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:
50,190 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 (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Jul 012016


  • miles


Letter from congressman fitzpatrick on behalf of constituent re rust on her 2004 Toyota 4-runner. She is looking for a solution to this predicament in order that her car may pass inspection. The consumer was informed by her mechanic, rust was found on the vehicle.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #20

Jan 012013

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
We have a melting dash in our 4 runner. It can burn to the touch and has progressively gotten worse over past year. It is sticky to touch also and has a bad odor also. We made complaint to Toyota but no offer to repair. I called dealerships and they said they have been notified of the problem but Toyota Corp has not given them approval for parts to replace. I am concerned about summer months getting hotter and it making our airbags go off or dash could catch on fire.

- Key Largo, FL, USA

problem #19

Nov 072014

4Runner 6-cyl

  • miles
Severe cracks on dash panel on passenger airbag and whole dash.

- Lakeland , FL, USA

problem #18

Jan 012010


  • miles


The dashboard on my Toyota is cracking real bad. It gets worse each year. I have talked to several people with 4 runners and they are having the same problem as well. I am very concerned about the safety of my airbags.

- Woodstock, GA, USA

problem #17

Jun 032013


  • 125,000 miles
Dashboard has started cracking on passenger side. Now it has spread all across the dash to the driver side. I'm worried the airbags may deploy. This truck is in pristine condition and kept in a garage when home and under covered parking at work. I also have a 2003 Tundra with more miles and dashboard is fine. The Tundra is not parked covered. My mother has a 1997 Toyota corolla. Parked in the sun all day in Texas. Dashboard is fine. This has to be a Toyota quality issue on 2003 and 2004 4-runners. Online these are the year models that seem to have this issue.

- Buda, TX, USA

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problem #16

Oct 052005


  • miles
I have a Toyota Tacoma 4 door 4 cly pick up..I was on the internet and just notice a recall about brakes, ,is my truck included in this recall? and another I have never got any letter or anything telling me about any recalls on my truck and I see here there has been recall for front ball joints and crack frames, ,,seat belt problems..I was in what do I do can they still fix any problems if any and check my truck..thank you

- Clermont, FL, USA

problem #15

Jul 022012

4Runner 8-cyl

  • 89,000 miles


My dashboard is melting and cracking.

- Pompano Beach, FL, USA

problem #14

Jan 012010

4Runner 6-cyl

  • miles
Dashboard is riddled with cracks all over. Many of the cracks follow along the same lines as other owners who have posted pics of their dashboard online. My other car from a similar year, had the same issue and that manufacturer replaced it with a goodwill repair, probably to avoid a full recall. It seems to be a common issue for multiple manufacturers for cars in the early to mid 2000S.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #13

Mar 122008

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
My dashboard has several cracks form one side to the other all across the airbag which concerns me a whole lot, I also have a 2002 4runner which does not have this problem, the material is pretty different to the 2004, the 2004 looks and feel very poor, not sure if Toyota will step up to the plate to warranty this defect ! if the airbag deployed on its own and someone get injured then I guest Toyota will try to help. These trucks are made in Japan, the quality should be a++++ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #12

Sep 232006

4Runner 6-cyl

  • miles
In 2006 of Sept, I noticed a little hairline on my dashboard and as years go by up to this year 1 Sept 2013 that hairline develop to a crack. This car is garage keep, windows are crack open for air circulation and a sun visor cover for windshield and not much driven, actual mileage is 50600 as of today, 1 Sept 2013. I am just scared that the airbag might deploy if a sudden stop or because of the crack becoming wider.

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #11

Oct 012012

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles


I began to notice that my dash has started to crack and it is in the area of the air bag. I did some research and found out that many 2004 Toyota 4runner owners are having the same problem. I called Toyota to ask for info and they refused to assist in the matter or even help pay for it to be replaced. This concerns me for my safety, since it is in the area of the air bag. Toyota is aware of this defect in the dash but has done nothing to remedy the situation. It is not only a safety concern, but it also depreciates the value of my vehicle. I have listed my case number and one other that I know of below with Toyota. Other from research- [xxx] mine - [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #10

Jul 162012


  • 148,000 miles
On or about July 16, 2012 owner noticed that the vehicle dashboard had vertical cracks near the driver side and passenger side air vents. On or about 9/21/12, owner noticed a horizontal crack in the passenger side dashboard above the glove box. Vehicle has not been in any accidents and has been housed in garages at work and home.

