Can an Autobot or Decepticon survive falling through the Earth's atmosphere or would the heat and friction instantly kill them?
They can survive
If you watch the end of the new Transformers movie, shortly
after it says "directed by Michael bay" it shows Starscream going
out of the atmosphere, in fighter jet mode, with the glowing red
around his nose. So yes they can survive the friction and the
intense heat. At the begenng of the first movie it shows them
entering earth atmospher in these pod like forms.
No they cant survive
In the old seires the transformers didn't survive through just
the robot mode they hade to be in a spacecraft. So the movies are
not correct at that.