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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
1,238,000 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.

2004 Toyota 4Runner accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2004 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #6

Sep 012012


  • 120,000 miles


Drivers seat on Toyota 4 runner, when adjusted and locked in place, has way too much lateral movement. The seat "rocks" from side to side approximately 1-2 inches. It is most noticeable when you are strapped into the seat, with the seat belt on and seat locked in place. I had my independent mechanic check the seat to make sure it was securely bolted/fastened to the frame of the vehicle. He told me it was, but that the problem was actually the seat frame, and that the word he was getting is that Toyota maybe instituting a safety recall soon. This is a serious safety hazard. In the event of a collision or accident, I am certain the seat will not stay in place, putting the driver at serious risk of harm or even death.

- North Richland Hills , TX, USA

problem #5

Jun 182013

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 7,200,000 miles
On June 20, 2013 approx. 10:30-11:00 am, walked in garage attached to house notice smell of burn, opened driver door and discovered that the front passenger door completely burn, front passenger seat burn, passenger sunvisor burned, carpet burned. No previous problems or technical issues, auto check ups daily.....contacted insurance co. And now their saying it may be fixable or totaled. Would appreciate any assistance in this matter [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #4

Oct 122007


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that the front driver seat would not attach to the mechanical rail properly and as a result, pieces of foam from the bottom of the seat cushion were becoming stuck within the frame rail tracks. The dealer was notified of the failure yet the vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #3

Jul 272004


  • 5,000 miles


I have a 2004 Toyota 4 runner and I took it in when it was new for the front driver seat. Where the seat connects to the back when you stop or start the hinge or track has considerable play in it and you feel a clunk every time. They replaced the seat but the problem came back. I repeatedly ask Toyota if this presents and danger in the event of an accident since there is so much play in the seat. They told me there is no safety concern. In light of Toyota's track record for lying I'm now more concerned and want to know if this is an issue. Many 4 runner owners experience the same thing. Should I be concerned?

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #2

Sep 012009


  • 63,000 miles
I own a 2004 Toyota 4runner. Due to poor design drivers seat frame has collapsed. This is a very common problem for 2003-2005 4runners according to my local Toyota dealer. So much so that Toyota has several service bulletins issued regarding the matter. I had been driving with it broken for several months before realizing the problem. Had I been in an accident with the frame broken, the seat would have offered zero support and it's failure could have resulted in death in an otherwise survivability accident.

- Highlands Ranch, CO, USA

problem #1

Jan 182005


  • miles
Drivers seat moves while driving, when slowing down or turning. It sounds like a clicking noise and feels like a shift forward or back. This has been there since purchase and dealer has no fix.

- Kaministiquia, 00, USA

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