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

Fuel system, powertrain and structure issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

Did your sunroof shatter unexpectedly? Find out if you are eligible to join our Highlander Shattering Sunroof class action investigation.

Are you experiencing brake issues? Read our post on Highlander brake problems.

The 2021 Toyota Highlander sets to make right the wrongs of models in the past. Even the automaker claims it is “refined for the daily drive.” Yet customers are finding some of the very same issues from the previous models, including the fuel system, powertrain and structure.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2021 Toyota Highlander

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Fuel/propulsion System
24
Service Brakes
17
Unknown Or Other
14
Engine
13
Electrical System
5
Structure:body
5
Power Train
4
Exterior Lighting
3
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
3
Visibility/wiper
3

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

Problems with the Fuel System

In previous years, the Highlander suffered from massive fuel pump failures, leaving customers furious. Sadly, it doesn’t look like much has changed with the 2021 Toyota Highlander.

One NHTSA complaint states, “My 2021 Highlander Hybrid Platinum is experiencing a fuel filling issue. Over the first 2,000 miles, the vehicle will not take more than 13.5 gallons at fill up. No topping off. The car has a 17.1 gallon tank. The car has gone as low as 2 miles to empty according to the car estimate. At each fill up it takes between 12.5 and 13.5 gallons. It is not clear if the tank is filling up completely and there are 4-5 gallons left at empty or the tank is not able to fill completely. I purchased this car for its fuel economy and range while traveling with my family. It is important to know if the tank is actually empty or still has a substantial amount of fuel remaining so my family is not stranded out of fuel.”

Another complaint states, “Gas tank only holds 12.5 – 13 gallons with a range of 425-450 at most whereas Toyota claims in their advertising and specs that the tank hold 17.1 gallons and the car has a range of 598 miles. I confirmed with Toyota that this is off specification and they said the tank will only take 14 gallons and the range will decide itself. I use the car for long trips, bought it for the tank size and range and am concerned I am going to run out.”

As of now, Toyota has nothing to say about this problem, nor any other fuel-related issues. It’s no wonder that the company wants to keep quiet, considering all of the class action lawsuits occurring on other models due to a defective fuel pump that wasn’t being repaired correctly. The way it’s going, it’s only a matter of time before this “refined” model faces the same type of litigation.

Problems with the Powertrain

When it comes to enjoying a smooth and controlled ride, the transmission plays the largest role. However, Toyota customers find that the powertrain in this Highlander isn’t what was expected.

An Edmunds user wrote, “I trust Toyota before purchase and now it’s a big disappointment. What kind of nonsense they are doing with transmission? Very jerky and the gear is slipping. Sometimes can hear the gear slamming inside and when driving to low speed and accelerating feels like it’s hunting for gear. I searched internet and came to know it’s a known issue from 2017 till now and 8sp transmission got issues.”

Along with the transmission come several engine problems that Toyota has addressed. One such issue is documented with Service Bulletin #T-TT-0615-20 Rev. This correspondence states that some customers are complaining about the vehicle surging or hesitating when the accelerator is pushed. However, instead of doing anything about it right now, Toyota is simply taking a survey to “better understand our customers’ expectation regarding vehicle drivability.” It really doesn’t require a survey to know that customers expect to drive their SUV without these problems. It’s no wonder Toyota is losing the trust of some of its most loyal drivers.

Problems with the Structure

Finally, a look at the Toyota Highlander Structure reveals that it might not be designed well. Customers that expected Toyota quality might be incredibly disappointed.

Here’s another Edmunds review to look at. “We purchased a 2021 Highlander Platinum AWD Hybrid. Worst mistake of our life!! The third row is useless. Our small children sat with their knees in their chin. We cut our losses and traded it 23 days after purchasing new. Value was horrible at trade, but did what we had to do.”

When a vehicle markets itself as a third-row SUV, it should have room in those seats to actually hold people. However, Toyota isn’t saying anything about this problem either, regardless of how many complaints have been posted on the internet. Instead, the company might be planning to market the Highlander to families with small dogs instead. The seat might fit a few Chihuahuas comfortably.

