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:
8 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,103 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #14

Apr 252016


  • miles


Driver was maneuvering around a vehicle in a parking lot, when vehicle suddenly accelerated, leading to the incident.

- East Brunswick, NJ, USA

problem #13

Dec 032015


  • 67,000 miles
Sitting stopped to pull onto a very busy road. Car engine went crazy, had foot on brake already. Car engine RPM off the chart. Our car was shaking and bouncing. No there was no floor mat stuck no foot on gas. It was scary! my husband shifted to neutral keeping his foot firmly on brake. No change, he shifted to park and turned the car off. In a few minutes we started the car seemed fine drove straight to Toyota rented a car and said fix it. I do not feel safe and we are scared to drive the car. I thank god we were parked. Just fyi our auto has about 67000 miles and is in perfect condition. We have all maintenance done at dealer and last year did extra repairs couple of thousand dollars of recommended work, struts anything they said needed. Then we thought the leather looked a little worn so we had it replaced. Consume R reports says 4runner is one that you could get 200,000 milles. We were hoping for maybe one hundred. Don't care how old our well maintained auto is this should not happen!

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #12

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 #11

Feb 272014

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 198,000 miles


Driving in office parking structure, traveled two floor levels and down two parking structure ramps. At second down ramp, made a right turn to next floor level, and within 21+ feet (with the driver's foot still on the brakes), the SUV suddenly accelerated at a high rate of speed which caused the driver to lose control, sideswipe one concrete column, fishtail within three parking stalls, and collide with a second concrete column, which stopped the vehicle's acceleration. The SUV is a total loss. Injuries are from deployment of the air bag and seat belt.

- Mililani, HI, USA

problem #10

Dec 262011


  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that as he started the vehicle, the engine rpms increased excessively with the brakes depressed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who ran a diagnostic test but was unable to diagnose any failure codes. The dealer offered no assistance. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 59,000.

- Santa Rosa Beach, FL, USA

problem #9

Aug 292010


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota 4runner. The contact was attempting a turn while driving 45 mph. As the contact applied the brakes, the vehicle abnormally accelerated causing and crashed into a residential home. The child sitting in the rear seat sustained bruises to the head and lacerations inside the mouth. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and they had a technician run tests on the vehicle but were unable to diagnose the vehicle failure. The approximate failure mileage was 45,000.

- Middletown, OH, USA

problem #8

Apr 262010


  • 130,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that while driving 2 mph in reverse, the vehicle suddenly accelerated causing the contact to lose control it and crashed into a garage. The check engine light was illuminated when the failure occurred. The vehicle was towed to a local repair shop; however, the mechanic advised the contact to take the vehicle to an authorized dealer. The dealer offered a ten percent discount and the vehicle was repaired. The current and failure mileages were approximately 130,000.

- Centreville , VA, USA

problem #7

Mar 052010


  • 50,000 miles
Re: 2006 Toyota 4-runner. On May 5, 2010, I was pulling into a parking stall. When I attempted to bring the vehicle to a complete stop, the engine suddenly went full throttle causing the vehicle to drive over a curb, a median and another curb. It then crashed through a wrought iron fence, a chain link fence and the cement base of a baseball field light pole. When the vehicle hit the cement base, the front axle was bent, spilling the axle fluid and stopping the engine. The car then reared to the right and crashed into the side of a building. Police report cites brake and other defects. Complete report is available at (report number [xxx]) information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Phoenix, AR, USA

problem #6

Mar 082010


  • 45,636 miles
2006 Toyota 4runner accelerated on own. Ran off road, across median and curbs, crashed. Tow driver started engine and engine raced, but accelerator pedal in normal position.

- Lakewood, CO, USA

problem #5

Mar 092010


  • 75,708 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota 4runner. While traveling approximately 10 mph the vehicle suddenly accelerated without warning. The contact placed the vehicle into neutral and applied the brakes in order to slow down the vehicle before crashing into the contacts residence.there were no prior warnings. No one was injured in the crash. A police report was filed for the incident. The vehicle had not been diagnosed by the dealership at the time of the complaint. The current and failure mileages were 75708.

- Port Barre, LA, USA

problem #4

Jan 152007


  • miles


At the time of the accident in January of 2007 I was driving a 2006 Toyota 4runner. I am aware that this vehicle isn't in the recall list, but it seems highly possible that my accident could have been a result of the issues that are being brought to light. I was accelerating from a stop through a traffic light when a truck in front of me suddenly stopped. I rear ended the vehicle. It seemed like the 4runner just continued to pick up speed and wouldn't stop. I had over 20K in damage. The 4runner was under a lease at the time and when the lease came up in 2009 I returned it to the dealer. Despite being rebuilt it didn't seem trustworthy.

- Puyallup, WA, USA

problem #3

Nov 152009


  • 200 miles
Random unintended acceleration on my 2006 Toyota 4runner after coming to a stop. This has happened since it was new and since it didn't occur all the time I thought it was just a breaking in problem and would go away. This is not a floor mat or sticky gas pedal problem - the car brakes okay and my foot is off the gas pedal and on the brake pedal when it happens. The engine goes to a normal stop idle and then surges to a higher RPM on its own. Normal engine RPM at stop is about 550, but during a surge it jumps to 1300 RPM and doesn't go back to the 550 RPM until after I leave the stop condition or turn the car off and I restart it. I've learned to be cautious and always prepared to press harder on the brake pedal if it happens. I've just recently reported this to Toyota on their website after learning of all the other unintended engine accelerations. This seems to be an engine computer control problem, not floor mats or sticky accelerators, and seems to be what other people are experiencing. I'm concerned because the 4runners have not been mentioned in the recalls, and neither has this problem been recalled as it is related to the engine computer. The last time this happened, Nov. 2009, I was pulling into my garage with the engine at idle (550 RPM) and it suddenly surged and I had to stomp on the brake harder to keep from running into my lawn mower/back garage wall. My foot was over the brake pedal and I was coasting into the garage at the time.

- Salina, KS, USA

problem #2

May 132009


  • 29,000 miles
Highway merge ramp at almost full throttle twice, once passing another vehicle on highway at also high throttle usage, accelerator pedal was stuck open vehicle continued to accelerate felt like cruise control was engaged but wasn't. I stepped on brakes but that didn't help, I then hit the accelerator pedal with my right foot and the pedal went back to normal.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #1

Jul 202006

4Runner 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,800 miles
Our 2006 Toyota 4runner with a V8 engine has lost accelerator response on two occasions in the first year we have owned it. The check engine, vsc and trac lights all came on and the vehicle would not respond to accelerator inputs. The first occurrence was July 2006 when the vehicle had approximately 3800 miles on it. The throttle control module was changed and the problem seemed to be fixed until it happened again in February 2007 when the vehicle had approximately 9800 miles. The vehicle was in the shop from February until August 2007. Toyota replaced the throttle control module again, then the accelerator pedal and the engine control computer, all of which did not fix the vehicle. They finally replaced the entire wire harness in August 2007 which has the vehicle working again. We have asked Toyota to re-purchase the vehicle from us because we are concerned about the safety and reliability of this vehicle. If this loss of power were to happen again while on the highway it could cause a serious accident! Toyota has refused to re-purchase or replace the vehicle. Please look into this problem so that other Toyota 4 runner owners and future owners are aware of this potential safety problem with these vehicles.

- El Mirage, AZ, USA

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