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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
181,318 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.

1999 Toyota 4Runner suspension problems

suspension problem

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1999 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Jun 112016


  • 205,000 miles


I was traveling approximately 70 mph on a straight highway. I felt a bump and then heard a grinding noise and saw sparks from my front left wheel well. I pulled to the shoulder and saw my front tire, wheel, and brake assembly were detached and lodged under my vehicle. On further inspection, the lower ball joint gave out and my wheel assembly detached. Very hazardous and would have led to a collision if I had not been so late at night. This is a known problem with this ball joint and Toyota issued recall on 2001-2004 4runners for the issue. Needs to be expanded to older years. Joint assembly was redesigned for 2005-current models to correct the problem. See attached photos.

- Gilroy, CA, USA

problem #29

Apr 112016


  • 244,000 miles
The front suspension lower ball joint seperated from the knuckle and broke off while I was driving and left me in on coming traffic that I had to get out of the way of. Toyota has a recall for the exact same issue for Toyota 4runners from 2001-2004 (special service campaign 50J front suspension lower ball joint 2001 through 2002 4runner). It should be expanded to include additional years. It is extremely dangerous and can potentially put lives in jeopardy. safety recall notice

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #28

Oct 192015


  • 160,000 miles
Simply driving down the road and the vehicle started to sway all of a sudden. Had shop look at it next day and the rear left control arm detached from frame due to rust. I have been told it is impossible to repair. The rest of vehicle in great condition except the rust on the control arm/frame/underside.

- Streamwood, IL, USA

problem #27

Aug 152014


  • 200,000 miles


Perpetual rear brake failure due to leaking rear axle grease seals which throw grease onto rear brake shoes. Soaking them and rendering them useless and innefective. Causing unsafe braking. According to Toyota dealer, and sears auto service in dover, Delaware., repairs similar to this are being performed on similar vintage Toyota four runner models on a weekly basis. The average repair cost is over $1000, . this appears to be a vehicle manufacturers defect not a standard maintenance issue and could result in injuries or death. I had no brake power in a number of emergency situations, in others my braking distance increased dramatically, in a few cases, I've had the repairs done but the problem has returned, .

- Perry Hall, MD, USA

problem #26

Jan 082015


  • 215,675 miles
The 3rd generation 4runner frame is falling apart due to rust issues and is making vehicle unsafe to drive. Drivers side trailing arm mount rusted through and was disconnected from vehicle. I had to have the frame patch welded at great expense to myself.

- Plainfield, IL, USA

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problem #25

Jun 172015


  • 198,730 miles
Frame snapped at the drivers rear torsion bar due to frame rusting from the inside. I just had this checked and a little rust to the frame was apparent because it is rusting from the inside and not so apparent. Once it began to decay it just became mostly rust damaged beyond repair and replacement of frame only option. Contacted Toyota and was told there is no help on this model (4runner) but is on other truck models, same frames same year..

- Damascus, MD, USA

problem #24

May 312013

4Runner 4WD 6-cyl

  • 235,935 miles


Frame rusted on inside surface and at both rear lower control arm mounts. Drivers side rear lower control arm mount separated from the frame and allowed axle to move and tire to contact inner fender. The passenger side rear lower control arm mount was also severely rusted. The entire center section of both inner frame rails had new plate steel welded in place to repair the original rusted steel. Reinforcements were welded on the inner and outer frame for both rear lower control arm mounts. The vehicle is now safe to drive, but these repairs should not have been necessary on a 14 year old (at the time of incident) vehicle.

- Peru, IN, USA

problem #23

Dec 012014

4Runner 4WD 6-cyl

  • 245,000 miles
Original owner, not located in the "rust belt" took 4runner to exhaust shop to have a new exhaust put on and once underneath the vehicle you could see that the frame has completely rusted through near where the trailing arm brackets are and on the inside/underneath of the frame. The rest of the frame is in great condition because the 4runner has been take care of and maintained. There will be about a 2 foot section of frame that will need to be cut out as well as new trailing arm brackets to be cut and welded in. This vehicle is no longer safe to drive and worth scrap value, when it should be worth about $5000. The interior is perfect, it runs great, and everything works as it should but the most important part of the vehicle, the frame is crumbling. I will never buy another Toyota. I have domestic vehicles that are 10 years older with more miles that look nothing like this. They recall Tundra, Tacoma, and seqouias, but not the 4runner? give me a break.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #22

Feb 112015

4Runner 4WD 6-cyl

  • 146,200 miles
The driver's side lower rear link fell off the frame due to severe rusting. Passenger side about to. Mechanic won't even attempt a repair. The frame is too rusted. The vehicle is not safe to drive. I bought it used and have had it for 2.5 years. Toyota has no recall on it and can not assist me, even though this is the same issue that the Tacoma and other models were recalled for.

- Laurelville, OH, USA

problem #21

Nov 112014

4Runner 4WD 6-cyl

  • 155,000 miles
The frame metal and bracket that connects the frame to the rear axle has rotted off completely making the car undrivable and unsafe to drive. The whole rear axle can move forward and backward.

