really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
189,898 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.

1998 Toyota 4Runner suspension problems

suspension problem

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1998 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

Dec 142016


  • 130,000 miles


Frame rusted out and rear axle support detached from frame while driving, causing vehicle to sway uncontrollably almost rolling over. Found that manufacturer has recall on trucks with similar frame for rust issue, but not this vehicle because there are not enough complaints or deaths.

- Burlington, KY, USA

problem #21

Apr 232016


  • 218,206 miles
I was in reverse and a jolt and pop occurred in the rear passenger seat where my son was seated. He felt it at his feet and all other passengers heard and felt a jolt. When I returned home I crawled under the vehicle and noticed rust and stress cracks on the inside of the rear passenger torsion bar.while applying pressure with my two fingers I pushed through the bottom of the frame rail. The vehicle is not road worthy. My braking problem occurs when I have to stop suddenly in snow or extreme wet road surfaces there is a metal grinding an no brakes. When this occurs in snow I was in 4wheel high. I had no brakes so I put the vehicle in 2 wheel and had brakes. In rain I pumped the brakes until I was able to get brakes. All driving brakes occurred at 35 mph in city driving with no one in front of me.

- Fort Thomas, KY, USA

problem #20

Aug 182015


  • 261,000 miles
I was driving on the interstate at 65 mph and I went over an overpass with a bump at the beginning of it, I heard a clunk then my car started swaying back and forth very badly, I managed to pull over on the emergency pull off, I thought a wheel had come loose, I found no loose wheel so I started looking underneath and wow!!!!!..the torsion bars had both rusted off the frame and both sway bars were broke off, the only thing holding the back axal on was the back of the torsion bars, ,,needles to say my favorite car is out for the count.

- Cambridge, OH, USA

problem #19

Jul 012014


  • 165,000 miles


Frame rusted through prematurely on my truck. Truck is unsafe to drive and a huge disappointment.

- Schaumburg, IL, USA

problem #18

Mar 142015


  • 210,000 miles
I was traveling on the highway, when all of a sudden my car started to move violently to the right. I almost went under a commercial truck as I could not control the movement of my truck.. I managed to exit the highway and stopped and checked underneath my truck for damage, but could see nothing. I drove slowly to my local mechanic and my car still kept moving to the right at 20mph. My mechanic looked at it and said the rear trailing arm had broke due to rust, and I was very luck to be alive. (it happened on a Saturday morning with little commuter traffic otherwise I might have been killed) he said it was a common problem with 4 runners 1998 and later years.I called Toyota but they said they were not obliged to issue a recall from NHTSA?? or whatever it is called. My mechanic did a welding job to repair the issue which cost me $750 to fix. I had no recourse due to Toyota reluctance to fix this dangerous issue. I encourage you to please force Toyota to issue a recall on this issue before innocent lives are lost. Please do not wait for a fatality before doing something about this. I feel I should be reimbursed for repairs I incurred but Toyota do not want to know!! I beg you to investigate immediately. My car is in perfect mechanical order except for rust and rotting underneath, because Toyota did not address this issue when manufacturing this model. I am still scared driving this car but am forced to do so and pray nothing happens going forward. (problem : rear control arm both sides broke due to rust in chassis)

- Bethel, CT, USA

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problem #17

Mar 052015


  • 246,000 miles
The drivers side rear control arm broke free from frame due to rusted frame.

- Gloucester, MA, USA

problem #16

Jan 152015


  • 235,000 miles


I was informed of and shown excessive frame rotting/rusting through from a mechanic. The frame looked relatively normal roughly 6 months ago. I am aware that some of their other trucks have recalls due to the same issue, and I am seeing instances of this on the internet for this vehicle.

- Menomonee Falls, WI, USA

problem #15

Aug 152012

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 298,000 miles
I was driving down the road and I hit a bump didn't think anything of it until I went on the highway, the rear end started jumping as the car increased speed. I started to lose control so I slow down and eventually pulled over. I exited the car and proceeded to inspect the car's under body, I didm;T see anything so I proceeded to drive home doing under 20miles per hour as to not make the rear end jump. When I arrived at home I lifted the car up and further inspected the under side, I then notice that the rear lower control arm on the drivers side was completely dislocated from the frame upon further investigation I noticed the factory wield disengaged from the frame.

- Bristol, CT, USA

problem #14

Feb 262014

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 111,998 miles
The drivers side rear lower control arm bracket rusted and broke free from the frame of the vehicle at full freeway speed during am rush hour traffic. Nearly lost control of the vehicle. Managed to make it to the nearest exit ramp aprox. 1/4 mile. Took the vehicle to my repair shop and was told to take it to a frame repair shop. The frame was rusted so bad they could not even give me a estimate for repair. I contacted Toyota to check on recalls and register a complaint to no avail. The vehicle is currently in my garage soon to be junked.

- Brookfield , WI, USA

problem #13

Feb 022014


  • 234,000 miles
Frame has rust perforation where the rear control arm bracket mounts to frame.....apparently this is a known issue with 1996-2002 4 runners and Toyota has refused to do anything about it.

