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:
9 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,878 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 engine problems

engine problem

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

problem #21

Nov 132016


  • 160,000 miles


I have a Toyota 4 runner that suddenly accelerated as I pulled into a parking space jumped over the 6" curb and straight through the front doors of a business. I know my foot was not on the accelerator as I was almost stopped and ready to put the car in park.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #20

Mar 012015

4Runner 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that while attempting to park, the vehicle abruptly accelerated and crashed into three unoccupied vehicles. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The contact did not sustain any injuries. A police report was filed. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The contact mentioned that the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 06V253000 (speed control) several years ago. The failure mileage was 49,000. The vehicle was inspected by Toyota affiliate and presently in communication with Toyota. Updated 03/31/15 updated 06/24/2015

- South Boston , MA, USA

problem #19

Nov 052014

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
In miami, fl. At intersection of waterway drive and sw. 72 ave. Made left turn under rain, (all day raining) I lost control of the vehicle after turn. Came to a stand still and momentarily, I accelerated towards a tree aprox. 15 feet away, vehicle crashed against tree so severely that passenger side of frame bent bad (declared total lost by state farm insurance). Air bag did not deploy. I hit my against head against the windshield, hit steering wheel with rib cage, I was taken to South miami hospital emergency room. After two cat scans and two X-rays I was sent home to follow- up with my primary care physician I am still in pain mainly neck an shoulders and lately my lower back. Still have trouble sleeping, etc. Cannot do house chores. Pcp forbidden any type of exercise for the time being. Please advise. I surrendered the car to state farm insurance but did not sign the title over to them yet. I was unable to drive for over a month. Thanks in advance. Please contact me...updated 01/14/15

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #18

Oct 132014


  • 108,953 miles


My check engine light came on along with vsc trac. After taking vehicle to dealership I was told that the repair would cost $2,048.73 due to the air pump being stuck in off position. While Toyota in response to reports of air induction pump assemblies and/or air injection switching valves issues on their 2007-2010 Tundra and 2008-2010 sequoia models, Toyota has decided to increase its warranty on these parts and is even offering a reimbursement if you already had this issue fixed. My vehicle has the identical engine of the above-named vehicles but Toyota does not offer any help with the 4runner. It is my understanding that if I do not get the problem fixed it becomes a huge problem within federally mandated emissions requirement.

- Boothwyn, PA, USA

problem #17

Aug 012014


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle suddenly accelerated and failed to slow down when the brake pedal was depressed. The contact mentioned that after shifting in neutral the vehicle slowed down. The vehicle was then maneuvered to the side of the road where the engine was shut off. The vehicle failed to restart. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic and then to the dealer. The mechanic noticed metal fragments in the engine oil. The contact was made aware that the vehicle was included in recall NHTSA campaign id number: 11V113000 (vehicle speed control). However, the contact did not receive a recall notification prior to the failure. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- Eden, VT, USA

problem #16

Feb 272013

4Runner 6-cyl

  • miles
2005 Toyota 4 runner. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle sudden acceleration. The consumer stated the sudden acceleration was sporadic. The dealer was unable to duplicate the problem. The last time, the sudden acceleration occurred, the consumer almost hit a vehicle in front of him.

- Diamond Bar, CA, USA

problem #15

Oct 302011

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles


On October 30, 2011, I was driving off the new london Connecticut highway exit and as I was applying my foot on the brake to slow down, my vehicle would not stop, it felt that it was picking up speed instead. I pumped the brakes couple times and pressed on the pedal as far as it could go to the floor. A great fear came over me and my heart started racing, my whole body stiffened, trying hard to Focus, I turned my ignition key off in order for my vehicle to stop. By that time the accident occurred.I live in Connecticut. I discovered that my warranty was not registered with Toyota financial service insurance. I was also informed by Toyota motor sales usa Inc. That a recall on my vehicle was not corrected by the dealership before they sold it to me. The floor mat which leaned toward the accelerator pedal and interfered with the accelerator pedal arm and became temporarily stuck in a partially depressed position rather than returning to the idle position. When this matter was confronted to conicelli Toyota, they stated that they apologized for the human error in missing the recall before delivery. And in reference to the certification of the vehicle; they have found that there was a computer error between conicelli and Toyota motors on the processing of the certification information. The apology and explanation about the computer error is false because in order to register the certification of the vehicle with Toyota motors Inc., conicelli would have had to confirm the recall repair to qualify in delivering a vehicle to a buyer. A manufacture prohibits a dealership to sell a vehicle without repairing a recall. This computer error was corrected on June of 2012, after the recall repair (warranty expired on July 30, 2012.) conicelli Toyota dealership located at 512 ridge pike, conshohocken, pa 19428, sold me a fallacious certified vehicle warranty.

