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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
106,804 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 Hybrid electrical problems

electrical problem

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2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #40

May 312015

Highlander Hybrid

  • 130,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid. While driving approximately 50 mph, the vehicle suddenly shut off. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the hybrid inverter malfunctioned. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 130,000.

- Sugar Hill, GA, USA

problem #39

Oct 202013

Highlander Hybrid

  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid. The contact was driving approximately 65 mph when the hybrid inverter failed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 130,000.-

- Merrick, NY, USA

problem #38

Feb 202013

Highlander Hybrid

  • 146,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid. The contact stated that the inverter/converter hybrid system would shut down while the vehicle was being driven at any speed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who inspected the vehicle and advised the contact that the inverter/converter needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and advised that they would contact him within a few days. The failure mileage was 146,000.

- Oceanside, CA, USA

problem #37

Nov 302011

Highlander Hybrid

  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid. The contact was driving 10 mph when the contact crashed into a curb and the power steering failed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the dealer confirmed that the power steering and the hybrid computer system failed. The manufacturer was not contacted and the vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileages were 60,000.

- Arcadia, CA, USA

problem #36

Nov 132011

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 182,000 miles
The vehicle shut off while stopped at a light and had to be towed. Dealer service notes that inverter failed along with component that goes with it. Vehicle non-functional.

- Ormond Beach, FL, USA

problem #35

Oct 012011

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 92,100 miles
I was pulling into our driveway and when I pressed the accelerator, the car stopped and began to roll backwards. All of the warning lights came on along with a warning on the lcd panel that stated "check hybrid system" and "check vsc". it was towed to a Toyota dealership. They indicated that the hybrid inverter and esu had failed and they replaced them. The vehicle still displayed several warnings and after searching for almost 1 week, they determined that the power steering esu was also bad although this was not the case prior to the hybrid failure. They said that the 12 volt battery also needed replacing although it was only 8 months old and was purchased at the dealership. When I asked how this could have happened, I was told that the vehicle must have been struck by lightning! October 1, 2011 in our state was a beautiful, clear day as it had been for a while. I suggested that the inverter and esu failure caused the power steering esu failure, not a phantom lightning strike. My vehicle is currently still at the dealership as I await their reply. Hybrid components are covered under the extended hybrid warranty but the steering esu is not and will cost $1,000 to replace unless Toyota will accept that the failure of the hybrid components could have caused a powerful electrical surge that damaged the power steering ECU as well as the 12 volt battery.

- Lilburn, GA, USA

problem #34

Sep 012011

Highlander Hybrid

  • 88,000 miles


Pulling out of a parking space at a low rate of speed. Car came to an immediate and abrupt halt. Could not be restarted.

- Royal Oak, MI, USA

problem #33

Jul 242011

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 79,950 miles
While driving through Virginia foothills, the entire electrical system on my hybrid stopped working. I had significantly reduced braking ability, no power steering and was in heavy traffic. This could have been a very serious incident if I had to stop for an emergency. I slowly pulled over shut the system down and after a while the warning lights and warning buzzer went off.

- Fl, FL, USA

problem #32

Jun 032011

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid power inverter failure - a $9,000 repair. My 2006 Highlander hybrid came to a dead halt last Friday afternoon going just over 40 mph on a busy street in austin, tx. The engine would run, but it would not move in any gear. I had it towed to the Toyota dealer on I-35 and it was diagnosed with a failed power inverter - a $9,000 repair. It has 70K miles and I just purchased it for $18K a couple of months ago. The original owner purchased an extended warranty to 100K miles, so very fortunate that this very expensive repair was covered including a free rental car for the week it was in the shop. I will definitely purchase another warranty when this one expires as who can afford this type of repair on a used vehicle! I am considering selling this vehicle and took it to the same Toyota dealer that replaced the power inverter to give me a trade in appraisal. They ran a car fax history report on it and there is no indication that the car has had the power inverter replaced! they show it serviced on the date of the repair, but did not indicate that the power inverter had been replaced - are they trying to hide this problem"???"