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Complaint Data

CategoryExterior Lighting
DateDec 06, 2022
StateMI
Description
The front headlights (low beam) are aimed too high resulting in blinding of oncoming drivers. More than half of all oncoming cars flash their lights suggesting. This has occurred for a year and a half since the vehicle was purchased. While a small adjustment was made to the headlights by the vehicle owner, this type of adjust was denied from the toyota service department, and should never have been needed in the first place.
CategoryService Brakes
DateDec 01, 2022
StateCT
Description
This occurs occasionally when I brake. I have my foot softly on the brake and the brakes cut out. The car feels like it accelerates/surges forward rather than slowing down. I need to apply the brakes hard to then stop the vehicle. I never know when it will happen. When it occurs and a car is in front of me, I have had near miss accidents. I often transport my grandchildren to daycare so I'm not only concerned with my safety, but my passengers as well. I have shared with my dealer and have called to report this to the toyota corporate office. My dealer has noted this problem on my scheduled service invoice. They have inspected and recalibrated the brakes, but it is still happening. The dealer has checked each service appointment for any recall or notification from toyota. I have researched online and know there are other toyota highlander hybrid owners who are experiencing this same malfunction. When I called the toyota national number, they indicated they would give my situation a case number. No one from toyota has admitted there is a problem, but from my online research many owners have reported this problem. I would assume there are owners that have not reported it. It's truly a safety issue. I love everything else about the vehicle and hope by submitting this malfunction, it will lead to a recall and repair.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Power Train
DateNov 29, 2022
StateMO
Description
We rented this vehicle from avis at detroit metropolitan airport on tuesday, 11/22/22 at approx. 7:50 pm. It was raining, cold and temperature was dropping. We drove approx. 1/8 to 1/4 of a mile from the facility. As we turned left on to a major roadway (goddard) southbound, I turned on the rear defroster. Suddenly, the engine went into limp mode. I tried to make a u-turn to drive back to the facility. Engine lights flashed (low oil pressure, check engine, etc) and then the engine stopped. We barely had enough power to turn the vehicle out of the turn lane before we would have been struck by a bus. We sat in left northbound lane of goddard for approx. 2 min without our hazard lights on. The vehicle would not start. I then pressed the defroster again and the engine fired up. We drove back to the facility and demanded a new vehicle. While we waited for a new vehicle to be prepared, I demonstrated to the manager what had happened. Again, after depressing the rear defroster button, the engine shut off and would not restart. Again, after turning off the defroster button, the engine started back up. This engine condition was replicated multiple times. I warned the avis manager not to rent this vehicle as it was a death trap.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Service Brakes
DateNov 28, 2022
StateMI
Description
Upon starting my 2021 highlander platinum with 10,700 miles on it several warning lights repeatedly came across my display including reduced engine power, brake system malfunction, pre collision system malfunction. See your dealer. No codes showed up on their scan but every time they cleared the screen the messages came back. They decided it was a bad knock sensor. Then I received a call that a critter had chewed wires and they might find further damage. I was surprised because I've been in my house for 45 years and I've never had a critter in my garage. The service manager said “toyotas attract critters because of the covering they use on the wires.” I said, “soy?” and he said, “yes”. So, isn't this a manufacturing defect? How many times a year is this going to happen? I've owned toyotas for 27 years. I've never had a problem until this car. I'm also having problems with the navigation system, 2 visits to the dealership and 45 minutes on the phone with the toyota engagement center.
CategoryService Brakes
DateNov 09, 2022
StateMA
Description
I have noticed that if I hit a bump in the road while braking, the brakes release momentarily and I have to press harder to continue braking. I have confirmed that this happens consistently, and is more likely to happen when I am braking slowly (I. E. I'm not pushing very hard on the brake pedal, just slowing the car gradually). This indicates that it's the regenerative brakes that are disengaging when I hit a bump or pothole. It has happened 20+ times and continues to happen consistently under these circumstances.
CategoryVisibility:sun/moon Roof Assembly
DateOct 13, 2022
StateTX
Description
The contact owned a 2021 toyota highlander. The contact stated while driving approximately 50 mph with a passenger in the rear passenger seat, she heard an abnormal popping sound and the sunroof exploded from the inside-out without warning or impact. The shattered pieces of glass were propelled outside the vehicle. The occupant in the rear passenger seat sustained a cut on the finger but did not seek medical assistance. The vehicle was taken to the local dealer where it was diagnosed that the sunroof glass panel needed to be replaced and it was confirmed that the failure was not due to an impact to the sunroof. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The contact stated that she was concerned about a potential reoccurrence of the failure. As a result, she traded the vehicle. The failure mileage was approximately 7,500.
CategoryVisibility/wiper
DateOct 05, 2022
StateMS
Description
Driver side mirror vibrates and gets worse on the interstate and windy days. It does not give clear, steady view. Night time all you see is shaking headlights. It's highly distracting and discomforting to eyes and causes headaches. Taken it to dealership plenty of times. It was replaced one time and still same issue. Dealership contacted toyota about the issue and still no solution.
CategorySeat Belts
DateSep 08, 2022
StateWA
Description
Rear passenger seatbelt has torn in multiple places. I believe something inside may be cutting it when it retracts. The buckle is now stuck in a tear and the seatbelt will not fully retract. Toyota refuses to fix it under warranty because it's “not usual wear and tear” and there's no recall. I believe this is a significant safety risk.
CategoryEngine, Service Brakes
DateAug 19, 2022
StateCA
Description
We have owned our 2021 hybrid awd platinum highlander for 8 months and within the past two months (around 16k miles) it has started to do an acceleration upon applying the brake. The car does catch itself and then after hitting the brake harder it does stop. This has happen on 7 different occasions, flat roads, hills, parking spots now. It has happened while my husband drives it and myself. It was brought it for computer recalls around the same time that this issue started. After the recalls were fixed I brought it back in and left it with the dealer for a few days. They cannot replicate it and therefor won't do anything. They tried to tell me that I can't drive with two feet…. Which I don't. I've seen other reports where toyota claims it's inexperienced regenerative braking driving. We have owned a 2011 prius that we had for 6 years and it never did it once. We also had a 2021 audi e-from which fully relies on regenerative braking. We are not novice when it comes to hybrid driving systems. It has come to the point where I'd like to sell the car and get something else rather than worry about a car crash with my babies in the car. I also owned a 2019 awd regular gas highlander that never had any braking issues. So I don't know what the solution is, but this is a very expensive car to be having these kinds of issues.
CategoryService Brakes
DateAug 05, 2022
StateTX
Description
I bought this car in march 2021 to haul my 1st grandchild around. I noticed early on their was something weird happening when I braked, but it occurred randomly, so I thought maybe it's a hybrid thing (or even my imagination). I was the sole driver of the car 99. 9% of the time. It gradually got worse over the first 12 months. My husband would occasional drive us to town, but never experienced it, until he did. Scared and concerned for my safety, he didn't want me to drive it anymore. The brakes literally fail when you least expect it causing you to turn too fast, it catapults you forward and you have no control of the vehicle for several seconds. We have had numerous near accidents. I took it to the dealership and they said they fixed the problem with a computer update. I picked it up on a friday around closing time and got halfway home when I decided I needed starbucks. Turning into the drive thru I nearly rear-ended a dps car! Gave me a heart attack! I called the dealership that monday morning and they said it fixed, but I could bring it back in. Took it back and they basically handed the keys to me and said there's nothing wrong. I told them it's dangerous and when my luck runs out and I have an accident, then what?? Who will be responsible?! No one is allowed to drive my car. My mom, my sister, not even my 21 year old who could drive a nascar. It is extremely dangerous and will eventually get someone hurt or dead. I told them I refuse to pick the car up until they figure this out. Gullo toyota in conroe, where I bought the car, said my keys are ready when I am. I am contacting a lawyer and filing a complaint here.
CategoryStructure:body
DateAug 05, 2022
StateCA
Description
The front bumper, with the lower bumper cover, detached from the car while driving in the highway.
CategoryExterior Lighting
DateJul 28, 2022
StatePA
Description
The headlights on the toyota highlander xle awd (2021) are set too high. They are constantly bothering vehicles in front of me, they believe I have the high lights and upcoming traffic are constantly putting on their highlights because they are annoyed. My toyota dealership has not received any complaints but they are legit.
CategoryEngine, Fuel/propulsion System, Power Train
DateJul 26, 2022
StateIN
Description
On july 19, the car was parked and refused to start. Tried jump start and the gas was at more than half a tank. The car would operate for 30 seconds, stutter and then stop. On july 20, took the car to ed martin toyota in noblesville, in. They could not diagnose the issue. Replaced fuel pump system. Evaluated all electrical and no issues observed. Escalated to toyota regional engineering to teoubleshoot. The car is still in the shop with no root-cause. If the car was in motion and this issue would have occured, could have resulted in a serious accident.
CategoryPower Train, Unknown Or Other
DateJul 16, 2022
StateNJ
Description
Several minutes after leaving my vehicle once I parked and shut the engine routinely, it rolls back a hundred feet and crashes into another vehicle. When I come back I became aware of this as I noticed the back of the driver side of my vehicle is lodged into the side of another vehicle. This caused damage to both vehicles.
CategoryElectrical System, Service Brakes
DateJun 22, 2022
StatePA
Description
Vehicle was driving at highway speed, transitioning to off ramp. Warning lights came on stating braking power low. Brakes proceeded to fail. Stepping on brakes did nothing but initiate a stuttering response. Vehicle would not slow down. Rolled into dealership that was luckily . 5 miles away. It was diagnosed to be a wheel speed sensor. A sensor failing should not cause a vehicle to be unable to brake. Shocked and traumatized over the incident.
CategoryService Brakes
DateJun 16, 2022
StateFL
Description
When braking approaching a stop light or braking while having curved into a designated turn lane the car lurches forward even though the brake peddle is properly engaged. This causes one to react by pressing harder on the brake pedal and the brakes thankfully stop the surge . I could describe it as an acceleration during the middle of braking. This could easily cause me to hit the car in front of me, a pedestrian or fail to stop at the stop sign or stop light. This is very dangerous. The dealership has been unable to reproduce the problem. It has occurred 3 times in 10 weeks (as I just purchased the vehicle). There were no warning lamps or messages prior to all three incidents. I input the most recent date that it occurred even though the dealership was unable to see the third incident on their computer readout. They did find the prior 2 incidents in addition to one in 2020 prior to my owning the vehicle. I have noticed on an internet forum others have experienced the same issue. One case has this number associated with nhtsa 220314000811. Please help!!!
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
DateJun 15, 2022
StateFL
Description
Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking isn't functioning as stated in the toyota highlander 2021 owner's manual. Dealer stated that software tests were conducted and the vehicle's radar and optical sensors are performing in accordance with the test results. However, there is only intermittent warning lights and alarms that are functioning. The dashboard audio and visual alarms only function in rare encounters on approaching a vehicle. The service manager rode with me and when I was approaching a vehicle where an alarm should have sounded or illuminated inside the vehicle, that did not occur. However, the software tests showed that the vehicle was approaching on a collision event that was recorded on the system, but failed to alert the driver. After additional testing, the service manager stated that the vehicle reads stop lights from the vehicle ahead to execute the safety functions of the forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking safety feature. The owner's manual doesn't make that claim. In addition, another service manager stated that the system uses artificial intelligence to learn the driver' habits and the system adapts to the driver. The owner's manual doesn't state that claim either. Lastly, the invoice stated that the owner should read pages 257 and 260 of the owner's manual to understand how the system operates. This describes the dynamic radar cruise control functions and not the forward collision warning or automatic braking functions. This information is found on pages 235-238. They missed the problem. My suggestion was that their test only looked at a single variable that may have covered the external sensor operation and didn't test the dashboard internal warning system of the audio/visual alerts inside the vehicle. My recommendation was to seek assistance from the supplier that manufactured this system and seek guidance from their engineering staff. I complained to the toyota corporate customer servi
CategoryEngine
DateJun 08, 2022
StateAZ
Description
When bringing my 2021 toyota highlander hybrid awd with ~18,000 miles on the odometer to the toyota dealership for a flat tire and recall, they performed a routine multi point inspection. They found the inverter radiator was punctured and was leaking coolant. They said to fix it would be

