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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
13 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
10 / 1
Average Mileage:
41,085 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.

2006 Toyota Highlander engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #35

Mar 192015


  • 151,247 miles


After an synthetic oil change and rear brake job at Firestone a few days earlier in atlanta, I was driving along and my check vsc system light came on. I then took it back to Firestone and they put it on the computer and there were no codes; subsequently they suggested that I take it to the dealer for diagnosis. The diagnosis at the dealer revealed that I needed a new ABS accumulator and this could be repaired for $3,118. I was not interested in spending this amount since the part has a know design manufacturers defect. I decided to do some research on clearing the check vsc system light and followed the instructions and the code cleared for about 9 days and reappeared on yesterday for some reason. What can I do?

- Dacula , GA, USA

problem #34

Jan 052015


  • 150,500 miles
Was driving in traffic when an alarm sounded and several dashboard lights lit up. Center display said "check vsc system". I took it to the dealer who said the ABS module needs to be replaced at a cost $2,800. Other than a vibration under the hood while slowing down the car appears to be operating normally. The ABS warning light is on which leads me to believe the ABS maybe disabled. I was able to run a vsc diagnostic and pulled code 45. Given the number of reported incidents for this failure it appears to be a wide spread problem.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #33

Apr 182012


  • 85,000 miles
Complaint: 2006 base Highlander, fwd, 4 cylinders. Brake system (vsc, trac off, ABS & brake) and TPMS lights on, disabling safety features. 1)TPMS flashing light. Issue may have been in-process since day 1. it regularly came on, reset by dealers and eventually showed us how to reset ourselves. 2)brake system lights. All (4) came on, diagnosed as left rear wheel sensor. Dealer quoted cost: $1000. Replacement didn¿¿T work, wound up replacing wheel hub assembly pigtail. Lasted two (2) weeks, re-diagnosed as ABS pump/control module assembly. Dealer quoted cost: $2500. While this itself is ridiculous, the repair costs would exceed 1/8th (13%) the cost of the vehicle new! now, in 2014, it¿'s approximately ½ (50%) of the current vehicles value. This issue has recently resulted in screeching to a halt in dangerous traffic. It essentially negates the star safety system features, for various environmental and driving conditions. This issue cannot be ignored any longer, since it¿'s the topic on numerous web site forums and inquiries and even salvaged used parts are being sold by many sites for this problem. Recompense: Remuneration of expenses to date and future repairs to correct this problem is requested. Review of tsb and/or investigation into recall campaign to fix all affected vehicles.

- Hendersonville, TN, USA

problem #32

May 302013


  • 99,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph, the brake pedal was depressed continuously however, the vehicle continued to accelerate rapidly. The contact crashed into the rear of another vehicle, causing a chain reaction crash. The air bags deployed and bruised the contact's left arm, chest and neck. The contact also sustained multiple bruises from the seat belt. A police report was filed of the incident. The vehicle was towed to a collision center for inspection of the massive front end damages. The manufacturer was not notified of the incident. The approximate failure mileage was 99,000.

- Magnolia , TX, USA

problem #31

Apr 042013

Highlander 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that while driving approximately 2 mph, the vehicle erroneously accelerated and the contact crashed into a pole. The passenger sustained bruising to the chest. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 200,000......updated 06-19-13 updated 06/27/2013

- Bishop, CA, USA

problem #30

Aug 022011

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Vehicle hesitates or stalls on acceleration. Very dangerous situation to be in if pulling into traffic and not able to accelerate. Vehicle will also lung or over accelerate on some occasions after hesitation.

- Monroe, CT, USA

problem #29

Dec 292010


  • 55,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that the vehicle would momentarily surge forward when the brakes were applied. The failure occurred on an intermittent basis. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, where the contact was informed that a brake module and the transmission were defective. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer, where the contact was informed that clips on the floor mats were responsible for the failure. The vehicle was again repaired, but the failure continued. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure, but offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 55,000 and the current mileage was 60,000.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #28

Jan 082011

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
I received your response to my letter of complaint dated Feb 24, 2011. It did not address my concern with the delayed response between the depressed accelerator and a delayed engine response. Rather I was informed by a form letter that NY complaint would be satisfied with a "floor mat adjustment". I was additionally notified that a 2nd letter from Toyota would arrive by early May 2011 when "parts are ready and preparations are complete. I have not received this notification as of this date. I repeat; my accelerator does not stick". sometimes there is a one or two second delay when the accelerator is depressed and the engine responds causing a fast "lurch forward" rather than a gradual increase form the current speed or sometimes from a complete stop it will happen. The delayed engine response to a depressed accelerator is a serious problem with potentially dangerous consequences. Sincerely,

- Sierra Madre, CA, USA

problem #27

Feb 022011

Highlander 6-cyl

  • miles
I had an accident when I was driving my Toyota 2006 Highlander because of unintended acceleration.

