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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
107,333 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.

2005 Toyota 4Runner accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2005 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #3

Dec 182013


  • 110,000 miles


On a cold day, activating the rear window defroster causes the glass to shatter from temperature difference. The effects of this can be startling and potential cause the vehicle operator to loose control, especially at highway speeds.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #2

Oct 072013

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 162,000 miles
Driving approx 30-40mph on standard highway. Florida, 0700, 70 degrees, clear weather. Heard a loud almost explosion... by the time I got my wits about me I realized my rear window was broken. I had not been hit, there is no evidence of any projectile, and not near opposing traffic for something to be kicked up. Shortly before that, I had on both my front vent defroster to clear the morning windshield fog, and the rear window defroster. I smelled a sort of rubber burning smell; after 2 minutes, I presumed it was my ac unit, so I shut it off to see if the smell would dissipate. I did not shut of the rear defroster. About 60S later is when the spontaneous burst happened. I have since run the front ac and windshield defroster, and no hot rubber odor. I had just run the rear defroster 3 days ago as well, no problem. I have had no problems with the window rolling up and down. I do find several complaints about the same thing online in the 4runner, but do not find any Toyota, or other safety bulletins, formal notices, or liabilities.

- Longwood, FL, USA

problem #1

Jun 262013


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that while the vehicle was parked, the rear window shattered. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis but the contact was informed that there would be no way of knowing the cause of the shattered window. The vehicle was inspected by an independent window mechanic, who discovered a burned circuit board and faulty cables associated with the defogger system. The vehicle was repaired. The failure and current mileage was 50,000.

- Port Charlotte, FL, USA

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