Print this page 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
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
140,400 miles
Total Complaints:
26 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (11 reports)
  2. replace frame (11 reports)
  3. welding repair (2 reports)
  4. whole new chassis (2 reports)
2005 Toyota 4Runner body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2005 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Jul 222020

4Runner SR5 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 222,000 miles


click to see larger images

undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting

2005 4Runner in really good shape except for frame rust. This car would easily have gone another 100k with a strong drivetrain and interior in great shape.

Was brought in to dealer for maintenance and when the tech put it on the lift he saw the rust damage. Called and explained the issue and suggested this was not safe for the road. this could have been a catastrophic accident if by chance it was not at the dealer. Rust is serious enough to have frame break and loss of control of vehicle.

So I go from a reliable great vehicle to a piece of junk that can't be driven. This issue should definitely be covered and repair by Toyota, as TOYOTA IS FAMOUS FOR RUST ISSUES!!!

There's no question the frame was not coated properly. Rust this severe for a 2005 year car is not acceptable. Toyota should stand behind their product and fix this car.

- David N., WILLIAMSBURG, MA, United States

problem #25

Nov 152022

4Runner Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 258,000 miles

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undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting

I would like to know if Toyota thinks this is fair!!

I love this 4runner and have raved to all friends and family how great this vehicle is and that Toyota has the market on longevity. Now, after an oil change, I am told the frame is not safe and that I should replace it or get a different vehicle.

I am shocked that Toyota would not have had a recall or some sort of notice about this issue. I see this model (and a lot of them) on the road now and wonder if the owner has any idea there could be a problem.

From the outside it still looks great, always was complimented on how well I took care of it, and you would never guess that the frame is so bad it could be deadly.

Would love to know what to do next?? Toyota??? Hello, Toyota???!!!!!

- Janine H., Lacon, US

problem #24

Sep 072022

4Runner SR5 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

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undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting

The body on my 4Runner is still in impeccable shape. It is also mechanically excellent, as it has been properly maintained at the dealer for oil changes and other repair/maintenance. Now I know I live in the North East United States and we tend to have more rust issues then others but it has been taken care of and stored in a garage. There is no reason that I should have 8, yes 8 holes in my frame in different parts. Most alarmingly, my pregnant wife is the driver of the vehicle due to her commute to work being under 5 minutes while mine is around a half hour. we have to try to reduce the amount of time driving the vehicle to avoid a catastrophic failure of the frame, possibly injuring us or another vehicles inhabitants. We shouldn't have to be concerned for our life while driving a otherwise perfectly maintained vehicle. Please Toyota, I beg you to stand behind your vehicles and do what's right.

- cmugford93, Oneida, US

problem #23

Oct 012018

4Runner Limited

  • 80,000 miles


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undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting

Toyota, in 2016, settled a class-action suit by agreeing to spend $3 billion to repair millions of Tacomas, Tundras, and Sequioa SUV's with rusting frames. Model years affected are from 2004 to 2008 (or 2010 in a few cases). This follows an earlier extended warranty affecting Toyota trucks from 1995-2003 in Feb, but they did not include the 4Runner which uses a frame manufactured by the same company.

Toyota should make good on their product!

- marzullonj, Cedar Grove, NJ, US

problem #22

Dec 032018

4Runner Sport V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

I bought Toyota for the reputation, but the reality for the 4Runner is that Toyota SELECTIVELY stands behind their products. The same frame Tacoma... had a much more "supported" resolution. I first found out about the problem when the dealer refused to do maintenance on my truck due to the unsafe frame... I have done 3 frame repairs since then, and I am running out of options if Toyota continues to turn a blind eye to this. But I will have learned that manufacturer support is as, or more important, than mythical Toyota 'reliability'. I have had friends buy Fords, and have had much better manufacturer support with similar number of issues as I have had over the years... I am truly sorry to say goodbye Toyota, but this breakup is all your fault.

- Karl T., New Boston, NH, US

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problem #21

Jan 012020

4Runner Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

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undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting

2005 Toyota 4Runner 110000 miles original owner. Rust proofed and under coated at least three times. Frame has extreme rust, part of the frame almost completely thru and becoming unsafe to drive in at least three different SAE mechanics opinion.

- Fred M., Cedar Grove, NJ, US

problem #20

Jan 012020

4Runner SR V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles


I have large holes in the frame of my 2005 Toyota 4-runner. We are a Toyota family and are disappointed. I take meticulous care of this vehicle and it appears new except for the frame that may collapse. How could a company I trust let us down like this? I guess they are no better than the competition. Our mantra to buy Toyota may change because of this.

- Gus F., Pittsburgh, PA, US

problem #19

Nov 182019

4Runner 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 228,000 miles

I have taken meticulous care of my 2005 Toyota 4runner. I had no idea the frame was totally rusted out. My mechanic and auto body guy said not to drive it under any circumstances...they don't know what is holding it together! Toyota should stand behind their product and instigate a frame replacement for these 4runners. It is a faulty design issue not a deferred maintenance problem.