- East Lyme, CT, USA

problem #14

Mar 082013

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 154,000 miles
I was pulling into my garage very slowly and when I stepped on the brake, the car accelerated rapidly like it was shot out of a cannon. I went through the back of the garage (sheet rock, 2X4, freezer and other items that were stored in the garage). I was air born and landed about 10 feet from the house with my foot still on the brake. The airbags did not deploy and I hit my face on the steering wheel, injuring my nose and required 7 stitches in my lip. I could've been killed but god was on my side.

- Windsor, CT, USA

problem #13

Jan 252011

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
A 2005 Toyota 4runner was being parked in a garage and had come almost to a complete stop when the car accelerated and ran into the wall. The brake was unable to stop the acceleration.

- Iowa City, IA, USA

problem #12

Aug 142010


  • 80,000 miles
On sat. Aug. 14, 2010 my 2005 Toyota 4runner accelerated backwards at a high rate of speed as I was attempting to back out of my sister's driveway. I had my foot on the brake at the time and tried to stop the car but could not. I put it in park, nothing happened, then I turned it off and we stopped. We actually backed into a grove of small trees and shrubs which caught us. The car was scratched up a little but not much damage was done. I did call the police and made a report. My younger sister was with me. The backwards acceleration was smooth and did not knock us around much and the stop was kind of smooth. After I turned it off I could not use the brakes anymore but at least we stopped. It was very frightening and I am afraid to drive the car any more. It is parked at my house. First I rented a car and now have borrowed one from a relative. I called corporate Toyota and an engineer from eaa is coming to brunswick Toyota tomorrow (08/26) to check out the car. Toyota offered no help with another car and say it will take up to 30 days to give me the results of the inspection tomorrow. Meanwhile I can't drive the car because I am afraid of it and I can't trade it in so I am stuck. The car was almost paid off and has never given me any trouble to speak of until this happened. I never suspected my car since I had not heard of any 4runners having a problem. I am an honest person and am well respected in my community. I wanted to do the right thing but it does not feel like Toyota wants to do the right thing. I feel that the least that Toyota could do is give me back the $25,000 that I paid for the car. Thank you for your time.

- Brunswick, GA, USA

problem #11

Dec 012009


  • 39,000 miles


Defect occurs during winter conditions only. While stopped & icy conditions exist, the vehicle has excessive hesitation when the gas pedal is depressed. The computer control allows the vehicle to move forward very slowly for at least 5 to 10 seconds after the pedal is depressed. When at a stop sign or light, this condition has lead to close calls while I have inched into the intersection. Not having the ability to accelerate to avoid oncoming vehicles has been problematic. The dealer noted the vehicle is working properly. The mechanics noted another customer had their vehicle in for the same issue & told him the same thing. Note that this condition has occurred each winter since I purchased the vehicle, but there appeared to be little that the dealer would "fix" since they did not believe there was a problem. I have assumed the root problem is with the computer control system, but I am not a mechanic.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #10

