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
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,750 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 - 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 #4

Jan 282011


  • 115,000 miles


I was stopped on the highway behind a truck making a left turn when I was rear ended by another truck going 60 mph. My 4runner was crushed between them, totaled, and my air bags never deployed. I hit the steering wheel so hard I bounced off of it and broke my seat from the momentum. When I awoke I had slid into the back seat (which is all that was really left of the vehicle). Although I am thankful to be alive, I feel that at that force, the airbags should have deployed!

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #3

Sep 022011

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
I was driving the vehicle at a slow speed and made a turn up a hill. Suddenly, I felt the seat jerk backwards and it seemed like the driver's seat went off its track. Later, when the vehicle was parked, I checked the seat in an attempt to resecure it to the track, but I could not improve the situation. It seemed as though the seat is not locked anymore. Whenever I accelerate or come to a stop, it feels as though the driver seat could come loose as it is not secure to the track anymore. I did some research and found out that there is a Toyota technical service bulletin for this issue. The number is nvo11-06. I checked with the dealer, and they said there is no recall to fix this problem. The vehicle owner must pay for parts and labor to fix, with a total cost exceeding $1500 for cars outside of the 3 year/36000 mile warranty. I have a 2003 model vehicle that I purchased on 6/2003, and this tsb was issued on 10/2006 for my vehicle model, which means this tsb was invalid for me at the tsb release. I discovered this problem around 9/2011 because I have very low mileage on the vehicle. Many owners are not aware of this issue. I believe this is a safety hazard because even if you are wearing your seatbelt, the driver's seat is not secure and shifts during normal stop of acceleration and can cause whiplash. Also, I have felt dizziness during heavy stop and go traffic due to the rocking motion because the seat is not secure to the track. In case of an accident, it is more likely that the seat can become dislodged, thus rendering the seat belt useless during a crash. I am a mechanical engineer and I understand the issue. I have surfed online and many people who have noted this issue have resorted to jerry rigging a fix to the seat because they cannot afford to pay for fixing this defect. I highly recommend a recall for Toyota to fix this problem.

- Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #2

Jan 012008


  • 40,000 miles
Drivers seat is defective. It once rattled and moved on it's own (just little bit). However, the seat frame has now collapsed over the time period. (please note it has been sinking slowly over a long time period.. I just noticed it in 2008) the frame must have been defective and/or is poorly designed. I am presently sitting on the electronics box which I believe to be the electronics for the side impact air bags. I hope sitting on that does not prematurely set off the air bags which could cause an accident. Or short out the air bags so they won't go off when needed. I went to the dealership a few times. I get the run-around and never get a straight answer. Now they won't return my calls.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #1

Jan 282008

4Runner 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My drivers seat is broken and moves when I drive it developed over a few weeks. My seat belt locks some times because of the seat shifting I have never been in accident and only weight 178 I don't know how it broke but the dealerships said it is not covered in the warranty I explained that I thought it was a safety hazard but didn't get any response.

- Jacksonville , NC, USA

Not what you are looking for?