Toyota is recalling their 2019 Corolla Hatchback due to an issue with its continuously variable transmission.
This is definitely another bad outcome for Toyota, who just recently introduced their new “Direct Shift-CVT” earlier this year and implemented it in the 2019 Corolla Hatchback. The Direct Shift-CVT uses a launch gear connected to the rest of the CVT to improve off-the-line performance, resulting in faster shifts and a 6% increase in fuel economy.
It was also supposed to be just as reliable as Toyota’s previous version of the CVT, but that may have been a little optimistic.
Toyota is recalling 973 cars in Canada and around 3,400 in the US due to an error that could blow up the CVT’s torque converter and cause catastrophic transmission failure.
"There is a possibility that due to a manufacturing error, the blades of the pump impeller in the torque converter may detach,” writes Toyota in their recall notice, “causing damage to the torque converter and potential loss of motive power."
That loss of motive power on the highway could cause a loss of control and “increase the risk of a crash.”
No accidents or injuries have been reported, but you should still probably get this one fixed as soon as possible. Catastrophic transmission failure has a tendency to break more than just the transmission.
Fortunately for Corolla owners, the Japanese carmaker will replace all affected vehicle transmissions free of charge. Toyota is currently building new Direct Shift-CVTs with new torque converters that solve the potential issue, and all affected vehicles will be right as rain as soon as they get ‘em.
Unfortunately for Corolla owners, replacing a car’s transmission is no easy task. Expect even a well-trained army of technicians to take all afternoon and maybe even part of the morning getting this task done.
All 2019 Corolla Hatchback owners will be notified by first-class mail when it’s time to take their cars in. In the meantime, maybe try and drive a little slower just to be on the safe side. Or take the bus.