Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

CarComplaints.com Notes: 2008 is the first year of the 2nd generation Highlander, & it may be a model year to avoid as Toyota most likely worked out some production quality issues with the new model.

The 2009 Highlander is the has far fewer complaints.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
9 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
16 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,172 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.

2008 Toyota Highlander seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2008 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #24

Nov 132013

Highlander

  • 73,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Air bag warning light lit, took to dealer and found out spiral cable was the issue and need replaced. This is a huge safety issue which I believe should be recalled by Toyota as they already did on other models. As a loyal Toyota customer along with the rest, I would like to call upon Toyota to step up to the plate and do the right thing--recall this air bag issue. Thank you!!

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #23

Feb 032014

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Airbag sensor is always lit now. Took Highlander into Toyota dealership this morning for other Toyota recalls and had them check sensor. I was told my 2008 Highlander needed a new spiral cable and cost was $557 to install. I just found more complaints like this and wonder why it is not a recall considering other Toyota such as Camry, Tacoma & venzas had same problem but was a recall. What does it take to have 2008 Highlanders involved in a huge safety issue. Apparently, I won't have any airbags working until this is fixed.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #22

Sep 172013

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
Spiral cable failed at about 72, 000 miles on my 2008 toy Highlander base model causing airbag warning light to illuminate steady and was told of failure of airbag system creating increased risk of injury in the event of a crash. Cause the failure appears to be a manufacturing and/or design defect as also seen in other Toyota vehicles that have been recalled for similar spiral cable failure. Sensor appears to reset when no person is seated on driver side and ignition is turned on. As soon as driver seat sensor is activated the air bags warning light is on. Problem with driver seat sensors or main module perhaps" either way it appears to be a defect not found on older Toyota (")

- Garland, TX, USA

problem #21

Dec 072013

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 107,406 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Spiral cable failed at about 107,406 miles on my 2008 Toyota Highlander, causing airbag warning light to illuminate steady and was advised by the dealer that the airbag system wouldn't be functioning. This should have been covered by manufacturer or there should have been a recall on this. The car hasn't been in any accidents. The cost of replacement (part and labors) is $544. Toyota needs to reimburse customers for such a cost as it is of no driver's fault and obviously a common issue. There is another 2008 recall on the airbag system but didn't apply to my car.

- Ca, CA, USA

problem #20

Oct 142013

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 72,400 miles
Spiral cable failed at about 72, 400 miles on my 2008 toy Highlander base model causing airbag warning light to illuminate steady and failure of airbag system creating increased risk of injury in a crash. As no driver actions, etc. Caused the failure it appears to be a manufacturing and/or design defect as also seen in other Toyota vehicles that have been recalled for similar spiral cable failure.

- Mooresville, NC, USA

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problem #19

Jun 052013

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 98,397 miles
In June of 2013 I went to mccarthy Toyota in sedalia, mo for an unrelated recall. Some work was done, but I was told to return in a week or so because an additional part had to be ordered. During this week, the red air bag warning light appeared. I had never observed this warning light before. When I returned to the dealer to complete the original recall work, I inquired about the warning light. The service manager informed me that my model Toyota sometimes had a problem with the spiral cable and I was one of the unlucky owners! he informed me that I no longer had functioning airbags, but he had the necessary parts to rectify the situation and could do it immediately. The cost was approximately $500 and was not covered by any warrantee or recall. I decided that I would have to take my chances in a vehicle that now had non-functioning airbags, since $500 was just too much money to pay. A friend recently informed me that I should file this complaint.

- Chilhowee, MO, USA

problem #18

Sep 222013

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Air bag indicator light just came on at 110,000 miles, no accident, in the garage..took it to dealer and they are asking to replace spiral cable assembly in driver airbag at a cost of $663 and explained there was no recall on my vehicle. I called Toyota and discussed the issue...I also found out that Tacoma's had the same issue as well, interesting though, that my 08 Highlander had same problem. Toyota confirmed my understandings as well. I searched internet and several other Highlanders (almost identical vins) have faced the same issue. I think Highlanders needs to be investigated for the similar issues which Tacoma's faced.. this is a serious issue and needs to be given some attention. The above website lists other Highlander's which faced the same issue. I really appreciate the good work you guys are doing to make the roads/highways safer place for everyone.. thank you.

- Sharon, MA, USA

problem #17

Sep 032013

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 93,255 miles
Airbag sensor light deployed, and remained lit for approximately three days. Toyota dealership at pullman, wa diagnosed the problem as a faulty spiral cable; the spiral cable assembly was replaced at a cost of $491.69. I wonder why there was a recall done on ~450,000 Tacoma, but not on the Highlander. It sounds like a similar problem: Poor engineering leads to friction, causing a short in the cable. Warning light goes on, and the driver air bag may not deploy during a wreck. I could think of 1001 better ways to spend $500!!!

- Pullman, WA, USA

problem #16

Jul 272013

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 72,974 miles
Air bag indicator light just came on at 73,000 miles, no accident. Took it to dealer and they replaced the spiral cable assembly in driver airbag at a cost of $500 and explained there was no recall on my vehicle. I called Toyota and they told me this only affected Tacoma's, interesting though, that my 08 Highlander had same problem.

