2022 Toyota 4Runner Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Airbag, brake, seat belt, and steering issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

The 2022 Toyota 4Runner is a top choice for busy families in the country. The automaker claims it enables owners to “adventure in style,” helping to make it even more appealing. However, consumers are complaining about multiple issues including faulty airbags, brakes that malfunction, steering wheels that vibrate, and seat belts that won’t release.

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Most Common Problems

Problems highlighted by complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) span multiple components and systems. In terms of numbers, those that top the list are airbags, brakes, and the forward collision avoidance safety feature. Lane departure, vehicle speed control, seat belt, steering and suspension problems are also high on the list.

Other complaints relate to backover prevention, the electrical system, engine and engine cooling, and the powertrain. There are also three recalls, two of which were introduced due to incorrect or illegal labels that may unintentionally lead to overloading 4Runners. The third is because of an inoperable driver’s side high beam that can reduce visibility. The danger of this is that it increases the risk of a crash.

2022 Toyota 4Runner Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Air Bags
Service Brakes
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Vehicle Speed Control
Back Over Prevention: Camera System
Electrical System

Problems with the Airbags

The value of airbags in vehicles lies in their ability to significantly reduce the risk of injury or death in the event of a collision. They do this by providing a cushioning barrier between occupants and the interior of the vehicle. When the airbags don’t work, the lives of drivers and passengers are immediately compromised.

The owner of a 2022 4Runner describes what happened when a vehicle ran a red light at about 40 mph and hit the SUV on the driver’s side. “The force of the collision pushed me into another vehicle. My car was new in March, and had 7100 miles on it. None of the airbags deployed.” As a result the driver sustained “concussion and severe bruising.”

Another owner was doing about 30 mph while slowing down when rear-ended by a small SUV going about 50-60 mph. Then a car that had been traveling behind the 4Runner hit the side of the car. “I was thrown forward and then to the left. The emergency assist call was activated but not one of the airbags went off. I ended up with back and neck pain and injury.” All three passengers “suffered whiplash and one hit her head on the dashboard causing a concussion.”

An owner from South Carolina also complained about the airbags. The complaint states that they wouldn’t activate while his wife was sitting in the front passenger seat. To overcome the problem, he had to put weights on her legs. The failure mileage was about 200. According to the dealer, “that was the way the vehicle was manufactured and (it) could not be modified.”

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Problems with the Brakes

Complaints about faulty brakes are varied. An owner from New York reports a malfunction that forced the driver to pump the brakes to get the SUV to stop. While there was no evidence of leaking brake fluid, the dealership found that there was a leak in the brake master cylinder. It was replaced under warranty when the vehicle had only 12,600 miles on the clock.

Another owner found that the brakes were spongy when slowing down or stopping. And they would stop the SUV completely. “The vehicle would slow down, but continue to roll, while the pedal would continue to go farther and farther down until I could not press it any farther.” After the incident, the owner managed to drive home. But “even with the vehicle turned off, the brake pedal goes all the way to the floor.”

Safety-Related Forward Collision-Avoidance Issues

Yet another brake problem is part of a complaint that is also filed as a vehicle speed control and forward collision-avoidance problem. The owner, from Washington, states that on many occasions, “while driving in a straight line with our adaptive cruise control on, our 2022 Toyota 4Runner will automatically actuate the vehicle’s brakes.” This happens when traveling between 30 and 65 mph when approaching a slower or stationary vehicle. These vehicles are “either to the left or right, but not directly in front of our vehicle.” The sudden reduction in speed has almost caused several collisions, the complaint states. The workaround is to “quickly tap the brakes to deactivate the adaptive cruise control, then get on the accelerator pedal to avoid a collision with any following vehicle.”

The owner has taken the vehicle to two dealerships on three occasions. The first time they “told us repeatedly that there is no issue.” Another time, they “made an adjustment to the 4Runner’s forward camera system.” But the next day the SUV “irrationally applied the brakes when we were driving 35 MPH on a straight road with no other vehicle in front of us. The problem is not fixed.”

