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:
27,375 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 exhaust system problems

exhaust system problem

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2004 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #4

Sep 012007

4Runner 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 55,000 miles


1.) there is a serious "clunk" noise when braking and also the same noise when starting from a complete stop when you take foot off brake. 2.) there is "sulfur smell " in cabin from catalytic converter.

- Fairborn, OH, USA

problem #3

Jul 222007

4Runner 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Excessive sulfur smell when accelerating. Occupants of the car can smell the sulfur, and all windows must be rolled up in warmer weather to block out smell. I have taken the vehicle to the Toyota dealership, but they will not fix the problem because there is no tsb for the V8 (but there is for the V6) Toyota 4runner.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #2

Feb 022007

4Runner 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,500 miles
After 2.5 years and about 25000 miles, my 4 runner sport develops a strong sulfur odor inside the cabin when driving. Brought the car to the dealer (caldwell Toyota) in West caldwell, NJ who informed me the problem was normal and caused by the type of fuel used. Caldwell Toyota had no answer to my question why the problem suddenly surfaced after 2.5 years nor did they offer to further investigate. The caldwell Toyota technician could not explain how the sulfur smell from the exhaust, which should be contained within the engine and should only to be expelled from the car through the muffler entered, the cabin while driving (seems physically impossible). The strong sulfur odor inside the cabin causes nausea, light headiness and general discomfort, which distract me from driving. This problem should be investigated as a potential cause for Toyota 4runner accidents.

- Glen Ridge, NJ, USA

problem #1

Jul 012006

4Runner 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving at any speed or even parked with the engine running, there was strong gas odor inside the cabin. The vehicle was taken to an independent certified mechanic who discovered rust in the injection system and a catalytic converter failure.

- Roy, UT, USA

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