- North Scituate, RI, USA

problem #12

Dec 302013


  • 193,000 miles


Vehicle started a clunking sound and began to sway from side to side. Mechanic inspected and found frame had rusted on drivers side near rear sway bar.

- New Boston, PA, USA

problem #11

Jul 312013


  • 333,849 miles
While driving on a busy road the rear lower control arm frame mount broke due to frame rot. The vehicle started to sway back and forth violently and I was able limp it to the repair shop. The frame and mount for the control arm are rotted through and the vehicle is not safe to drive, this is my main daily driver vehicle. There is no fix for this besides replacing the frame. I know there is alot of miles on this truck but mechanically there is nothing wrong with it and it runs great.

- Salem, WI, USA

problem #10

Jun 132013


  • miles
Two weeks ago I was driving down a flat paved road and my lower ball joint (atm 1012460) came off for no reason causing me to skid to a halt. My tire was sideways and pushed into my fender causing damage to the wheel well and other parts. This part (lower ball joint) was replaced 8 months prior along with tie rods, axle, control arm, upper ball joint and a number of other items in that area. Riebes auto parts replaced the faulty ball joint, tire, fender, and other parts that were damaged. I just got it back last night and my wife stated it felt like it was pulling to the left. I drove it to my mechanic and on the way the other side popped of going 15 mph on a flat road. So all the same damage again. This is a serious issue because Y wife and kids were just in the car a few hours before this happened. If it would have occurred on the freeway it would have resulted in rolling. Altrom lower ball joint for a 1998 Toyota 4runner was the part.

- Alta, CA, USA

problem #9

Jun 062013


  • 240,000 miles
I was driving and suddenly it felt like the rear driver side tire fell off. Further inspection showed that the driver side rear control arm bracket was rotted out of the frame. There is no way I can drive my truck anymore. I had someone look at the frame and was told its completely rotted and the truck is a total loss. I do not understand why there is not a recall for the 4runners when the frame is similar to the Tacoma. The Tacoma did have a recall for rotting of the frame. There should be a recall for the frame on the 4runners since this is a serious safety hazard. The axle of the 4runner could fall out and could cause a fatal accident.

- Chester, CT, USA

problem #8

Jun 192012


  • 183,861 miles
I was driving on a back road, hit a pothole and the rear drivers side control arm ripped away from the frame. Found out frame was rusted from the inside out, and should not have been inspected. I had just recently bought the vehicle, and it had gone through pa inspection two months before I bought it. Its a shame, the rest of the truck, motor, interior, body panels, was in perfect condition.

- Oakmont, PA, USA

problem #7

Nov 162012

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 83,680 miles
Vehicle started shaking and clunking. I was near home and able to get it back to my driveway. Upon towing to the mechanic, it was discovered that the rear control arm had rusted out and detached from the frame. Frame rot was discovered on the side rails. Car is considered undriveable and should be totaled.

- Glenview, IL, USA

problem #6

Oct 092012


  • 170,000 miles
Frame is rusted out around rear control arm brackets. Numerous rust holes in frame. This vehicle is unsafe to drive in this condition and Toyota does not want to do anything about it. I have seen hundreds of the same model vehicle online with this same issue. This needs to be a recall, just like the Tacoma frames. Vehicle is in excellent condition and has been well maintained. It is a shame this 4runner is unsafe to drive. Beautiful truck, unsafe frame.

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #5

May 012012

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 190,000 miles
Rear differential housing is leaking fluid as a result of rust. Local Toyota dealership says the entire rear axle needs to be replaced (it is all one piece) to the tune of $3000. An online search of a diy repair shows this problem (google: Rear differential rust) shows this problem is unique to Toyota 3rd generation 4runners. This amount of rust on an integral part is extreme and unacceptable that Toyota has not done a recall, even though they did one for virtually same vehicle in the Tacoma for frame rust.

- Coxsackie, NY, USA

problem #4

May 052012

4Runner 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 159,158 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that while entering a residential driveway at 5 mph, the front passenger ball joint failed. The failure caused the front passenger side of the vehicle to collapse. The contact stated the vehicle had an alignment performed eight days prior to the failure and there was no mention of any issues with the vehicle. The contact stated the failure also destroyed the inner and outer boot of the vehicle and caused grease to leak abnormally. The failure and the current mileages were 159,158. Updated 7/19/12 the consumer stated the failure of the lower ball joint caused the left front wheel to lodge in the fender, making it impossible to move. There was also damaged to the running board as well. Updated 07/23/12

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #3

Feb 142012


  • 186,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that the vehicle started driving very erratically. The contact maneuvered to the shoulder and noticed that the rear stabilizer bar was severely rusted and fractured. The vehicle towed to a dealer and the contact was informed that the vehicle was not safe to drive and there were no recalls addressing the failure. The manufacturer was then notified and offered no assistance. The failure and current mileages were 186,000.

- Pine Bush, NY, USA

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