- zakzak, Saint Augustine, US

problem #18

Jul 152019

4Runner SR5 V6 4wd

  • Automatic transmission
  • 169,000 miles

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undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting

Had my 4-Runner lifted at an auto shop to inspect the exhaust. Mechanic pointed out that the frame was extremely rusted and that I should hold off on exhaust repair until I figured out what to do with the frame. Brought my 4-Runner to another shop for inspection of rust. He agreed with the first mechanic that the car was unsafe to drive with severe amount of corrosion present to frame. Auto welder had my vehicle for close to a week cleaning, repairing and sealing damaged areas. Had to rent a car (my dime) for a couple days for work. This SUV had been parked in a garage from day 1 after being bought new. I am the only owner. No major accidents. This vehicle has been well taken care of.

- Thomas G., Woodstock, CT, US

problem #17

May 222019

4Runner V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 172,000 miles

I was informed by the dealer that my 4Runner has a rusted frame. I should get another year out of it. I'm afraid to drive it! I am afraid its going to fall apart with my family in the car. Toyota needs to take responsibility!

- Lawrence B., Raymond, US

problem #16

Apr 292019

4Runner Limited 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 158,000 miles


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undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting

Frame is gone. Rust is the worst I've seen in my 30-years of driving.

Truck cannot be driven.

Toyota "Customer Service" said, "we're sorry, but there's nothing we can do."

Toyota Dealers won't call me back about the issue.

- drau, Fombell, US

problem #15

Jun 012019

4Runner Sport 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Went to have transmission serviced and mechanic said vehicle has excessive frame rust, right front and around control arms.

- rob55clifford, Frazeysburg, US

problem #14

Jan 012017

4Runner XLE V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

My 2005 Toyota 4Runner has been well maintained and kept in a garage when it has not been driven. I only have 135,000 miles on it and the body and interior are in great condition. The major problem is the significant frame rust. As an owner of over 8 Toyotas since 1992, this is the only vehicle that I have been disappointed with the quality. I am very concerned that the rust issue will result in a frame failure that will result in a serious accident. The internet is filled with complaints about this issue including comments that Toyota is being investigated by NHTSA for the Toyota 4 Runners. Unfortunately Toyota has not agreed to fix the issue.

- oaksfamily8co, Liberty Township, US

problem #13

Dec 142018

4Runner SR5 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 203,680 miles

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undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting

The frame of the Toyota 4Runner is the vehicle’s main support structure, to which all other pieces are attached. In an accident, it’s a primary protection against injury. But the complaint for this class action claims that Toyota did not adequately treat 4Runner frames during manufacturing for model years 2005 to 2011, so that they are excessively susceptible to rust.

- Florin F., Herndon, VA, US

problem #12

Jan 012010

4Runner SR5 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles


- Sharon G., Avon, US

problem #11

Jan 092019

4Runner Limited 4 7

  • Automatic transmission
  • 202,000 miles

Rusted frame. Truck looks good outside but under bottom rusted out. Please help.

- John M., Dc, US

problem #10

Jan 012019


  • Automatic transmission
  • 166,000 miles


- Joseph P., Princeton, US

problem #9

Jul 302018

4Runner Limited 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

I first noticed softening, or flexing while standing on the running board, as I was cleaning the windshield of my beloved 4Runner. The front bracket holding the running board was no longer doing it's job, as it had completely rotted away. Further inspection of the under carriage revealed that it was completely rotting away, making the vehicle unsafe to operate.

As a fan of Toyota products and their usual reliability, I find this a disconcerting issue. I've owned many different vehicles in my life and have never experienced the rotting of a vehicles frame to this magnitude.

I cannot understand how this issue has not been a recall on the 4Runner, as the very same material has been used in all other Toyota body on frame applications.

- Tony I., Newton, NJ, US

problem #8

Oct 102018

4Runner Sports Ed 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

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undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting undercarriage rusting

The extensive rust damage has rendered this 4Rrunner unsafe to drive. Toyota did not include the 4Runner in its recall, even though owners like myself are left with a rust bucket on wheels! I can no longer risk putting my family's lives in danger by having this vehicle on the road. I still owe money on it and can't do anything with it.

- Jackie N., Paisley, FL, US

problem #7

Aug 212018

4Runner Limited 4.7L: V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

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undercarriage rusting

This is unsafe. The rust is all around the frame. The front cross member is completely rusted out and is gone! This is a structural part of the car. It only has 85k miles, and spent most of it's life garaged when not being driven. Mine is actually in pretty good shape in comparison to many others I've seen. This is a huge problem, and within the next 5-10 years we are going to be seeing many more incidents and accidents due to these frames falling apart. Dealerships are simply painting black over the rust to resell to ignorant customers. Tacomas, Sequoias and Tundras have all had recalls due to this exact same problem, why are they leaving out 4Runners when the same thing is happening. The Tundras and Tacomas can have their frames replaced, but the 4Runners can not! These trucks are known to last 500k-1,000,000 miles, but with the frame rust they are falling apart. Thanks for listening.

- Brent B., Arvada, CO, US

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