really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
111,341 miles

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problem #34

Apr 042019

Highlander Hybrid

  • 158,000 miles
Brake actuator assembly on my 2008 Toyota Highlander hybrid has been failing. Know issue. I've taken excellent care of this vehicle and had it serviced at the dealership. The manufacturing is replace the previous years, but not the 2008 which is the exact same component. Please let me know why this is happening. Not just to me, but others too. Please help us. Thanks

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #33

Jul 232018

Highlander Hybrid

  • 81,000 miles
Vehicle hybrid/engine shut off while driving. Various warning lights lit up including vsc, hybrid system, and check engine. I was forced to change lanes with the car off but moving at about 40 mph and pull over on a side street. I as able to restart the vehicle and continue my drive. The following day, even though the check engine light and all warnings had cleared, the car turned off again while I was driving and breaking at a red light. The car failed to properly restart after this second incident. The vehicle was towed to a Toyota dealership which specified that the issue is the hybrid inverter. The vehicle only has about 81,000 miles and according to Toyota a recall had already been performed on the intelligent power module for the inverter in 2014.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #32

Feb 162018

Highlander Hybrid

  • 155,000 miles
While driving my vehicle on the northbound I-405 at about 4:30 pm on Friday afternoon, the vehicle's electric engine shut-off with no warning or explanation. Dash lights were still lit and vehicle was in motion. Could not get out of traffic safely except with remaining momentum from the no. 3 lane of traffic. Electric engine would not power-up. There were no fuel or battery problems. The technician's test narrowed the problem to the DC inverter which was previously a recall issue. This recall doesn't appear to have been resolved, though the dealer claims it was. Thank you.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #31

Feb 152018

Highlander Hybrid

  • 162,000 miles
While driving 40 mph, my dashboard lit up with ¿brake brake malfunction¿, ¿ABS chevk ABS¿, and ¿check vsc system¿. all dash lights lit up also. Drove to the repair shop and had codes run. No codes were present. This is related to the C1391 code that has a recall on 06&07 highlanders, and 08 camy's. the front right of the engine is making a clicking sound every 20 seconds from the brake stabilizer. Just prior to this for the last 2 weeks, the vehicle has had difficulty obtaining a ¿ready¿ light. Battery has been pulled and bench tested, and all connections were checked. It would appear that in the last two months many 08 owners are presenting with this problem, with a range of proposed repair expense from $3,300 to $6,500. Seeing as this is a known problem with the 08 Camry¿, resulting in brake failure in both Camry's and highlander, this ought to be a recall for both vehicles.

- Gulf Breeze, FL, USA

problem #30

Oct 102017

Highlander Hybrid

  • 147,896 miles
I was driving in 295 I hearing a sound coming from the daskboard and a light appeared stated need to check ABS break system by dealer. I said to myself I¿ll have it check when I got home. I was doing 65 miles per hour, I was pressing break there were no break, pump the break several times, no break, I pressed the emergency break and thanks to the lord the car slow down and eventually stop. Apparently dealer asked me $5,500. To fix this issue and I don¿T have this type of money, and I¿M still making payment on this vehicle can¿T even drive; I believe this type of issue should be a recall. I need help please!!!!! ribertm@yahoo.com

- Riverdale, MD, USA

problem #29

Aug 132017

Highlander Hybrid

  • 116,000 miles
Car seemingly running fine. Vsc light, ABS light and brake malfunctiom light come on out of nowhere. Told to tow to dealership. $3450 to replace ABS actuator. Same part has been recalled in other years and models but not 2008 Highlander hybrid. This repair is 1/10 the cost of the original purchase price of the new car. Car has 116,000 miles on it.

- Littleton, CO, USA

problem #28

Jul 192017

Highlander Hybrid

  • 0 miles
Vehicle was in motion, departing from parked lot. Vehicle lost all drive power, and instrument panel warning lights turned on. After shutting vehicle off and restarting, warning message to check brake system, and check hybrid system illuminated. Also all warning indicators activated in the guage cluster panel. Thankfully, we were not driving fast when the vehicle became disabled, otherwise it could have been fatal. Had vehicle towed to nearest Toyota dealership, where they advise "the power inverter assembly failed." Toyota refuses to help, even though this exact problem has been recalled for other VIN numbers matching my vehicle. These are unsafe conditions and proves that Toyota has not done a thorough job of recalling all affected units.

