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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
27,833 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.

2006 Toyota 4Runner drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2006 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #9

Jul 092010

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 54,000 miles


After stopping the rear end will 'clunk' when either letting off the brakes, or upon accelerating. This will occur roughly 1/10th of the time regardless or variation in braking pressure or acceleration. I've tried every combination of gentle to hard stops and stops with little change in the frequency of the issue. This only started to occur after 53K miles. The dealer told me the 4runner needed more lube, their fix hasn't stopped the problem. My concern is the drive-shaft is binding, and at some point could fail.

- Farmington Hills, MI, USA

problem #8

Nov 152009


  • 58,000 miles
Own a 2006 Toyota 4runner. Noticed belts hanging under car one morning. Opened hood and there was oil everywhere, the belts were soaked and had deteriorated. Towed to dealership. Told it was a known oil leak defect near crankshaft. Had the entire drive train rebuilt as oil had damaged everything. Covered under warranty. Car also lunges forward while stopped at stop lights, stop signs, etc. Dealership couldn't re-create so not an issue for them.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #7

Apr 012009


  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that after stopping and re accelerating the vehicles drive train makes a "clunking" noise. The vehicle has been taken to the Toyota dealer four times and the drive train has been lubricated four times. The failure noise gets less noticeable for a while and then returns after the lubrications. The noise is getting progressively worse. A Toyota technician stated that they are aware of the failure but they can offer no remedy. The failure mileage was approximately 25,000. Rd the current mileage 30,000.

- San Jose , CA, USA

problem #6

Dec 222009

4Runner 8-cyl

  • 30,000 miles


2006 4 runner sport edition, V8 with 30,000 miles has clunking sound when stopping or accelerating from stop. Also, wanders from side to side at normal highway speeds.

- Panama City, FL, USA

problem #5

Nov 032008


  • 40,000 miles
I own a 2006 Toyota 4-runner after about 40,000 miles we started experiencing a clunking sound and the vehicle would lurch forward while taking your foot off the brake while at a complete stop. I addressed this with my local Toyota dealer and at the time they didn"T know what it was. This problem persisted from a once and awhile issue to doing it every time. I spoke with another person who had a V8 and the same problem, Toyota fixed his vehicle by installing a new Lexus driveline. Once I told the service center about them fixing a vehicle with the same problem they explained they have been having issues with the driveline and the yoke on these vehicles. Their fix was to lube the driveline zerk fitting. This worked for a few weeks, but the problem persisted. We are worried that the car will eventually lurch forward and either hit another vehicle or pedestrian. Since my vehicle is a V6 they can?T swap the driveline like they did with the V8. I don?T want to be liable for a hitting someone with a vehicle that is not performing correctly. My vehicle drive train is still under warranty, but I can"T get anyone to say they will honor this issue after I pass my warranty period. I believe this is a serious safety defect and should be looked into as soon as possible.

- Spokane, WA, USA

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problem #4

Jul 252008


  • 6,000 miles
Every time I stop and start driving I get a clunking sound from the vehicle. It almost feels like im being rear ended. This happens pretty much every single time I stop and take off from traffic lights or stop signs.

- Freehold, NJ, USA

problem #3

May 052008

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 32,000 miles


At about 32,000 miles my truck started to feel as if it had been rear ended when I would stop at a stop light. At first it was very light, but it has since gotten worse. I took it in to the Toyota dealer and was told that they lubed the drive shaft. The drive shaft is sealed, so I asked how that could possibly help and he had no answer other than to say just see if it fixes the problem. The problem is still there and getting worse. My concern is that it will actually lurch forward and bump the person in front of me if I am caught off guard and loose my footing on the brake.

- Lehigh Acres, FL, USA

problem #2

Sep 102006

4Runner 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
I own a 2006 Toyota 4 runner with a clung in the driveline. It happens when you stop at a stop light, especially the long ones. You think a car has bumped you in the rear but no one is there. It is very disconcerting. It doesn't happen every time. Initially the dealer thought that it was due to the antilock brakes activating. They were not suppose to activate under 3 mph but the speedometer was off about 2 or 2 1/2 mph so the brakes probably though the car was moving when it was siting still. More recently, it didn't happen when I took it to the dealer so their official position was that can't duplicate the problem. But the sister vehicle with Lexus, the GX470, had a technical service bulletin out on it. It has happend from the purchase date on 9/1/06. It now has a little over 6,000 miles on it.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #1

Mar 242006

4Runner 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,500 miles
I have a driveline vibration on my 2006 Toyota 4runner V8 sport model, 4575 miles, VIN [xx]. the vibration is most noticeable while diving at highway speeds of 72-74 mph. The vibration can be described as a cyclical droning vibration and can be felt on the driver floorboard and dead pedal, the accelerator pedal, as well as slightly on the steering wheel. The vibration is more noticeable when a load is placed on the engine like when climbing a grade. The vibration is also noticeable when accelerating full throttle very hard from a stop. The vehicle also has a clunk that can be felt and heard when coming to a stop. The clunk is also present when starting from a complete stop after removing the brakes. I have had the vehicle inspected by both the dealer and district Toyota service manager. Both of them indicate that this is "normal" for this type of vehicle and the they won't do anything to fix the problem. I don't feel that either of these issues are normal and feel that the problem is safety related and should be fixed. Updated 07/16/2012 information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Neenah, WI, USA

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