2021 Toyota 4Runner Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Steering & suspension issues are among the top complaints by vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

When Toyota introduced its first 4Runner model in 1984, it was essentially a modified, slightly more comfortable, Hilux pickup truck. Every few years since then, Toyota has made substantial changes to the 4Runner, with the most recent 5th generation model debuting in 2010, and the last major facelift unveiled in 2014.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2018  2019  2020  2022

Don’t be stuck with a lemon. You have legal rights to cash, return or buyback.

The law makes Toyota pay legal fees.

We've fixed thousands of lemon problems. Message or call 877-795-3666 today.

NHTSA Complaints for the 2021 Toyota 4Runner

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Service Brakes
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
Unknown Or Other
Vehicle Speed Control
Visibility:sun/moon Roof Assembly

Most Common Problems with the 2021 Toyota 4Runner

Now, the 4Runner is well-positioned in the rugged SUV market, but it’s certainly not without its problems. We highlighted major problems with airbags, service brakes, and the car’s electrical system in our article, 2020 Toyota 4Runner Problems and Top Complaints.

Both electrical system and service brakes problems are also the subject of complaints about the 2021 4Runner. But the most common problems reported to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) so far relate to steering, suspension, and vehicle wheels. Other issues include exterior lighting, visibility and wiper problems, and forward collision avoidance.

The most alarming incident in the 2021 complaint reports relates to the electrical system. A 4Runner with only 5,500 miles on the clock caught fire in a closed garage while the family was sleeping. The car was destroyed and the garage has to be rebuilt. Investigators cannot determine the cause of the fire except to say it started in the vehicle. An electrical fault is suspected.

Another disturbing complaint, while not as common, relates to the sunroof of the car exploding. There were only 2 complaints, but enough to take notice of. In one incident, the dealer reportedly said the sunroof needed replacement but it hadn’t been done. In the other, the dealer agreed to replace the sunroof but wouldn’t accept responsibility.

It’s in situations like these that you need a consumer law firm like Lemberg Law on your side. We deal with the manufacturer and the dealer and you pay nothing.

2021 Toyota 4Runner Steering Problems

There are 6 steering-related complaints on file with NHTSA, including the steering wheel:

  • Shaking and the car pulling to the right between 60 and 65 MPH
  • Vibrating slightly sometimes and other times shaking so badly the driver’s hands shake, mostly between 50 and 61 MPH
  • Shaking constantly between 58 and 65 MPH
  • Shuddering between 55 and 70 MPH after the first 500 miles
  • Shaking and pulling to the right between 60 and 63 MPH, an issue the dealer describes as “normal”

2021 Toyota 4Runner Suspension Problems

All of the 4 reported suspension problems go hand-in-hand with steering problems, with the shaking and shuddering affecting suspension.

2021 Toyota 4Runner Wheel Problems

Wheel balancing and wheel pressure are the issues reported in the 3 wheel-related problems. One of the wheel pressure problems was that the tires, which should never exceed 40 PSI, were 56 PSI after being measured on different gauges.

Complaints relating to wheel problems were all with very new cars.

What to do if your 2021 Toyota 4Runner is a Lemon? Your Lemon Rights

We know that some 2021 Toyota 4Runners are lemons. But nobody can predict whether you will buy a lemon. All we can do is provide some insight into what potential problems there might be.

If you suspect you have bought a lemon, please contact Lemberg Law immediately. We have a good success rate for helping our clients get  cash settlements, buy-back agreements from manufacturers, and replacement vehicles.

Call our Helpline so that we can evaluate your case. It’ll cost you nothing because the law makes the manufacturer pay the legal fees.

