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Why did my 2018 Toyota Kluger jump from drive into neutral?

Asked by Francis

I have a 2018 Toyota Kluger KXR all-wheel-drive, and recently when driving up a range, the vehicle jumped from drive into neutral. Has this been reported before?

I have also noticed when overtaking, the gearbox seems to have a period of flare whereby it takes a long time to change back to a higher gear, this can take some time. I reported it to my local dealer but they do not want to know. What can I do here?

Answered by CarsGuide

8 Feb 2021 David Morley

We haven’t heard of the Kluger jumping out of gear as a common problem, but it’s definitely one you need a mechanic to look at as there’s an obvious safety implication if you lose drive at a critical moment. The 'flaring' could simply be the behaviour that’s been programmed into the vehicle at the factory. The idea is that when you start to use large throttle inputs (say, when overtaking) the vehicle interprets that as you driving on a winding, uphill road. So, to keep the engine making lots of power, it holds on to a lower gear than seems normal. And that’s what you’re feeling when the revs stay high beyond your overtaking move. Try adjusting the car’s mode from Sport to Normal or even Economy, at which point the transmission should become a little less frenetic.

The good news is that, if there’s something wrong, your car should still be covered by Toyota’s factory warranty (which was three-years/100,000km when your car was bought new) so make it Toyota’s problem. If you’re not happy with your dealer, talk to Toyota Australia’s customer service department.

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