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,640. The service representative text me “the technician also noticed that the inverter radiator is leaking coolant, which is a very important and vital part of the hybrid system. It looks to be that a rock from the road was the source of the damage, which since moving down here [az] I've seen happen quite often…. I would strongly advise against driving the vehicle that far (~200 mi) for fear of it overheating and causing more damage. The technician said will end up happening is…the vehicle will overheat and shut down to save the inverter from further damage. This is a very, very important part of the hybrid system. “ when I asked the technician how a rock could cause the puncture and cause the coolant to leak without my knowledge, she said “it sits right behind the front grill and it's pretty easy to get hit by a rock when you're driving.” I told her that sounds like a design flaw and asked if there's a part that can protect this from occurring again. She didn't know of any toyota parts to reduce this reoccurrence, but suggested I could look online to buy an aftermarket part. What's alarming are the photos of the damage and the coolant spraying out from the leak all over the inverter radiator, how much coolant was lost due to this damage, and that I never had a warning light or notification. The car was driving fine and had no warning lights until I got a flat tire the day before the toyota dealer found the inverter puncture.
CategoryService Brakes
DateJun 03, 2022
StateCA
Description
When slowing down, it doesn't happen all the time, but it's as if the brakes disengage and the car feels like it is accelerating . After a second or two it will engage after I applied a lot harder because I'm freaking out because it feels like I have complete brake failure. I took the vehicle to toyota and they told me it is normal to experience this because the breaking system is switching between the electric motors and the break calipers. I have been driving for over 40 years and there is nothing normal about this! I have gone into intersections at stop signs and almost rear ended vehicles in front of me as a result of this. Just because toyota has a problem that they acknowledge, but claim that it isn't a problem, doesn't make it right and it is downright dangerous. This issue has been present since purchasing the vehicle.
CategoryBack Over Prevention: Rearview System Braking, Back Over Prevention: Warnings, Lane Departure: Blind Spot Detection
DateMay 31, 2022
StateVA
Description
The rear cross traffic avoidance does not detect a person on a bicycle or motorcycle. The safety sense 2. 5 + was advertised and demoed to detect even a pedestrian walking behind the vehicle. The system on my vehicle does not work as advertised and after taking my vehicle to the dealer was informed by the service manager that the system is "intermittent at best". This is not what toyota advertises. Dealerships apparently have no signal strength detection equipment to verify proper operation of this system. I have reviewed multiple videos of this system in operation and there were no indications of intermittent failures. I have contacted toyota customer support and am being ignored.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateMay 28, 2022
StateMD
Description
I have a 2021 toyota highlander xle with a panoramic sunroof. On 5/11/2022 I was driving on the road when I heard an extremely loud explosion. I looked around and didn't see any damage, then I pulled off the road to discover that the sunroof had exploded. I called the dealership and they referred me to safelite. Safelite took my information and called me back 2 days later to inform me that they don't stock the part I have to go to the dealer. I booked an appointment with the dealer (sheehy), I took the vehicle in, they inspected, and I was told by sheehy that "they've never heard of such a thing" and they were going to call the manufacturer to see if they will approve my repair under warranty. They called me back about a week later to say my claim for repair costs was denied due to, in their words "outside influences". There were no rocks, debris, etc. Found that could have contributed to the moonroof shattering. Fortunately, I had the shades pulled otherwise I would have been covered in broken glass. There was no damage to the shade to indicate an object fell on it. After a quick google search, I saw that other suv owners had experienced this same phenomenon and were told the same thing- outside influences caused this. Toyota should inform consumers about this issue and fix it no questions asked when this happens rather than try to brush it under the carpet especially when the vehicle is still under warranty. This presents a road safety issue as flying glass could get injure other people.
CategoryEngine, Service Brakes, Unknown Or Other
DateMay 27, 2022
StateFL
Description
On may 24th I was driving back to work form my lunch break, had to make an additional stop before going back and in the moment I was to make a right suddenly the car would not stop or turn, no light were on at the moment, now the car is a total loss and I went trough the scariest time of my life after running into mangroves
CategoryService Brakes
DateMay 20, 2022
StateIN
Description
The highlander hybrid is dangerous and someone will get hurt. The brakes will occasionally, at lower speeds and under a variety of circumstances, stop working for a second or two. It actually gives the feeling that the car is accelerating or surging forward. My dealer was able to replicate the problem but said they hadn't heard of a fix yet. They had heard of this issue from several customers. Toyota maintains it is normal operation and is simply the hybrid switching from regenerative braking to mechanical braking. It is completely unpredictable. Sometimes it will go a week without happening. Sometimes it will happen several times in 1 day. My wife and I do not feel safe in this car. Very frustrating that toyota doesn't seem to take this seriously. It's simply a matter of time before we rear end someone, or hit something else.
CategoryEngine, Unknown Or Other
DateMay 18, 2022
StateAZ
Description
This is in regards to a 2021 toyota platinum awd with 8500 miles. While cruising at about 40 miles/hour, the car suddenly lost power, and an alpha numeric code popped on the digital display that said “chip malfunction” and something else I don't recall. It also said to see your dealer immediately. On the dash, the check engine light came on with a message that said “reduced engine power”. This message alternated with another alpha numeric code. I did not write down the actual codes because I thought the car would record them. I was able to roll onto a side street and turn off the car. After 5 min, I restarted the car and took it to the dealer later that day. They not only could not find a code in the record, the entire trip was not recorded, even though it's on my toyota app. First, they tried to say it couldn't have happened because it was not recorded. Then, they said the recall regarding a power issue was the culprit, but also admitted the “fix” had nothing to do with, and would not affect, the engine. After insisting more be done to id the problem and fix it, they agreed to keep the car and run a diagnostic. It turned up nothing except “maybe bad gas”. Really? We only use premium from reputable sources. I do not feel safe on the car and most certainly do not feel safe putting my child in it. I cannot believe they cannot find the problem.
CategoryOther/i Am Not Sure
DateApr 25, 2022
StateMO
Description
Broken latch. The car seat would not unlatch properly. Several occasions it takes more than one person to unlatch. If there was an emergency, I would not be able to get this seat out in a timely manner. The latch broke off and my daughter is only 11 weeks old. Not sure when the latch broke.
CategoryExterior Lighting
DateMar 23, 2022
StatePA
Description
Head lights are situated too high and are distracting upcoming vehicles, which may distort upcoming traffic.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateFeb 28, 2022
StateCT
Description
Impossible to completely fill the gas tank on the highlander hybrid. 17+ gallon tank, yet car will accept at most 12-13 gallons of fuel. Fuel gauge reads between 3/4 and 7/8 full after each fill-up. This issue has persisted since the vehicle was new. Multiple requests to the dealer to fix this problem are largely ignored with them telling me that they aren't aware of any issues, research suggests that many other owners are experiencing the same problem.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateFeb 25, 2022