Mar 112010


  • 79,000 miles
I was driving East on I-66 just a few miles from I-495 in fairly heavy traffic around 8:55am on March 11, 2010. I wastraveling approximately 15 mph in the right lane when my 2005 Toyota 4runner limited suddenly surged forward as if someone had stomped on the gas pedal. I immediately applied both feet to the brake and the antilock brakes began to shudder. The shuddering lasted 2 to 3 seconds and then the vehicle finally reduced throttle. There was no accident or traffic incident, but the experience was quite unnerving. My vehicle is not part of any recall. I called the dealer and scheduled an appointment for the next day. I continued on to work drivng with my hand on the shifter and I even practiced shifting into nuetral. When the problem had occurred, I did not remember to shift into nuetral. Everything had happened so fast and the acceleration was so violent, my only instinct was to apply the brake decisively. I drove home very carefully that evening and then to the dealership the next morning. My original appointment was for 1pm, but I thought it wiser to drive there first thing in the morning. My main concern is that the dealership is insisting that sudden acceleration is not possible on my vehicle. The service manager told me my vehicle could not have done what I described. This is very alarming to me because it happened, which means he either doesn't know the vehicle that well or he's lying. He was not rude and seemed very professional, but he was insisitent that my vehicle could not suddenlt accelerate on its own. The put the vehicel through dignostic testing and found no problems. He also actually drove the vehicle and tested the cruise control and found no problem. The vehicle has never done this before and it has 79K miles on it. I have never had another vehicle do this. My concern is that if it happened to me, it could happen to my wife or someone else in this vehicle or perhaps another. I feel I have an obligation to report it.

- South Riding, VA, USA

problem #9

Feb 102010


  • 48,000 miles
Parking car in shopping mall lot. Spot is perpendicular to traffic lane. Divider between my spot and opposite spot. Divider consists of elevated planting with mature bushes, and steel post with handicap parking sign. I had my foot depressing the brake pedal. Car had almost stopped when suddenly it accelerated and "bucked forward" onto the parking divider. I continued to press down hard on the brake. Forward momentum stopped after I hit and knocked down the sign post and hit front of a Toyota Tacoma.that was parked facing me on otherside of divider. The divider with juniper bushes elevated my car and when I stopped the rear wheels were suspended off the pavement. I had my foot on brake during this time, put the gear into park and turned off the ignition. The air bags did not. Deploy. I was trapped in the car by dense juniper bushes on both sides doors, and required assistance to get out of the car. I was not injured - just scared. I called my daughter and son-in-law to the scene, since he drives a Toyota Tundra, he looked at the floor mat on drivers side. It was in place, had not moved forward. Because of the winter weather with snow, we had an after market floormat. My husband had cut off the right front corner to insure that if it did come loose, it could not interfere with the gas pedal. The mat was restrained by rear edge that protruded down and restrained by the two raised clips on the floor. Because of the elevated rear wheels, we needed a tow truck to pull my car off the divider. We had the car towed to my dealer stevinson Toyota. Their inspection showed no damage to the underside of the car. Front right corner damage estimate of $2,200. The mechanic did a computer diagnosis reported "nothing abnormal". said he could not explain why the car suddenly accelerated. He road tested the car and told me it was safe to drive. I could not get immediate repairs, so drove it 120 miles to my home. It handled normal.

- Buena Vista, CO, USA

problem #8

Jun 122005


  • 5,000 miles
The contact previously owned a 2005 Toyota 4runner. The contact was driving approximately 5 mph on normal road conditions when the brakes were applied and the vehicle began to lunge forward, into the proceeding vehicle. The police was not notified. There were no injuries. The opposing vehicle sustained severe damages. The failure was intermittent during sudden braking occurrences. The contact was involved in three collisions as a result of the vehicle accelerating to include damages to the vehicle. The vehicle was damaged and repaired each time the crash occurred. The failure mileage was 5,000. The VIN was unknown. The contact no longer owns the vehicle.

- El Dorado Hills, CA, USA

problem #7

Jul 252009


  • miles
My 2005 Toyota 4 runner had 6 unintended acceleration incidents since purchased new in November 2005. I have maintained a log. The intensity of unintended acceleration varied, the tachometer reaching 4000 and above. Duration was estimated from 3 seconds to over 5 seconds. Ambient temperature varied from about 73of to 34of. All incidents occurred between early July to early December, and none during very high or very low ambient temperatures. In one case there were several consecutive acceleration surges. All instances were within 5 miles of my home. Occurrence has been sporadic, infrequent, and unexpected, and at low speed, mostly in close quarter parking situations and at all times with my right foot on the brake pedal. On September 11, 2008, I notified Toyota company by telephone of the incident history; I was given a case number. I complied with a directive to remove after market floor mats that covered the factory mats. Fyi, the after market non-factory floor mats were not interfering with or near the accelerator, and I have had further unintended acceleration subsequent to mat removal. Likewise, my foot was not simultaneously on the brake and accelerator pedals. In December 2009 the Toyota dealer service manager drove my vehicle 144 miles over a week's period without incident. I believe that evidence does not point towards a sticking accelerator pedal because in all instances my foot was on the brake, and in at least one instance the engine acceleration surged multiple times. The dealer said that there computer did not show relevant codes. My assessment is that there is probably a mechanical, electronic, or software defect in the speed control system. This needs to be taken more seriously. There is no plan. I have suggestions: 1) Toyota dealer/company drive my vehicle until an incident occurs; 2) Toyota engineers trouble shoot the problem; this is beyond dealer expertise; 3) Toyota temporarily install monitoring equipment that can document future incidents.

