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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,800 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.

2008 Toyota 4Runner brakes problems

brakes problem

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2008 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #5

Jun 162016


  • 163,000 miles


When braking, any bump or pothole will cause the system to lose brake power for about one (1) second, causing the vehicle to continue at the same speed for tens of feet further than expected. Hidden potholes by standing water can cause the vehicle to travel into an intersection or other vehicle. This is the third 4-runner that I have experienced with the same problem. Previous vehicles were from 1994 and 1998, and I had three rear-end accidents, which caused major damage to the other vehicles.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #4

May 082014

4Runner 6-cyl

  • miles
During a maintenance visit to East coast Toyota of carlstadt, NJ an "update" to the ECU computer system was performed. After this "update" I noticed the engine stalling, then recovering and auto then surging forward. This was explained by Toyota as "smart technology" to modify eng/ect system. In my opinion this is a dangerous "fix": example --when trying to enter a traffic lane from a dead stop, with foot on break if you attempt to accelerate the engine cuts out- sending you into traffic with a lag instead of a power boost. I attempted to have this modification undone by Toyota but they explained their position as below: We apologize for your concerns with the smart stop technology installed in your 2008 Toyota 4runner. As we previously indicated, in response to customer's concerns with their vehicles, Toyota worked with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to come up with this remedy, which is the installation of the smart stop technology. Because this remedy was mandated by the government (NHTSA), we are unable to remove the smart stop technology. Your email has been documented at our national headquarters. In my opinion this change doesn't fix anything - it is dangerous- you can't accelerate from a "holding" break position (foot on break and gas) as recommended by some defensive driving instructors.. I am requesting that the ntsb looked into this Toyota modification (before update code 33562000, after update 3356200), determine it's efficacy (or lack of ) and devise a better fix than their so called "smart technology".

- North Arlington, NJ, USA

problem #3

May 202013


  • 21,000 miles
Sudden acceleration of engine which did not respond to braking. High speed, turned off engine in an attempt to stop, but car did not stop until it collided with a tree. Airbags did not deploy.

- Olney, MD, USA

problem #2

Jan 162013


  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds and applying the brakes, the traction control off button illuminated as well as the ABS light. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The vehicle was unable to be diagnosed due to the warning lights not being illuminated at the time. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 92,000. The current mileage was approximately 94,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Boise, ID, USA

problem #1

Oct 012012


  • 18,000 miles
There is corrosion in the frame and drive-train components. There is pitting, rusting throughout the frame undercarriage and the suspension and differential components. This barely 4yr old vehicle is a southern vehicle. Regardless, this corrosion is a safety issue in any vehicle let alone in a 4runner with a service inception date of 11/30/2008 with 19K miles. This is totally irresponsible of the manufacturer and they claim it is not covered by warranty. Yes, it (should be) covered by warranty and more importantly it is manufacturer's liability to correct safety/quality issue.

- Jackson, TN, USA

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