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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
8 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,056 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2004 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #9

Mar 262011

4Runner 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated the air bag light remained illuminated. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer for diagnostic testing and was told that the failure was caused by the frontal driver side air bag sensor. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 67,000 and the current mileage was 68,000. Updated 06/07/11 updated 07/08/11

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #8

Oct 072010


  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph and attempting a left turn, the vehicle crashed head on into another vehicle. The air bags did not deploy. The contact sustained injuries to the chest and knee. A passenger was also reported injured. The vehicle was destroyed. A police report was available. The manufacturer was not contacted to report the failure. The contact stated that the air bags should have deployed in the type of frontal crash he was involved in. The failure mileage was 62,000.

- Huntington Park, CA, USA

problem #7

Sep 272009


  • 73,000 miles
Vehicle crash and airbags failed to deploy.

- Macungie, PA, USA

problem #6

Apr 012009


  • 51,000 miles


Front end collision with semi where air bags failed to deploy. He said/she said situation. Trucker stated he was broadsided by driver who ran red light. Toyota driver states truck "jack knifed" or swerved into her car as he was changing lanes in intersection. Truck has a flat rear tire on second trailer and front end of car was totaled. Air bags did not deploy. Does the speed of the car traveling make a difference? driver of car had sprained neck and concussion and was wearing safety belt. Had bruises from safety belt on shoulder. Will gladly E-mail pictures of severity of front end.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #5

Mar 122009


  • 66,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota 4runner. While driving 35 mph, the contact lost consciousness and crashed into a fence. The frontal air bags failed to deploy. The contact was injured and sustained a broken neck. A police report was filed. The vehicle was inspected by the insurance adjuster, who determined that the vehicle was destroyed, but could not determine why the air bags failed. The contact is in the process of notifying the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 66,000. 4/01/09 updated 04/07/09.

- Greenville, SC, USA

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problem #4

Apr 302008

4Runner 8-cyl

  • 118,500 miles
Malfunction in the center airbag sensor assembly in my vehicle has rendered the airbags inoperable. Sensor light came on two weeks ago. Toyota service garage said it would cost $545 to repair. No repair to date. Toyota indicated that it was only covered by 3-year warranty.

- Broomfield, CO, USA

problem #3

Apr 112007

4Runner 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles


Head-on collision while stopped at light by panel van traveling at 25 mph, police estimate, front air bags failed to deploy.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #2

Sep 012006

4Runner 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 50 mph, the vehicle was involved in a collision with a guardrail. There was a 5 second delay in the deployment of the air bag, causing the contact and a passenger to hit the windshield. Both occupants incurred head injuries, lacerations, muscular injuries, and the contact incurred ocular injuries. The vehicle was considered a total loss, and a police report was taken. The vehicle was not inspected by a service dealer or private repair shop.

- Mays Landing, NJ, USA

problem #1

Jun 022006

4Runner 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles
Traveling 55 mph on ca interstate when car directly in front of me abruptly stopped. There was not enough time for me to stop, so I impacted the rear of the vehicle head on at approximately 45 mph. Not one of the airbags in my vehicle deployed. Contacted Toyota about this and they said it is their "opinion that the airbags should not have deployed in this situation." I asked them where the frontal impact sensors were, and was told directly under the headlights in the bumper. Well, both sensors were in the impacted area on my vehicle, the entire bumper and assembly is being replaced. The cost to repair the damage is $10,000 the owners manual says the airbags will deploy in a frontal crash at approximately 15 mph, I was doing at least 45 mph! Toyota refuses to admit the failure of the airbags, and now I will be driving an unsafe vehicle.

- San Diego, CA, USA

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