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:
121,889 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #8

Dec 202014

4Runner 8-cyl

  • miles


Took my 2004 Toyota 4runner for a oil change and free 28 point vehicle inspection. Was told by the authorized Toyota dealer that the frame was rusted broken and had holes similar to the Tacoma recall. Called Toyota California and all the would do is offer a $500 service allowance to one of my other Toyota's (Camry) the car is in great shape and now will not even pass inspection. I have gone to other web sites and found many other 2004 4runners with the same problem.

- Norfolk, MA, USA

problem #7

Dec 312014

4Runner 8-cyl

  • 213,109 miles
Went in for a oil change and was offered a 28 point inspection. At dealership, ira Toyota, milford, MA 28 point inspection tells us there is holes and rust in the frame and the vehicle would not pass inspection. This 4runner has been kept in mint condition with receipts to prove. Did some research on line to learn many 4runners and Tundra's have been recalled for just this reason. Updated 7/23/15

- Norfolk, MA, USA

problem #6

Sep 162013

4Runner 8-cyl

  • 146,000 miles
Vehicle has abnormal amount of rust on frame metal parts with excessive chipping an corrosion. Also, of almost more concern is that the airbag sensors are completely rotted through, as if they were sacrificial anodes. Frame failure due to abnormal rust could cause a catastrophic accident. Sensor failure of the airbag sensors (behind front bumper) while driving could cause serious injury or death to driver or other cars on the road. I have never seen anything like this amount of corrosion.

- Quogue, NY, USA

problem #5

Apr 152013


  • 145,000 miles


Frame has excessive rust. The vehicle has spent most of its life in nh/me. It is now registered in fl. It has been in Florida for about 16 months. I have filed several complaints with Toyota and they keep telling me my vehicle is out of warranty so they will not do anything. The rust is bad enough that the front cross member can be flexed by hand. It is not unusual for me to find large chunks of rust in the driveway in the morning after the vehicle sits over night. I have cleaned and treated the rust myself as well as several coats of paint to try to stop/slow the rust but it has not done much good. Toyota has voiced problems with every other full-framed vehicle they have including the older pick ups, Tundra, sequoia, and most recently the 05-08 Tacoma's. I am on several Toyota forums and this is not a problem on a few vehicles. If the vehicle has been in the rust belt the frames are severely rusted. I do have several pictures I can send if needed.

- South Daytona, FL, USA

problem #4

Jan 302014

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 132,000 miles
Frame is rusting out.

- Cuba, MO, USA

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problem #3

Oct 072013


  • 77,000 miles
Underbody frame rusted out in several places.

- Hopatcong, NJ, USA

problem #2

Dec 312009

4Runner 8-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Major rust on frame and other mechanical parts. Not exposed to salt does not occur with my other vehicles.

- Burke, VA, USA

problem #1

Nov 012012

4Runner 8-cyl

  • 182,000 miles
2004 4runner limited, frame rusted out.

- New Hartford, NY, USA

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