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:
142,127 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #3

May 092015


  • 187,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Toyota 4runner. While the vehicle was at an independent mechanic for unknown repairs, the technician found excessive rust on the rear frame of the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 187,000.

- Lexington, MA, USA

problem #2

Oct 312014


  • 110,380 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that while having maintenance performed on the vehicle, the technician found that there was a hole on the subframe near the rear passenger side wheel. The technician added that the frame had corroded from the inside out and stated that the failure was caused by a manufacturing defect. As a result, the frame needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and offered to assist with the replacement of the frame. The approximate failure mileage was 110,380.

- Worcester, MA, USA

problem #1

Jun 012011

4Runner 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that the subframe was rusted, causing the transmission to hang very low. As a result, the vehicle was inoperable. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the transmission was re-attached. The manufacturer was aware of the failure. The failure and current mileages were 129,000...updated 09/19/11 also, the steering intermediate shaft needed to be replaced. Updated 10/28/11

- Hillsboro, NJ, USA

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