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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,820 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 Highlander AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

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2004 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #5

Jun 232011

Highlander 4-cyl

  • 114,520 miles


Intermittent loss of ac when hits bumps. On 06/23/11 I took in my wife's 2004 Toyota Highlander to alamo Toyota where they charge me $92.72 to tighten or as they put it retorque bolts behind ac panel in which looking at it now there are no bolts behind panel there is one underneath the temperature control knob and screw on the side. They tighten that nut down on the control/temp knob and what it did it pulled away the circuit board and made contact with the three conductor on that ribbon cable behind the knob. Which was a quick fix which essentially stopped working (they broke off ). I take it in again to alamo Toyota and now they say its my compressor needs to be replaced for $1460 plus tax I had already read the online fix, I explain to them and showed them pictures of the online fix. They said its the compressor. So I came home took it apart and found two of the wire on the ribbon cable broken off.I installed three new wire by soldering them replacing the ribbon cable. Ac is working again thanks to the that one person that put those pictures online of the fix this person he saved thousands of dollars for a lot of people out there. I thank him, and I will never deal with Toyota again I also own a Tundra and as soon as I can I will trade both in for something other then Toyota. They are part of american greed.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #4

Jun 182011

Highlander 4-cyl

  • 107,578 miles
Intermittent loss of A/C and/or heat and finally total loss of A/C on my 2004 Toyota Highlander. Initial fix was to tighten the nut on the temperature control. I found that this problem was inherent after going to the web and learning of the many problems with the assembly and the quick fix. Essentially the A/C stopped working entirely. I brought it to my private mechanic and he found that the cable from the temperature control to the mother board was broken. I inquired how this could happen and was advised that when the nut on the temperature control came loose, the whole unit was turning when I was adjusting the temperature, which caused the cable to break. The lack of a lock washer over the flat washer was the culprit that allowed the nut to come loose. Because the cable from the motherboard to the temperature control is hard wired, the entire assembly had to be replaced at a cost of approxitmately $950. Note: I have the entire faulty assembly at home, in the event you require to see it.

- Oakdale, NY, USA

problem #3

Apr 012011


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated the air conditioning unit would involuntarily switch from blowing cool air to hot air while driving at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the control board for the air conditioning unit needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact was also told that the failure was common due to the wiring. The failure and current mileages were unknown and the VIN was unavailable.

- New Hill, NC, USA

problem #2

Jun 222010

Highlander 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Highlander. While driving approximately 45 mph with the air conditioner activated, heat began blowing from the ventilation as opposed to cold air. The failure would occur intermittently. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing or repairs. The failure mileage was 35,000 and the current mileage was 40,000. Updated 03/07/11 updated 07/18/11

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #1

May 202008


  • 57,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that the heat does not always work in the vehicle. She must toggle with the knobs in order for the heat to function properly. Oftentimes when the heating system was activated, it would blow cold air. In addition, when the cooling system was activated, it would produce warm air. The dealer stated that this was a consistent failure with the Highlander, but no repairs could be made due to warranty stipulations. The manufacturer stated that they did not have any information or complaints pertaining to this type of failure. The failure and current mileages were less than 57,000.

- Burke, VA, USA

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