Complaint Data

CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control, Service Brakes, Vehicle Speed Control
DateFeb 04, 2023
Was going to work on rt 80 east had cruise control on and was getting off exit 45 in new jersey to get bus into manhattan at approx 430 amwhile getting off highway stepped on brakes pedal went to floor tried pumping nothing happened nor did criuise control disengage or collision warning come on a total collapse of system had this car for approx 1 month purchased used at paramus mercedes benz took this vehicle to my mechanic for a full inpection everything was good vehicle had approx 22000 miles on it at purchase lost all control and crashed going off roadway and sliding down bridge abuttment car is a total loss rushed to hospital car was hauled off abutment by wrecker company police fire and ambulance showed up had to break sunroof to get me out no one could belive I survived this happened yesterday feb 3 2023 called toyota corporate and they issued me a claim number as well as my insurance comp looking on line this problem seemed to happen to quite a few people can you please address this issue before more people get injured or worse its only by the grace of god that I am writing this to you this vehicle is now in storage at powder mill collision thankyou
CategorySteering, Suspension
DateDec 12, 2022
At speeds above 45 miles and hour, the steering wheel begins to nibble / shake which creates an unsafe driving situation. Vehicle has had alignment performed, and new tires balanced which still has not resolved issue.
DateNov 19, 2022
Yokohama 245/60r20 geolander g96 that came with my brand new 2021 toyota 4runner limited I purchased in december 2020. Over the last several weeks every 7 to 10 days I have needed to put air in all 4 tires. Then I was driving on a smooth paved street arriving at work my low pressure warning light came on. I got out and had a flat tire. I found the inner sidewall failed at only 28,000 miles. I didn't hit anything on the road, or hit a curb etc. Just normal driving on paved roads. Putting on the spare I took my 4runner to the toyota dealership a few miles away. The service technician at our local toyota dealer today stated they, “are seeing this issue as a common problem with this particular tire on toyota 4runners in our colorado cold climate, is causing the rubber to become excessively brittle. Even with normal use, the smallest stones/sand used in our highway plows/sanding trucks cause catastrophic premature tire failure. They may be fine for use in california warm clients but not here in colorado.” this explains why recently every 7 to 10 days I have needed to put additional air in all 4 tires. The rubber is prematurely becoming brittle/rot in cold weather thus not properly sealing the air. The technician recommended going with 4 new tires from a different manufacturer, stating the problem will continue with the other 3 yokohama tires and likely a new yokohama tire as well. He agreed the tire should be recalled as this is unacceptable especially for a tire with a m+s (mud and snow rating), only 28,000 miles on and properly taken care of. At 0+ per tire this is a huge expense and clearly a huge safety issue in cold climates. In cold weather having to refill tires with air every 7 to 10 days is a real hassle as well. Good thing I have my own air compressor at home. I only drive with the correct air pressure per my owners manual as stated on my drivers door. The toyota dealer drew a white chalk square around the tire failure area.
CategorySteering, Suspension, Wheels
DateAug 30, 2022
Bought the vehicle brand new and have been dealing with a steering wheel/vehicle shake ever since. The vehicle feels out of control around 55-65mph(like death wobble) and the ride is rough at any speed over 50mph. This has been a serious issue on the highway with instances of crossing lanes because of lack of control over steering. No warning lights have ever come on. Been to the dealership many times complaining about the issue just to be told that the "problem can't be replicated". I have taken it to several tire shops as well to have the wheels/tires balanced but nothing seems to help. I even bought new wheels and tires just to see if this was the cause and still no solution. This is a serious problem that thousands of 4runner owners are experiencing and toyota needs to get to the bottom of this. This absolutely should not be happening on brand new/modern day vehicles. I believe this is a multivariate issue causing the shake - a mix between wheel/tire balance, steering column, and possibly the drive shaft/differential/cv components. The problem must be big if toyota continues to deny the problem year after year after year.
CategoryService Brakes, Steering, Suspension
DateFeb 19, 2022
Driving up to 60mph the steering wheel vibrates excessively. I have taken it to the dealer and got repairs to fix it but 2 days later it returned. I had wheels balanced and rotated with an alignment. I fear I will loose control of the suv soon.
CategoryVisibility:sun/moon Roof Assembly
DateJan 20, 2022
The contact owns a 2021 toyota 4runner. The contact stated while driving approximately 70 mph, the sunroof exploded, sending glass inside the cabin of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a local dealer where it was diagnosed with needing the sunroof to be replaced however, the vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not informed of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 2,800.
CategoryExterior Lighting
DateOct 02, 2021
When carrying cargo, the cutoff of the led low beam headlamps is shifted upward blinding on coming traffic and dazzling other drivers. This requires the driver to manually adjust the angle of headlight projection under the hood of the vehicle, as there is not automatic system to do so, or even a manual system inside the vehicle. As a result, it's likely few drivers will do this. Also, it is not possible to manually adjust the headlamps every time the weight in the vehicle shifts. Leds are particularly bright and affect oncoming traffic. If they are not perfectly aligned at least 50% of the oncoming cars flash their lights at me, many leaving their brights on, probably assuming I am doing the same. Therefore, it's not just that my vehicle is blinding them, but there is also an element of road rage that comes into play with both drivers becoming dazzled. As such, basic visibility safety at night, should require led headlamps to all have a self-leveling feature to account for the headlight cutoff angle changing when carrying cargo.
CategorySteering, Suspension
DateSep 28, 2021
