Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: Although it has a stellar record in terms of vehicle problems, initially the 4th generation (2003 - 2009) 4Runner didn't earn our top "Seal of Awesome" rating because it received poor crash test ratings for rear impacts. However it's proven to have one of the lowest driver death rates out of all vehicles (not just SUVs), so we've bumped it back up to our top award.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,261 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.

2004 Toyota 4Runner seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2004 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #17

Apr 302016


  • 40,000 miles


I was notified in April 2016 that my curtain airbags may need a new module due to the unintentional operation of these air bags. Since then, I have heard nothing from the dealer. I think Toyota is dragging their feet in supplying the dealers with the replacement module.

- Levittown, PA, USA

problem #16

Oct 032016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota 4runner. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 16V065000 (air bags); however, the parts for the recall repair were unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The contact had not experienced a failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. VIN tool confirms parts not available.

- Voorhees Township, NJ, USA

problem #15

Oct 312015


  • 149,000 miles
I have already received information on the interim G1C. This is also about the frame on my vehicle which is rusted very bad. The rear passenger arm mount has already broken. There are also holes in the trave and the long pieces of metal on the frame. The skid plates are also rusted. Also the tow ring on the passenger side is getting ready to snap. I have been learning more information about this problem with some Toyota vehicles. I am afraid that I am riding in a very dangerous vehicle. I was just wondering if anything can be done about this, since Toyota is aware there is a problem with rust. When the arm mount broke I was driving with my children in the car, the rear end of the vehicle was bouncing all over the place. It scared us all becase we did not know what was going on. I w

- Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #14

Jan 182016


  • miles


The contact owns a 2004 Toyota 4runner. The contact received a recall notification for NHTSA campaign number: 16V065000 (air bags) and stated that the part needed was unavailable to perform the recall repair. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. Parts distribution disconnect. The VIN was not available.

- Kileen, TX, USA

problem #13

Jan 012013

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
We have a melting dash in our 4 runner. It can burn to the touch and has progressively gotten worse over past year. It is sticky to touch also and has a bad odor also. We made complaint to Toyota but no offer to repair. I called dealerships and they said they have been notified of the problem but Toyota Corp has not given them approval for parts to replace. I am concerned about summer months getting hotter and it making our airbags go off or dash could catch on fire.

- Key Largo, FL, USA

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problem #12

Feb 062015


  • 200,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota 4runner. While driving approximately 10 mph, the driver and passenger side curtain air bags deployed independently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 200,000.

- Marion , NC, USA

problem #11

Nov 072014

4Runner 6-cyl

  • miles


Severe cracks on dash panel on passenger airbag and whole dash.

- Lakeland , FL, USA

problem #10

Sep 162013

4Runner 8-cyl

  • 146,000 miles
Vehicle has abnormal amount of rust on frame metal parts with excessive chipping an corrosion. Also, of almost more concern is that the airbag sensors are completely rotted through, as if they were sacrificial anodes. Frame failure due to abnormal rust could cause a catastrophic accident. Sensor failure of the airbag sensors (behind front bumper) while driving could cause serious injury or death to driver or other cars on the road. I have never seen anything like this amount of corrosion.

- Quogue, NY, USA

problem #9

Jun 212014


  • 90,444 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the contact crashed into a pole and the air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed. There were no injuries reported. The vehicle was towed to a impound lot. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was destroyed. The approximate failure mileage was 90,444.

- Irvine , CA, USA

problem #8

Mar 122008

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
My dashboard has several cracks form one side to the other all across the airbag which concerns me a whole lot, I also have a 2002 4runner which does not have this problem, the material is pretty different to the 2004, the 2004 looks and feel very poor, not sure if Toyota will step up to the plate to warranty this defect ! if the airbag deployed on its own and someone get injured then I guest Toyota will try to help. These trucks are made in Japan, the quality should be a++++ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #7

Apr 012009


  • 45,000 miles


Air bags failed to deploy. I had sent in a complaint after the incident. Car was totaled and driver was injured with a front end collision. Toyota refused to look at car for airbag defects. I can send images if needed. Recalled for too much force" how about just defective" this is at least as dangerous as deploying with too much force in my opinion.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #6

Oct 012012

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
I began to notice that my dash has started to crack and it is in the area of the air bag. I did some research and found out that many 2004 Toyota 4runner owners are having the same problem. I called Toyota to ask for info and they refused to assist in the matter or even help pay for it to be replaced. This concerns me for my safety, since it is in the area of the air bag. Toyota is aware of this defect in the dash but has done nothing to remedy the situation. It is not only a safety concern, but it also depreciates the value of my vehicle. I have listed my case number and one other that I know of below with Toyota. Other from research- [xxx] mine - [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #5

Sep 012009

4Runner 8-cyl

  • miles
Approx 3 years ago, I noticed a small crack in the dash on the passenger side, I thought maybe someone did something and did not tell me. Since that time, my dash has increased in the amount and length of the cracks. One crack is about 24-28 inches long and others are about 2 inches and longer. I looked on the internet and found many complaints about the same issue. My 4runner is garage kept and I have not done anything to my dash that would create they cracks. What can happen if the passenger airbag is deployed in an accident" can this cause flying pieces of the dash board to be in your face when the airbag hits causing possible facial damage"

- Clermont, FL, USA

problem #4

Jun 012006

4Runner 6-cyl

  • miles
I have a 2004 4runner limited. The dash has a long crack all the way across the front. The dash on the passenger side right above the glove box is covered with cracks. I believe that this is a defect in materials used by Toyota and that it can potentially cause the airbag to not deploy correctly. The local dealership claims that they have never seen anything like it before, but there are numerous other complaints online. I believe that if it was caused by the weather or products used that the cracks would be all over the top of the dash, not just the front where the airbag is suppose to deploy. A recall needs to be issued and Toyota needs to own up to its faulty dashes.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #3

Aug 302011


  • 68,000 miles
Driver side and passenger side air bags deployed when ignition switch was turned to first position. Engine was not running and car was in park. My car was parked in my garage at the time air bags exploded and has not been in any accidents.

- Hermosa Beach, CA, USA

problem #2

Aug 302011


  • 68,000 miles
Driver side and passenger side air bags deployed when ignition switch was turned to first position. Engine was not running and car was in park. My car was parked in my garage at the time air bags exploded and has not been in any accidents.

- Hermosa Beach, CA, USA

problem #1

May 052011

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 168,000 miles
I was driving my children to school and a car coming in the opposite direction tried to make a left hand turn in front of me, she did not have time to make the turn( I didn't even have time to put on brakes) which ended up in a head on collision. I was going around 45mph and my airbag did not deploy. No one was seriously hurt but my head and upper body did get bruised and banged up pretty bad. I do have a police report and I'm waiting to get the copy.

- Adel, GA, USA

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