- Richmond, TX, USA

problem #9

Apr 072010

4Runner 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that the dashboard developed multiple cracks and he was concerned that the air bags would become exposed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the dashboard needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who filed a report and offered to pay half of the repair costs. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 42,000 and the current mileage was 64,000....updated 10/19/12

- Cape Coral , FL, USA

problem #8

Sep 012009

4Runner 8-cyl

  • miles
Approx 3 years ago, I noticed a small crack in the dash on the passenger side, I thought maybe someone did something and did not tell me. Since that time, my dash has increased in the amount and length of the cracks. One crack is about 24-28 inches long and others are about 2 inches and longer. I looked on the internet and found many complaints about the same issue. My 4runner is garage kept and I have not done anything to my dash that would create they cracks. What can happen if the passenger airbag is deployed in an accident" can this cause flying pieces of the dash board to be in your face when the airbag hits causing possible facial damage"

- Clermont, FL, USA

problem #7

May 312011

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
I have been reading online where many owners of Toyota 4runners in the 2003-2004 year range are having a cracked dash on the passenger side above the airbag. In an accident, the plastic could cut you if the air bag goes off and water could go down crack and get into airbag system. To my knowledge, Toyota will not admit fault in the dash. This is too common to not be a Toyota defect. This should be made right.

- Liberty, SC, USA

problem #6

Jun 012006

4Runner 6-cyl

  • miles
I have a 2004 4runner limited. The dash has a long crack all the way across the front. The dash on the passenger side right above the glove box is covered with cracks. I believe that this is a defect in materials used by Toyota and that it can potentially cause the airbag to not deploy correctly. The local dealership claims that they have never seen anything like it before, but there are numerous other complaints online. I believe that if it was caused by the weather or products used that the cracks would be all over the top of the dash, not just the front where the airbag is suppose to deploy. A recall needs to be issued and Toyota needs to own up to its faulty dashes.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #5

Jan 012009

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
I have a Toyota 4runner 2004 w/ 62000 that has been kept in the garage and is in immaculate condition except for cracks on the dashboard around instrument panel and above glove box. I brought to the dealership and they said I have to replace it and would cost around $1500. The same dealership replaced another 4runner dashboard for free plus $300 for installation. I went online (repairpal)and there is many Toyota customer w/ same problem.

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #4

Jun 062011

4Runner 6-cyl

  • miles
My 2004 Toyota 4/runner dash board has cracks all in the front of the right side air bag (passenger side) they continue to grow becoming deep. They appeared at one time, this very unusual, I have owned a 1993 Toyota 4/runner and the dash board never has cracks and it was always parked out side. My 2004 Toyota 4/runner is a garage kept vehicle. This is a safety violation, only cracks on the front of the dash board above the glove box where the air bag is. I called Toyota dealership and they said nothing can be done, to replace it will be about 1,000.00..I also sent a complaint to Toyota customer service and the field inspector will not look at my 2004 4/runner because it is out of warranty and the 2004 Toyota is very clean and very well kept, as stated at the dealership when they inspected it and said they never saw anything like this. This is a safety issue and Toyota field inspector will not see my one can tell me that this will not deploy the air bag...I am a Toyota customer and I am not getting customer service. Do I need to take my Toyota 2004 4/runner to another dealership that cares...or I should not buy a Toyota vehicle. I am getting the run around from the dealership and Toyota customer service.

- Port Lavaca, TX, USA

problem #3

Jan 012011


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that the frame was severely rusted and corroded. The vehicle was not taken to have the failure diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 60,000 and the current mileage was 67,000.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #2

Apr 012010


  • 84,000 miles
2004 Toyota 4-runner dash cracking above glove box/ air bag in two places. Getting larger daily.

- Dahlonega, GA, USA

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