really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
15,193 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

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problem #13

May 042019


  • 41,000 miles
Car stalled has happened more than 5 times at parking lot - gas station - home - restaurant - car wash car has stopped while driving on main street 1 time

- Harbor City, CA, USA

problem #12

Jun 012017


  • 15,966 miles
The contact owns a 2017 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled while driving various speeds. The coffee cup icon displayed on the instrument panel during the failure. The failure was experienced numerous times. The vehicle was taken to hudson Toyota (599 routes 440 South, jersey city, NJ, 07305, (201) 201-5483). The dealer inspected the vehicle, replaced the engine oil, replaced the filters, and rotated the tires. The dealer informed the contact that a metal fragment was located in the motor area; however, the dealer was unable to remove the metal object that was located in the motor. The dealer concluded that there was an electrical failure. The manufacturer was contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 15,966.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #11

Feb 092018


  • 20,000 miles
I stopped at my neighbors house to give her something, I left the engine running when I went in to her house as soon as I went into her house I heard a noise looked out and couldn't see the car, I went out side and the car had jumped in to gear and went into her garage ( the door was open) the car hit her bike, golf clubs there was a 2X4 on a chair the car hit the 2X4 and then the other end of the 2X4 hit her washing machine witch stopped the car.the door was locked so I went home (3 houses from her house) to get the other set of keys the car still wouldn't unlock so I used the the key that is in the remote control to unlock it and shut the engine off.I can't believe the car locked because the keys were in my purse that was in the car.the 2X4 went into the engine and a tow truck had to take it to the garage.I can't believe the car jumped into gear and moved on its own. At one time when we had and oil change my husband told the service manager that when we put the car in gear the car would make a clunk noise and he said they all do that. Maybe they do but I wouldn't think so after what happened.

- North Port, FL, USA

problem #10

Jan 242019


  • 27,800 miles
I was driving on an interstate with dynamic speed control on. The car slowed appropriately to match the speed of the the vehicle ahead of me. Suddenly several warning lights and messages appeared: Master warning light, check engine, check AWD, go to Toyota dealer, engine power loss.the car slowed to about 35 miles an hour (in a 65 mph area) while traffic in front of me was at (or above) the speed limit. I was able to safely get to the shoulder and turn the car off. I took a few minutes to use my smartphone to find the nearest dealer and planned to go off the exit (which was just a few yard ahead) and try to make it to the dealer on side roads. When I restarted the car all lights and warnings were off and the car drove without incident until I reached the dealer near my residence, about 100 miles away. The service rep at the dealer advised I had traveled too far since the incident for their computer analysis to work and he had no advice except to go to the nearest dealer if it ever happened again. I would like to have some info on how to avoid such an incident again.

- Royersford, PA, USA

problem #9

Oct 212018


  • miles
On Sunday Oct 21 2018, the driver had just left the olin rest area in North Carolina, heading northbound on rt 77. After driving for a little bit the car suddenly acceleration unintentionally by itself. And the car started to zig zag across the highway lanes without the driver turning the steering wheel. The driver tried to press on the brake but it was not effective. The car then grazed an highway guardrail and it partially ripped off the rear left side and rear bumper. The driver kept pressing the brake without effect while swerving across the lanes. Then suddenly the brakes started to work and the driver was able to bring the car to a stop on the right shoulder. The driver put it into park but the engine kept revving at high RPM until the driver turned off the engine. I think the car had a sudden unintended acceleration incident due to the electronic throttle control. In addition, I think the zig zag was due to the electronic traction/ stability control, sending excessive power to a wheel on a particular side of the vehicle when it didn't need it.

