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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
40,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
2003 Toyota 4Runner accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Toyota 4Runner:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #1

Jun 012007

4Runner Sport V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


My radio, like other radios, seems to malfunction at the worst times. The problem is that sometimes, while driving, the radio suddenly goes up to full volume and none of the buttons respond, not even the off button. Often, there are what look to be Japanese or strange characters shown on the LCD screen. When the radio goes into this mode, it locks on and nothing works, the dials do not respond to turning, the buttons register no pushes, the eject buttons do not eject tapes ,or CDs nor does the radio accept any CDs or tapes into the unit.

The worst is when I am driving on the freeway and suddenly the radio shoots up to full volume. A few times, the shock of the experience almost made me swerve off the road in a quick move to cover my ears. The only way to stop it is to shut the car off and then turn it back on to reset the radio. Then, sometimes the radio will not respond or turn on but after a few on/off cycles, it eventually resets and acts normal. I have had to sometimes quickly put my car in neutral, turn it off, and then restart it while driving, and then put it back into drive since it has happened on freeways and places where there was no place to quickly pull over to shut down the 4Runner and the volume was too loud to make driving safe. My radio is the factory JBL Audio 10 speaker Radio System that is original from when I purchased my vehicle in 2003 from the dealership.

Update, I took my 4Runner into the dealership at Voss Toyota in Beavercreek, Ohio. told Jamie, the service rep at Voss, that my radio sometimes when up to full volume while driving and could not be turned off. However, I could not reproduce the problem because it is unpredictable. His response was that I will just have to wait until it happens again before he can do anything about it.

WTF Toyota? Do you really expect me to wait until my radio goes full blast with the volume all the way up and expect me to be able to drive all the way to the dealership and pull into the service bay with my ears quite possibly damaged by the idiotic suggestion by Jamie? Just Google search Toyota Radio Problems and you will find that this is not a unique occurrence, it happens to a lot of Toyota drivers.

As a result, the radio problem still is not fixed. I took my car home (after Voss ended up taking apart my brakes, Jamie called and told me that they could not get the old brakes back together again, so then they charged me $1500 to replace all my brakes with new ones...there was no way for me to get a second opinion from another shop because they broke them when they took them apart). You'd think with all the recalls, Voss and Toyota would be smarter about what they tell or do to their customers. Because customers now have access to the web and can post complaints and experiences for all to see.

- , Dayton, OH, USA

Not what you are looking for?