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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had an issue with my Tundra that has been documented since October 2011. Occasionally when I start the vehicle, the 4lo light is flashing accompanied by a beeping alert, the transmission releases into a neutral position and the shift selector becomes essentially useless (you can toggle from Park through each setting including drive and the transmission will not engage).
Two days ago (6/23/2015) I started my truck via remote start. The truck started and the issue above happened. The problem being that I was not in the vehicle and as the truck started, the transmission went into neutral and my truck began to roll. Although the parking lot was fairly flat, my truck gained enough momentum to crash into a parked vehicle. Lucky nobody was hurt, but the incident has got me thinking about how dangerous this issue is.
Back in October 2011, Toyota said they have never heard of the issue before and they could not replicate the issue on my truck as it happens randomly. It's done it maybe 100x since 2011, but certainly won't do it if you're trying to.

I would like to reach out to other forum members who have the same problem. If we band together, Toyota will have to recognize that it is a real problem and a real safety issue.

If you've had this problem happen to you, please PM me or post here.
 

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I will assume that the truck is actually doing this (crazy beans for sure):

If it is; then the problem is in the “transfer case”. Either the transfer case is defective, needs adjustment, or the electronics that control it are “wack-o”.

Because you say this occasionally happens when you “start the truck”, then by default this implies the electronics are “wack-o” controlling the transfer case.

I am also assuming that the truck was turned off correctly and drive train was operating correctly just prior to the times you started the truck and you have this 4-Lo issue. In other words you did not previously fail to let the truck “complete” the correct 4-Lo, 4-Hi, 4x2 engagement/disengagement before turning it off?

Also assuming the 4x4 system overall operates correctly when “you” control it would also lead one to believe it is an electronic control issue, could even be something simple like a short in the wiring.
 

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You said "documented" so apparently you do have some sort of documentation that this has been reported to Toyota. I suggest you turn a copy of that documentation over to your insurance company and let them go after Toyota. They will have a financial incentive to get the money it costs them for this accident back from Toyota.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yep...this definitely happens. I have video to prove it. And there are other posts here and on Tacoma forums as well to verify that it happens in Toyotas and is not isolated to my truck.
We are talking normal 2WD operation. No 4WD required to make this happen...randomly. I only use 4WD occasionally. Truck "turned off" properly. As in put into park, key removed. Evidence as such is that the truck stayed in place for hours and only rolled forward once the engine started.

I agree that it is most likely the transfer case. Probably a faulty solenoid.
 

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Yep...this definitely happens. I have video to prove it. And there are other posts here and on Tacoma forums as well to verify that it happens in Toyotas and is not isolated to my truck.
We are talking normal 2WD operation. No 4WD required to make this happen...randomly. I only use 4WD occasionally. Truck "turned off" properly. As in put into park, key removed. Evidence as such is that the truck stayed in place for hours and only rolled forward once the engine started.

I agree that it is most likely the transfer case. Probably a faulty solenoid.
Something is triggering the solenoid in the transfer case when the truck is "started". Bad control unit, short, faulting wiring, or some other electrical issue causing it to go into 4-Lo upon starting etc. That is what is causing the truck to roll away.

The addition of remote start may be part of the issue as well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It happens if the truck is started via key or remote start. Obviously, I'm not going to use remote start anymore.
 

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Is it a Toyota Remote start or aftermarket?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Doesn't matter. It happens regardless of how the truck is started and there are others with the same issue. I'm looking for other people that have the same problem. I'm not trying to diagnose the issue at this point. Just looking for Toyota to acknowledge it's an issue.
 

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Something in the starting circuit is causing the problem.

It could be either factory or after market element.

The remote start does not have to be used.

Regardless, the occasional changing of the transfer case to 4-Lo is triggered upon starting.

Obviously spurious electrical is suspect. A qualified tech could track it down.

Be certain to "always" set the braking brake until the problem is found.
 

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Just curious, how does the transfer case have anything to do with the truck going into neutral?...

Or, is because the truck must be in neutral for it to engage in 4-Lo and it goes into neutral because the 4-Lo is being initiated?...

Wouldn't the truck still be in park?...

BCB
 

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Just curious, how does the transfer case have anything to do with the truck going into neutral?...

Or, is because the truck must be in neutral for it to engage in 4-Lo and it goes into neutral because the 4-Lo is being initiated?...

Wouldn't the truck still be in park?...

