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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
7,334 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.

2002 Toyota Highlander miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2002 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #12

Mar 202002


  • 10 miles


I purchased an additional security device. If someone breaks a window, an alarm is supposed to go off. You can test to see if it works by hitting your car key against a closed window & the alarm should go off. It has never worked. At time of purchase the dealership removed the center floor glove compartment assembly. The microphone had fallen off the side & was laying on the floor. They glued it back to the sides & it still didn't go off when hitting a key against the window when all the windows were closed. They couldn't get it to work & breaking my windshield was not an option - obviously. The dealership had no idea on how to fix it.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #11

Jan 012008


  • 78,000 miles
Driver and passenger sun visors fall down into drivers and passenger view. Safety issue was not recognized by vehicle manufacturer.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #10

Jun 022014


  • miles
Letter from congressman cartwright on behalf of constituent re Toyota concerns. 2002 Toyota Highlander. The consumer stated when she attempted to trade the vehicle, she was informed the vehicle was included in the federal cash for clunker program, and there was potential odometer fraud.

- Tobyhanna, PA, USA

problem #9

May 182011


  • miles


Passenger and driver sun visors fall down while driving posing a safety hazard. Had the visors replaced April 2006, three years later, having the same problem

- Modesto, CT, USA

problem #8

Feb 152010


  • miles
The driver's side sun visor does not stay in place. At first occurrence, the visor would slowly droop down with normal vibrations in the car and required repeated taping of the visor back into place with the driver's hand (a distraction and hazard as is). As time went on the visor loosened completely and does not stay up at all. This is very dangerous and distracting as it blocks full vision out of the windshield by the driver. This seems to be a defect of the visor itself by the manufacturer as it seems as if the visor is too heavy to stay in the upright position. This seems to be a common issue among this make and model and seems as if there should have been a recall regarding this issue long ago.

- Littleton, CO, USA

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problem #7

Aug 062003

Highlander 4WD

  • 10,000 miles
After only having my new 2002 Toyota Highlander for approx. 8 months, the accelerator in the car stuck and I ended up running into a car. I complained to Toyota and had the dealer look at the car numerous times, but they kept telling me there was nothing wrong. Well 8 years later and they still haven't recalled my car, even though they have other years.

- Manhattan Beach , CA, USA

problem #6

Feb 192005

Highlander 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Highlander. The vehicle had 49,000 miles on it when he purchased it. Recently he received a letter from the motor vehicle division which stated that the mileage on the vehicle was incorrect. The previous owner had 84,000 miles on it. The previous owner of the vehicle was a leasing company. The motor vehicle division told the contact to fill out a form and they will correct the mileage. The contact was unhappy because he purchased this vehicle thinking he had 49,000 miles not 84,000 miles. The previous owner had purchased the vehicle on 1-22-05, and the odometer read 84,045 miles. The contact purchased it on 2-19-05 and the odometer showed 49,345 miles.

- Blairsville, GA, USA

problem #5

May 012003


  • miles
When you open the rear passenger window(s) there is severe, loud and painful-to-the-ear turbulence inside the vehicle at any speed. It can be somewhat, but not totally, alleviated by opening other vehicle windows. If you persist with the rear windows down at speed, it feels like you are physically damaging your ears.

- Morrisville, PA, USA

problem #4

Feb 222002


  • miles
No summary.

- Atlantis, FL, USA

problem #3

Sep 222002

Highlander 4WD

  • miles
Tow receiver hitch disconnected from vehicle while towing small boat trailer. Fortunately no one was injured but accident could have caused serious injuries if trailer overturned on interstate. Accident caused by a design defect in the pin assembly that holds hitch to vehicle. The pin retainer can become dislodged as vehicle vibration causes it to ride up over brackets that hold hitch to vehicle. This vehicle was purchased as a tow vehicle but it clearly can not be used as such due to this manufacturer design defect. Since most Toyota Highlanders are sold in the new england area with the factory tow package. This defect could lead to other serious accidents.

- Littleton, MA, USA

problem #2

Jan 012002


  • miles
On two occasions, while driving, the sunlight would shine through the front passenger side window, reflecting off the shiny wood like panel over the glove compartment blinding the driver, this occured for over an hour on both occasions, consumer tried and held newspapers and road maps against the window to block the sun rays, but the trim in the car was too long and recaptured the sunlight as the highway curved, manufacturer has been notified of this design flaw.

- Stamford, CT, USA

problem #1

Jan 032002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Extreme air pressure when driving above 35 mph, and either rear windows are open. It feels as though riding in an airplane. It makes ears feel funny.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

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