Toyota Highlander

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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

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Toyota had me sign a contract that was on a computer and never disclosed the surrender fee. It was not until I received a copy of the lease agreement from Toyota. I have had problems with the vehicle stopping. I must apply the brakes much sooner than my Nissan or my Ford Mustang. There is rust on the hood of the vehicle. Paint is flaking off the hood down to the primer. I repeatedly advised Toyota of the brake issue which was the traction light coming on and having to reset itself when the brakes were applied. The vehicles was put in park and started rolling backwards.

TJ Toyota repeatedly told me that could not recreate the problem. I demanded it be kept until they did. I was told by the Service Manager that it is normal for the traction light to come on. If that were the case why was I not told two visits prior. They never recreated the problem with the vehicle in park. It only happened twice but had I not had quick reflexes, students walking home from school would have been run over. I will never lease nor buy a vehicle from Toyota again.

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I had an accident on the freeway. Traffic was stopping ahead of us, it was raining. I had plenty of time to stop, but the alarm on the Highlander came on and no matter how hard I pushed on the brakes, it would not slow down. It sounds like the ABS system "takes over" to prevent you from sliding. Unfortunately, it doesn't allow me to stop. This could have been SO much worse, but this is a serious problem that must be fixed by Toyota.

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After nine months of ownership, the touch screen radio broke. A simple push of the finger on a 106F day and a crack went across screen. Dealer refuses to repair or replace "due to outside influences". Which I can only take to mean ISIS or aliens. This is a $3500 replacement. I also find out I was duped into buying a cheap Panasonic and not the JBL I thought I was getting. After numerous attempts with dealer I was told to call Toyota Customer Care. After an hour on the phone with Toyota Corporate, they turned around and called the dealer. Again I was told it was caused by "outside influences". Toyota customer care is a joke, and the dealer network is worse. To stick a customer with a $3500 cost on a nine month old vehicle is insane. They have not returned calls, or followed up on claims I submitted. They did not test or exam the radio, they only took a picture. I cannot recommend a Toyota. I will never buy another Toyota.

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I purchased a brand new 2015 Toyota Highlander Limited vehicle, and within the first 90 days of ownership, the plastic front and side panels that cover the machinery at the bottom of the driver's seat came apart. Immediately, I scheduled a service appointment to have it repaired. It took approximately four long months and numerous attempts on my part to schedule the repair appointment. It was finally repaired, only to break within 48 hours of retrieving it from the dealer. Subsequently, I contacted the dealership numerous times over approximately a six months time frame to schedule the second repair. I was always told they were waiting on the FTS person to arrive in the area to address it.

Dealership service personnel reported they could not repair the seat despite the car being less than a year old and under warranty until instructed otherwise. To reiterate, the decision rested with a person identified as the FTS (an engineer) from Glen Burnie, MD, their regional division. Irritated and knowing my car was almost a year old, I contacted several divisions of Toyota (in writing & via registered mail) and advised them the car had to be repaired or replaced. I asked whether they no longer stood behind their products. Were they going to ignore the fact that the car was under warranty? I reminded them according to law, a customer had rights regarding the lemon law. After dealing with a callous, non-empathic case worker out of California, on several phone calls, he agreed to repair the seat a second time.

Finally, months later, the seat's plastic front/side panels were going to be repaired or allegedly replaced. Toyota kept my vehicle from September 6th until Monday, September 12th, 2016 for the second repair of the seat, trunk, and the Voice command. On the 12th, I arrived to retrieve my car. A slim, short, young mechanic drove the car from the back of the service garage to the front where I stood with my service representative. He opened the door and hopped out. As he did so, the two of us observed and heard the plastic panels pop apart again. The service representative shook her head and the foreman arrived to join us at looking at the car.

During this time, they both turned to look at me and informed me that Toyota instructed them to not repair my seat a third time. So, I took my lemon back home in the exact manner I took it to the dealership to be repaired. Obviously, it was NOT repaired as far as I was concerned. Can you say irritated? After all, I spent over $45,000 for the car.

