hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
86,339 miles

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problem #6

Oct 022007

Highlander 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,754 miles
Toyota 2002 Highlander automatic transmission failed at 77,754 miles. Replaced by dealer under extended warranty after paying $50 deductible. This is a common problem and needs a recall. Toyota refuses to acknowledge that they have a problem. Cost to replace without warrantee would have been $4290. The car now has 138,235 miles on it and based on other drivers' experience and history I could be facing another auto trans problem very soon.

- Valley Center, CA, USA

problem #5

Feb 102010


  • 108,000 miles
At 108K miles, my 2002 Toyota Highlander transmission went out and had to be replaced. Whatever happened to Toyota lasting to 200K miles, like in the commercials? I'll never be able to jump up and be the one proclaiming how many miles my Toyota has now! I'm very disappointed, as I bought this vehicle expecting to drive it well beyond 100K miles and with further research, apparently I'm not the only disappointed Highlander owner with the same issue.

- Laguna Hills, CA, USA

problem #4

May 092010

Highlander 4WD

  • 131,000 miles
Transmission went out in the middle of a busy interstate. Just a week earlier, the dealer told me they cold find nothing wrong with the vehicle.

- Angier, NC, USA

problem #3

Dec 142009


  • 106,000 miles
With only 106,000 miles on my Highlander, the transmission has failed and needs to completely be replaced. A $4600 repair right before christmas. I am in tears. The dealership didn't seem very surprised that this would occur. Ironic? but the transmission specialist I went to for a second opinion said this should never have happened. He advised even proper maintenance wouldn't have prevented this kind of failure. It's just bad equipment. He repeatedly stated how abnormal this was and Toyota used to have a great reputation on the transmission and reliability. I purchased my Toyota based on that reputation. And have had nothing but problems. At 35,000 miles I was a victim of the "sludge engine" issue too. Before the recall was issued on that. The entire engine had to be replaced. Before they were willing to fix it, I had to prove that I had changed the oil regularly. They accused me of not doing this. Toyota knows there is a major problem with this vehicle transmission and from what I see, this is happening to others. It is happening in the rav4's too. They need to step up and take care of their customers and take care of these vehicles. This is the first and last Toyota I will ever own.

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #2

Jun 252009


  • 68,000 miles
I am financing a 2002 Toyota Highlander. On 6/25/09 while driving on a major service road, I heard a large thump sound. I tried to pull over to make sure that I did not hit anything or blow a tire. Once that I saw that everything seemed okay, I proceeded into my vehicle and put the car into drive when I stepped on the gas the car just revved and it stayed into position, I kept changing gears not knowing what was wrong and as I changed into drive and stepped on the gas, my car quickly shifted and almost hit the car in front of me then it stopped again. Fortunately there was a automechanic shop on the corner, someone from the shop came to where I was to look at my car. The mechanic did the same as I did, shift gears and the car would jerk spontaneously back then forth but would not drive. The mechanics pushed it into the garage and inspected to find that my transmission wa gone at 68,000 miles. I have my car checked often, fluids replaced when need be. I do not understand how a transmission can just die at 68,000 miles. I called Toyota because I have my car serviced at Toyota. And because my extended warranty was expired in 2008, they said there was nothing they can do but put in a new transmission. I have had the car towed to 3 locations to make sure I had several opinions and they all said the same thing that my transmission was bad. My car has been at reliable transmission for 2 weeks now, they are currently replacing the transmission for $4,000. The car will not be paid off until August 2010. I often heard that Toyota was one of the best cars that one can purchase that's why I went with a Toyota, however I find this to be quite disturbing to have to replace a major part of my vehicle in such a short time with low mileage. My complaint that I have done research and saw that there are a lot of problems with Toyota Highlander transmissions. This matter is serious and can cause an accident from the gears slipping. Toyota should be responsible for this repair!

- Springfield Gardens, NY, USA

problem #1

Feb 272004


  • 27,282 miles
Vehicle shifted out of park without warning. Dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA