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:
83,064 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2004 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #20

Nov 102012


  • miles


The Toyota dealership does not want to repair the safety recall they did on 2004 4runners Toyota. I called over a year ago and no action has taken place. The recall was over the gas pedal and dashboard, I also have a case number and have called many times and they only tell me to wait. They didn't even bother to check the car and I also went in personally so they could order the parts and they told me they would call when the parts came in, the guy told me to give it six months and now it's been over a year and still have not received any call. I know this recall warranty ends this year 2017 and it seems like the Toyota don mcgill in houston dealership is waiting for the year to end so one can pay for the changes to be made, which is unfair because this is a Toyota recall. I hope you can help because this has taken over a year to fix now and the Toyota don mc gill in houston has been no help what so ever. This is a safety recall and they need to fix it I already did my part I have called, I have a case number and I have gone personally to talk to them and order the parts.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #19

Sep 042014


  • 95,000 miles
There is lot of rust on frame, under carriage and its also in the suspension. Its also causing fluids to leak and I had to replace the muffler assembly due to rust. I purchased this car as certified used from prestige Toyota of NJ with only 5000 miles in August of 2005, I purchased this Toyota because of their stellar reputation in the auto industry but I am extremely disappointed with this car. I have less than 109,000 miles and at the way this rust is progressing, I will have to junk the car very soon. I cant risk being on the road with my family and have this rust bucket fall apart on the middle of the road. I have been waiting to see if there is a recall but haven't seen anything come through yet. Please include my car in any vehicle safety recalls, or class action suits against Toyota. Thank you

- New City, NY, USA

problem #18

Sep 232016


  • 85,735 miles
The frame of my 2004 4runner has holes perforated through the frame. I purchased this vehicle new and have always serviced it through the Toyota dealer. It only has 86,000 miles on it, has been garage kept, and shouldn't be at the end of it's life as suggested by the Toyota service advisor. I am extremely disappointed in my Toyota vehicle.

- Beaver, PA, USA

problem #17

Aug 012016


  • miles


The entire frame and underneath the vehicle is rusted from front to back.

- Banner, KY, USA

problem #16

Sep 082016


  • 199,000 miles
I took my vehicle to freedom Toyota in hamburg, pa to get serviced and they told me my frame was rusted that bad that it would not pass inspection, and could not be repaired. This is very upsetting, because it's only 12 years old. I have a 1998 Toyota 4runner previously and that was 14 years old before I got rid of it with 324,000 miles. The bumpers were known to rust out on those, and the frame was rusted on that one also, but not aware of the extent. I can only hope that Toyota will replace my frame, otherwise I will never buy another Toyota again. The service guy, nicky at freedom Toyota said that he didn't know if there would be a recall on the 04 Toyota 4runners or not. I have two young children and I only hope that nothing happens to me or my children due to driving it with a rusted frame until I can get a new vehicle or get my frame replaced by Toyota.

- Orwigsburg, PA, USA

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problem #15

Jun 072016


  • 119,000 miles
Rust rot on frame of body, will probably not pass next in inspection noted by thompson dealership. Toyota fixed other models, but am ignoring my model.

- New Hope, PA, USA

problem #14

Jun 192016


  • 104,000 miles


Driving down road @40 mph, all of a sudden felt like driving ice. Immediately let off gas pedal to remain in control of vehicle. Above 35 mph, can barely stay in control. Thankfully close to home, crawled home under 25 mph. Thank god I wasn't driving on the highway @ 70mph. At highway speeds I certainly don't think I would have been able to stay in control, & would have been the cause of a major possibly deadly accident. I brought it to a reputable repair shop, & was told the rear left control arm & bracket rotted off the frame. Told me it was unsafe to drive & unrepairable, because the frame is too rotted from rust. He also told me it is unsafe to drive. It is the only vehicle I own, I need to drive to work to provide for my family. I am left with vehicle that I can't drive or repair. Yesterday kelly's book value was $12, 000. Today its value is 0. Toyota told me there is no recall so its my problem. I feel betrayed! I've read many complaints online about rotted Toyota 4runner frames. There's a recall on 04 Tundra's for rotted frames, which were manufactured with the same metal & technique's as the 4runner. So why no recall for 4runner's? not enough complaints! Toyota sells many more trucks than SUV's in usa. I can't believe Toyota & the NHTSA can & will allow these unsafe vehicle's to drive through our neighborhoods knowing the risk they pose to innocent people. I gave Toyota alot of my hard earned money on what I thought was a quality vehicle. I checked out my frame today, & can easily put my finger thru frame in many places. It is unacceptable to allow Toyota to leave its customers left with a worthless vehicle without any responsibility for thier inferior product. I urged the NHTSA to open a large scale investigation into the quality or lack there off in 2004 Toyota 4runner frames. I am a hard working honest american, I feel wronged by Toyota! its not right!!

- Dayville, CT, USA

problem #13

May 152015


  • miles
I received a letter from Toyota in may of 2015 in reference of a warranty enhancement notification. We have gone to the Toyota dealership many times to ask when our repair would process though and commence. They keep on saying that we were fourth in line. It has been mora that one year and we still haven't received any notifications

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #12

May 242016


  • 124,600 miles
2004 4 runner sport, frame rusting out everywhere, N ow front cross member under the radiator is completly rusted thru. This car has been well maintained, Toyota should be standing behind this problem. I had hoped this would be my last car to buy, now at 75 I must look for another vehicle. This car is in massachusett

- Rockland, MA, USA

problem #11

Jan 012014


  • 12,000 miles
Dash board crack recall 2 years all dealer says is they don't have the parts

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

problem #10

Feb 012016


  • 173,000 miles


These vehicles are plagued by rust on the frame and components attached to the frames. There is the potential that this can cause a hazard due to failure of critical components of the vehicle. This issue effects multiple vehicles and is not an isolated incident. Frames degrade just like the ones on the Tacoma yet no action is being taken to ensure the safety of 4runner owners.

- East Earl, PA, USA

problem #9

Dec 262015


  • miles

- Cayey, PR, USA

problem #8

Sep 012011


  • miles
Excessive rust and corrosion to the point where my skid plate came off and transmission fluid lines broke apart, leading to major leak and fix - luckily it came off in driveway and not on highway where someone could have been significantly injured. Shocks have holes in them from rust and corrosion, as do support bars and frame. Can break off pieces of the frame in my hand without effort. Concerned that frame could crack, support components could fail while driving because of corrosion. Other Toyota models have been recalled for rust, using the same components but assembled in different factories than the 4runner and land cruiser models, to my understanding. This is a safety issue that Toyota must address before anyone is seriously injured.

- Nolensville, TN, USA

problem #7

Oct 272011


  • 98,007 miles
SUV is unsafe to drive due to excessive rusting of frame and all other undercarriage metal parts. Frame integrity is seriously compromised. Rust is exponentiating over time. Rust leaching to other majors parts like the exhaust. Transmission, radiator, ac, wheels, brakes, exhaust, steering, etc all are compromised and failing due to rust. This has been going on for years. Radiator replaced. Ac leaking. Oct 2011 heat shield rust noted by Toyota. Feb. 2014 heat shields were removed by Toyota. They claimed that the truck doesn't need the heat shields. They did not mention the frame rusting or the lifetime exhaust rusting. They did not mention that this is a common issue with 4runners. I have always had issues with that service dept. But the only other Toyota is worse. This issue needs serious recall asap. I think these trucks will start failing and causing deaths soon. Numerous issues with this truck over the years all may be due to rust. Brakes don't seem to last and the truck is hardly used. I believe rust is interfering with the brakes.

