2018 Toyota 4Runner Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Windshield cracking, structure and steering issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2018 Toyota 4Runner was hailed for being reliable and rugged. The newer models claim to be designed for “when your adventures require more,” but many owners are unhappy with what these adventures look like. Instead of enjoying the ride, they are dealing with defective steering systems, poor visibility and a shoddy structure

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2018 Toyota 4Runner

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Air Bags
Fuel System, Gasoline
Service Brakes
Electrical System
Electronic Stability Control
Fuel/propulsion System

Problems with the Steering

Some people use the 2018 Toyota 4Runner for off-roading, while others simply want well-balanced on-road steering dynamics, but no one seems happy right now.

Here is what one Edmunds review states, “I bought this 2018 Toyota 4Runner SR5 premium last fall.  It currently has 10,000 miles on it and I’m ready to trade it off.  It handles something terrible.  If there is a 10+MPH cross wind on the highway, it takes two hands to drive it at 75 MPH.  It darts all over the road worse that a Ford Pinto with bias ply tires on it.  It’s been to the dealer twice for this issue and they say it’s normal.”

What’s not shocking is the recall affecting this model. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V67000 states that the suspension and steering fasteners were improperly tightened. If they come loose, they can cause a loss of control or allow accessories to become detached from the vehicle. Either scenario leads to an accident in many cases. Apparently, this “adventure” Toyota wants to create involves parts flying off of the SUV while driving.

Problems with the Windshield Cracking

It could be argued that the windshield is one of the most important components on any vehicle. After all, without it, drivers wouldn’t be able to see where they were going. With the 4Runner, this vital part is defective.

An NHTSA complaint states, “The windshield is cracking without the temperatures being so high. The vehicle was parked but turned on, when we turned on the heat and drove it for a little bit (6 miles) we noticed the windshield cracking and we turned off the heat. Temperature was at 40 degrees the lowest.”

Toyota hasn’t responded to concerns that the windshield hasn’t been properly constructed. Instead, the automaker has chosen to remain quiet. It could be an effort to keep any more attention from looking at the brand, especially since this 4Runner already has a total of five safety recalls. Toyota will do anything from having to issue yet another notice that something is wrong with this 4Runner. Instead, the company diverts attention by telling drivers how much of an adventure they can have – if they can see out of the windshield.

Problems with the Vehicle Structure

The 4Runner might not be the most expensive SUV on the market, but it isn’t the cheapest either. Owners expect it to be constructed of high-quality parts that are going to last, but their expectations are incorrect.

One short and to the point comment on the NHTSA website says, “Driver door opened while driving.”

It would be easy to think at this point that this problem was an isolated incident, but there’s a structure-related recall that leads everyone to see how defective this SUV is. NHTSA Campaign Number 17V763000 says that the billet grille overlay can come detached while driving. The cause of the failure is a defective U-nut securing the overlay grille. If this part detaches while driving, it can create a road hazard and lead to an accident. It seems that the 4Runner knows how much of a lemon it is that it continues to drop parts while driving. From the suspension to the body parts, there might be more of this 4Runner on the streets than actually on the vehicle itself.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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  • Chris P

    My 4 runner windshield has been cracked with gravel on 5 separate occasions. The second chip was just before arriving in Colorado with below freeze temps. That one spread and we had to replace the windshield. It can’t be the glass because 3 have occurred with new glass. We think the angle is wrong on windshield. We have driven 2 tundra, solars, Avalon, Seqoia and T100 with never a windshield ping.

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