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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
123,347 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Toyota 4Runner body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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1998 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Aug 112016


  • 152,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Toyota 4runner. While driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle veered to the left and right before wobbling violently. The vehicle was driven to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the rear passenger side of the frame was fractured. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 152,000.

- Lanesboro, IA, USA

problem #20

Jun 172016


  • miles
The frame or the chassis and all around it are heavily corroded that I was advised by the inspector and the tire place (costco) where I brought the car for tire replacement not to drive it as it is unsafe. I understand that the Toyota Tacoma of the same year with the same kind oh chassis was recalled by Toyota. My question is why not do the same for the 4runner?

- Wesley Hills, NY, USA

problem #19

May 272016


  • miles
I own a wonderful 1998 Toyota 4runner ltd sport vehicle. The frame is disappearing due to severe rust. The heat shield has worn away, and now my feet get very hot after just 20 minutes of local driving. Have had it checked by a garage, nothing functionally wrong with my SUV.

- Glen Cove, NY, USA

problem #18

Sep 152015


  • 183,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic to have the radiator replaced however, while the vehicle was being hoisted on the lift, the sub frame fractured. The contact stated that there was severe frame rust to the sub frame. The contact was informed that the sub frame was compromised and the vehicle was unsafe to repair while on a lift. The radiator was repaired, however the frame rust failure was not repaired. The contact also stated that the passenger's side rear torsion bar also fractured. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 183,000.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #17

Jan 252015


  • miles
The vehicle in question has serious signs of frame decay that should not be present on a vehicle of this age and use. There are three areas of frame perforation that suggest a defect in the material and/or design of the frame. This issue seems to be prevalent on 1998 models of this same vehicle as I have found numerous complaints of the same nature within the NHTSA site as well as other sites around the internet. I have contacted Toyota corporate and was met with an unwillingness to properly address this issue. I will follow up with photos of the frame perforation to show the extent of the deterioration.

- Alton, IL, USA

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problem #16

Feb 072016


  • miles
Like the overwhelming majority of Toyota complaints, frame rust. Took the 1998 4runner for new tires and alignment. Alignment could not be done because of massive erosion due to rust on the frame connecting rear control arms. 4runner essentially undriveable at this at this point. Contacted Toyota hq and, as everyone else on the NHTSA complaints site says, they would do nothing although they did take care of the Tacoma problem.

- Brookfield, IL, USA

problem #15

Jan 202016


  • 211,750 miles


Rusted frame on drivers side rear, holes in frame, which holds the sway bar. Mechanic noticed during oil change. Took to dealer and was told nothing they could do. Very dangerous condition.

- Canton, CT, USA

problem #14

Sep 162015


  • 198,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that while changing the oil and fuel filter, it was discovered that the vehicle had severe corrosion to the frame. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 198,000.

- Berwyn, IL, USA

problem #13

Jan 042016


  • 157,000 miles
Frame is rotting out by control brackets. I've been told by a mechanic that it will not make it through the winter. Its not safe and will crumple on impact.

- Marquette, MI, USA

problem #12

Jul 152011


  • 180,000 miles
Rear frame rusted out where sway bars attach, frame mounts broke while towing a trailer on sr 22 in southern Ohio. Lost control of vehicle crossed two lanes of traffic before gaining control and stopping the 4runner.

- Sugar Grove, OH, USA

problem #11

Jul 012014


  • 165,000 miles


Frame rusted through prematurely on my truck. Truck is unsafe to drive and a huge disappointment.

- Schaumburg, IL, USA

problem #10

Jun 242015


  • 158,000 miles
Recently bought this 1998 4runner thinking it was in great condition. After the purchase we brought it to a mechanic to have it checked out and have the back brakes fixed. While he was doing the maintenance he saw that the whole underbody frame of the truck is rusted out and isn't even drivable due to the fact at any moment the whole back of the truck could fall out. I understand that this stuff happens but through my research this is fairly common in the older 4runner models along with the very similar framed Tacoma which has the frame recall.

- Grayling , MI, USA

problem #9

Jun 172015


  • 213,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that there was rust on the rear passenger side of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that there was structural failure of the rear passenger side frame due to rust. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 213,000.

- Catonsville, MD, USA

problem #8

May 252005

4Runner 6-cyl

  • miles
The frame of the body is rusting from the inside to outside, its a safety issue since it might take a while before one can realize what is going on since the outer part of the vehicle frame somewhat seem to be ok.

- Aurora, IL, USA

problem #7

May 312013

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 230,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that while driving approximately 60 mph, the rear of the vehicle began shaking violently. The contact stopped the vehicle on the shoulder of the road. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The mechanic stated there was corrosion on the left rear axle trailing arm attachment point. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 230,000.

- Ansted, WV, USA

problem #6

Jun 192012


  • 183,861 miles
I was driving on a back road, hit a pothole and the rear drivers side control arm ripped away from the frame. Found out frame was rusted from the inside out, and should not have been inspected. I had just recently bought the vehicle, and it had gone through pa inspection two months before I bought it. Its a shame, the rest of the truck, motor, interior, body panels, was in perfect condition.

- Oakmont, PA, USA

problem #5

Feb 012013

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
Toyota advises that frame is rusted through. Car is unsafe to drive. Car will not pass inspection. Should not happen to a 14 year old car with 87,000 miles.

- Katonah, NY, USA

problem #4

Nov 162012

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 83,680 miles
Vehicle started shaking and clunking. I was near home and able to get it back to my driveway. Upon towing to the mechanic, it was discovered that the rear control arm had rusted out and detached from the frame. Frame rot was discovered on the side rails. Car is considered undriveable and should be totaled.

- Glenview, IL, USA

problem #3

Dec 012010

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
I own a 1998 Toyota 4 runner with a safety issue. The frame is rusted out where the front portion of the rear leaf spring bracket is welded to the frame. This was pointed out to me by an auto body repair person who's father had a Tacoma that rusted out in the same spot. His vehicle was granted 1.5 times over kelly blue book value and the vehicle was seized from him at the time due to safety. My 4 runner is only 13 years old with a kelly blue book value of $6500. It looks and runs great. But obviously this vehicle is not worth that now and cannot be sold due to the seriousness of the frame. It also cannot be repaired. Eventually this will result in a failure and depending on what speed the vehicle is traveling at the time will tell how serious the accident will be. It appears that Toyota has very little to do with my concerns. I sent three certified letters to Toyota expressing my concerns with safety. The letter sent to the president yoshimi inaba that was not forwarded to him, was returned due to an erroneous address so it appears he is being sheltered. I was offered $500 reimbursement on service, parts or accessories or a $1500 'gift' based on Toyota's 'goodwill offer' towards a new Toyota. This "gift" was offered by an executive analyst with Toyota customer experience whom apparently doesn't want the top executives to receive customer complaints. Based on comparisons that the Tacoma and Tundra owners received, I don't feel the so-called "goodwill" of being a Toyota customer. It seems there must be litigation to get Toyota's well-bragged-about customer care. Safety is #1 at Toyota if they are going to make a new sale! safety for old customers is out the window if the sale is from the past. Looks like Toyota does not really back their products unless there is a death.

- Rockford, IL, USA

problem #2

Sep 122011


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that the frame was rusted near the driver side rear tire. The rust caused the frame to fracture completely. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and was told that the vehicle was unable to be repaired. The contact believed the failure was a manufacturing defect because both the Toyota Tacoma and Tundra were recalled for the same issue. The failure mileage was 98,000.

- Mount Prospect, IL, USA

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