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:
52,000 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #2

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 #1

Aug 122013

4Runner 8-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
After having timing belt replaced by Toyota dealer bob tyler of pensacola, Florida; while driving belt came apart leading to loss of power, control, and making emergency stop. Toyota feels that failure is normal in less than 6 months.

- Mobile, AL, USA

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