- Wellsville, OH, USA

problem #20

Aug 282014

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 298,912 miles


While daughter was driving on highway. The left front lower ball joint failed causing the wheel assembly to come off the car frame. Speed was the posted 55 mph. No other traffic, thank goodness. Was able to pull off the road for assistance. This is a stupid design. A major component if it fails should not cause this type of catastrophic failure. It dangerous and Toyota should warn the consumer of this stupid design.

- Orange Beach, AL, USA

problem #19

Apr 092014

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 217,000 miles
The frame has serious internal rust rot. The exterior of the frame appears relatively rust free, but the interior is filled with rust and crumbles when pushed with a finger.

- Berrien Springs, MI, USA

problem #18

Mar 242014

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 185,000 miles
Frame rust is more severe than it should be for a car of this age.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #17

Mar 152014

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
The vehicles frame, in the location where the rear lower control arm bracket is welded to the frame is completely rotted out. This point on the frame secures the lower link of the rear suspension. If this bracket separates, an accident would likely occur. The rest of the vehicle is rust free and the frame is not expected to rot within the vehicles lifespan. Toyota was contacted and refused to assist wi repairs.

- Waldwick, NJ, USA

problem #16

Mar 162014


  • 181,000 miles
Went to do preventive maintenance and noticed my frame is rusted trough on passenger rear close to axle. There is a hole about 10-12 inches long. Very very unsafe and probably won't pass inspection. Makes me sick to my stomach. Why won't Toyota fix this issue. From what I've seen it's common on this year of 4runner.

- Frazeysburg , OH, USA

problem #15

Dec 012013


  • 155,000 miles
Upon doing a routine inspection on my truck. The frame on the passangers rear side is corroded to a mechanically unsafe condition. This is where rear anti-say bar attaches and the rear springs. The frame is paper thin in numerous places. Additionally there are more locations on the rear section of the frame on the drivers side that are approaching a simular state. I have washed the truck on a regular basis and used corrosion inhibiting fluid on the frame to prevent this situation from happening. However this frame is undrivable due to safey concerns. I have a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 200000 miles and the fame is brand new compared to this.

- San Antonio, PR, USA

problem #14

Jan 082014

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 188,054 miles
While operating the vehicle on a public road, the rear end of said vehicle began to "swap" back and forth at most any speed, acting as if a suspension component had malfunctioned. When making a left turn from a dead stop, a loud thump was heard un the vehicle. The handling issue had become much worse. We were a short distance from home, and were able to make our way slowly until reaching home. Upon inspection, I discovered that the frame had rusted out in from of the rear axle where the trailing arm mounts to the frame, causing the bracket for the trailing arm to disconnect from the frame almost completely. There are many other areas on the frame which are severely rusted and appear will fail as well. This is the second Toyota we've owned with this problem. The first was a 1998 Tacoma that Toyota bought back from me. Why isn't frame an option on the list of affected parts above" why is it that this make and model is not being handled the same way or with a frame replacement" this is not something I can afford to replace. I bought Toyota because of their reputation for quality. Just what I need after the sudden death of my mother just 2 days prior. Thanks for nothing Toyota. Dodge is looking pretty good right about now.

- Barto , PA, USA

problem #13

Dec 262013


  • 197,000 miles
I own a 1999 Toyota 4runner, the inside frame rail is almost completely rusted through near the rear trailing arm bracket. Upon investigation I've came across multiple images, websites, and forums that show the exact same problem! how is it that a manufacturer can have this much of a wide spread problem and nothing be done about it! they fixed the problem on their trucks around the same year and replaced the frames or bought back the vehicles, I understand the frames where made in different places but there is obviously still a problem! Toyota cannot expect people to believe that these frames were not defective when the exact same problem is prevailing in a majority of these vehicles! how can a manufacturer like Toyota fix such small issues such as blinkers, interior lighting, reflectors etc and totally ignore such a major safety concern as this! I guess it's going to take a 4runner with a family of 4 to crash injuring or killing all of them to make someone step up and say we have a problem! something must be done!

- Clinton, NC, USA

problem #12

Nov 122013

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 143,000 miles
Recently had new tires put on car. I then had a muffle repaired, was not happy and took to Toyota dealer to have done properly. I was told that my car was unsafe to drive and it could not be repaired. The frame is completely rusted and could cause a major accident. The car looks great and there is little issues with the body and engine. I was planning on getting another 100,000 miles on the car. I took it to a garage for a second opinion and was told that you could push your finger through the frame. I now have a pretty good looking car parked in a driveway which is unsafe to drive. I cannot believe that there is no recall or warning on this safety issue! I volunteer for a dog rescue and drive on the highway to pick up and drop off these beautiful dogs never knowing that I could have ended their life as well as mine and others! unbelievable! Toyota did have a frame recall on the Tacoma, why are they risking innocent lives with no warning!!

- Lorain, OH, USA

problem #11

Sep 272013

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 222,000 miles
Well maintained 99 4runner...original-excellent condition paint and no rust on body panels. Noticed after examining the underside that frame has rusted through in multiple sections. Some sections near rear suspension mounts. If mounts break loose could result in serious accident.

- Dayton, OH, USA

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