Upon my arrival home, I called my Toyota HQ case worker, who did absolutely zilch to resolve this in an acceptable manner in my opinion. He gleefully reported he called the dealership and despite the seat breaking under the weight of the mechanic it would not be fixed a third time and no further action would be taken by Toyota despite the warranty. The reason being because the FTS (engineer) decided the seat should not be repaired due to my being a full figured woman. Staff and documentation indicated my weight was the problem. Now, did I mention that I also own a 2004 Highlander? I still own and drive this one and its seats have never broken. Did I mention that I was a loyal Toyota customer and this was my fourth purchase?

I also had numerous problems with the trunk door failing to open 80% of the time and the Voice Command worked about 5% of the time for me. This might be due to my somewhat deep, but feminine voice. The bottom line, I truly believe the car is a lemon, but Toyota will not stand behind this product the way the company should. In my opinion, Toyota has become so big that customer satisfaction does not matter to them.

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I bought a 2015 Highlander brand new. I am very unsatisfied with my choice. I am getting 15 mpg in the city. On the highway... the best I've been able to average is 17mpg. Took the car to the dealer and the best they got it up to was 16mpg. I've had to had the driver's side window seal replaced 3 times due to squeaking when I roll up the window, and it needs to be replaced again for the same problem. The driver's side door panel chrome is now aligned properly and needs to be replaced. The rear arm axles (or something with the suspension) went out and had to be replaced at 10,000 miles. When I turn corners, the car makes an almost listing noise. Imagine the noise you would hear in a boat swaying over waves in the ocean. The dealer hasn't been able to find where this noise is coming from. I have 13,000 miles on the car now and I'm ready to trade it in.

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Purchased my 2014 Highlander LX new. Twice now the plastic driver's plastic seat trim which covers the seat electronic controls has broken. The first time was within a year of purchase and dealer replaced it. At that time, the service rep said if it broke again, I would have to pay to have it replaced. That certainly raised a red flag and sure enough, less than a year later, the same thing happened. I called the service manager who told me he has never heard of the trim breaking. Odd, since they had already replaced mine.

In any event, I see on this site alone that others have reported exactly the same problem and experienced refusal by Toyota to acknowledge the part failure. This is my 5th Toyota product and I've never had this problem before. I know there are others with this problem. I encourage others with this issue to post here and elsewhere so Toyota can't continue to assert that there is no problem with their cheap, flimsy seat trim. Meanwhile, I am driving around with the seat trim hanging out every time I open my door as there is no way to adequately secure it - not exactly great marketing for Toyota.

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My 2015 Toyota Highlander Limited V6 produces horrible torque steer under the slightest brisk takeoff and even if I am starting off with slight accelerator pressure with a damp service the vehicle has a difficult time finding grip. The car is a FWD model and when I have attempted to press the vehicle to get out into fast traffic it decides which way I should be steering. This thing is horrible, embarrassing when I gave guest aboard, and is dangerous if you are not completely ready for its torque steering shenanigans.

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I was driving to work in my Toyota Highlander when I came upon a red light (where other cars were already stopped). I pushed down on the brakes and quickly realized the car was not responding. I had no control of the vehicle. To avoid the car in front of me, I directed the car into the opposing lane (because there were no cars) and tried to apply the breaks again, but still nothing. Finally after the third try of hitting the brakes the car came to a stop. I was petrified, and immediately pulled the Highlander to the side of the road.

I was afraid, but I had to continue my drive to work. I work the overnight shift, so the next morning I drove my car from work straight to the dealership to have it looked at. I was helped by a representative who must have dealt with this complaint before as he at the ready with quick precise answers, before even hearing me out. "There is no problem" he responded, "this is just your ABS brakes jumping in to help you out in a slide." But I was not sliding. I said to him, "I was going 30mph on a dry road, and the brakes were not helping me do anything."

