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:
86,500 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2005 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #2

Aug 072009


  • 90,000 miles


The vehicle rpms would go up but the car would barley move, or while driving going to accelerate the vehicle would not go faster to engage in traffic, corrosion of pins in the transmission wiring harness that connects to the engine wiring harness. This harness is also tied to the ABS, traction control. It causes the vehicle to become unsafe when driving as if it acts up you cannot accelerate and sort of chugs along. Dangerous in on ramp and traffic situations. This also caused the solenoid in the transmission to short out as it was hanging up on the shift which caused a clunking sound. The transmission wire harness was replaced which showed 3 corroded pins. The solenoid in the transmission was also replaced.

- Solon, OH, USA

problem #1

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

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