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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
7 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,304 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2002 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #8

May 162016


  • 120,000 miles


The air bag sensor stay on when cold. It will not turn off until car worms up and engine is shut down and restart. The sun visor will not stay on and it is falling down during driving. Both issues are safety hazard

- Huntley, IL, USA

problem #7

Feb 012016


  • 0 miles
Air bag warning light on dashboard does not turn off in cold weather (20 degrees F, or lower). The warning will stay on even when engine and interior are warm. If the engine is turned off once warm, and then turned back on, air bag warning light turns off with all other panel lights, as it should. With cold weather, the airbag light will stay on when vehicle is stationary, or in motion, and at any speed and will only shut off if car is turned off and then restarted.

- Payson, UT, USA

problem #6

Mar 112015


  • 200,000 miles
The contact owned a 2002 Toyota Highlander. While driving approximately 50 mph, the contact crashed into another vehicle and the air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed. The contact sustained neck, lower back, and chest injuries that required medical attention. The vehicle was destroyed. The vehicle was not taken to a mechanic for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 200,000.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #5

Jun 152006

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles


The air bags dashboard light blinks intermittently in temperatures below 20 F. dealer says to bring in. Trouble is we need the car for hours before they open and by that time the car has warmed up, the car has been turned on and off several times during errand running. After which time, the warning light is not showing. 1-trouble is we are not assured this is just a warning light issue which means it's okay to use while light is flashing. Nor do we know if this means the air bags may be defective and not work in any conditions!" 2-the dealer claims to not be aware of this issue although a simple search of the internet shows the same issue--their answer" "we didn't find any codes when we tested it". 3-this issue showed several times while our car was covered under the platinum warranty at the time they first "tested" for problems.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #4

Mar 232011


  • 87,393 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that the vehicle was involved in a crash where the driver side was impacted and none of the air bags deployed. The driver and two passengers suffered head and back injuries as a result of the crash. A police report was filed. The vehicle was taken to a repair shop where the vehicle was declared as destroyed. The manufacturer was contacted who stated that they would be calling her after analyzing the complaint. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 87,393.

- Carson, CA, USA

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problem #3

Feb 092010


  • 135,000 miles
Airbag warning light illuminates in freezing temps and blinks at different rates. Once the temperature warms up, upon restart the light no longer blinks. I'm not sure if this will cause a problem if I need air bag support in colder temperatures. This has happened in the past several times as well.

- Loveland, CO, USA

problem #2

Jun 122005

Highlander 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38 miles
I T-boned a car going approximately 35-40 mph with no braking time and the air bags did not deploy. It caused over $12,000 worth of damage to the front end of my car, but the air bags didn't go off? I bought the car used, but was told that it was a "certified" Toyota used car. I now wonder if there was an air bag in it at all.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #1

Apr 272003

Highlander 4WD

  • miles
Vehicle accelerated on its on causing vehicle to start up steep hill where the front end slid to the right where vehicle proceeded to go up a drive/carport striking a porch and rock wall

- Harlan, KY, USA

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