2019 Toyota 4Runner Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Engine, electrical system, suspension, and visibility issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2019 Toyota 4Runner is designed to give families a spacious SUV to spread out in. The automaker claims it helps customers “arrive with attitude,” but most drivers have been far from impressed. This model struggles with its engine, electrical system, suspension and visibility.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2020   2021   2022   2023

Problems with the Engine

What is the most important part of any vehicle? Most people agree that it’s the engine. However, this 4Runner has encountered some troubles.

Just look at this Edmunds review. “Brought this Toyota 4runner limited 2019 3 months ago [dealership] and last week I  took it for first service and they found leak in the engine and they refuse to replaced me with another 4runner but end up take an engine down and fix it.”

While Toyota hasn’t specifically addressed any engine problems, the company is looking into what the customers are saying. Service Bulletin #T-TT-0615-20 Rev talks about how the automaker is “looking to better understand our customers’ expectations regarding vehicle drivability. Specifically, we are looking at vehicle surge/hesitation condition (inconsistent acceleration).” However, there has been no resolution or possible fix discussed with these hesitation problems. The “attitude” for now is one where the company just listens and makes customers think that it cares.

2019 Toyota 4Runner Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Fuel/propulsion System
Electrical System
Fuel System, Gasoline
Service Brakes
Power Train

Problems with the Electrical System

With today’s modern electrical system, an enjoyable ride down the road can quickly turn into a nightmare.

That’s what this NHTSA complaint talks about. “I had been driving for two minutes on a city road going approximately 30 mph, when my car suddenly stalled and all the indicator lights came on. Then the car started on its own and I was able to turn into a parking lot. Then the car stalled again and I noticed smoke coming out of the hood in front of the windshield. I put it in Park and took the key out of the ignition. I got out of the car and the car restarted and stalled on its own a few more times after that. It also made a loud beeping sound that sounded like a car alarm but we don’t have an alarm installed. The entire front half of the vehicle was annihilated.”

With the 4Runner starting on fire and restarting itself, it would only make sense that Toyota would address the issue. But that’s not the case. Instead, the company is busy talking about minor electrical system concerns, like that of Service Bulletin #T-TT-0484-18-Rev. This document addresses customer concerns about echoes over the Bluetooth line when making a call, but pushes it off on the volume being too low. While 4Runner owners are trying to stay safe on the road with their Bluetooth, they are constantly asking, “Can you hear me now?”

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Problems with the Suspension

A look at the 4Runner’s suspension system reveals even more problems. 

Here is one NHTSA complaint to examine. “The contact owns a 2019 Toyota 4runner. While driving 65 mph, a high-pitched whining noise was heard from the rear axle. Each time the accelerator pedal was released, the whining noise went away. The vehicle was taken to [dealership] where it was test driven. The technician informed the contact that it sounded like the pinion gear was not assembled properly. The contact asked why the whining noise only occurred when depressing the accelerator pedal and was informed that it was due to the torque being applied. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and provided [case number]. The approximate failure mileage was 5,300.”

Sadly, this vehicle was not repaired, even though there was a future recall related to the suspension system. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V670000 says that some vehicles came equipped with steering and suspension parts that were not completely tightened. If these fasteners were to come loose, the driver could lose control over the SUV. It could also lead to an accessory coming off of the vehicle completely. Either of these situations could be deadly if it caused an accident. It appears that the “attitude” of some assembly workers was one of not caring what happened to the occupants.

Problems with the Visibility

Rounding out the list, it’s important to look at some visibility concerns. Without a properly functioning windshield, it can be dangerous to drive. However, the 4Runner’s auto glass seems to be compromised.

Here’s yet another NHTSA review. “I was sitting at a stoplight and the windshield cracked in the middle from the bottom up. Nothing hit it, just sitting at the stoplight and the windshield cracked.”

In this case, Toyota has nothing to say. Maybe the company thought it had said too much with the other complaints or it simply ran out of excuses. After all, you can only tell a customer so many times that you are “listening” and “gathering information” before they no longer believe you. When it comes to the 4Runner, the only attitude this SUV offers is one of disappointment.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Toyota pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

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.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Gman

    I used to work for Toyota and to meet gas mileage and emissions the paint is thinner and probably the glass to. They saved 6 pounds by thinning the paint. I assume they found more and things are not built quite as good.

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