I explained to him that when I went into the opposing lane I passed the grey car in front of me that was in my lane. If another car had been in the opposite lane, I would have had to hit the car in front of me. He responded, "well it sounds like you tried to pump your brakes and you cannot do that in a Highlander." I was astonished that these were his answers. I ONLY PUSHED THE BRAKES SO MANY TIMES BECAUSE THE BRAKES WERE ALREADY NOT RESPONDING!! He continued, saying the next time this happens push down as hard on the brakes as I can without removing my foot and see if this works better. "The next time? I don't ever want to experience this again! I don't want there to be a next time." I told him.

Because I refused to leave without the car being inspected, he finally agreed to have it looked at. He said "it will be hours, so if you're willing to leave it here." This has been an unforgettable experience. I am concerned about driving this car. I just got the Highlander 2 months ago. I have four children I drive on a daily basis (whom, luckily, were not in the car).

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I purchased my first Toyota expecting great trouble-free ride. I have 5,400 miles on the car in 6 months. The alarm has gone off 3 times on its own. I have called the dealer and they said that was an old problem that Toyota corrected so not sure what is wrong. I am back home up north for about a month and my poor relatives are keeping my car in their driveway in Florida. They are not real happy or are their neighbors.

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Just want Toyota and other consumers know how brutal the front seats are when traveling LONG distances. It is unbelievable how bad it hurts in these front seats!!! I will never purchase another Highlander!

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2014 Toyota Highlander before its first oil change 5000 miles started making noises. It appears to be coming from under the carriage right under the middle row, sounds like an old car. Also both the captain chair in the middle row rattle and shake when driving over bumps or rough terrain. I took it to the dealer a few times but they don't seem to have a fix for it, and as for the chairs, they say they're just bad quality. I'm surprised that with so many complaints for the same issues, Toyota does not take care of the problem.

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Car now has 36000 miles. From day 1 burned 1 qt every 2000 miles at best. Toyota will not do anything to correct as they say it is normal to burn 1 qt for every 1200 miles! Owned 8 Toyotas and never between oil changes do I ever have to add oil. They are not backing up their product and Lemon Law proceedings are under way as the car also had numerous oil leaks which they finally dropped the engine and redid 21 seals and gaskets.

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Bought 2006 Highlander in June 2008 with 44k miles. Had 2 owners by this time. Won't hold an alignment. Warranty on follow up alignments are free for 6 months but it did not matter how many times I returned it for a realignment. Tires are new, balanced etc. Previous owners must have seen this problem and dumped it. I had a loan and not in financial position to do the same. Dealer I bought it from was one of many that GM closed in 2008. Gave it to my son and I bought a bicycle. During the time I had it I did not have to do any repairs.

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Totally frustrated with the hands free system in my 2015 Highlander. I have completed the tutorial, voice trained the system, and still does not work properly. I have communicated with Toyota but so far they feel there is not an issue. Dealer has been good to work with but does not have an answer. Examples:

Question: Directions to Birmingham Alabama.
Answer: Where do you want to find Burlington coat?
Question: Directions to (name of dealer) Toyota

Answer: Where do you want to find Latin and South American?

Really? Worst hands free system I have ever used. Did I mention this is the platinum state of the art vehicle? Other than this the car operates as expected but this is unacceptable. So was Toyota's response that at this point they do not see an issue. Very interested to see if anyone else has the same issue.

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Toyota Highlander Platinum Hybrid 2015 - On four separate occasions the car would not start. I get a flashing yellow indicator in the instrument panel but no messages are record. On the first occasion the car would not start for 3 consecutive days. On the forth day I called Toyota Care and arranged for a tow truck to take the vehicle to the nearest Toyota Dealer for service. The tow truck driver informed me that we would need to push the car away from the house in order to hook it for loading on the flat bed. When we started pushing the car it suddenly started. I asked the tow truck driver to tow the vehicle anyway. The tow truck driver then informed me that he could not load the truck on the flat bed since the tow hooks were missing from the vehicle.

Upon further research I found the tow hooks are not included with this $50k+ vehicle. I asked the tow truck driver to follow me to the dealer. The service department could not find any faults in the car's memory and therefore were not able to resolve the problem. Since this first incident the problem has recurred four more times. On this last incident I recorded what happens when the vehicle doesn't start and will post the video on YouTube.