- Buford, GA, USA

problem #8

Aug 232018


  • 14,640 miles
City street, two while turning from a stop and two from a stationary stop. Loss of power. Pressing on accelerator had no affect but approximately 5-10 seconds regained movement and continued on. Unsure/unknown of the safety cause. Scaring especially turning left with oncoming traffic coming at you.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #7

Aug 102018


  • 17,000 miles
On August 10th 2018, I was driving my 2017 Highlander with 17,000 miles on a major highway in California when I accelerated hard to pass other vehicles. Suddenly the Highlander lost all power with all the bells and whistles sounding. The orange triangular warning/check engine lights came on with the all wheel drive system failure flashing needing immediate service. I was able the get to the side of the highway without getting killed and turned the car off. After a minute I was able to restart the car and all the warning lights reset. This was the second time this happened. First time this happened the Highlander had only 4,000 miles on it and was under the same circumstances. I was trying to pass. When I took it to the dealership in reno nv they said all the error codes were not captured and they had not heard of this issue despite many complaints on the internet as well as this site? I was told there was nothing they could do without an error code. They suggested the next time it happens, do not restart the car and have it towed the a dealership to try and recapture an error code. I filed a claim with Toyota Corp but they lead me to think that they don't investigate incidents like this unless there are numerous complaints. I have advised my family of this dangerous condition with the Highlander and if any one gets hurt or killed please sue the heck out of them. This is a very dangerous symptom with the Highlander that is going to get somebody killed and Toyota doesn't seem to care.

- Janesville, CA, USA

problem #6

Aug 082018


  • 20,800 miles
Hello, there. I want to share my experience about Highlander problem. My wife and me went to mystic, ct from my home for pleasure August 8. I used cruise control with 65 mph on highway. After I finished traveling there, I tried to use the same cruise control on the way home. And then suddenly my car made problem in the middle of driving on highway. RPM went up to over 3000 and RPM needle on dashboard started dancing. And I watched ┐check AWD system┐,┐traction control turned off┐,┐check engine visit your dealership┐ coming up. Automatically my car lost power control. We were very scared because everyone there was driving a car with high speed at night. I turned on emergency light and put my car on service road. Fortunately, no body followed behind my car at that time. If someone kept approaching my car, we would have made big traffic accident. This is safety issue for us. Even if we are still alive, I don┐T have any courageous idea about my car. I will not be satisfied with my car. Whenever I drive it, I have to think about my car condition. For example, I found the same story about my Highlander through carcomplaints.com that car was eventually burned in the middle of highway. So I want my money back by lemon law.

- Astoria, NY, USA

problem #5

Jul 072018


  • 13,000 miles
In motion, there was no indicator light on board, just big noise started coming during start or speed of car. Engine cyl 6 rod bearing was faulty, making noise, dealer repaired it and not able to assure other bearings dont have any issues.

- Chadds Ford, PA, USA

problem #4

Dec 222017


  • 7,000 miles
While driving up the I-5 grapevine at 72 mph the car suddenly slowed without any warning to under 20 mph. The check engine light turned on and the dash said AWD system disengaged or error or some similar message and to take to the dealer. I was barely able to accelerate to get off the road. I pulled off, turned the car off and back on, and it started running again. I'm lucky I was not rear ended.

- Bend, OR, USA

problem #3

Feb 012017


  • 17,100 miles
The contact owns a 2017 Toyota Highlander. While the brake pedal was depressed, the engine revved and all the warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to island toyoya (1591 hylan blvd, staten island, NY), but the failure could not be replicated. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 17,100.

- Smallwood, NY, USA

problem #2

Mar 172017

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
The contact owns a 2017 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that since the vehicle was purchased, the check engine warning light illuminated intermittently. The contact stated that there was also an abnormal fuel odor emitting from the vehicle. The contact also stated that there was physical evidence of a fuel leak under the rear of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to fort's Toyota of pekin located at: 120 radio city dr, pekin, il 61554, to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that rodents had chewed through the fuel line. The contact was informed that the repair was not covered under warranty. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 2,000. Updated 11/06/17

- East Peoria, IL, USA

problem #1

Jul 082017


  • 1,200 miles
While driving vehicle lost power to appx 5mph and check engine, check all wheel drive system, visit dealer, lights appeared on dash, vehicle was on highway driving at appx 50mph at time of incident, dealer reprogammed ECM, and returned car to owner and next day while driving incident happened again

- New Salem, PA, USA