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fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
11,659 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.

2013 Toyota Highlander fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2013 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #7

Aug 022016


  • 5,000 miles


Vehicle hesitates when accelerating, usually when making a turn from a stop or moving slowly. It is especially hazardous when trying to make a left turn in front of oncoming traffic. Has happened multiple times, not just the date below. The dealer can not duplicate the problem. We bought the car in early 2014 new, and noticed this problem before 5,000 miles. The car now has 22,000 miles and it still does this intermittently.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #6

Jun 262015


  • 16,000 miles
From stop (at traffic light, merging, etc), press on gas pedal for acceleration and vehicle does not go, hesitates, then does accelerate. This has happened multiple times, intermittently, and has been reported to titus will Toyota dealership. Since they have not duplicated it, problem continues intermittently. Never know when this will occur. It is very disconcerting and dangerous. This vehicle has a lot of "computer" glitches with gps mapping, bluetooth, auto lights, etc. Maybe related?

- Spanaway, WA, USA

problem #5

Aug 252015


  • 17,000 miles
Upon acceleration the vehicle hesitates for 3-5 seconds, it has happened numerous times. Went to the dealer and they say nothing wrong. Very dangerous pulling into a highway.

- Concord, MA, USA

problem #4

Apr 252014


  • 7,600 miles


I purchased the 2013 Highlander new from a dealer in vienna, va in July 2013. The auto started a string of engine hesitancy to accelerate problems at around 5,000 miles which was reported to the dealer at the 5,000 mile check-up and again at the 7,500 mile checkup. The service department could not duplicate the problem and gave the engine a clean bill of health. We moved to mn in May 2014 and the hesitancy of the car to move (accelerate) from a stopped position for several seconds after engaging the gas petal continues and is increasing in frequency. The car has been taken in to the local Toyota dealer on three occasions with the same answer that there is no problem with the car. I have been in two near accidents while pulling out in traffic on to a high speed divided highway and consider this a very serious safety issue. It happens randomly, (three times this past week), but a pattern has developed - most incidents occur while idling at intersections for some time waiting for traffic to clear, traffic lights, etc, and then making a left hand turn onto the roadway. The car has exhibited this behavior only a couple times while making a right hand turn from a idling start. The sensation is that the engine stalled and no matter what is done with the gas petal nothing happens for anywhere up to 4-5 seconds. With traffic moving at 60 miles an hour and one is attempting to merge into traffic, a five second delay brings the on-coming traffic almost 450 feet closer to one before the car starts to move requiring more distance in traffic gaps to overcome a potential stall in the roadway. I have come across another local owner with the same problem and note at least 15 other complaints on the web of almost the exact circumstances. What does it take for Toyota to recognize this as a safety issue?

- Nisswa, MN, USA

problem #3

Sep 302013

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 10 miles
Every time I switch from brake to gas pedal quickly, the car looses power as if to stall. Then it regains power and accelerates. It also happens if I am on the highway and touch the brake pedal before attempting to pass and then I can't get power to pass for a couple seconds. Very scary and dangerous I think. The dealer explained to me that Toyota had made a change to make the computer in charge of deciding if one could accelerate or not rather than a direct link from the gas pedal to the carburetor. The condition is unnerving and I believe potentially dangerous as I have almost been in accidents when I try to accelerate and the car won't respond until it is ready to allow it.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

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problem #2

Jan 182015

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
On Sunday, January 18, 2015 at approximately 7:50am mst, after filling up the gas tank at the holiday gas station on pleasant grove boulevard in pleasant grove, ut, I began to pull away from the gas pumps. Before exiting the gas station, and after moving about 20 feet at about 5 mph, the engine suddenly revved up to around 4000 RPM. I immediately took my foot entirely off of the gas pedal and slammed my foot down on the brake, holding the brake down firmly. Despite nothing pressing on the gas pedal, and despite the brake pedal being very firmly and continuously pressed, the engine continued to cycle at exactly the same high RPM and the vehicle continue to move forward, straining against the brake. I then switched the gear from drive into neutral. The vehicle stopped moving, but the engine continued to rev at exactly the same RPM. At this time, the engine was continuously revving at approximately 4000 RPM, the car was not moving, the gear was set to neutral, nothing was pressing on the gas/accelerator pedal, and I was firmly pressing on the brake pedal. I then examined the driver footwell to make sure that nothing could possibly be pressing on the gas pedal and indeed there were no obstructions in the driver footwell. I then took my foot off of the brake and pumped the gas pedal several times but the engine did not respond in any way to this action ? rather it continued to simply rev at the constant high RPM. I then turned off the ignition, at which time the engine stopped and the vehicle was entirely off. I then switched the gear into park, and then started the ignition and the vehicle started normally. I proceeded to switch the gear into drive, and pressed on the accelerator and the vehicle moved forward as expected without any unexpected acceleration. Since then, the vehicle has behaved normally.

- Pleasant Grove, UT, USA

problem #1

Aug 142013

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
Occasional throttle no response when trying to accelerate moderately from a stop, or from a very low speed (I.e.-coasting around a 90 degree turn with the engine at idle speed.) I then push heavily on the accelerator pedal, and it revs up, downshifts, and races ahead. It is dangerous, in traffic. I have brought it to the dealer twice, and they cannot reproduce the problem. Two so called factory reps rode around with me the second time, with a computer connected. Diagnostics shows no error codes.

- Peabody, MA, USA

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