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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
138,894 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.

2001 Toyota 4Runner suspension problems

suspension problem

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2001 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #13

May 192016


  • 135,000 miles


We were told today that our 2001` Toyota 4-runner has frame rot that is inconsistent with the age of the vehicle and the condition of all the other parts on it. Frame rot that constitutes a danger to our safety when driving it. The repair technicians advised us to determine if it was part of Toyota's frame rot recall with the Tacoma and other vehicles because the frame rot rust was consistent with the pattern of damage they had seen on other recalled vehicles. When we looked up our 4-runner in the recall information, supposedly Toyota hasn't included our truck in the recall. We were advised by our auto repair specialist that the recall covered damage in trucks that were the same age and overall condition, so it's not as though the rest of the truck is eaten up by rust and we just happened to complain about the frame rot. The frame rot pattern found on our 4-runner is consistent with the frame rot found on recalled Toyota trucks and inconsistent with the rest of the vehicle's stability. Because this is such a dangerous situation, and because the frame rot is a known problem, it's important for other consumers to know that regardless of their care of the vehicle, the frame may rot at a rate that is inconsistent with the rest of the vehicle, and it costs lots of money to repair. 4-runner owners should have their vehicles checked for premature frame rot, and Toyota should do the right thing and fix the frame rot in the 4-runners. Just thought that after we were made aware, so should other consumers and safety organizations.

- Big Rapids, MI, USA

problem #12

Apr 012013

4Runner 4WD 6-cyl

  • 119,722 miles
The frame has suffered serious rust through also described as "frame rot" in postings on line of Toyota 4-runner problems. This rust through has made the vehicle unsafe and currently unusable. The rust was discovered when the entire rear axle was replaced at my expense. Toyota would not allow that they were responsible for faulty manufacturing of the rear axle either which was yet another safety concern.

- Oregon, OH, USA

problem #11

Apr 032015


  • 126,000 miles
Left side frame rotted out.

- Bridgewater, NJ, USA

problem #10

Mar 082011

4Runner 4WD 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles


The under carriage has been rusting since I noticed approx. 4 yrs after purchase. I now have been unable to pass inspection or drive vehicle since entire under carriage is completely rusted out. When attempt was made to place on lift to observe it began to crack or split. I have only 87000 miles on it and the rest of vehicle is clean and basically rust free. It is March 27, 2015 and has been sitting in driveway for last 3 yrs. The Toyota dealership in wappingers falls stated that Toyota is planning on repairing but is uncertain as to when. At present the back parking lot is filled with new under structures for other models.I would like to know when this ongoing terrible and dangerous problem will be repaired.

- Wappingers Falls, NY, USA

problem #9

Oct 202014

4Runner 4WD 6-cyl

  • 110,900 miles
On routine check and inspection, Toyota arlington and Toyota schaumburg called my attention regarding a premature rusting on the underbody frame and resulted in a linear hole by the rear left and right portions of the vehicle. This according to the service advisors of both Toyota dealerships may make the vehicle unsafe to operate and may result to uncontrolled stability during driving.

- Arlington Heights, IL, USA

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problem #8

Oct 112014

4Runner 4WD 6-cyl

  • 198,000 miles
On October 11th 2014, I was driving my 2001 4runner, on my way to work. Had just turned off a road with a speed limit of 55. As I hit 35mph, my car comes to a jolting stop with a loud bang and drag on the tires. The car still ran, but the car wouldn't move. I had to finish walking to my job, as I was cellphone-less at the time. I had to pay to have my car towed home, missing an entire day's work, which was a loss of 120$. the guy who towed me told me it was definitely something to do with my rear end. So I had a family friend who is a retired mechanic look it over to see if he could spot what the problem was. First thing noticed was my emergency break was on and frozen. They remove it, clean it, put it back on. I start the car, go to move it and theres a continuous loud bang and the car again comes to the stop. The emergency break froze again. They once again take it off, and so far it hasn't refroze. However, my car is still making the loud banging noise coming from the rear end, which they have concluded is coming from the rear differential housing unit. Which they found a decent sized hole in, which it appears someone tried to cover with a yellow glue type substance. I just bought the car, and am now carless. As I have 2 small children, and cannot afford to fix a problem that can cost up to $3,000 to fix. Luckily I was only going 35 mph when it broke, and there was no one following behind me, or I would have been re ended, and had more to fix that I already do. This is a huge problem with the model car, and Toyota really needs to issue a recall on the differential unit!!! it's fairly dangerous. I loved this car before this incident. But now it's useless til I can afford this fix.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #7

