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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
80,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace seat frame yourself! (1 reports)
2003 Toyota 4Runner accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #1

Jan 052010

4Runner SR 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


I noticed one day the driver's seat began to rock. It would twist under acceleration. I thought first it was off the track. Once I realized it was still on the track, went to Toyota. They told me it might be a seat frame issue. I got a price for the frame at $450 us. I needed to see what the problem really was before I sunk that kind of cash on a unseen problem.

One day I remove the driver's seat and removed the cushions and side air bags and everything. It was a HUGE difficult task. I got the seat frame stripped and took it outside to the light of day. I inspected it carefully and found that the steel TUBE that is used in conjunction with a large springs (Two) that raises and lowers the seat has broken clean through. It was not at the weld it was the steel tube itself .Two Inches away from the weld. Clearly a case of metal fatigue or cheap steel. I have never seen a seat fail like this in a car that was never in a collision. The tube seemed to be undersized for what it was being asked to do. There were assist springs on both side of the assembly for this purpose. I went and ordered the new seat and when It arrived it was completely redesigned. It had a larger tube and only one spring. You could see the reason for the new design when the seats were side by side.

I contacted Toyota with pictures and complained. No car driver seat should ever fail like this under normal use. They told me it was outside warranty.Tough! Since then I have owned a Highlander and a Prius. I don't need to tell you about what I endured with those two vehicles.(Recall extravaganza) I drive a Mazda now and love it.

- , Sf, CA, USA

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