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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,500 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.

2003 Toyota Sequoia body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Toyota Sequoia Owner Comments

problem #4

Aug 172005


  • 68,000 miles


Every interior door handle has broken at one time or another. I have had all of them replaced at least once (at a cost of $175 per handle) and I have to replace one for a second time. The handles are made of plastic that cracks easily and eventually breaks. All of the handles were broken during the course of normal use. No undue or excessive force was exerted when the handles were broken. When the handles are broken, it is impossible to exit the vehicle unless someone opens the door from the outside. If my family and I were involved in an accident and needed to get out of the vehicle quickly, they may not be able to get out in time. This is not only expensive, frustrating and inconvenient, it can lead to a deadly situation. There is no reason that equipment as important as door handles should ever break under normal circumstances.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #3

Nov 142010


  • 126,000 miles
2003 Toyota Sequoia limited rear hatch handle breaks off. Can't open rear liftgate. This is a known problem since 1999 with Toyota. There are several Toyota forums with over 500 complaints of the same problem. Apparently, the handle part is inferior it is made out of plastic. The part has not been changed since 1999 and is still used. Most Sequoia owners have had to have this problem fixed more than one time. The problem starts from water pooling in the hatch area under the liftgate. As a result, the lock /hatch handle area corrodes/rusts puts tension on the handle and then eventually breaks. The part fails without warning except that the latch may be hard to open for quite awhile before completely breaking. I am the original owner and have had this latch problem since the first year of ownership. Ask anyone who owns a Sequoia, and the will have or have had the same problem. The repair cost is approximately $500. This is a safety issue, you cannot access the rear properly and or get to the spare tire. Toyota dealership if out of warranty will charge you anywhere from $500 to as much as $800 dollars to repair the problem. Generally, they seem to tell the owners that it is a wear item.

- Hopewell Junction, NY, USA

problem #2

Mar 252007

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My 2003 Toyota door handles are breaking off. The driver door broke off at about 41,000 miles and they said I would have to fix it at a cost of $180 dollars. Then at about 56,000 miles the right rear passenger door handle broke off. If I was to get into an accident god forbid, I would be unable to get out of the car. I have written Toyota several times and no response.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #1

Apr 122005

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Sequoia. The contact stated that the door handle broke off the inside of the vehicle, which prevented him from exiting the vehicle. Within a year, the remaining four door handles have broken, including the handle on the hatchback. The dealer stated that they were aware of the failure however; this was not included in the warranty. The contact submitted a complaint to the manufacturer. As of December 5, 2007, the dealer had not repaired the vehicle. The failure mileage was 20,000 and current mileage 35,000.

- Westminster, CA, USA

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