StateCA
Description
Since I have owned the 2021 highlander, the low fuel warning light does not come on until nearly empty. This has been an issue since day one. My last toyota the low fuel light typically illuminated on the dash around 35 miles dte. I was relieved to see toyota issued a special service campaign (21tc05) acknowledging the issue... But it did nothing to fix the problem!! I had the reprogam service performed and still, the light and dte did not improve or change. The low fuel light does not come on until about 10 miles dte. And I only get 16 mpg, so this is very little warning especially if traveling or gas stations are not available in a reasonable distance. Back to the drawing board toyota!
CategoryEngine
DateFeb 14, 2022
StateNY
Description
The vehicle's automatic stop-start feature malfunctioned and shut the engine off while I was driving with my 3 children in the car. Our safety was at risk because the car shut off in the middle of the road and we had to wait for an hour for the tow truck to come and give us a jump. There was no prior warning before the car shut off. Afterwards the message "high power consumption partial limit on ac/heater operation" came on I was very nervous for my kids and I safety.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateFeb 09, 2022
StateOH
Description
I was driving with my daughter on the highway where all of a sudden I could here a loud noise on the top of my car. I opened the sunroof to see what's wrong only to see a crack in the sunroof. Nothing hit the roof but it was cracked up. As I was driving it began to break up. If I had the shade opened I would have been hit with the glasses and I had my three year old in the car as well. Absolutely nothing hit the vehicle but it broke on its own.
CategorySeat Belts
DateFeb 03, 2022
StateIL
Description
We had to cut a seatbelt because it was cutting into a child's stomach. The child was screaming and complaining and it left a scar on his stomach. If we would have taken into the dealer which was 20 min away it would have done more damage to the child. We tried using the steps in the book to release it, didn't work. As an emergency we had to cut the seat belt to release it.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateFeb 02, 2022
StateMD
Description
My concern has to do with an inability to completely fill the gas tank in my 2021toyota highlander hybrid xle (awd), and the gas tank capacity has worsened over time. I purchased the vehicle new from a toyota dealer in maryland in april 2021. Initially, I could fill the gas tank to almost full per the gas gauge. Over time, the amount of gas the tank can hold has decreased. As of early 2022, I can only fill the tank to just above 3/4 full per the gas gauge. Please note that when filling the tank at a gas station, I always stop filling when the gas pump shutoff switch activates (1st click) - I never "top off" the tank. It is certainly annoying to not get anywhere close to advertised range of the vehicle (the vehicle display shows a range just over 400 miles/tank versus an expected 600+ miles). However, my main concern is safety-related - I don't trust my fuel gauge and fuel monitoring system, and as a result I fill the tank whenever I approach 1/2 full per the gas gauge. This is so I don't inadvertently run out of fuel. In sept 2021, I took my vehicle to the toyota dealer where I purchased it to report this fuel tank issue. The dealer's service department "verified [customer's] concern that the fuel pup clicks off before gas tank was full." the dealer also "created a tas case #xxx and with the information give was informed there is an active investigation by toyota on this concern and there is no repair available at this time." since then, the dealer has not reported anything new from toyota usa (they said "we'll hear about any fix the day before you do.."). I called toyota usa last fall and also got no indication on an impeding fix. Bottom line - toyota usa has been silent on the matter, although there is certainly lots of online chatter from other owners and mention of a lawsuit against toyota. I am wondering if this issue is similar to what was noted (and finally fixed?) for toyota's late model rav4 hybrid vehicles.
CategorySeats
DateJan 25, 2022
StateOH
Description
I was vacuuming the second row carpet in my vehicle. I was leaning into my vehicle and pulled the second row seat release to move the seat back. The back of the seat flipped forward hitting me in the right side of my head so hard it resulted in a pinched nerve at c5-c6. It was a substantial blow. I had to stop what I was doing and sit down. I would be very concerned at that amount of force hitting a child. Has toyota measured the force and done a risk analysis to the vehicle occupant?
CategoryFuel/propulsion System, Fuel/propulsion System
DateJan 19, 2022
StateWA
Description
Can not fill in a full tank of gas. At most the car takes 13 gallons, where as the tank capacity is 17, which is 4 gallons shorter and gives 140 miles shorter range (calc according to epa rating). 140 miles is a huge difference. Even if you fill more than 13 gallons, the range stays at 423 miles and doesn`t increase.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJan 09, 2022
StateTN
Description
My sunroof exploded. I reported it to toyota usa and dropped my car off at the local toyota dealership. We had to shut the sun shade to keep glass from falling in on us. The suv is still in the shop and we have not heard back from them yet. I did not call the police or insurance yet. There was no warning. Nothing hit it. It just exploded.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
DateDec 21, 2021
StateNY
Description
The forward collision did not activate cause the vehicle to meet into a accident. The car didn't give a warning, or try to stop itself. Took it to the dealer and was told that the system was working properly. But I tested the system in the parking lot, with a cardboard box and the system still didn't activate.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Structure:body
DateDec 06, 2021
StateCA
Description
Recently purchased this highlander on august 2021. On 11/29/21 at around 8:00 am, the check engine light illuminated resting stop at a red light. Engine still running. Took the vehicle to the dealership at 9:45am. Vehicle was found to have had misfires as a result of bad gasoline. I have been pumping at the same gas station ever since I bought the vehicle. If it was the bad gas, this issue should have happened sooner. Now, the dealership is telling me to pay for the diagnostic fee which they claimed it was my fault. The vehicle is under warranty. Another non-power/fuel issue that came with the vehicle was a loud wind noise when reaching 40 mph. The noise is very annoying, like someone whistling into your ear. The dealership is ordering a part to fix this issue. The vehicle is still at the dealership.
CategoryLane Departure: Lane Keep: Automatic Steering, Lane Departure: Lane Keep: Steering Assist
DateDec 02, 2021
StateOH
Description
The contact owns a 2021 toyota highlander. The contact stated while driving 60 mph, the vehicle inadvertently attempted to navigate the steering and lane direction to the opposite direction of where the contact was attempting to steer the vehicle. This caused the contact to manually steer the vehicle into the center lane. There were no warning lights illuminated. The contact took the vehicle to a local dealer who inspected the vehicle but could not diagnose the cause of failure. The dealer informed the contact that the vehicle lane sensor and steering assist sensor were performing as intended. The contact was concerned that the sensor should be adjusted so that the sensor would not have to adjust so easily while the contact was driving. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 5,000.
CategoryEngine, Fuel/propulsion System
DateNov 28, 2021
StateNJ
Description
Advertisement say make 35 mpg is lie car make 16 to 24 mpg ave not more than that I decide buy this car for save gas, and spend more that any v6, toyota still a lot money and fake advertisement, and also the dealer charge ,000 more of the price because they say there are not cars, I paid $ 55,000 + taxes super expensive car for lie at the costumers. I went to service to the dealer and they said, that it is not they problem, the car is like that, I hope you can help to return or change the car
CategoryVisibility:sun/moon Roof Assembly
DateNov 26, 2021
StateNJ
Description
