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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
41,214 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 Highlander engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #9

Sep 172009

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 52,000 miles


Car began surging on three occasions. Car was parked, in park at the curb, and engine was surging from idle to aprox 2500 RPM. I plugged an obd into the car to look for error codes and there were none. I cycled the obd again and the surging stopped. ??

- River Ridge, LA, USA

problem #8

Nov 032009


  • 76,000 miles
While my 2001 Toyota Highlander was in operation the engine bolts pulled loose causing the engine to seize and be destroyed. The car was stopped at a light at the time and had it been in operation on the freeway could have caused a serious accident. The engine is destroyed and a new engine would cost $7000. I believe that there have been numerous incidents involving engine bolts on Toyota cars and trucks and that Toyota has always blamed other things and not addressed whether the bolts are defective or have not been installed properly. There are various references on the internet of customers having problems with the engine bolts on Toyota vehicles..Toyota has no explanation for what happened to my car. I believe it may be the installation of the bolts or the quality of them.

- Marina Del Rey, CA, USA

problem #7

Jan 172008

Highlander 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,800 miles
2.4 (4cyl) engine making noise, sounds like rod knocking. Toyota dealer said same thing. Engine blew up at 45 mph. Oil was always changed at approximately 3000 miles. Used on highways and city streets. Contacted Toyota corporate and they didn't seem to care. Out of warranty. Never heard of a Toyota engine blowing a rod. This Highlander was in ex. Cond. To sold as junk never buy another Toyota again !!!!!!

- Anacortes, WA, USA

problem #6

Jun 242006

Highlander 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


: the contact stated, while driving 55 mph a noise was heard coming from the engine. The vehicle was maneuvered off the road where it stalled. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who determined the engine needed to be replaced due to sludge. The vehicle was taken into the dealer once before for this problem and the engine was cleaned. The manufacturer has been alerted.

- Louisville, MS, USA

problem #5

May 112004

Highlander 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
Check engine and ABS brake light come on at the same time; after a while upon restarting the ABS brake goes off and the check engine stays on for a few hours then goes off upon restarting.

- Biscayne Park, FL, USA

problem #4

Mar 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles
Engine oil sludge. The estimated cost of our engine problem was $7,200 (Canadian) and it started at 38,000 km (24,000 miles). The matter was resolved when we dug up an old oil change slip that my wife and I had forgotten about altogether. Before the discovery we were unable to provide a receipt for each year that we have owned the car so Toyota insisted that it was customer negligence that resulted in the oil sludge. Top engine block was replaced and we got off scott free. When an oil leak was detected after a week of getting the car back from the shop, we brought it back in and they fixed it again - no charge. I feel that this was a bit like david knocking out goliath.

- Toronto, UN, USA

problem #3

Oct 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles


Oil sludge issue. The Toyota was in the shop for 1.5 weeks. The final bill did not include any totals, but the service manager indicated parts alone were close to $1600. We were very disturbed with Toyota's position that this problem was a maintenance issue and that they would only repair this issue once within the first eight years. They indicated that we followed the wrong maintenance schedule of normal rather than severe conditions for Florida. Considering the owners manual does not specify this, and that I own a Lexus that has no signs of problem after following the same schedule, we were disappointed with their response. Since the service manager at the dealership could give us no guarantee that this would happen again in the near future, even if they changed the oil every 5000 miles as he directed, we turned around and traded the vehicle in on a Honda the same day. I did contact sw Toyota customer service and they accused us of the same faulty maintenance as the service manager. It was obvious after several conversations that Toyota no longer stands for quality and customer service. As I indicated to them in a recent email and a letter that I am currently drafting, they have lost a Toyota owner forever. Now that we have divested ourselves of the Highlander, I plan to sell the Lexus as well. I know you didn't need to hear all this, but to answer your questions. Toyota honored its csp (once in eight years), but I unsure how much the repair cost were.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #2

Feb 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
My Highlander had sludge in the engine. The engine was cleaned out. I was told that if I change my oil every 3,000 miles instead of $7,500 that would not happen. The Toyota manuel states every 7,500. Remember my car only has 18,202 miles on it. It's not even 2 yr old yet. The service advisor assured me that if I change my oil every 3,000 and not every 7,500 like the manual says that if this happen again they would cover the problem.

- Chalmette, LA, USA

problem #1

Apr 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,129 miles
Engine light started flashing right at 25,000. Car gave no sign of failure or anytime of problem. Oil changes was performed every 5000/mi and car was running fine until the light started to flash and we took car to concord Toyota to check on the engine liht problem. Concord Toyota said the engine was burned in and out due to lack of oil and blamed tha customer for poor maintenance to the car and refuse to fix the car under the warranty. It's been 3months that concord Toyota still has possession of the car with the engine opened apart and still refused to cover under the warranty.

- Concord, CA, USA

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