This car has left me stranded on four separate occasion. I complained to Toyota Corporate but received no response. They are simply not interested in resolving these problems. On the last occasion I was able to get the vehicle started after removing the preload on the steering wheel. I suspect, but can't conclude at this time, that the problem may be related to preload on the steering wheel that occurs when the car is parked and the wheels turning to one side or the other.

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Purchase a brand new 2015 Highlander LE plus which was special order to get the Blizzard Pearl with black interior. Terrible rattling noise from the back driver seat area when a small bump or imperfections on the road. Have taken it to the dealership twice and basically got a sorry that's the way it is. On one occasion they did take the seat off and tried to re-adjust the seat but did not take care of the issue. Can't believe I have to deal with this on a brand new car, only has 3,200 miles on it. Will probably not buy a Toyota vehicle again. If someone else has this issue, please let me know.

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Purchase 2013 Highlander and 7 months later went to dealer for an oil change, comes out with engine vibrating and tapping. Contact Toyota Corp they refuses to repair or replace vehicle. Went to arbitration and of course his job was to favor them. Dealerships still refuse to fix the vehicle and it is tapping and vibrating extremely bad. I feel as though all the Toyota owners of these damaged vehicles would be extremely nice if we can file a class action lawsuit against Toyota. That is the only way we can conquer that Corporation as an whole not as an individual.

Toyota are designed to disregard their responsibility toward the customers and continued to fib against all of the owners who purchase a vehicle from their know good ...We seriously need to form a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT against Toyota. If anyone know of a class action on these 2013, 2014, 2015 please let me know because I am all for it ASAP.

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24,000 miles only on the car. Brake failed backing down a hill.

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We purchased two new 2014 Toyota Highlanders, one for me and one for my wife. The side panel of the seat that contains the electric seat controls was coming apart after a few months and we took my wife's car back and then a month or so later my Highlander was doing the same thing. They ordered a new part but it didn't fix the problem and so we have two new 2014 Toyota Highlanders that have the side panel hanging down from the seat.

The dealer in Clanton Alabama McKinnon Toyota turned it over to Toyota and we received a call from them two weeks later and they basically don't have a fix and don't know when they will have a fix. They said they would update us monthly about it. Don't know what to do from here but very disappointed in the response so far. Not sure Toyota realizes how many people see our seat falling apart each time we get out of the car.

I am planning on taking the car back to McKinnon and leaving it there until it's fixed or replaced. Any suggestions would be welcomed. We ask about replacement but the Toyota representative said because it was still drivable it didn't apply. I read the lemon law summary that said that if devalued the car it would be covered. Hope this helps someone else and maybe us as well to spread the story.

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Brake failure on new 2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid, twice - Three days after I bought my new car from DCH Toyota of Oxnard, a systems trouble warning light came on. As I was pulling my car over to call the Toyota dealer that I bought my car from, the brakes went out, then the car lurched to a stop. I had no control of the car. I shut the car off, called the dealer. Was told to take it to the nearest Toyota repair. I turned the car back on, there was no warning light and the brakes worked, so like an idiot, I drove the car to the nearest dealer. The Santa Barbara service department I took the car to was very nice, they gave me a loaner and worked on my car. The next day I drove an hour back from where I live to pick the car up, I was told they found and fixed the problem. I drove my new car from California to Montana and back, over steep mountain passes. I really liked this car.

One month later, with five thousand miles on my car, I took my car into be serviced at DCH Toyota of Oxnard, where I bought the car. Everything was great. The very next day, after the car was serviced, my brakes went out. There was no warning this time. I got a brake system failure light and one second later, I had no brakes or control of the car.

I called my dealer. They told me it wasn't their problem, to take it to the Santa Barbara dealer. I called several times. No one at DCH Toyota would talk to me. I kept being sent to voicemail. I called the Toyota headquarters and was told they would have someone get back with me the next day. After letting my car sit off for fifteen minutes or so, I turned it back on, there was no warning light and the brakes worked, so I slowly drove the car home. A lawyer called DCH Toyota for me, and within a minute from him talking to them, they called me. I had Toyota roadside assist tow my car to DCH. They were very nice, gave me a loaner and seemed to understand that I didn't want to ever drive this car again.