The contact owns a 2021 toyota highlander. The contact stated that while his wife was driving at 65 mph, she heard a loud abnormally horrific sound coming from the roof of the vehicle. The contact's wife immediately pulled over and upon inspection, she discovered that the sunroof had shattered without incident. The contact's wife drove the vehicle to the dealer and the vehicle was left in their possession. Days later, the dealer informed the contact that it appeared to be previous damage to the sunroof had caused the failure and that the damage would not be covered under warranty. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle has been repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 19,000.
CategoryService Brakes
DateNov 23, 2021
StateCA
Description
At only 12,000 miles there is significant vibrating and shuddering when applying brakes. I was told after an inspection that it is the rotors.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateNov 23, 2021
StateMA
Description
Driver side mirror shakes when going greater than 25 mph. This does not happen on passender side, makes it more difficult to see object in mirror and more dangerous changing lanes on highways. First noticed after a few months of minimal driving.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System, Service Brakes
DateNov 18, 2021
StateTN
Description
Regarding brakes: there is an inconsistent involuntary brake pressure release occurring when slowing down via braking where the brakes let loose for about a second before applying again. This occurs with no change in pressure applied to the brake pedal. This is a dangerous situation, especially if in emergency braking situation. This has occurred multiple times over the 16k miles that it's been driven, but more recently. There is no consistency on the speeds it occurs at either. Regarding fuel: we are unable to fill fuel tank completely due to poor venting in gas tank, which could lead to spilled gas similar to overfill, causing a hazard. This vehicle has a 17. 1 gallon fuel tank but we are only able to get 12-13 gallons upon fill-up at empty. Both of these issues have been reported to our local toyota dealership, with no resolution.
CategoryTires:markings
DateNov 15, 2021
StateCA
Description
235/55r20 michelin crossclimate 2 utqg ratings missing on outside of tires, for 2 out of the 4 tires. Note: the previous crossclimate has had a recall for the same issue.
CategoryPower Train
DateNov 04, 2021
StateNY
Description
The contact owns a 2021 toyota highlander. The contact stated his wife pulled into a parking spot and turned off the engine while the vehicle was in reverse. The vehicle then switched gears to neutral on its own, started reversing, and slightly crashed into the rear of another vehicle. The warning message "put transmission into park illuminated". The dealer and the manufacturer were not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 2000.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System, Vehicle Speed Control
DateSep 29, 2021
StateNC
Description
I have a 2021 fwd highlander hybrid, running in eco mode with just over 5k miles. I just had this problem happen this afternoon. Pulling into a parking spot at the grocery store. I was going pretty slow, almost stopped, and then the car engine revs and lurches forward. Thank goodness I had my foot on the brake, otherwise the car would of jumped the curb/parking block. Also, happened to me previously coming out of our neighborhood on to a busy street. I'm stopping at the stop sign, going pretty slow, and then all of a sudden the car engine revs and lurches forward. Quite frankly I consider this a huge safety concern. If my foot was not already on the brake the car would of moved forward into on coming traffic the car was just in for its 5k mile service at the toyota dealership, and there are no warning lamps or messages displayed when the problem occurs
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateSep 18, 2021
StateVA
Description
Toyota claims that the 2021 highlander hybrid had a fuel tank capacity of 17. 1 however I am not able to fill my gas tank to this level. At most I am only getting about 12-13 gallon. This issue seems very similar to the rav 4 one. We need a fix asap.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateSep 04, 2021
StateAL
Description
While driving a piece popped off of the passenger door mirror. It flew off and hit the passenger door causing scuff marks before flying into traffic and causing the car behind me to swerve in traffic to avoid it from hitting their car or driving over it, which could have caused an accident. I wasn't able to recover the piece due to the incident occurring on the interstate. I did take the vehicle to the dealership (serra toyota - birmingham, al) in july and was told by the service technician that they had three other cars to come in with the same issue within the last month. Also, I was told that the entire mirror would have to be replaced since the manufacturer didn't make the piece alone. I was told that it would cost me 0 to replace the entire mirror. I should not be responsible for a faulty piece on the vehicle that was just purchased at the end of april. The technician told me that he would put in a ticket with the manufacturer, but I have not received a response.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateSep 03, 2021
StateMD
Description
The fixed moonroof appears to have exploded on its own while parked. No alarm was set off and no objects were found inside the vehicle suggesting an impact. There was no debris around the car. There were no storms or the vehicle is not parked near trees or ball fields. Dealer denies any known occurrence and states this must be from an impact and is not covered by warranty.
CategorySteering, Suspension, Unknown Or Other
DateAug 31, 2021
StateNY
Description
I was forced to change lanes quickly from the left lane to the left shoulder of an interstate when a double tandem tractor trailer moved into my lane of traffic. The interstate was dry and the left shoulder was in excellent condition and wide enough to accommodate my vehicle easily. All lane assist options were turned off, the driving mode was set to “economy” and the cruise control was turned to “off”. A few seconds after entering the left shoulder of the interstate, I felt the rear end of my vehicle sway from side to side for a few seconds. After the swaying ended, I thought there was a brief loss of vehicle control after which the vehicle returned completely to my control. My vehicle is a toyota highlander limited awd gas engine suv with about 2700 miles when this occurred. I drove my vehicle without any emergency steering maneuvers 2700 miles prior to and 500 miles after this incident without any problems. I had my toyota dealer examine the suspension, steering and event recorder of the vehicle and test drive it. They found the vehicle to be performing within manufacturers specifications and without any defect in the steering or suspension and found no codes found in the event recorder.
CategoryTires
DateAug 19, 2021
StateIL
Description
Bridgestone alenza sport oem 235/65r18 tire. I was driving about 40 mph. I noticed increased vibration. Suddenly the left rear tire failed. The driver behind me said that the tire "exploded." she had never seen anything like it before. The outer part of the tire had completely separated from the part attached to the metal wheel. There was some damage to the wheel well.
CategoryService Brakes
DateAug 16, 2021
StateNY
Description
I am noticing a little "gap" in the brakes when I am slowing down in traffic and going down hill. It is as if the brakes let up for just a second the car surges slightly as if I had taken my foot off the brake, the brakes loss the power and I have to press on it harder to stop the car. It's a bit disconcerting! I've checked with the dealer, they confirmed the brake is fully function no issue.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateAug 13, 2021
StateCO
Description
