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:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
97,730 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2006 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #10

Aug 202016


  • 125,000 miles


1.) while driving the vehicle is very difficult to steer. The lastest incident occurred while traveling on the highway. The was constantly swaying and pulling to direction forcing me to grip the steering wheel ; pulling it in opposite direction so tightly that my wrist were throbbing. Once I exited the highway and came to a stop, the steering wheel turned almost 180 degrees by itself. I took it to a sears service center and the mechanic could not find anything wrong. Prior to my road trip, I had my vehicle checked out and nothing was found out of sorts. This as occurred on several other occasions. 2.) my vehicle will lose power if the key is left in the ignition for a brief period of time without the vehicle being started. It will also loose power if the vehicle doors are open, even if the keys are not in the ignition. I have to get a "jump start" often. I've had my battery replaced and the problem checked out at the my local Toyota dealer but the cause of the problem could not be detected. The latest incident occurred while I was waiting for a service representative to assist me at the Toyota dealership. I pulled into the service area, waiting for the service representative with the key in the ignition, but the car was not running. It could've been more than 5 minutes before the the representative got in my truck and tried to start it; but it was dead. It had to be jumped started. The battery was checked, as it usually is when this occurs; and it had full power.

- Southfield, MI, USA

problem #9

Jan 132015


  • 103,000 miles
Yesterday I took my 3yr old to pre-school, I did leave my car running as I usually do when I drop him off, my heater was going as well as my defrost as it was a cold morning. When I came out approximately 7-8 minutes later I see that my back window is completely shattered. I am completely surprised and a little freaked out since my child was just sitting in the back seat where I also found glass. As I am cleaning up the glass on the ground in front of my child's pre-school I smelt something burning in the rear window in the inside. Turns out my electrical unit that powers my defrosting heater in the rear window was totally burned up. The glass repair shop that replaced my window so I could at least drive my car said this could have been extremely worst as there looked to be a small fire in the back paneling within those wires (the connectors were fried). I just bought my car in March, less than a year ago, so this is extremely irritating and scary. I plan on taking it to Toyota so they can review the electrical problem, but I have already been told by my extended warranty people that this may not be a covered problem under my warranty. Why should have to pay for something I had no control over?? what if I was driving and this happen, my 3yr old and myself could have been seriously hurt and or someone driving behind us. This could have potentially been a very serious car accident. I hope that Toyota will investigate this problem for possible re-call as I have seen several other complaints on here of the exact same issue happening.

- White City, OR, USA

problem #8

Aug 272014

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 109,404 miles
Toyota case #[xxx] this is part of a message sent Toyota. My daughter experienced a burning smell inside her car on her way home from work. Within 15 minutes of noting the smell, her rear window exploded forcing her to pull over and call us for assistance. When we arrived we started the car and did not experience any of the burning smell she noted so we drove the car directly to Toyota of huntington beach for service. The service writer discovered that the rear defroster wiring had shorted out which was believed to have overheated the rear window causing the explosion. We authorized repairs accordingly and confirmed we wanted to be certain the electrical system was in good order. We subsequently were informed by the service writer that the defroster system and window had been repaired and checked out to be functional, with the system automatically turning off within 15 minutes; however, it was left to our option to leave the system disconnected. On questioning why, the writer advised that he, nor the service manager and the head mechanic had any experience with this sort of malfunction though it was their recommendation to leave it disconnected. We agreed in the interest of safety. We have since discovered on various web based blogs that other customers have experienced precisely the same problem. Links were submitted to Toyota. As discussed with your corporate representative, the cost of the repairs were an unwelcome surprise, however, the overwhelming concern is wondering if we have placed our daughter in a car, that may have inherent design problems rendering it unsafe for her travels to work, school, and vacations. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #7

Sep 112014


  • 164,000 miles


Driving approx 40 mph towards home and rear window exploded, shattered glass all over. It sounded like an M80 in the back of my truck. Had window repair guys come and they showed me defroster connectors were burnt out. I did have defroster setting on at the time of incident. I called Toyota but they wouldn't do anything to assist. My concern was if my dogs were in the back, as we usually take them to the park, they could have been seriously injured. I did have a major anxiety attack. If this happened on the highway it could have easily caused an accident.

- Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

problem #6

Sep 122014

4Runner 8-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
The secondary air induction pump (aip) and switching valves failed on my 2006 4runner limited with V8. This is the same issue that is seen on Toyota sequoias and Tundra. Toyota has issued a special extended warranty for this system on those vehicles, but not on the 4 runners, even though the defective systems / parts are the same. Toyota customer case # 1409160408. This is a > $2000 repair to basically clear the check engine code and allow me to pass state inspection. I believe there should be a recall on this system or at least have Toyota cover all vehicles with this defective system, not just certain higher-volume model years.

- Kyle, TX, USA

problem #5

Apr 182014

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 124,101 miles
Cel vscoff vsc trac. Had it checked, was told #6 cylinder plug or coil, replaced coil and all spark plugs.cel light went off the next day but came back on following day. Noticed a sound of water moving in a pipe or what sounded like in a pipe behind dash for a second or so. Was idling and running rough while driving, engine was shaking. Went on some web sites read some comments from other owners, bad head gasket. 4runner has been well taken care of never abused only 8 years old, normal miles I think, not very happy with this. Bad design of cylinder head. I own a 94 4by 4 pick up bought new 250,000 miles lot a original parts still on truck runs very well except for bad rot on chassis happy with truck was very good to me as was I to it. I also have a 01 Tundra SR5 bought 2 years ago with 132,000 runs well, 02 sensor replaced pass. Front went well but now have to replace pass. Rear impossible since rot will not permit me to have to replace cat converter, noticed lots of rot on frame as well as other areas under truck. Have loved Toyota till now only had good things to say about them, starting to have second thoughts.

- East Providence, RI, USA

problem #4

Feb 222012

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 59,114 miles


After noticing ongoing problems with my fuel gauge on a 2006 4runner with less than 60K miles, we brought the car into the Toyota dealer. When the Toyota mechanic pulled the fuel pump assembly out of the gas tank, he discovered a burned and melted wiring harness that sits directly inside the tank. This is a significant safety concern that should be addressed as it deals with an unregulated amount of heat and electricity in close proximity to the gas tank. The mechanic wrote down on my statement that he, "found fuel pump wiring has heat damage from [electrical] arcing." I have taken pictures and will send them if requested. Thank you.

- Burlington, ND, USA

problem #3

Apr 242010

4Runner 4WD 6-cyl

  • 128,000 miles
-the contact owns a 2006 Toyota 4runner. While reversing out of her garage, the contact engaged the brakes but the vehicle did not slow or respond. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealership as the vehicle would not move. The dealer stated that the electrical chip had burned out; the vehicle was repaired at that time. The current and failure mileages were approximately 128,000. Updated 06/17/10. The dealer replaced the ABS actuator and cylinder assembly. Updated 10/05/10

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #2

Jan 272010


  • 66,476 miles
I am the owner of a 2006 Toyota 4 runner (mileage 66, 476 mls). I have been having the following experience vsc trac, check engine, and car anti skid light up simultaneously on my dash. It is very concerning because I am beginning to hear about other complaints of the same nature.

- Marrero, LA, USA

problem #1

Mar 062006

4Runner 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,200 miles
I recently purchased a new 2006 Toyota 4 runner. I have had nothing but motor transmission, electrical failures. I have only had my vehicle for 1 month and anything and every thing has gone wrong. I even had to give my daughter cpr on the side of the road due to carbon monoxide inhalation. She went into respiratory failure do to this she has severe asthma.

- Casper, WY, USA

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