December 24th, 2014, I was told they found the problem and replaced two failed parts. I went in to talk with them about the fact that I now had no confidence in the car and didn't want it. I was told by one head service tech that he wouldn't want his wife or children in this car. The manager said, maybe he would let his wife drive it. On the 24th DCH was very understanding and said they would look for a new car to replace my car. It may take 4 - 6 weeks and to drive the loaner until the 26th to decide what I wanted to do.

On the 26th I told DCH that I didn't want to ever drive the car again. They told me, it wasn't their problem and that I had to go through Toyota. I now had filed under the lemon law, that my car was fixed and fine. This was not the new, safe, car I paid a lot of my hard earned money for. Shame on DCH, the sales manager said Toyota's a billion dollar company, it's their job to sort this out, not theirs.

I was in two life threatening situations in a brand new car, whose brakes went out due to a computer malfunction and a bad brake part, and I still had to drive it home. Is it fixed, maybe, maybe not. Another person Nov. 23rd complained that her Toyota Highlander's brakes failed, she got in an accident. I was lucky I wasn't hurt or killed. I was told, by the Toyota company, I have to wait 30 days to see if I qualify for a new car under the lemon law. They won't give me a loaner. If they won't give me a new car right away, I would like a refund and the low mileage Lexus I traded in back.

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I've been battling with the issue of overheating since I purchase my car. I have changed the thermostat and radiator coolant but still persists. I've also pressure tested the cooling system for any leakage and flushed the radiator for any sediments too. I'm almost tired getting tired of the car as I can't use A/C because if I do so, the temperature rise immediately. Kindly advice me for next action. Thanks.

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2014 Highlander - Broken seat control casing on driver's side: C. of Castro Valley, CA wrote about the same problem that I have had. I bought the car in March. By Dec. 1st the dealership had tried to repair the broken plastic casing that anchors the driver's seat and protects the controls for lowering and moving the driver's seat - five times. They even installed running boards as they claim that the way I get in and out of the car was causing the breakage. After the fifth time they said I was the reason for the problem and that I was the only person they knew of who had the problem in the USA and thus they would no longer pay for any more repairs. Now the controls are contained with scotch tape and I ride around with the broken plastic pieces looking for a solution to a broken seat.

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I purchased my 2012 Highlander 12/28/12, I started having issues soon after, I took it into AutoNation formally, Champion Toyota, Houston, TX. I was given the run around and they just kept putting band aids on the problem. I spoke to several upper management personnel but by no avail the problem still occurs. The Upper Light Console falls down while driving at any given time while driving or just being parked. I have taken my vehicle in on several occasions for this. I'm Highly Disappointed and upset to keep going through this with the dealer which I purchased it and also purchased EXTENDED WARRANTY! I just can't be the only one having this problem. I feel they are shafting me since I have warranty and it's covered and they need to replace it, I believe it's a bigger problem and they don't want to do it. I have noticed they are hiring Kids to repair and work on vehicles instead of real people that knows what they are doing. This is why it's not being fixed because they do not know how to do it.

I'm not looking for free but I want fair and honesty and for them to own their mistakes for not repairing it correctly the first time. This is frustrating knowing you are paying for this huge investment and not happy with what you purchased. It been a nightmare with these people. I had a Toyota Rav4 before this and never had any issues whatsoever so I thought I'd stick with Toyota but they have really let me down this time and it will be my last vehicle from them.

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152000+ miles. Only things replaced are brake pads, tires, tire rotation annually, oil changes every 7,500 miles with Mobile 1 synthetic, routine maintenance every 30,000 miles by Toyota, genuine Toyota timing belt and water pump replaced at 90,000 miles, 2 fuel oxygen sensors replaced (cost $450 per sensor; but use only OEM since replacement parts may not be compatible like I found on my previous Camry). That is it. Best car, minivan or SUV I ever owned -- Almost 13 years & 150K+ miles; and still runs like new.