Steering wheel shakes around 58-64 mph. Brought 4runner in twice already with tires being road-forced balanced but nothing seems to work. I will be bringing it in again for the third time. This has happened with less than 100 miles, now with 2,700 mi.
DateSep 04, 2021
I purchased a 2021 sr5 premium and on the 2nd day I noticed that after driving at 60-63 the car shakes and pulls to the right, I've took it back to the dealership, and the problem still there. They said that is normal but after reading on forums alot of people are experiencing the same problem. Will take it back to have check out again.
DateAug 16, 2021
I was driving my new car with less than 500 miles on a highway with no other cars around and nothing overhead. It sounded like a gun went off then I could hear the glass falling sliding around on the sunroof shade. The glass was blown outward proving nothing fell and broke it. A toyota dealers is replacing the sunroof but refuse to accept responsibility and let warranty pay. My 2 year old daughter was in the cover and I'm so thankful I had the sun roof shade closed because glass would have been sprayed over all of us.
CategoryElectrical System, Unknown Or Other
DateJul 16, 2021
On 3/30/21 it was discovered that my 2021 4runner with 5500 miles caught fire while parked in my enclosed garage. This event happened while my family and I were sleeping. The fire was discovered @5am at which time the fire department was contacted. The fire was contained to the garage. The vehicle was a total loss and was determined to be the source of the fire that destroyed all of the contents in my garage and significantly damaged the garage structure resulting in a rebuild. The fire department performed an initial investigation, a 3rd party fire investigator performed an investigation, and state farm along with a representative from toyota conducted an investigation. Per my claims adjuster, the investigation determined that the fire originated in the vehicle but the exact cause could not be determined due to the damage to the wiring harness and the proximity to the condenser. This incident could have easily lead to significant injury or death to my family. The vehicle had not experienced any issues, no warning lights had indicated an issue, and the only maintenance that had been performed to the vehicle was a tire rotation at 5000 miles at the toyota dealership.
CategorySteering, Suspension
DateJul 16, 2021
*steering shudder occurs when driving 55-70mph. *the shudder makes it feel as you have no control over vehicle, especially in wet/snow driving conditions. *dealer technicians have inspected multiple times with no fix. *issue began with in first 500 miles (brand new purchase).
CategoryService Brakes
DateJun 23, 2021
On may 27, 2021 the brakes failed on my brand new 2021 toyota trd off-road premium 4runner. I attempted to brake at a stop light, the brake pedal went to the floor and the car did not stop. Luckily no accident occurred and I was able to drive it home (4 miles). No warning lights or messages appeared at all before, during or after the incident. This occurred between 3-4 pm in custer, sd on main street during clear weather. The vehicle was hauled to toyota dealer in rapid city, sd the next morning, may 28th. They could not duplicate the issue, brakes appeared to work fine. They found no fluid leaks and no computer trouble codes. Dealer says they can't diagnose and fix it unless they can replicate the issue. I asked how brakes can completely fail and then work fine again - they don't know. After this brake failure I have found several other 4runner owners who have experienced this same failure, under similar conditions and speeds. Other owners have also submitted incident reports to nhtsa.
DateJun 13, 2021
Between 58-65mpg steering whee shakes. Vehicle has been back to dealer for rebalancing the tires twice and a front end alignment. The issue persists.
CategorySuspension, Unknown Or Other, Wheels
DateMay 26, 2021
Steering wheel shimmy and shake from around 55-63mph. Intermittently happens but is very well documented across forums. This affects 4runners that are brand new, and there is no clear answer to a fix.
DateMay 21, 2021
The steering wheel will shimmy between 50-61mph. Just under 60mph is when it's most apparent. Worse on a cold morning when beginning commute. Can vary from slight vibration felt in the hand to visibly shaking. Can also be felt on the vehicle floor and seats when at its worst.
CategorySteering, Suspension, Wheels
DateMay 09, 2021
I bought a 2021 4runner late april of 2021. I reported and scheduled an appointment for a balance check. This didn't seem to fix the problem. While they where in the process of balancing the tech broke 2 center caps. I will setting up an appointment to have the dealership recheck and alignment. I've read reports where this has been a problem before with a lot of 4 runners. I'm disappointed with the customer service as well there. Please help me resolve this problem. I really love the vehicle but at 60-65mph the steering wheel shakes and the 4runner wants to pull to the right.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings, Visibility/wiper
DateJan 26, 2021
While driving in a snowstorm on an interstate highway at night on 1/25/2021, two important safety systems failed due to ice and snow buildup on the vehicle. Failure 1: the pre collision system (pcs) warning light illuminated indicating temporary failure of the pcs system (see photo 1). This was due to ice and snow buildup on the forward sensor, located on the front grille (see photo 2). Problem could only be rectified by stopping and physically removing the ice buildup, as referenced in the toyota owner's manual, page 252. I recommend the sensor be relocated in front of the rear view mirror high on the windshield, where windshield defrost and the angle of the glass will reduce or eliminate the buildup. In the short term, perhaps a plastic air deflector or shield can be fabricated which will keep ice from interfering with the sensor. Failure 2: headlight high beam failure. The design of the headlight cover facilitates ice buildup over the entire structure (see photo 3). Since the high beam bulb is inboard and aft of the low beam bulb, it cannot penetrate the ice buildup at all, and makes the high beams completely ineffective. Weather conditions were: outside air temp: 30 to 32 degrees; night; heavy snow; altitude: 3,000 to 6,563 feet.
DateDec 25, 2020
Tire pressure was 56 psi on all four tires; measured on three different gauges. Bridgestone dueler h/t tires with writing 'never exceed 40 psi'. New car purchased 13 days ago.

Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm

Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm helping victims of bad manufacturing and run-arounds from auto companies. We are ranked A+ by the BBB. Call our Helpline today!  There is no charge unless we win.

Share your story

Does this ring a bell? Have you had a bad experience too? Sound off and share your experience with other visitors in the comment box below.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 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
  • Tomas

    I also have a 2021 Toyota 4runner with a steering wheel shake between 55 and 60. The dealer doesn’t want to do anything about it. They are trying to make me believe that’s just the way it rides. I have been driving it like that for 2 years.

  • Mark

    I have a 2021 4runner that also has steering wheel shake between 60 and 67. Had tires road forced balanced three times. Still does it.

Leave a Reply or Comment

Write a comment below to share online. Or, instead you can to our legal team.

Please select your star rating.

Briefly describe your experience Briefly describe your experience

What’s your name? What’s your name?

What’s your phone number? Please enter a valid phone number

Want to know if you could sue? Get a free legal evaluation Lemberg Law?

Get Your No-Obligation
Case Evaluation

Send a secure message to our legal team.

What’s your name? What’s your name?
What’s your email address? What’s your email address?
What’s your phone number? What’s your phone number?
Briefly describe the problem Briefly describe the problem
Confidentiality Guarantee: We keep your information completely confidential and will not send you spam or sell your information.