Notes: Although it has a stellar record in terms of vehicle problems, initially the 4th generation (2003 - 2009) 4Runner didn't earn our top "Seal of Awesome" rating because it received poor crash test ratings for rear impacts. However it's proven to have one of the lowest driver death rates out of all vehicles (not just SUVs), so we've bumped it back up to our top award.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
107,500 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 4Runner accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2003 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #2

May 092010


  • 116,000 miles


Safety related to 2003 Toyota 4runner sport edition SUV. Driver's door locking mechanism froze up for the third time in two years. This time, could not open driver side door by any means. 63-year old driver had to exit over console, then through passenger door. Driver later had to re-enter from passenger side, over the console in order to drive vehicle to dealership. Took it to the dealer and was charged over $500 for repairs. Potential of not being able to exit vehicle. This is a flaw or defect is commonly noted on the world-wide web. This should have been a safety recall issue without charge for repairs.

- Jasper, AL, USA

problem #1

Jun 162008


  • 99,000 miles
Power door locking mechanism on 2003 Toyota 4 runner malfunctions and locks vehicle while running with the inability to exit vehicle from inside. Toyota was notified of this safety issue and is ignoring the problem (copies of E-mails from Toyota can be provided). Customer message boards indicate this may be a systemic safety issue. I hope this complaint initiates an investigation. The inability to exit a vehicle could pose an extreme hazard to driver/passengers. Thank you

- Ellicott City, MD, USA

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