2020 Toyota 4Runner Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Brakes and electrical issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2020 Toyota 4Runner is supposed to carry on a tradition of being an on- and off-road SUV. The newest model is tagged with the motto, “when your adventures require more.” However, many customers are dealing with adventures that aren’t particularly fun. From defective air bags, to a faulty service brakes and a malfunctioning electrical system, this 4Runner is proving to be annoying.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019   2021   2022   2023

Problems with the Air Bags

Air bags are an essential safety feature included with every new vehicle. This system has been proven over the years and should be completely operational.

However, this NHTSA complaint states something different about the 4Runner. “The 4Runner struck a vehicle that ran a red light. The 4Runner was at approximately 35 miles per hour and struck the other vehicle, a Nissan Altima side on with enough force to propel that vehicle two lanes into another vehicle. The airbags failed to deploy the 4runner but did deploy on the Altima. The roads were dry and visibility was clear. Injuries to the 4Runner driver included: head from contact with grab bar above driver’s door, neck, back, wrists, fingers and arms. Altima driver had to be removed by paramedics and rushed to the hospital. Investigation of the vehicle computer showed the vehicle was unknowingly sold to me with errors in the multi-terrain, ESC and pre-collision system. Vehicle was purchased in November of 2019.”

The company has not yet issued any statements about faulty air bag systems. However, it’s clear that this SUV isn’t designed for an adventure of any kind, and certainly not one that “requires more.” Maybe Toyota should focus on getting the basics down before promising to offer anything additional.

2020 Toyota 4Runner Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Air Bags
Service Brakes
Back Over Prevention: Warnings
Electronic Stability Control
Exterior Lighting

Problems with the Service Brakes

As with the air bags, the service brakes are designed to keep people from getting hurt. Yet, this is another system that seems to have some flaws in the 4Runner.

Here’s one Edmunds review discussing why he won’t upgrade from his current 4Runner model. “Same brake rotors (which will warp between 20-35k miles).”

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What is causing the braking problems on the 2020 Toyota 4Runner?

It appears that the brakes on 4Runners suffer from premature warpage, which could put people in danger. There are other braking issues, such as what’s addressed in Service Bulletin #T-TT-0597-20. Here, Toyota talks about trouble with the ABS system and how the ABS light can come on. Brakes and air bags are both things any driver would want during an adventure, but Toyota doesn’t think that either is important.

Problems with the Electrical System

Looking at the electrical system on this Toyota SUV, it’s clear that there are just as many problems.

Here’s one last Edmunds review to consider. “Bought a brand new 2020 Toyota 4runner and in 13 days I already have a major problem. The PSC sensor light appeared on my dashboard as if it was turned off yet the actual control switch was on the on position.  Found out it is a common problem with Toyota vehicles not only 4Runners. Apparently the sensor getting wet is the prompt with a minimum amount of rain. It is found it is a hazardous problem because the sensor can cause the vehicle to break on its own making it a dangerous.  To make it short.  Toyota is a cheaply over rated vehicle.  Never will I purchase one again.”

What is causing the electrical problems on the 2020 Toyota 4Runner?

Even Toyota has a database filled with electrical-system communications between the automaker and the technicians. One such document, Service Bulletin #T-SB-0161-19, addresses trouble with Audio Plus. This system may have several conditions, including limited phone book grammar, faulty hand-free operation, difficulty resuming music automatically and trouble with the vehicle position. All of these issues require a software update done by Toyota, but who knows how many more problems that will create. Apparently, the “adventure” in owning a 4Runner is figuring out how many times it will be at the dealer for a repair.

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.

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