- Kyle, TX, USA

problem #31

Jun 252011

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
We were driving our 2006 Highlander hybrid from Virginia to Ohio. We pulled to the side of the oh turnpike just before mile marker 218 to change drivers as the past few service stops were closed for renovations. We did not turn off the vehicle. When the new driver pressed on the gas pedal to return to the highway, the car made a funny sound then the dashboard lit up with alternating errors for the hybrid system and vsc system. The car was frozen and would not move. We had to have it towed to a dealership. There were no injuries. Several days later, the vehicle is still at bedford Toyota in oh being awaiting delivery & replacement of the inverter. There were no prior warnings or indications of problems with the vehicle. In fact, it had just been in for its 65,000 mile check-up two weeks earlier.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #30

Jun 262011

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


Driving North on interstate 75 near warner robins, ga in our 2006 Highlander hybrid. Going 75 mph in the left lane when the dashboard lit up with vsc, check hybrid, and esp lights. Immediately lost all power. No power steering, limited braking, no acceleration. Barely avoided a catastrophic accident (4 people in my car) and made it to the breakdown lane. Towed to a local Toyota dealer by aaa. Car has 85000 miles on it and Toyota diagnosed a faulty inverter. It is being covered as a warranty repair. Waiting for completion of repairs in Georgia to complete drive home to Nebraska (all the while incurring non-trivial expenses for hotel, rental car, etc.).

- Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #29

Jun 262011

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid. The contact stated they were driving onto the highway and trying to accelerate when the vehicle lost power. The vehicle continued to roll forward forcing the contact to drive onto the service lane. The contact heard a popping noise and the check hybrid system light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and after the failure was diagnosed, the dealer stated they did not find any failures with the vehicle. The failure and current mileage was 108,000. There has been a recall of the part but I did not get a letter in the mail yet. Updated 09/08/2011

- Wakefield, RI, USA

problem #28

Jun 182011

Highlander Hybrid

  • 69,000 miles
2006 Highlander hybrid inverter failure caused a complete power shut down and left me stranded on the road. There was no power, no brakes, no steering. I could have been hit by cars in front or behind. Lucky that I was not on the freeway going 70 mph. The failure had no warning nor any symptoms. Prior to the failure, I drove the car approximately 70 miles earlier during the day.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #27

Jun 092011

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 119,200 miles
On June 9, 2011 at approximately 11:00pm central time, my family (wife, two daughters, one son and I) were driving our 2006 Toyota highland hybrid down I65 about 20 miles nw of lafayette, Indiana. We suddenly lost power and could not drive the car. We were going about 70mph and luckily there were no cars around us at the time, as we had extreme difficulty in steering the car and struggled to pull it off to the side of the road. It said something on the screen about check vsd and hybrid system. The engine continued to whirl, but we could not start car or do anything with it. We called a tow truck & waited in the dark on side of interstate 65 to wait for them to pick us up. It took about 45 minutes to get the tow truck there and for someone to come pick us up. We definitely felt lucky to get off of the highway without getting hurt as this area had no lights and was very dark (except for the red lights on the wind mills all around us). We went to a hotel in lafayette and the tow truck dropped the car off at the dealership. The next morning, the dealership sent a courtesy car to pick me up & take me over there. I spoke with the service department and they said they would evaluate the problem. I told him it might be the inverter, as my father owned a Lexus RX400 hybrid and the inverter on his car failed and Lexus gave him the part. The service department told me that he personally had never changed an inverter, so he did not think it was that. I rented a car and my family and I continued our trip to Florida. A couple of days later, the Toyota dealership called me and said they had to take the engine apart and it could be an expensive repair just to figure out what was wrong. He thought it might be rodent damage. Days later he called back and said that it was in fact the inverter and that the repair would cost me $9,600. I went online & determined that many people with 2006 Toyota highlanders hybrids with VIN# similar to mine have had the same issue.