- N. Royalton, OH, USA

problem #15

Jun 242013

Highlander

  • 65,000 miles
Air bags the spiral cable went bad causing the air bag light to come on making the airbags inoperable. Took to dealership and cost was $560 to repair with parts and labor. View details.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #14

Apr 022013

Highlander 6-cyl Diesel

  • 68,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The airbag light came on approximately in April 2013. The light stays on all the time. I brought it to elk grove Toyota. The inspected the light for $120. This was for inspection only. They said the car needs a airbag spiral cable. They estimated $460 total to replace this wire. The car has not been in an accident. The light came on at 65000-67000 miles. Will Toyota recall this part or reimburse customers. There is another 2008 Toyota Highlander airbag recall but it did not apply to my car. I looked up my VIN. For this recall.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #13

Jun 032013

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 64,500 miles
Air bag light illuminated, and continued to stay on over several days. Took the car to the dealer, and the spiral cable was determined to be malfunctioning. Cost of repair was about $500.

- San Carlos, CA, USA

problem #12

May 272013

Highlander

  • 85,000 miles
While driving, the air bag light came on and stayed on. After taking it to a Toyota dealer, it was diagnosed as a spiral cable assembly malfunction. This issue has been the subject of recall for 2008 Tacoma, Camry and venzas, but not the Highlander. It is a $450 expense. It seems to me if Toyota has recalled the part on other models in the same year, it should consider recalling it for the Highlander. Looking at the recent complaints filed on this website, I see that I am not the only one to experience this issue.

- Springdale, AR, USA

problem #11

May 152013

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 88,170 miles
The airbag light came on. I took it into a dealer, and was told the spiral cable needed to be replaced (at a cost of $419 parts and labor) and that it is not covered under any recalls. Upon research, I learned that there is a recall for Tacoma, Camry, and venzas for this exact same problem with the spiral cable. Further, I found numerous claims of the same problem for the 2008 Highlander. I contacted the Toyota customer experience center, and they confirmed that there is no recall and that I would need to retain any documentation for reimbursement under any future recalls for this issue. Obviously I need to have the spiral cable replaced, because I was told by the Toyota dealer that the entire airbag system is inoperable. My hope is that there will be a recall for the Highlander, and that it is already being considered.

- Sandy, UT, USA

problem #10

May 012013

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that while driving 20 mph, the air bag warning light illuminated intermediately. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis where it was advised that the spiral cable needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired and the manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 116,000.

- Rio Rancho, NM, USA

problem #9

May 062013

Highlander

  • 67,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Highlander. The contact was driving approximately 55 mph when the air bag warning indicator illuminated continuously. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and an authorized dealer, who both stated that the air bag spiral cable would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 67,000.

- Visalia, CA, USA

problem #8

Nov 112012

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 122,856 miles
I was driving my 2008 Highlander on November 11, 2012 and the airbag light came on. The following day I went online to see if there was a recall on the Toyota website. There was a recall for the airbag light for the side curtain air bag system. I took my vehicle to my Toyota dealer to have the recall work done on November 14. The airbag light was still on after the recall work. I left them the vehicle so they could do further diagnostics. They said the squib circuit on the spiral cable for the airbag system on the steering column had a short in it. Toyota part number 84306-22010. It was not part of the recall. The dealership told me that if a repair was not done there was a good chance that the airbag system would not work in an accident. The dealership said the airbag light would light up intermittently if I didn't repair it and that they were pretty sure the airbag wouldn't go off on its own. My choice was fix it or park it. I had them do the repair, $276.63 for the spiral cable and $150 for the labor, $443.22 total with sales tax. I have over 122,000 miles on my vehicle and the dealership has been performing the maintenance on the vehicle. I have two other vehicles (not Toyota) and neither has ever had an airbag system problem and each one has over 100,000 miles. The wiring for the airbag system should never go bad. Please have someone look into this problem.

- Peachtree Corners, GA, USA

problem #7

Aug 292012

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
The spiral cable went bad causing the air bag light to come on making the airbags inoperable.

- Midwest City, OK, USA

problem #6

Aug 102012

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph and applying the brakes to avoid hitting a deer, the brakes seized and the vehicle failed to respond. As a result, the contact lost control of the vehicle and crashed. The contact mentioned that none of the air bags deployed. As a result, the driver and a passenger sustained minor injuries. A police report was filed. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The contact was able to drive the vehicle away from the scene. The failure and current mileage was 70,000. Updated 11/01/12 updated 11/02/12

- Boonenville, AR, USA

problem #5

Jan 302009

Highlander

  • 15,000 miles
Air bag warning light comes on intermitently but frequently. Dealer has replaced parts twice but failed to correct the problem. Toyota usa sent a safety recall notice (interim notice) appoximately 10 months ago which seemed to describe the problem but said Toyota was working on the remedy and a second owner notification would be sent when the remedy is available. The notice also said that when the air bag warning light comes on the air bags could deploy inadvertently and that the vehicle should be taken immediately to the dealer. The warning light comes on frequently but when the vehicle is taken to the dealer, he says that he cannot do anything to correct the problem until Toyota issues the final recall. I have contacted Toyota usa who state that they cannot give any date for when they will have a solution to this problem. Please help.

- Newport, OR, USA

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