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I was driving into a driveway. The pavement was wet with leaves and I was only going about 5 mph up a slight incline. I felt the car slip on the leaves while I applied the brakes and then the car lunged forward slamming into the car that was parked in the driveway. I continued to step on the brakes, but I couldn't get the car to stop. My Hybrid finally stopped when the car in the driveway was smashed against their garage door and outside brick. The other car was severely damaged, garage door and frame were damaged and the bricks were destroyed. The insurance company says I am 100% at fault, but I know something went wrong with the Hybrid.

I had brand new top of the line winter tires put on 2 days before the accident and new brakes, brake pads put on less than 6 months ago. It doesn't make sense that that much damage could be caused when going into a driveway at a low speed. How else can you explain the damage? Something went wrong with the car. I could not believe it was my fault so I looked up online and saw many forums about Toyota Highlander Hybrid surging problem/brake gap. Toyota needs to be held accountable for this manufacturer defect and admit that there is a problem and do a recall. This is a serious safety issue and now I am afraid to drive my vehicle.

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We own 2011 Highlander SE AWD has 31,000 mile. On November 16, 2014 moved the car from garage and found metal pieces on garage floor. Immediately took the car to the garage and found that both side of front brakes inner pads completely worn out and damaged both rotors. Outside pads has almost 60% thickness left on it. Ended up changing both rotors and pads. Cost me $375 dollars. Mechanic said this may be resulted from faulty brake system. Talk to Toyota and ended up nowhere.

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Our new 2014 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER Limited has begun making noise when traveling relatively slow (<30mph) on a normal road. When there's a very minor bump, a squeaky sound will come from the rear. It's not so noticeable on the freeway (perhaps fewer vibrations and/or the wind noise overpowers it). Upon further investigation (riding in the back and listening for the source), it's coming from the rear-hatch door/car gap near the bottom corners. It sounds like the powered hatch isn't fully tight and the weatherstrip is rubbing. However, the door doesn't feel or appear loose at all. This just started occurring this past week at around 2500 miles.

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2013 Toyota Highlander - Purchase vehicle in 2013. Seven months later engine started tapping and vibrating. Told need motor mounts. Toyota dealership refuse to acknowledge that the engine is tapping and vibrating. Vibrating is very intense that it vibrate in panels inside of the car and runs loud. Arbitrator did not diagnose this vehicle properly and was in favor for Toyota. This vehicle is vibrating even more harder now. Windows is beginning to fall off track as well. As a customer of Toyota, Toyota is not honoring their warranty and I feels as though a Class Action lawsuit needs to be file against Toyota Corporation because of denying and not honoring the warranties on their products. It would be great to start a Class Action Lawsuit against this corporation.

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2010 Toyota Highlander - The first issue was with the front driver's window either coming off track (several times) or the time that the door would not open from inside. I had to roll down the window to open. After the warranty expired, we don't go to the dealer to get it fixed. This started just months after purchasing the new vehicle. Next, just after the 3-yr/36,000 warranties expired, the starter went bad. I contacted both my local dealer and Toyota but neither would. Luckily, we know a good mechanic who fixed and saved us a lot of money. Finally (hopefully), the rear door sensor keeps indicating the door is open when it is not. This causes the interior lights to flash, door to chime, and the rear display to show door open. This happens all of the time. I am afraid to take to the dealer since it is out of warranty and after hearing of similar issues and the cost. Toyota is not a quality product and too bad it took $38,000 to figure it out. I thought I would give them a try after all of the very serious issues they recently had.

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The cover panel on my new 2014 Toyota LE Highlander came apart shortly after having it PermaPlated in May (purchased April 2014). Since that first incident on May 7, 2014 through September 2, 2014 that same part has broken and been replaced by the dealership five times. This is the part that covers the switches on the side the driver's seat. While Toyota of Concord said that they would replace the seat in July, Toyota now refuses to replace the seat. Has anyone had any issue with this part of your Highlander breaking, coming apart? Purchased NEW. Suggestions other than arbitration? Thank you.

Toyota Highlander Company Profile

Company Name:
Toyota
Website:
www.toyota.com