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.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
7,609 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.

2012 Toyota Highlander engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #11

Dec 182014


  • 14,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that while attempting to park, the vehicle suddenly accelerated and crashed into a wall. The air bags failed to deploy. The driver did not sustain any injuries and a police report was not filed. The dealer was contacted. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 14,000.

- Clinton , MA, USA

problem #10

Feb 222014

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 19,004 miles
The car started to accelerate when we came to a stop. This is an ongoing problem and no one seems to be able to help. The car has to be turned off before it gets out of control. The consumer stated there has been no resolution or solution for the acceleration problem. Updated 02/25/14

- Rockville Centre, NY, USA

problem #9

Jun 162013

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 5,787 miles
On February 4, 2013 the Highlander accelerated three consecutive times. Turned off the engine each time and engine accelerated when coming to a stop each time. On June 16, 2013 the Highlander engine accelerated as the car was slowing down before it came to a stop. We have had acceleration problems with two Highlanders and two Camry and no answers from Toyota as to why accept for them to try and blame it on driver error. When a car is at a stop and accelerating on its own then there is no driver error. Please help us. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Rockville Centre, NY, USA

problem #8

Feb 042013

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 5,700 miles


When stopping the auto on 3 occasions the engine began racing very strongly....updated 02/07/13 however, while the Highlander was being checked, the consumer and her husband experienced sudden acceleration while driving a Toyota Camry loaner, causing a crash and personal injury. Updatd 02/11/13

- Rockville Centre, NY, USA

problem #7

Nov 162012

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 8,900 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that while entering the driveway, the vehicle suddenly accelerated and crashed into the house. The vehicle functioned normally while reversing but upon shifting back into drive, the vehicle again accelerated and crashed into the house. The vehicle was then placed into reverse and then came to a stop when it crashed into a curb, causing the axle to fracture. The driver did not suffer any injuries. The vehicle was destroyed. The vehicle was inspected by the manufacturer who stated that there was no evidence of a defect. The failure and current mileage was 8,900. Updated 2/21/13

- Stevenson Ranch , CA, USA

problem #6

Aug 152012


  • 7,500 miles
Light turned red. I attempted to stop. Brake pedal was rock hard no response. Two more attempts useless. I just continued across the intersection and there was no further event. This was the third event for this car. I refuse to drive it again. I am awaiting a resolution from Toyota under a California lemon law dispute.

- San Rafael, CA, USA

problem #5

Aug 132012


  • 11,500 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that while attempting to park with the brake pedal depressed, the vehicle suddenly accelerated and went over the curb. The contact applied the brake with both feet and shifted into park in order to bring the vehicle to a complete stop. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who sent an engineer to inspect the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 11,500.

- Black Mountain , NC, USA

problem #4

Jun 292012

Highlander 4-cyl

  • 6,200 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, she attempted to brake but the vehicle accelerated rapidly instead. She attempted to apply the brake however the brake pedal had become very stiff. She had to apply extreme pressure to the brake and the vehicle stopped 15 feet later. She shifted into neutral and turned the vehicle off. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis where the contact was informed that there was an idle up clutch defect, which occurred at low speeds and when the air conditioner was activated. The dealer would not repair the vehicle. The manufacturer was notified but offered no assistance. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was 6,200 and current mileage was 6,800. Updated 08/28/12 the consumer stated the vehicle began to move forward and the engine reached 1600 RPM even though she was only driving 10 mph. The brake pedal became hard and the vehicle would not stop. She shifted into neutral and applied the brakes again and the vehicle stopped. She then shut off the ignition and waited about 7-10 minutes.

- San Rafael, CA, USA

problem #3

Apr 302012

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 1,104 miles
While pulling into a parking stall in a private parking lot, my Highlander suddenly accelerated and I had no brakes at all! my Highlander went up over the curb which caused the vehicle to slow. I had brakes again and was able to apply the brake, coming to a safe stop. Not before slashing my left front tire and bending my tire rim. Thankfully no one was injured.

- Clinton, UT, USA

problem #2

Apr 272012

Highlander 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that while driving approximately 10 mph, there was an excessive vibration. The contact then engaged the brake pedal which was unresponsive. The engine rmps increased up to 3,000. The brake pedal was applied repeatedly and the gear was shifted into neutral and then back into drive. The vehicle began to unintendedly accelerate. The vehicle eventually came to a stop. The contact was able to resume driving to the destination at a reduced speed. The manufacturer was not notified of the unintended acceleration. The approximate failure mileage was 4,000.

- San Rafael, CA, USA

problem #1

Nov 032011

Highlander 6-cyl

  • miles
While pulling into parking space in private shopping mall at slow rate of speed the vehicle suddenly and without warning rapidly accelerated forward into vehicle parked directly in front of my vehicle. My vehicle went up and over parked vehicle causing damage to both vehicles. No one was hurt in this accident and no police report was made as it was on private property. Complaint was made to Toyota who investigated and Toyota determined that no vehicle defect or design existed and refused to offer any assistance. My wife who was driving the vehicle has never had an accident and swears as to the facts. She did not contribute at all to this accident. Toyota is marketing a defective vehicle which will eventually and unfortunately result in death or serious injury if they are not now held accountable.

- Redding, CA, USA

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