- Herndon, VA, USA

problem #26

Feb 102011

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 35 miles
Vehicle Toyota 2006 VIN #[xxx] Highlander limited prior complaint sent to Toyota & dot 2/4/2010. After a stop when accelerator sometimes there is a second or two pause before the engine responds causing a sudden lurch forward. Additionally when diving at in town speeds and the accelerator is released and then a resumption of pressure on it there is a second or two pause before the engine engages, also causing a lurch forward. I have learned to "expect the condition" and make allowances for it, however it still causes concern and possibly a dangerous acceleration. The accelerator and engine activation need to be corrected for this "pause and lurch forward response". parts of this document have been redacted to protect personally identifiable information pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Sierra Madre, CA, USA

problem #25

Oct 042010

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles


On Monday Oct.4 I was driving my 2006 Toyota Highlander when I was approaching a stop sign. I let of the accelerator and started to stop. Suddenly the engine started revving up on its own and continued to rev up higher and higher. I put the car in neutral and it continued to race to over 6000 RPM before it finally kicked out. This vehicle has never done this before. It has 50,000 miles. This vehicle was not included in Toyota accelerator recall and I never gave it any thought on mine. I always assumed mine was O.K. but this experience has really shook me up. Now I am scared to drive this vehicle in case this happens again.

- Joliet, IL, USA

problem #24

Mar 112010


  • miles
My 2006 Toyota Highlander occasionally fails to accelerate while turning. The most predictable time this occurs is when slowing to almost a stop into a left turn and then attempting to accelerate into the turn. Depressing the accelerator only causes the vehicle to accelerate slightly. I normally have to accelerate hard or reaccelerate to get the car moving. There is about a 2-3 second delay between the time you depress the accelerator and when the car responds in the manner you expect.

- Cypress, CA, USA

problem #23

Mar 042010


  • miles
Ever since we purchased our 2006 Toyota Highlander we have randomly experienced acceleration problems. After slowing down, we slowly accelerated and would experience a sudden thrust but could slow it down by lessening the pressure on the gas pedal or by braking. This would happen at random 2 or 3 times per year. We both thought it was our fault until we read about the Toyota acceleration problems. Now, we don't believe it is our fault and is a built-in problem. We recently have talked to the Toyota service department and they referred us to the Toyota headquarters for filing a complaint with them. We were told this car is not on the recall list. Since our problem does not seem as bad as other year's car, it may be that this is the year the problem developed in Toyota and got progressively worst as adjustments were made to the car's programming or engine. The last incident involving this acceleration was in late February or early March, 2010. We hope this information may be of some help to you and us in solving our problem.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #22

Apr 092010


  • 62,000 miles
I was parking my Toyota Highlander when suddenly the car accelerated while I had my foot on the brake. I braked as hard as I could and the car continued to move forward until I put the car in park and turned off the ignition. I moved a parked car completely out of their parking space and I went over half way thru the same space before I was able to stop my car. My brakes were smoking and I left tire marks on the asphalt. This all began when I was almost completely stopped in the parking space.

- Iron Station, NC, USA

problem #21

Apr 122010


  • 52,000 miles
Wife was backing up a 2006 Toyota Highlander limited into the garage which she has been doing since the car was new. Car started to accelerate and she could not stop it. It went through the back wall of the garage destroying the garage wall and the vehicle.

- Champion, PA, USA

problem #20

Apr 042010


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander. The contact was driving at approximately 50 mph when the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The contact depressed the brake pedal but the vehicle did not slow down. She swerved left to right in an attempt to stop the vehicle; instead, the vehicle flipped over. The contact climbed out the front window and sustained head injuries as none of the air bags deployed. A police report was filed. The contact had not called the manufacturer at the time of the complaint. The current and failure mileages were approximately 55,000.

- Sherman Oaks, CA, USA

problem #19

Feb 112010

Highlander 6-cyl

  • miles
Sudden acceleration of a 2006 Toyota Highlander while in reverse resulting in death. Updated 04/22/10 updated 07/12/10. Updated 9/27/2011

- Eugene, OR, USA

problem #18

Mar 142007


  • 3,000 miles
Reference: NHTSA ODI number 10185505 dated March 14, 2007. This is my original complaint about Toyota acceleration problems that has been posted on this site for 3 years and I've never had any response of any kind. I had taken the car to the Toyota dealer a total of 3 times for the same problem and they were unable to fix it and said that is just the way Toyota act. I live in Florida and under Florida law a lemon is a car that has been taken to the dealer for 3 times and not fixed... guess I got a lemon. Now I never heard from you so I guess you really don't either.

- Daytona Beach, FL, USA

problem #17

Feb 172010


  • miles
I had a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid. In February of 2007, I took it to the local dealership because I had experienced the car surging/accelerating upon braking and was unpredictable as to when it may occur. The tech didn't experience this issue/also ran diagnostics which came back as "no codes found". since I continued to experience this issue, and after learning of similar issues occurring in other Toyota models and now the recalls, I took it back, and again they were unable to diagnose the issue and got the same "no codes found" when diagnostics were applied. After these experiences, and reading about other 2006 Highlander hybrid issues, I decided I no longer felt safe driving my vehicle and since the dealership was unable to repair this issue, even while under warranty, I decided to trade my vehicle.

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #16

Feb 182010


  • miles
Hello, I would like to file a safety complaint on my 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid, I had this car for the past four months and I experienced sudden acceleration, it happens 3- 4 times a week, or may be even more since I share the car with my husband I am not sure how often he gets it. The last time the sudden acceleration happened is today, luckily we were not driving close to another car. It feels like as if some one pushed the car from behind. Thanks for considering this issue seriously and this is not a panic request after the recall, it is a real and serious issue.

- Falls Church, VA, USA

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