The answer to the above questions is unknown. I do not clearly remember the moments leading up to the incident. I was parked on the driveway of my daughters house. I was in my toyota highlander hybrid 2021. We were stationary at the top of the driveway after returning because we had forgotten something. My grandsons were in the car but they were not hurt. The driveway is on an incline.  I am not sure what happened from here. As I exited the car it started to roll backwards. I tried to get back in to stop it but got knocked down by the open door and moving car. I fell. The car rolled over my legs, dragged me down the incline and I was stuck under the front bumper. The car stopped either because of the abs when I was as the front of the bumper or because it was on level ground at that point. My son-in-law tried to put the car in reverse to move it off of me but said they could not get it to start. I was barely stuck and the neighbors just lifted the front bumper a bit and I rolled out.   I have some soft tissue damage (full thickness degloving to the bone on my left calf and 4 fractures (1 in each leg and a couple in my pelvis). I have been to the operating room 4 times, the emergency room three times and spent 19 days in the hospital. It is the first car I have had with a key fob, no physical emergency break and I have safely parked in on this driveway for 5 months. It does not make sense that it would be in neutral as I never use that gear but that seems to be what would have had to have happened for this to occur. L bought this car for all of the safety features yet this still happened so I am sharing it with you in case there are further safety features that can be developed to prevent such accidents in the future. If it had a real key and real emergency brake I do not think this would have happened.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateAug 09, 2021
StateCA
Description
The car was stopped at a red light and the car shook and slightly vibrated and shut off. No warning signs, no warning lights, just died. I was in the car with my twin 3 year olds, the ac shut off, everything shut off, the temperature outside was over 90 degrees and heavy traffic. I was very scared for my safety and very confused as to why a brand new car would die.
CategoryVisibility/wiper
DateAug 07, 2021
StateFL
Description
Since purchasing this 2021 highlander platinum in july 2021, the glass of the side mirrors are always 'shaky' at speeds above 40mph. The dealer has replaced the glass, which did not improve the issue. They then replaced the entire mirror assembly, which still has not fixed the issue. The mirror is shaky/jittery enough to make it difficult to look into while driving prior to changing lanes.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateAug 01, 2021
StateTX
Description
I recently purchased new 2021 toyota highlander hybrid platinum awd. The deciding factor was the range of 598 miles per fill-up on the advertised 17. 1 gallon tank size. However the reality after many fillips is only about 14 gallons for maximum of 420 miiles range. I've gone to different gas stations in area and none of them would allow me to pump any further gas in than about 14 gallons. When I googled this issue I found that it is a very common issue among all owners of hybrid highlanders yet toyota customer service won't acknowledge this known and heavily reported issue. This is especially annoying when that range is the singular reason I decided to buy this brand/model over other brand/models I was comparing against. Please investigate this issue and make toyota fix this issue through factory recall. Reference the 2019 toyota rav-4 hybrid which also has this issue that toyota has finally acknowledged and beginning to fix.
CategoryStructure:body, Unknown Or Other
DateJul 14, 2021
StateAL
Description
About 15 minutes prior to the incident, the interior shade cover was closed beneath the moonroof. Mostly sunny day about 85° f, about 55mph, the moonroof exploded. The sound was that of a shotgun, followed by wind noise and tinkling noises of shattered glass just beyond the shade cover. Upon external examination, 100% of the glass sliding moonroof was shattered, approximately 30% of the glass had departed the vehicle from a forward and central portion of the glass area. The remaining glass was bowed outward. The roof aft of the moonroof displayed 1-3 millimeter length flags of clear coat paint where the glass shards had etched the painted surface and the rear spoiler fairing panel over the aft hatch had gouges in the plastic composition along the upper surface of said fairing. All components on the vehicle were factory installed. Vehicle had 10,000 miles and was in service just over 5 months. There were no indications of an impeding problem. The moonroof was secured with tape and cardboard to prevent shards of glass from departing the vehicle. The dealership body shop estimates repairs at 19. Safety threat: if shade were open at the time of explosive incident, shards of glass would fall onto driver and passengers, which might create a loss of control from panic (explosion was very loud and disconcerting) glass in facial area (between eyes and sunglasses) or falling into clothing at the neck area and creating a painful bloody situation at highway speeds. Shards of glass departing incident vehicle might reach a following vehicle (motorcyclist) depending upon upward trajectory of glass and forward speed. Might affect vehicles traveling in opposite direction. Driver following incident with window down might be exposed to shards of glass slip streaming into that vehicle.
CategoryService Brakes
DateJul 13, 2021
StateNY
Description
My new 2021 toyota highlander hybrid having random issues when braking, I noticed most of the time when the car is going downhill, the car will lose braking for a second and I have to depress the brake harder to slow the vehicle. In that second when it loses the brake the car is actually going forward, which can cause unpredictable stopping distance, it can accident if I follow too close. There is no warning light show in the dashboard, the problem is not able to reproduce. It can happen randomly.
CategoryService Brakes
DateJun 23, 2021
StateAL
Description
At random times, when traveling at 10-15 mph and applying the brakes to stop or slow, the brakes will slip for a second or less and then re-in-gauge. Never experienced this before with 2 other toyota hybrids I have owned. Scary feeling. Have notified toyota customer service since I have read others with same model (highlander hybrid platinum) have same problem.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJun 22, 2021
StateCA
Description
I purchased my toyota highlander hybrid only about 2 months ago. Since then, I've experienced several incidences of sudden acceleration. In a few of them, I was approaching a stop sign and began to slow down. Suddenly, I felt the car accelerate on its own. In both instances, I slammed on the brakes and the car jerked then stopped. There was one instance when I was going down hill and I was stepping on the brakes, but the car seemed to accelerate on its own until I stepped on the brakes again. Fortunately, there were no collisions. However, this is a serious safety problem.
CategoryLane Departure: Assist, Lane Departure: Warning
DateJun 09, 2021
StateCA
Description
I consider this a vehicle safety issue. Was on the freeway, center lane of a 3 lane highway. The vehicle to my left began to move into my lane. I had to quickly move to my right, activating my lane departure and steering assist. This caused my vehicle to attempt to move me back into my lane (where the other driver was now trying to occupy!). I was shown how to disable this feature if desired but what I wasn't told by the dealer, is that this feature can no longer be set to default to off. I just finished a lease of a 2018 toyota rav4 which also had this feature but once I disabled it, it was disabled unless I re-enabled it. With this new vehicle, when you disable this feature, it's only disabled until you turn off the vehicle. When the vehicle is turned on again, this feature is set back to active. I checked with the dealers service department and they said that this is how this feature will work moving forward, that you can no longer set it to off as the default setting.
CategoryStructure:body
DateJun 03, 2021
StateTN
Description
Vehicle has had excessive wind noise since new. This was brought to the dealership's attention at the 5,000 mile service, and again at the 10,000 mile service. At the 5,000 mile service nothing was checked or done. At the 10,000 mile service the noise level was measured with a decibel meter and was at 79db at 55mph. The service tech then drove another 2021 toyota highlander that was on the lot and it registered the same decibel level at the same speed. The service tech said that he heard excessive wind noise, but since it was the same on both cars, there is no defect in our car. According to the cdc, noise above 70db over a prolonged period of time may start to damage hearing. The toyota service manager said that toyota's acceptable noise limit is 100db, therefore there is no problem, he is not going to attempt to fix the issue. According to cdc 100db is equivalent to a car horn at 16 feet, and cause hearing loss after 15 minutes. This is a dangerous noise level for the inside of a vehicle with the windows up and radio off.
