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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
46,500 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #2

Oct 072006

4Runner 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,000 miles


I have a 2004 limited 4runner Toyota, all wheel drive, with V8. After about 20 thousand miles, my vehicle began making a very loud noise when coming to a stop, while simultaneously surging forward like I was rear ended. This noise also has a distinct metallic sound and jarring vibration each and every time. If the brake is not presses firmly, the car will lounge forward. This noise and "clanking" also occurs when lifting my foot off of the brake when the car was stopped and not in neutral. I first reported this problem to Toyota about a year ago and they said that it was a lubrication and maintenance issue. The tried to charge me 500 dollars for a four-wheel drive service. When I protested that this was not in the manual, they admitted that they lubricated the propeller shaft and that they wouldn't charge this time. Toyota invoice # W55722. Well, that eliminated about 90 percent of the problem, but the "clank" came back in about a month. I have recently read that all limited edition 4runners from 03-06 have this clanking problem, in addition to the Lexus gx-470, that shares the same driveshaft. However, Lexus is fixing the problem while Toyota is playing stupid and saying that it is normal. Can you please force Toyota to fix my vehicle in the same manner that Lexus is? please see this internet link to understand that this is a serious problem:

- Mclean, VA, USA

problem #1

Jan 182007

4Runner 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
I experienced a significant oil leak at the transfer case. It was determined the "O" ring on the transfer case actuator motor assembly was defective and caused the leak. The new "O" ring cost $10, but labor was $900.

- Castle Rock, CO, USA

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