- West Simsbury, CT, USA

problem #6

Dec 152009


  • 83,000 miles
I am writing today to alert you to a potential accelerator problem with the 2005 Toyota 4runner SUV. In mid-December, my husband and I were driving on the highway when the car inexplicably accelerated, going from approximately 40 mph to about 60 mph within a matter of seconds. My husband, who has had professional driving instruction, put the car into neutral and was able to slow the car down, at which point the accelerator (which was moving towards the floor without a foot on it) popped back up and the brakes began working again. However, within this same journey, this same accelerator program occurred two additional times. We immediately took the SUV to Toyota of alexandria in Virginia and explained what happened. They notified us that our car was not subject to a recall for accelerator problems but, based on our concerns, agreed to examine the SUV. To their credit, they did call in a corporate inspector to examine the dissembled drive train who in turn determined that an accumulation of oil in the differentials caused the cars computer to misread acceleration and deceleration information. Despite this diagnosis -- and subsequent replacement of the drive train and rear differentials -- Toyota mechanics were never able to replicate the acceleration problem that we experienced. After talking to several Toyota representatives, as well as a number of independent mechanics, we were advised to pursue arbitration with Toyota and are currently entrenched in that process. In the interim, we are using the car only for local journeys our of concern that this accelerator problem could reoccur. I am writing today to inform you of the problem so that you have a record that Toyota's accelerator problems may extend beyond the cars/SUVS included in the recent recall.

- Washington , DC, USA

problem #5

Dec 102009


  • 52,300 miles
I have a 2005 Toyota roadrunner. On three separate occasions, I had experience where the vehicle seemed to want to accelerate while I was 'braking' to a stop. On the 1st occurrence, I contacted Toyota and they told me it was a 'floor mat' issue. I know for sure it was not!!. the other two occurrences happened on the same day, floor mats were not even close to pedal and the pedal was not sticking. I put the vehicle into neutral to stop, and it gave me back control. I believe this is an ECM (engine control module) computer problem or sensor problem. I am a retired electrical engineer, my background is into computers and small microprocessors. I worked over 37 years in the steel industry on control systems using processors similar to those used in automobiles. I am awaiting the problem to happen again, and when it does I'm going to keep filing these complaints. Thank you

- Middletown, OH, USA

problem #4

Apr 182009

4Runner 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota 4 runner. She stated that while making a left turn into a parking space, the vehicle suddenly accelerated, leaped forward and crashed into a brick wall. The Toyota dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. Two identical failure occurred previously; however, they didn't result in a crash. No repairs had been made to correct the failure. The current and failure mileages were under 35,000. Updated 01/07/10.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #3

Apr 302007

4Runner 4WD

  • 20,000 miles
Details: Vehicle 2005 4 runner limited 4WD. The following occurs when coming to a stop, loud clunk sound and vehicle jolts forward right after a full stop. Infrequently the cluck and jolt will occur once stopped. This problem has been noted to occur after about twenty thousand miles. At about 3600 miles the Toyota was asked to diagnose the problem. Toyota stated they were unable to note any problems. It is ridiculous to assume that Toyota is unaware of the cause given the number of units on the road.

- Destrehan, LA, USA

problem #2

Jun 092009


  • 48,675 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota 4runner. While driving 65 mph with the cruise control activated, the accelerator became stuck. After repeated brake application, the vehicle would not stop. After deactivating the cruise control she was able to stop the vehicle. The dealer was notified, and a technician concluded that the floor-mat was the cause of the failure; however, she believed that the technicians have incorrectly identified the cause of the failure. The failure mileage was 48,675.

- Oxnard, CA, USA

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