- Lake Bluff, IL, USA

problem #26

May 132011

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
At 0130 I was accelerating quickly from a stop in my 2006 Highlander hybrid. Without warning the acceleration of my car ceased; pressing the gas pedal all the way down had no response. [fortunately, I had not yet turned in front of the large truck I was about to pass, because if I had cut in front of him then suddenly de-accelerated, a collision would have been the likely result.] the dash had lit up several check engine lights. I was 1/2 way through an intersection headed towards the on-ramp to highway 96. The car was still rolling, I steered it away from the on-ramp and onto the service drive, where I coasted to a stop. All other electric systems were to be working: Lights, radio, brakes, wipers, fan, signals, locks. My gas tank was more than half full. My display was alternating ┐check hybrid system" and "check vsc.┐ I attempted to restart the SUV several times, with the same result. A local police officer had to use his vehicle to push my SUV off the road for safety. My car had to be towed, and it took over an hour for a tow truck to arrive, fortunately I was only 30 minutes from my dealership- as I doubt many other mechanics could have diagnosed the problem. The next business day, my local Toyota dealership service manager called to tell me the inverter was broken, and the inverter would cost $7000 plus labor. The part would have to be shipped from corporate. My car was beyond the 100,000 mile drivetrain warranty (100K might be Michigan specific), and was at 105,000 miles. VIN [xxx] a front wheel drive Highlander hybrid. One of the service employees confirmed my VIN was 'before the production break' in 2006 Highlander hybrids when a 'new and improved' inverter was used instead of the 'defective' one. * updated 07/10/2012 information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Southworh, WA, USA

problem #25

Jun 082011

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 286,556 miles
On a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid 4X4. Engine stalled while driving at 70 mph on highway. Vehicle coasted to side and would not restart. Had to have it towed home and engine still will not start. Will have to take it to dealer.

- Tehachapi, CA, USA

problem #24

Jun 152011

Highlander Hybrid

  • 110,000 miles
Our 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid simply stopped running yesterday in the middle of a very busy street. We had it towed to the dealer who told us that the inverter ( part of the hybrid portion of the vehicle ) was finished and that the repair would be $7800. They also told us that this is the only year of this vehicle which is exempt from the state of California requirement of a 150,000 warranty on hybrid vehicles. Toyota will not stand behind this vehicle although it is a problem with this car that they are familiar with and have made corrections to. This is a serious, dangerous and expensive problem for which Toyota should take responsibility. The car as easily have stopped on the freeway or some other more dangerous spot.

- Glendale, CA, USA

problem #23

Jun 082011

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
While traveling down highway 101 during rush hour at 70+ miles an hour, the vehicle made a clunking sound and suddenly stalled. I swerve across several lanes of highway while coasting to a stop nearly colliding with two vehicles while changing lanes to pull off to the shoulder. I had to push the vehicle to completely remove it from the highway. Several attempt to restart it were unsuccessful and the error message "check hybrid system" appeared on the dashboard. The vehicle was towed to the nearest Toyota dealership who inspected the vehicle and the following day informed me the inverter had failed. They estimated the cost of repairs at nearly $10,000. This is unacceptable for a car that is only 5 years old and cost over $45,000 new, not to mention the fact that I had to push the vehicle off of a busy highway.

- Milpitas, CA, USA

problem #22

Jun 112011

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 58,212 miles
Toyota Highlander hybrid 2006 model has 58,212 miles on the odometer. Was pulling away from a stoplight on a busy street when the car suddenly lost power. We had to pull over to the side of the road. The car was completely disabled, with no motive power whatsoever. The police came and assisted, we had the car towed to the dealer, and we are currently waiting for a hybrid inverter (a common part cited in NHTSA action PE11005.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #21

Jun 082011

Highlander Hybrid

  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid. The contact was driving the vehicle and it stalled without warning and the hybrid system light came on. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who stated that the inverter had failed. The failure and current mileage was 130,000.

- Saint Charles, MO, USA

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