CategoryEngine, Fuel/propulsion System, Service Brakes
DateJun 02, 2021
StateAZ
Description
Upon attempting to engage the brakes, it was found that they did not work. Immediately thereafter, the car began an uncommanded full acceleration. The insurance company has totaled the car. Our safety as occupants was obviously at serious risk. The driver chose to take the car off the road rather than jeopardize the lives of others on the same road. The car plowed through boulders and trees, coming to rest upside down wedged between an earthen berm and a tree...... Suspended about 2 feet above the ground. There were no warnings prior to the incident. The car has been inspected by the insurance company, and has been authorized for inspection by the manufacturer. There were no serious injuries as a result of the accident. We were very lucky! Uncommanded acceleration without any control is a frightening event any time.... But definitely in the vicinity of other vehicles full of families.
CategoryAir Bags, Electrical System
DateMay 29, 2021
StateAZ
Description
I purchased this 2021 highlander on april 3rd 2021. Power steering malfunction, srs airbag system malfuction first happened on april 21th 2021 when I started the vehicle. The car was towed to the dealer ship. The dealer simply re-set the system and asked me to unplug the tracker device which was installed by insurance company. Because they suspected the problem was caused by the interference from the device. I unpluged it. However, power steering malfunction, srs airbag system malfuction happened again on may 21th 2021 when I started the car. I went to the dealer who then let toyota involved this time and changed the battery. However, power steering malfunction, srs airbag system malfuction happened for the third time on may 28th 2021.
CategoryStructure:body
DateMay 28, 2021
StateAZ
Description
After leaving my hotel in san diego in the early dense foggy morning. I pulled over to help a kid who looked like he was just hit by a car or something. I put my 2021 less than 1500 miles at the time highlander in park. The kid walked up to my rig, I being a single female, cracked down the window, and asked if he was ok. At that point he just opened my driver's door and I started to panic as I thought the door was still locked. I grabbed the door a closed it and tried to lock it but not before he was able to open the back passenger door and get in. I really freaked out. Without thinking I got out of my rig and as he was closing the door I grabbed it and told him no get out. I have never felt so unsafe in my own vehicle before because even in park while I was still in the car the door's were all locked and no stranger's could just walk up an get in. This is a serious life threatening situation. I made a video right after but, this doesn't take videos. Also, there were 3 other witnesses or more and the sdp of ca didn't even come a ask us any information. But, the fire and rescue, and ambulance came for the kid age 16-21, whom I tried to help and was only wearing his underwear. And was bleeding from head to toe. But, he scared the heck out of me as he 2as also at least 5'9-6'. Big kid I know. But, still a kid. And I was still in danger because my door's were not locked and I could not access the sos. The cover would not open, or I was so scared I couldn't get it to open. Nonetheless, a new system is needed for emergencies just like that. Not all emergencies are about a crash.
CategoryAir Bags
DateMay 24, 2021
StateFL
Description
Traveling south bound on sc11 (in seneca south carolina) a vehicle that was traveling east bound, failed to stop and traveled across my path. The front end of my vehicle impacted the drivers side / passenger door area of the other vehicle. The momentum of the crash, caused the other vehicle to spin counter clock wise and impact me again... On the drovers side passenger door. Our 2021 toyota highlander was 4 weeks old with 2k miles on it. Weather conditions were excellent. I immediately stepped on the brakes when I realized the other person was not even slowing down. Our anti lock brakes worked good, but none of the air bags deployed. The drivers side passenger door and pillar is being numerous items to be replaced. Not sure if this is correct information... The body shop employee stated that air bag sensors are located in the pillar and from end / bumper area? I have photos. I have never been in an accident. I'm surprised the air bags did not deploy! I'll be glad to talk to toyota folks at some point... Thought it my civic duty to report to you folks first. Thank you, [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the freedom of information act (foia), 5 u. S. C. 552(b)(6).
CategoryEngine
DateMay 19, 2021
StateNY
Description
The contact owns a 2021 toyota highlander. The contact stated while driving approximately 50 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact restarted the vehicle and pulled over to the side of the roadway before the vehicle stalled again. The contact was unable to restart the vehicle. The contact stated that the check engine warning light was illuminated. The vehicle was towed to the local dealer but was not yet diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not informed of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 230. The consumer stated that sansone toyota falsely stated bad gas was added to the vehicle. Sansone advised consumer to contact insurance company. Geico investigated the claim and agreed a warranty should be issued. The consumer stated that a new engine is needed and had to pay 99. 03.
CategoryVisibility/wiper
DateMay 15, 2021
StateMD
Description
There is defect in the toyota highlander platinums' driver side mirror. The mirror glass will vibrate left and right when driving. It distorts the image in the mirror. When on highway, it is very noticeable. This kind of vibration should only occur if you drive over those potholes or ripple on the yellow double solid lines or shoulder of road. I have test driven multiple ones of the same trim on the dealership's lot to try to get dealership to look into replacing/fixing my mirror, but they are saying its a characteristic of the vehicle since the others are doing it. Also test drove a limited trim and the vibration was worst than the platinum. I have not had this issue with other 4 wheel cars. Toyota will not address this issue just based on my complaint so I am putting this complaint so hopefully toyota will address the issue.
CategoryEngine
DateMay 10, 2021
StateOH
Description
Vehicle has 3400 miles and starting having longer than normal cranking when starting the vehicle. Shortly after that occurred the vehicle began to stall while pulling into traffic. Vehicle was repaired where they installed some fuel sensors. 2 days later the vehicle stalled again while pulling into traffic. Both incidents almost caused an accident. Vehicle was towed a second time back to dealership. They are now replacing the fuel pump. Maybe they need to add this vehicle to recall list
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateApr 29, 2021
StateCA
Description
Highlander has same issue as the 2019-2020 toyota rav4 fuel issue identified by the nhtsa: vehicle fuel gauges displaying less than full and/or total fuel dispensed is less than expected, when the fuel nozzle automatically clicks off. Noted the 'distance to empty' shown on the multi-information display is less than expected. While driving, vehicle abruptly comes close to shutting off because gauges are inaccurate. Vehicle cannot be driven to the full capacity of the stated range. Gas tank is 17. 1 gallons but vehicle cannot take more than 12-13 gallons from empty.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateApr 28, 2021
StateCA
Description
I reported my gas tank not filling past 12. 9 gallons of gasoline on numerous fill ups on my new 2021 highlander hybrid platinum to toyota service department. The highlander on invoice says it's a 17 gallon tank capacity. Toyota service depart refilled my empty tank to12. 6 gallons verifying my complaint. The service advisor informed me they notified toyota and toyota responded in saying they are aware of the issue and there's nothing todo. The toyota service advisor inform me until there is enough complaints then toyota would issue a recall
CategoryTires
DateApr 26, 2021
StateMD
Description