- San Pedro, CA, USA

problem #27

Apr 022016

Highlander Hybrid

  • 124,000 miles
My 2008 Toyota Highlander hybrid was just deemed totaled by the car dealership (newburgh Toyota) and my insurance company (Liberty mutual), because of excessive rodent damage. It turns out that the rodents were attracted to the wiring because toyoyta uses eco-friendly soy-based coating on their wires which attract rodents!! rodents chewed wires, the wiring harness, plugged drainage holes with their bedding thus causing water damage, and ruined the hybrid batteries. The damage was estimated at more than $12,000, which of course Toyota would not cover under warranty. The vehicle would not start unless the battery was unhooked to "clear" the computer system. When it started the error messages/warning lights on dash were lit up everywhere, indicating it was unsafe to drive. It was taken to the dealership where a service tech stripped the interior and discovered rodents nests, droppings, water, and lots of damage. Photos attached. Parts alone for the repair were more than $10,000, and that did not take into account additional diagnostics or labor costs. As you can imagine, this has been a giant headache!

- Gardiner, NY, USA

problem #26

Feb 222017

Highlander Hybrid

  • 264,000 miles
I was driving to an off ramp when my 2008 Toyota Highlander hybrid just stop in the middle of a very busy traffic! it almost caused a terrible accident. I had it towed and the Toyota dealership diagnosed it as an inverter converter problem and will cause me $11000 (yes, eleven thousand dollars) to replace it. This appear to be an engineering defect fault. Of all the warning in place it seems to inform the driver, such as the ABS light, low gas gauge, low air, oil maintenance warning, why not the 'inverter problem detected, bring your car to the dealer now"'. I feel that Toyota is being irresponsible in designing a car that just simply stop in the middle of the highway or on any street without warning. This error is super dangerous and can cause innocent lives and Toyota should take responsibility in correcting the wrong instead of hiding behind the scene. I did some research and found that there are other such problem but their customer service said that my vehicle id number is not on the recall list. Who include my vehicle on the recall list anyway? certainly this is a problem after all it is affecting vehicles 2006 to 2012" please help.

- Westminster, CO, USA

problem #25

Oct 282016

Highlander Hybrid

  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Highlander hybrid. While driving approximately 40 mph, the engine stalled and the instrument panel warning indicators flashed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that there was water in the hybrid battery compartment and the compartment needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- Healdsburg, CA, USA

problem #24

May 132016

Highlander Hybrid

  • 150,000 miles
My car has the same problem as described here and in many places online and Toyota refused to include my vehicle for recall. The problem as described by NHTSA as follows report receipt date: Sep 04, 2013 NHTSA campaign number: 13V396000 component(s): Hybrid propulsion system all products associated with this recall expand details close 12 associated documents expand manufacturer: Toyota motor engineering & manufacturing summary: Toyota is recalling certain model year 2006-2010 Highlander hybrid vehicles manufactured February 16, 2005, through July 29, 2010; and model year 2006-2008 Lexus rx400H vehicles manufactured February 23, 2005, through December 2, 2008. The intelligent power module (ipm) inside the inverter module may contain transistors that have higher operating temperatures than the solder can support and the transistors may be heat damaged by the solder. If this occurs, various warning lamps, including the malfunction indicator lamp, slip indicator light, brake system warning light, and master warning light, will be illuminated on the instrument panel. Consequence: The vehicle may enter a fail-safe/limp-home mode that limits the drivability of the vehicle. It is possible that the hybrid system will shut down while the vehicle is being driven, causing the vehicle to stall unexpectedly, increasing the risk of a crash. Remedy:

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #23

Jun 152016

Highlander Hybrid

  • 119,900 miles
On June 15th, 2016 while over 200 miles from home on a family trip with my pregnant wife and 2 year old son in the car driving down a 2 lane highway with a semi truck behind us at approximately 45 mph constant speed our 2008 Highlander hybrid brakes locked up, a warning tone sounded, several lights lit up on the dash including brakes, ABS, vsc, (((!))), and /!\, and the car stopped completely in the highway with the engine still running. The lcd displayed several alternating messages about the brakes, ABS, and vsc and also about needing to have the vehicle checked by a dealer. As our car was about to be smashed by a semi truck I pressed the gas pedal to the floor. The brakes were completely locked up, but fortunately the car inched forward at less than 5 mph with wide open/full throttle to pull off of the road before the semi truck could hit us from behind. The situation was terrifying. I have taken the vehicle to a dealer. They do not know the reason for the issue. They want $500 to trouble shoot and generate a repair estimate. It sounds like the ABS actuators are commonly $3,000. I have noted many similar problems on the NHTSA website for the 2008 Highlander hybrid and other Toyota hybrid vehicles in which the brakes, ABS, and vsc lights illuminate and braking issues occur.

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #22

May 092016

Highlander Hybrid

  • 148,000 miles
Car dome light was left on and battery died. Battery was 3 years old so I replaced with new battery and car started and drove short distance. Couple of days later I attempted to start car but it would not start. Checked battery and it was good. While attempting to start car, I get messages about contacting dealer for the problem along with brake warning etc.

