2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback recalled to replace the CVT

Not a great sign for the seemingly innovative continuous variable transmission

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback / Image Credit: Toyota
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Toyota is issuing a recall for the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback. The recall is for automatic Corollas only, because the culprit is the new "Direct Shift-CVT" Toyota introduced for the first time in this car. About 3,400 Corollas will be coming back to U.S. dealerships to have the entire transmission replaced.

Toyota says that, "there is a possibility that due to a manufacturing error, the blades of the pump impeller in the torque converter may detach, causing damage to the torque converter and potential loss of motive power."

Toyota's new CVT, which will also be found in the upcoming 2020 Corolla Sedan, is a totally new design for the company known best for its cars' reliability. The transmission uniquely consists of a single launch gear essentially attached to a continuously variable transmission. Utilizing an actual gear when taking off from a stop is more efficient than relying solely on the CVT, which in turn, can use a smaller pulley and thus improve reaction times at higher speeds. We found it performed impressively during our Corolla Hatchback first drive.

Needless to say, though, the torque converter didn't detach during that drive. Toyota is apparently in the process of obtaining new parts, so it can put new transmissions in all the affected cars. Toyota does not detail whether any crashes or injuries have resulted as a consequence of this issue yet.

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