Tl *the contact owns a 2021 toyota highlander equipped with bridgestone tires, tire line: alenza, tire size: 235/65/r18, dot number: 1w2lamlai4520. The contact stated while his wife was driving 60 mph, the rear driver's side tire exploded, without warning. The tire pressure warning system did not indicate a problem until after the tire exploded. The outside sidewall of the tire had separated. Koons annapolis toyota (1107 west st, annapolis, md 21401) was made aware of the failure and informed the contact that they would inform the manufacturer of the failure and get back to the contact. The tires were replaced with four new tires. The failure mileage was 612. The vin was not available. (new highlander was found at koons annapolis toyota and purchased from koons westminster toyota.) contact has not heard from toyota dealer following multiple requests. Contact replaced all bridgestone tires on the vehicle at own expense since they did not trust the remaining three bridgestone tires, nor a replacement bridgestone tire they may (?) have been able to get from the toyota dealer. Contact wants to warn the appropriate people that his new bridgestone tire on a new toyota highlander exploded without warning and for no apparent reason.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateApr 18, 2021
StateTX
Description
I bought my 2021 toyota highlander xle awd from toyota of dallas on 4/11/21. I have had nothing but trouble from the fuel guage / distance to empty system. From showing full when the tank is not full to refusing to change from full even after driving over 100 miles, I have become very disturbed by this vehicle. I am unable to get toyota and the dealership to respond to me after several attempts. My car is currently sitting in the garage showing a full tank after driving 169 miles after refuelling! What in the world is going on? Someone please kindly help. [xxx]. Information redacted pursuant to the freedom of information act (foia), 5 u. S. C. 552(b)(6).
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateApr 11, 2021
StateOR
Description
Toyota manual spec and website advertise the tank capacity is 17. 1 gallons. However, I can only fill top off around 12. 5-13 gallons which misleads to customers. The problem is that I don't know whether the gauge is incorrect (showing full too early) or the tank is out of shape which I can't fill to 17. 1 gallons. This can cause unwanted situation where people think they can go couple extra hundred miles before it goes empty or people continue forcing to pump more gas after 12. 5 gallons due to 17. 1 gallons capacity. The toyota app also gives the range around 420 miles which is an estimate for mpg of tank capacity around 12 gallons. It is hard to know whether my car got issue or company faulty advertises the tank capacity (long range per fill) to attract customers. I would love to know what's going on so I can use it properly.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateApr 08, 2021
StateCT
Description
Gas tank only holds 12. 5 - 13 gallons with a range of 425-450 at most whereas toyota claims in their advertising and specs that the tank hold 17. 1 gallons and the car has a range of 598 miles. I confirmed with toyota that this is off specification and they said the tank will only take 14 gallons and the range will decide itself. I use the car for long trips, bought it for the tank size and range and am concerned I am going to run out.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Warnings, Service Brakes
DateApr 06, 2021
StateNC
Description
We are experiencing pcs is not working, we were driving on freeway when cars stopped suddenly and not even displaying any warning signal of 'brake' on that moment, we were so close to impact a trailer, second time similar situation the next day after the first appt at service where they stated that pcs was working properly , cars stopped suddenly and not even with the warning timing set up in to the 'early time', warning us to use the brake. The explanation from second appt it was 'it worked with cruise on', on my previous cars never needed to turn on cruise, have a 3th appointment coming this week, but on electrician opinion is working fine without he even knowing you could set the warning timing on the menu by yourself.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateApr 04, 2021
StateOR
Description
This is not a safety issue per se but one of false advertising. Toyota advertises the range of my hybrid highlander as 600 miles on 17. 1 gal tank at 35 mpg. I do get 35 mpg (which is quite commendable for a vehicle this size) but I cannot fill the fuel tank more than 12-13 gal even when nearly bone-dry empty. In turn I cannot drive any further than 450 miles without filling up. Something is wrong with either the design of fuel tank such that not all the fuel can be accessed or the design of the fuel filler hose such that one cannot fill the tank completely. Another option is perhaps the fuel tank is not truly 17. 1 gallons as documented. Toyota should not advertise a range of 600 miles when this is not realistic even when achieving 35 mpg.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateMar 31, 2021
StateNH
Description
The 2021 highlander hybrid is not taking more than 10-11gallons per fill up and the distance to empty indicator only states approx. 420miles not the 590-615miles based on the stated 34/35 mpg per toyota on the hybrid model. We have filled the vehicle several times and at multiple gas stations and each time the tank will not accept more than 10-11gallons.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateMar 29, 2021
StateCA
Description
The 2021 toyota highlander hybrid gas tank is exactly 17. 1 us gallons in size but even when the low fuel indicator light turn on and the the fuel gauge is at near empty it will only accept a maximum of 12. 9 to 13. 8 gallons. Toyota states that the maximum range on a full tank of the vehicle is 615 miles but when full the max-range always falls between 460 to 490 miles given my mpg of 34. 5 to 36. 5. There is an issues with the fueling system that does not allow the vehicle to be properly fueled or the system is defective. Other drivers have been having the same issues trying to fill their gas tanks to the indicated amount after the fuel indicator come on and having low rage left of about 25 miles. This is an issues that happens at various gas stations so the issue is not the pump but the vehicle.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateMar 15, 2021
StateNY
Description
The vehicle ev does not engage when it is cold outside for at least 10-15 minutes of driving. This drastically alters the fuel economy.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateFeb 12, 2021
StateVA
Description
The dte indicator on the vehicle is operating incorrectly. I filled the highlander up with 10 miles dte and it only took 13. 2 gallons of fuel. The dte indicator was 425 miles after fill up. Toyota advertises 600 miles per tank. My highlander is 175 miles off of the manufactures advertised expectation. I don't know if I am out of fuel at 0 dte or if I can drive another 175 miles before empty. I averaged 35. 6 mpg on this fill up but every time I fill the tank I get similar results.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateJan 25, 2021
StateMA
Description
My 2021 highlander hybrid platinum is experiencing a fuel filling issue. Over the first 2,000 miles, the vehicle will not take more than 13. 5 gallons at fill up ' no topping off. The car has a 17. 1 gallon tank. The car has gone as low as 2 miles to empty according to the car estimate. At each fill up it takes between 12. 5 and 13. 5 gallons. It is not clear if the tank is filling up completely and there are 4-5 gallons left at 'empty' or the tank is not able to fill completely. I purchased this car for it's fuel economy and range while traveling with my family. It is important to know if the tank is actually empty or still has substantial amount of fuel remaining so my family is not stranded out of fuel.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateDec 30, 2020
StateOR
Description
2 issues- the distance to empty only reads 425 miles. With a full 17 gallon tank it should be around 600. When you fill it, it clicks off 3-4 gallons short of full, only holding about 14 gallons. The fuel gauge shows full. I then had to trickle in the remaining 3. 5 gallons. How could it show full with 3. 5 more gallons going in? Why is the tank not able to take the full ammount of fuel?

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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.

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