- Mahopac, NY, USA

problem #6

Sep 012015


  • 144,000 miles
My 2004 4runner with $144K miles was recently discovered to have a six inch hole in the frame due to rust, and based on md safety inspection requirements, this vehicle presents a significant safety hazard and can not be registered. The dealership informed me the repair would be a complete frame replaced at a cost of $18-20K. I have maintained my vehicle meticulously throughout it's life with mostly dealership maintenance and at no time did any mechanic or service department mention excessive rust or holes in the frame. I spoke to Toyota customer service and although they have recall programs for Tacoma and sequoia vehicles due to similar frame rusting problems, they are unwilling to acknowledge that any flaw exists with excessive corrosion in the 4runner models. It appears to me that Toyota has a serious safety problem related to this generation of 4runners, and since they are unwilling to even acknowledge the problem exists, it appears this is an issue that requires governmental/NHTSA intervention. I can't imagine how many other 4runners are on the road with similar compromised frames, and I would hate to see an accident due to frame failure at high speed or during tight cornering. Please look into this issue to prevent any inadvertent injury or death.

- Monkton, MD, USA

problem #5

Jul 032015


  • 148,000 miles
Took my 2004 Toyota 4runner SR5 to local Toyota dealer for inpsection and maintenance. Left dealer thinking truck was in great shape. When changing brakes, noticed an cv joint boot was torn so took the truck to a mechanic to have the axle replaced (since they don't just replace the boot anymore). The mechanic called me as soon as he put the truck up on a lift and informed me that there was serious rust issues down the passenger side of the frame that could be a safety issue. The weld along the whole passenger side of the frame seems to have rusted out and there is a hole the whole length of the frame. There are also additional holes toward the front that are rather large in size. Called Toyota, not the Toyota dealer, and they gave me a case number and suggested I take the vehicle to my local dealer for an inspection and diagnosis. When I asked what would happen upon a bad diagnosis, they stated nothing because there are currently no recalls or campaigns for the Toyota 4runners only the Tacoma, Tundra and sequoia's. I believe that this is a serious safety issue and Toyota should be responsible for correcting this isssue before causing people serious injury or even death. I am terrified with my daughter driving this vehicle and would think Toyota should step up to ensure the safety of their vehicle owners.

- Lake Hopatcong, NJ, USA

problem #4

Jun 302015


  • 72,000 miles
I was going 5 mph and hit my brakes. The control arm was ripped from the frame due to rot/rust. Toyota is aware of this problem for 4runners, but has only offered assistance on the Tacoma and Tundra. The body of my vehicle has no rust anywhere, and the mileage is extremely low. I cannot even find a mechanic to fix it, because the frame is so bad. I was told, if it gets fixed, another part of the frame may fail when I'm cruising on the highway and people could get hurt or killed. No mechanic wants this liability in doing a repair.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #3

Aug 022014


  • 121,000 miles
Crack in the vinyl dash starting at the drivers side A-pillar and continuing over the gauge cluster on the leading edge and ending about the mid point over the radio. Toyota needs to take responsablity and recall this item for safety reasons.

- Sun City, CA, USA

problem #2

Aug 102011


  • 165,931 miles
The evening of 8/10/11 as I was leaving work, I turned the vehicle on and a high pitched alarm-type sound started; vsc light, brake lights came on. At this point, I asked a near by supervisor to take a look at the vehicle; upon inspection he did not find anything out of place. He test drove the vehicle around a couple of parking spaces as I watched. He stopped the vehicle and asked if I had been having brake issues. He then asked me to test it to see if my brakes normally responded as they did with him. When I got into the vehicle to test drive, I also went across a few parking spaces but when I got ready to brake, the brakes totally failed. The curb of the end parking space stopped the vehicle, it came to rest and the truck was later towed to Toyota dealership. On 8/11/11, Toyota dealership called me and stated that the skid control actuator/ECU assembly needed to be replaced which would cost $3,000.

- Tucker, GA, USA

problem #1

Sep 202009


  • miles
Driving into a parking garage in my Toyota 4runner I was pressing on the the brake as I was pulling into a space when all of a sudden my car lurched forward and slammed into the wall. I thought I had been hit from behind, but that was not the case. Within the week I was pulling into my sister's driveway, pressing on the brakes, and I felt a little jump from my car.

- Sunrise, FL, USA

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