Sep 282014

4Runner 4WD 6-cyl

  • 188,000 miles


Vehicle frame is rusting to the point of perforation. I discovered today two holes, one on each the driver and passenger side, inner frame rails just behind the rear crossmember. My concern is it may be rotting from the inside out. Is the manufacturer going to issue a recall on these frames as they have done on Tacoma and Tundra? this car is in excellent condition otherwise and I had planned to drive it for much longer due to its handling and safety.

- Panton, VT, USA

problem #6

Sep 062014

4Runner 4WD 6-cyl

  • 166,000 miles
The 4runner has developed surface rust on the frame underneath the car. The rust is also apparent on suspension components and brakes.

- Moravian Falls, NC, USA

problem #5

Aug 242014

4Runner 4WD 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
I was going over a rail rd crossing, and there was a loud bang and knocking after. Brought it to a shop, and they said that my driver side upper, rear shock went through my shock mount.

- St.Johnsbury, VT, USA

problem #4

May 102014

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
When driving at 70 mph, the vehicle vibrates on the highway. I have taken the vehicle constantly to the dealership for over two years complaining about this problem and they always told me that nothing was wrong. Today (5/10/14), the mechanic at the dealership put the truck on a rack and ran the car at 45 mph and there was visible vibration coming from the drive shaft and a loud noise that I could never hear from within the vehicle. All this time, I have been driving a vehicle that I was unaware could have snapped apart. The sound cannot be heard in the cabin, so I could not even report that as a problem until today. I purchased three sets of new tires, had shocks and struts replaced, and brake pads to no avail. Finally, after searching the web yesterday, I realized that this is a common problem with other vehicles of the same make and model. I'm not sure if this problem has caused injury to others, but there should be a recall. This could cause a potentially fatal accident if that shaft breaks. I read that for similar models (Toyota and Lexus), the manufacturer replaced the parts under warranty, but nothing for the 4runner. The dealership is charging over $700 for this repair.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #3

Jul 192013

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 158,000 miles


Driving down the highway in 2001 Toyota 4-runner going about 60 and all of a sudden the rear end/tires locked up and got it to the side of highway barely and then it started smoking really bad. Very lucky that it didn't cause a wreck or no one got hurt. Can't drive it or nothing, makes a loud knocking noise in the rear end and also when you turn the key on inside the vehicle all lights are on and its making a terrible buzzing noise. So had to have it towed and that cost me also and I need the whole rear differential and that's a lot of money. I've seen other problems/complaints about the same thing that happened to mine. I really think something should be done about it, Toyota should be fixing the problem and we shouldn't have to pay for it. Hopefully something gets done about this.

- Walton, NY, USA

problem #2

May 052012

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
3rd generation 2001 Toyota 4runner with excessive frame and body rust. The gas tank stem is rusted, the rear differential is literally porous and leaking oil due to excessive rust. Rear bumper is rusted, spare tire mount is rusted. Other areas of rust are too numerous to list. Repair shop said car is not worth fixing. Dana Corp that made frames for Toyota Tacoma/Tundra that were recalled also is best know for rear differentials. Why weren't the 4runners included in the recall/buyback by Toyota?

- Scituate, MA, USA

problem #1

Dec 052011

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
The rear differential on my Toyota 4runner rusted so badly in 9 years of ownership that the structural steel frame that supports the differential gears (the housing) cracked and oil spilled out on the road. I discovered the rust during the yearly state inspection and consequently had the differential inspected by my Toyota dealer (berlin city portland, me) a few months back and they said it was structurally sound but rusty. I am an engineer and clearly it was not structurally sound or it would not have failed in short order as it did.... this failure could have caused the rear wheels to lock up resulting in a severe accident. This rust problem is common on most Toyota truck frames and drive trains owned in the North East. Toyota has elected to repair the trucks at no cost but not the 4runners with the same frame and differentials. This is dangerous as [xxx]... they put me and my family at grave risk.... information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- North Yarmouth, ME, USA

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