- Nutley, NJ, USA

problem #21

Jan 122015

Highlander Hybrid

  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Highlander hybrid. While driving approximately 45 mph, the vehicle stalled and the slip, brake, and master warning lights illuminated. The vehicle restarted after twenty five minutes. The failure recurred on the initial start up on two separate occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but they could not diagnose the cause of the failure. The mechanic was unable to duplicate or locate the failure. Recently, the vehicle was towed to the dealer for a second diagnostic. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 13V396000 (hybrid propulsion system). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #20

Sep 062015

Highlander Hybrid

  • 108,000 miles
I purchased a new 2008 Highlander hybrid. Though I had no problems, in November 2013, the inverter was recalled at 79,000 miles, and replaced. We had no problems with the car for the next 22 months. On September 6, 2015, the car stalled and could not be restarted. We had the car towed 55 miles to the dealership. Investigation of the car over 2 days was unsuccessful in discovering the cause. On September 9, I asked if it was the inverter. I was told it was not. The service manager had contacted Toyota, who recommended taking apart the hybrid system to look for "a shorted wire". on Thursday, September 10, I was told that they found a wire, would but the system back together, and would take it for a test drive. On Friday, September 11, the car stalled and died on the third test drive. At this time, I was informed it was the inverter. The service manager agreed with me in feeling that since Toyota had taken out an inverter that was seemingly working fine, and replaced with one that failed in less than 2 years, that Toyota would "take care of me". on Tuesday, September 15, I was informed that the cost for the part was $8800, and that the "regional service/parts manager, " offered to pay half of the cost for replacement. I was not happy with this offer, as it still left me with a bill of several thousand dollars for a part that failed in less than 2 years after the recall. At this time, I have not accepted the offer. I was told to call customer service. I was informed that because the regional manager had made me an offer, there was nothing else she could do. My frustration is that Toyota recalled my vehicle for the inverter. And I believe a bad inverter was put it the car instead. This current inverter, that Toyota told me to put in the car, lasted approximately 29,000 miles and 22 months. This seems like a far cry from the expected life of an inverter.

- Englewood, CO, USA

problem #19

Dec 022014

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
The battery is in new condition. While I was making a call in my car for 20 minutes, the whole system shutdown, the 12V battery had to be jumped and recharged. Concerned this could happen while driving etc.

- Solvang, CA, USA

problem #18

Jul 132013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 163,253 miles
We were accelerating under full power onto us 101 on the northbound on ramp from ca 41 when the vehicle lost all power, steering and air conditioning. Oncoming traffic was able to steer around us to avoid collision and we were able to steer to the side of the highway and roll to a stop on the next off ramp. Warning indicators on: Hybrid system, brakes, stability control, and return to Toyota dealer. Towed to dealer. The dealer determined with Toyota technical assistance that inverter assembly (G92A0-48100) failed and needed replacement. Vehicle is out of warranty due to milage. We were charged $8244.77 for a new inverter assembly plus installation. We were lucky to avoid an accident. This kind of failure is dangerous.

- Ridgecrest, CA, USA

problem #17

Aug 082013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 136,000 miles
I accelerated from a stop sign to 45 mph. Just as I reached speed I heard a pop come from the forward engine bay and got all different warning lights in the display. Luckily the vehicle continued to roll and I was able to get out of immediate danger. The light said check brake system, check hybrid system, and check svs. I got vehicle towed to a Toyota dealership were it took them 3 days to tell me it was the hybrid inverter which costs around $8500. After some research I found there are many other people out there having the same issue, so I called Toyota corporate and filed a complaint.

- North Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #16

Jul 212013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
I entered a gas station and my car just stopped. It would not restart and was towed to northridge Toyota (northridge, ca) where I was informed the "inverter" failed, and only replacement by a Toyota service center may be made due to internal component high voltage parts, at a cost of $8,244 + labor in the amount of $660. I investigated on-line and discovered numerous complaints of the same "inverter failure". following up with Toyota motor corporation, I was informed they knew of the "inverter failures in the 06-07 models and issued a recall for those hybrid models affected by this component however no further recall has occurred to date. I feel lucky I wasn't in an intersection or a dangerous situation where complete power train failure can occur at any time with this failed Toyota component.

- West Hills, CA, USA

problem #15

Jul 232013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 13,000 miles
While at the Toyota dealer for service, the dealer took the car for a test drive prior to the service and upon returning to the dealer lot the car died - no power. Dealer diagnosed as a bad inverter, ballpark repair cost is $9500. Besides being a serious safety issue, I cannot understand how a modern car can contain a critical component that costs $10K to replace that has no maintenance in the maintenance schedule or other diagnostics to alert the driver of pending catastrophic failure that may strand them in an extremely unsafe location (I.e. middle of the freeway). I hope that NHTSA investigates the 2008 Highlander hybrid inverter failures documented on this site and Toyota is held accountable for this serious safety hazard and extremely costly defect.

- San Jose, CA, USA

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