then there’s the transmission, which needs an exorcism.”
The author then proceeds to recount his experience:
“In D, the car seems to upshift to fourth by 20 mph, and any attempt to accelerate is met with a yawn and multiple downshifts. It’s like piloting a steamship; you have to call down to the engine room for more power, then wait for the boilers to respond. S mode holds gears slightly longer and behaves more like a regular transmission, but then it seems to stop upshifting at 4th gear unless the driver uses the shift paddles (a truly laughable accessory on this car) to set the top gear. The result: Neither mode is adequate as-programmed for regular around-town driving.”
Toyota has recognized the transmission problem and issued a technical service bulletin (TSB) in response. The article (TSB #T-SB-0330-17) points to a problem with the car’s main computer, the powertrain control module (PCM). Dealers have been instructed to reprogram the PCM to remedy the concern.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Toyota Camry Transmission Problems
I BOUGHT 2018 CAMRY LE THE PROBLEM IS JERKY SHIFTS FROM THE TRANSMISSION, AND SOMETIMES IS DOSEN’T ACCELERATE FROM A SLOW DOWN IF YOU ARE MERGING ON THE HIGHWAY. THIS CAN BE A BIG RISK BECAUSE IT DOESN’T GO WHEN IT THE GAS AFTER A FEW SECONDS ITS KICKS AND GOES REALLY FAST AND YOU DONT EVEN KNOW HOW FAST IT WILL GO ALSO THE TRANSMISSION IS SUPER JURKY IN CITY TRAFFIC. SOMETIME IF YOU PUT THE ACCELERATION IT DOESN’T MOVE FORWARD WE AND OTHER TIMES ITS ACCELERATION IS TOO FAST AND YOU CAN CRASH WITH THE CAR IN FRONT OF YOU. ALSO THE GAS PEDAL IS REALLY STIFF AND IF YOU DRIVE FOR A LONG TIME YOUR FEET AND LEG GETS REALLY SORE FROM APPLYING SO MUCH PRESSURE TO THE GAS PEDAL.
2018 CAMRY 8 SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION HAS DOWNSHIFTING PROBLEMS. THIS INVOLVES A DELAY IN DOWNSHIFTING THAT I HAVE FOUND ON 3 OCCASIONS COULD HAVE BEEN DANGEROUS. UPON COMPLETING A TURN AND REAPPLYING GAS PEDAL THE CAR APPEARED TO BE IN NEUTRAL OR STUCK BETWEEN GEARS. I HAD A DEAD GAS PEDAL FOR 3 OR 4 SECONDS. ON 1 OCCASION I COULD HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN A REAR END COLLISION IF THE OTHER DRIVER HADN’T REALIZED SOMETHING WAS WRONG AND SWERVED TO AVOID MY CAR. I CURRENTLY HAVE LEMON LAW COMPLAINT FILED WITH THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERALS OFFICE INVOLVING THIS CAR AND IT’S TRANSMISSION.
2018 TOYOTA CAMRY HAS BAD TRANSMISSION SINCE THE 1 ST WEEK OF HAVING THIS CAR IT HAS BEEN GIVING ME PROBLEMS IT SLAMS INTO GEAR SOMETIMES, IT HESITATES WHEN STEPPING ON THE GAS LIKE IT DOESN’T KNOW WEATHER TO GO OR NOT IT JERKS LIKE IT CANT FIND WHICH GEAR TO GO INTO THE CAR IS REALLY BAD AND I CANT SEEM TO GET ANY HELP FROM TOYOTA THEY TOLD ME TO KEEP DRIVING MAYBE THE CAR NEEDS TO GET USE TO MY DRIVING. THEY TOLD ME ITS A 4 CYLINDER THAT’S HOW THEY DRIVE. THEY TOLD ME I SHOULD DRIVE IT MANUAL MODE. IM JUST FED UP
Vehicle speed control
Most of the complaints listed under “vehicle speed control” on the NHTSA website aren’t anything different from what’s in the “transmission/powertrain” category. Instead, they’re just more accounts of the Camry’s widespread transmission problem. Presumably, messages end up in this catch-all “vehicle speed” category when the driver doesn’t know what’s wrong with their vehicle. They just know it doesn’t accelerate as it should.
An owner from Orono, ME, complained, “The car keeps jumping forward, it can’t decide when it wants to shift up. When starting from a stop, or driving and trying to accelerate, the car takes over five seconds to really take and realize you are pushing on the gas. All it does is rev a lot.”
Toyota’s new Direct Shift-8AT is designed to be efficient and responsive. Unfortunately, problematic computer controls prevent the transmission from reaching its full potential.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Toyota Camry Speed Control Problems
WHEN THE CAR IN THE LOW SPEED AROUND 20 MILES/HOUR AND THE ENGINE AROUND 2000RPM, THE TRANSMISSION IS WIRED TRYING TO FIND SPECIFIED GEAR, MAKE THE CAR SPEED INCREASED AND DECREASED, IT LIKE JERK THE CAR.
ANOTHER PROBLEM IS WHEN YOU TRYING TO SPEED UP CATCH UP CARS SPEED FROM LOWER SPEED ON HIGHWAY, PRESS THE GAS PEDAL, THE CAR JUST LIKE THINKING THE LIFE PHILOSOPHY THE RPM REACH 4000 THE CAR SUDDENLY SPEED UP.
THE CAR HAS ACCELERATION/SPEED PROBLEMS. IT TAKES TOO LONG TO ACCELERATE WHEN CHANGING LANES, PASSING OTHER VEHICLE, OR ENTERING FREEWAY. THIS ISSUE IS GOING ON ALL AND EVERY TIME I DRIVE IT. I PURCHASED THE CAR ONE MONTH AGO. THIS IS MY 5TH CAMRY AND I NEVER HAD THIS PROBLEM. CAR IS UNSAFE AND IM SCARED TO DRIVE. TOYOTA, DO SOMETHING BEFORE SOMEONE DIES!!!!!!!!!!. I ALMOST GOT REAR-ENDED COUPLE OF TIMES
Your Lemon Law Legal Rights
Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon at no cost to you. The law makes Toyota pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.
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