BCB
It has nothing to do with the "transmission" going into neutral. The transmission is in "any" gear that it is "in" and "indicated".

It is the "transfer case" that is disengaged all four wheels; thus the transmission is "not" connected to anything while the transfer case is "disengaged". That is why it does not matter what gear is selected.

All of that is "indicated" by the "blinking" 4-Lo light. The "blinking" light means the transfer case is "not" engaged. In other words the truck can roll away even if in "park".
 

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All of this is covered in fairly good detail in the manual.

It also reviews the subject I mentioned earlier; that engagement and disengagement "must" be completed before the truck is turned "off". Otherwise upon start up the truck could roll away if in "Park" and the brake is not set - It is one of those "warning" statements in the manual on the operation of 4-Lo.

The OP, has indicated he uses the correct turning "off" procedure; so that is not the problem.
 

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I have had an issue with my Tundra that has been documented since October 2011. Occasionally when I start the vehicle, the 4lo light is flashing accompanied by a beeping alert, the transmission releases into a neutral position and the shift selector becomes essentially useless (you can toggle from Park through each setting including drive and the transmission will not engage).
Two days ago (6/23/2015) I started my truck via remote start. The truck started and the issue above happened. The problem being that I was not in the vehicle and as the truck started, the transmission went into neutral and my truck began to roll. Although the parking lot was fairly flat, my truck gained enough momentum to crash into a parked vehicle. Lucky nobody was hurt, but the incident has got me thinking about how dangerous this issue is.
Back in October 2011, Toyota said they have never heard of the issue before and they could not replicate the issue on my truck as it happens randomly. It's done it maybe 100x since 2011, but certainly won't do it if you're trying to.

I would like to reach out to other forum members who have the same problem. If we band together, Toyota will have to recognize that it is a real problem and a real safety issue.

If you've had this problem happen to you, please PM me or post here.
I just had this happen to me right now and am trying to figure it out!! Very dangerous and scary for sure! I didn't know it was in "neutral" and it started rolling back while I was in it with the door open.. Did you ever find out what the cause was?? I'm stuck right now with the 4 lo flashing and beeping and it's not engaged in any gear. I haven't touched 4wd for awhile now and I know I didn't accidentally turn the knob and I turned the truck off normally!? This is weird and hopefully nothing broken.
 

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I am assuming the parking brake is not engaged when the truck rolled away? I know its may seem obvious it was not. However, if it was and the parking brake disengaged on its own then that a huge problem.
 

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Update: I messed with it a bit and turned key to on without starting and shifted to neutral and heard a pop underneath, all of a sudden 4 lo light goes off and beeping stops!!?? Idk but seems like an actuator or something was stuck.. Idk if this is connected but o did just have that stupid recall ecm updated done from the dealer and all I know is this never happened before that! I know my battery was leaking after I left the dealer too and they said they didn't even go under my hood? I think they are full of shit but can't prove it so oh well just won't be going back there..
 

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Update: I messed with it a bit and turned key to on without starting and shifted to neutral and heard a pop underneath, all of a sudden 4 lo light goes off and beeping stops!!?? Idk but seems like an actuator or something was stuck.. Idk if this is connected but o did just have that stupid recall ecm updated done from the dealer and all I know is this never happened before that! I know my battery was leaking after I left the dealer too and they said they didn't even go under my hood? I think they are full of shit but can't prove it so oh well just won't be going back there..
I would have the dealer look at. Depending on the diagnoses I would figure out what route I would want to go to fix it.
 

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I would have the dealer look at. Depending on the diagnoses I would figure out what route I would want to go to fix it.
I don't trust my dealer anymore since I've had a few bad experiences with them and after talking to a couple of the techs.. They just seem like they don't care and can't wait to get done. I'll crawl under when I get a chance and see I I can find anything out of the ordinary.. I'll also cycle my 4wd more to seeing that helps it from happening but it's not like I never use 4x4 I just don't drive 10 miles a month in 4 hi and don't really want to.
 

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I don't trust my dealer anymore since I've had a few bad experiences with them and after talking to a couple of the techs.. They just seem like they don't care and can't wait to get done. I'll crawl under when I get a chance and see I I can find anything out of the ordinary.. I'll also cycle my 4wd more to seeing that helps it from happening but it's not like I never use 4x4 I just don't drive 10 miles a month in 4 hi and don't really want to.
How many miles are on your truck?
 
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