An owner from California states that the SUV only gets to 30 mph before it starts to shake excessively. Additionally, lane assist doesn’t function. The complaint is filed as a vehicle speed control and forward collision-avoidance problem.

An owner from Pennsylvania filed a complaint as being a forward collision avoidance, lane departure, and electrical system problem. It started when rodents, probably squirrels, destroyed the soy-based wiring harness. “The resulting damage (will) cost $8000 to repair and it will take months for the harness to be in stock. This failure caused all safety features to be disabled leaving the vehicle without standard safety functions.”

Steering and Suspension Problems

Complaints reported in these two categories link vibration and shaking of the steering wheel with a suspension problem. An owner from Texas states that “aggressive steering wheel vibration” has occurred from the day he first drove the SUV. It happens when driving between 55 and 75 mph.

“Toyota claims this 4runner is operating as it is manufactured to do so. This is causing unnecessary wear on the steering and/or suspension. Without a visual warning sign from the vehicle, this could cause catastrophic failure while driving, ultimately putting the driver and other drivers at risk while on the road.” The problem also makes the SUV difficult to control, resulting in excessive swerving. “Toyota claims it is the tires,” and has replaced them twice. But, “the issue persists. It is not the tires, it is a manufacturing defect that is a safety hazard and reduces the value of the vehicle.”

Another driver finds that the shaking, vibrating, and wobbling usually happens at 55-68 mph, but typically closer to 62-64 mph. When it happens, it “pulls/steers very hard to the right.” The fear is that it could “cause me or another driver to lose control of the vehicle and cause an accident that might hurt me or someone else.” The complaint states that the SUV had been inspected “by the Toyota dealership more than 6 times in 6 months/6k miles. The problem has been confirmed by the dealer.” But this dealer also focused on the wheels and tires, adjusting and swapping them. ”It did NOT fix the issue. No one can fix the shake and wobble in the steering wheel.”

Seat Belt Retraction Issues

Seat belts are designed to restrain those traveling in vehicles to keep them safe. But when they won’t release, they become a danger rather than a safety feature.

An owner from Ohio attempted to get out of a 2022 4Runner when parked, “but was stuck in the front driver’s seat.” The “seat belt would not release from the buckle and the retractor would not adjust out of place.” The local police managed to extricate the driver by loosening the seat belt retractor from his upper body and neck. The local dealer was unable to duplicate the failure and no repairs were carried out. The SUV had only done about 100 miles at the time.

The same thing happened to another owner’s daughter. “Her seatbelt was on correctly and we were slowing down to pull into the driveway. My daughter said her seatbelt was stuck and wouldn’t loosen. She unbuckled the seatbelt and tried to loosen it and remove it from around her waist. She was stuck in the seatbelt. It would not loosen even the slightest bit. I called 911 and they sent the fire department out. They could not get it to loosen in any way and they had to cut my seatbelt to remove my child.“

What To Do If Your 4Runner is a Lemon

If you own a 2022 Toyota 4Runner that has recurring problems that affect your safety or use of the vehicle, you might have a lemon on your hands. If you suspect this is the case, phone the Lemberg Law Helpline or fill out a contact form. We will assess your problems free of charge and advise you.

Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ vehicle owners. The law says Toyota must pay the legal costs of lemon law cases, which is why it’s not going to cost you anything.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

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

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Answer M

    2017 4 TRD Pro 4 Runner purchased new. Entune system is junk and has never worked properly. Dealer cannot fix after repeated tries. Dealer replaced the intire Entune Radio but still have the same problem in that the QUICK MESSAGE only works about 10% of the time for some calls and not at all for most other calls. It reports the following error message: ” A problem occured while sending the message. Would you like to retry?”. Retry never works. This is a Hands Free law state as well. This defect or inadequate engineering design is dangerous.

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