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:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,359 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 #12

Jan 162014


  • 80,900 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that while attempting to park with the brake pedal depressed, the vehicle suddenly accelerated and the contact crashed into a concrete barrier followed by a garbage container. The vehicle came to a stop independently. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for further inspection. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 80,900.

- Manteno, IL, USA

problem #11

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 #10

Jul 022010


  • 53,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota 4 runner. While driving 50 mph, the contact attempted to accelerate and noticed that the accelerator pedal had fallen onto the floorboard. The pedal would not return to its normal position and the vehicle proceeded to accelerate. The contact shifted the vehicle into neutral gear and shut the engine off. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The VIN was not available. The current and failure mileages were 53,000.

- Pelham, NC, USA

problem #9

May 052010


  • 21,200 miles


Sudden unintended acceleration occurred in our 2008 Toyota 4runner. While sitting in a turn lane, foot on brake, transmission in drive, the vehicle engine suddenly increased power dramatically on its own. With foot on brake the vehicle accelerated forward on its own. It continued forward for about 800 feet before it returned to normal. No damages or injuries. Vehicle was parked and Toyota dealer came and got it. Said they will run tests. This was not a imagined event. This is our second 4runner model and we have had no complaints with the vehicle until this incident. Additionally, I note that this vehicle is not on Toyota's current recall list. There is nothing Toyota can say or do that would restore my safety confidence in this vehicle after this incident. Thus, we will trade it in on another brand once we get it back. I would like for NHTSA to consider requiring Toyota to put this vehicle model on their recall list. Even one defect of this nature is unacceptable. Also 10328962 smch

- Elizabethtown, IN, USA

problem #8

Mar 052010


  • 21,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota 4runner. While driving at 2 mph, the contact applied the brakes and the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The contact had to depress the brake pedal several times before the vehicle would stop. The contact called the manufacturer who stated that they would send a representative to inspect the vehicle. The current and failure mileages were approximately 21,000. Also 10329513 smch

- Elizabethtown, IN, USA

problem #7

Jan 212010


  • 9,422 miles
Started my 2008 Toyota 4runner. Never touched the accelerator pedal. Engine raced uncontrollably to around 7-8000 RPM and shuddered terribly. Immediately turned the engine off and then tried it again. Did same thing. Took vehicle to the dealership where they said they couldn't duplicate the symptoms and said there weren't any codes stored in the computer. Was told they would call Toyota technical to report issue. Never have been contacted. This incident only reinforces the belief that Toyota has issues other than the "recall fix". I believe that it is an electrical/computer problem. It should be noted that my vehicle is not even on the recall list.

- Deltona, FL, USA

problem #6

Jan 012010


  • 10,166 miles


I was in the smoky mountains in Dec 2009-Jan 2010 where the temperatures were very low and the vehicle was outdoors. Temps were mid 20S in the day time and mid teens at night. No icing was an issue. I was driving my 2008 Toyota 4-runner into a parking space slowly around 2 pm getting ready to apply the brakes. Before I could do so the vehicle took off. I immediately slammed on the brakes and the vehicle did stop, however it had traveled approx 10 ft before I could do so and it slammed into a tree. I owned a new 2003 4-runner and never had this happen. I bought this vehicle in Jan 2008 new. This is the only time this has happened. This crash resulted in $1768.35 in damage. I took the vehicle to a Toyota dealer and they removed my all weather mats. (I inspected these immediately after the accident and they were in place as they should be locked down) Toyota set up an appointment and looked at the vehicle at the dealership and sent a letter that stated "no system failure was found in either the braking system or the accelerator system" they further stated that "the fact your vehicle is not included in the current safety service campaign involving floor mats/unintended acceleration would indicate that this incident was not the result of this issue." "?? if not what is the control computer " the dealership stated that the only vehicles affected were made in the usa and my vehicle was made in Japan, therefore it was not having a problem. What happens next time and I go off a cliff. We need some answers. I don't know what to do. I spent alot of money on this vehicle and I am not sure it is safe and if I sell it I stand to lose enough money to keep me from buying a vehicle of equal value. We need to put our foot down and make them solve this. Thank you NHTSA.

- Mccalla, AL, USA

problem #5

Feb 282009


  • 20,000 miles
I own a 2008 Toyota 4runner. I know it is not on the recall list, but a year ago I had an accident that fits the description of the sudden accelleration. No one at the time believed me when I said that I did nothing wrong, that the car just took off. In February 2009 I was on my way to work at around 6 am, everything was good. Then the next thing I remember I felt the car go over a curb and run into a building. The damage was great to the vehicle. The speed limit was 35 miles/hour. I remember pressing on the brake, but it had no effect. I was charged with careless driving, had to pay to fix the building and my car, and I now also have higher insurance cost. This happened in florence SC.

- Florence, SC, USA

problem #4

Feb 042010


  • 8,236 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated as she was driving 40mph the accelerator pedal went all the way to the floor and became stuck and the speed increased to 90mph. The contact stated she jammed her feet on the brakes, put the vehicle in neutral and the vehicle slowed down. She then pulled to the side of the road. She turned the vehicle on and off as the engine reset itself. She then drove slowly home and parked the vehicle. She drove the vehicle twice after the first failure and the accelerator pedal became stuck to the floor. Her husband had to pull the pedal up manually. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they could not duplicate the failure. The contact stated thata representative will be coming from the manufacturer to inspect the vehicle. There was no prior maintenance done to the vehicle prior to the failure. The failure mileage was 8,236.

- Niles, MI, USA

problem #3

Nov 052009


  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota 4 runner. While driving approximately 55 mph on normal road conditions the accelerator pedal traveled to the floor when pressure was applied as a result of the pedal sticking. There were several attempts before the accelerator pedal released. The driver was able to continue in operation with extreme caution. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for inspection. The technician was unable to duplicate the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 24,000.

- Water Sound Beach, FL, USA

problem #2

Nov 252009


  • 7,380 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota 4runner. While driving 35 mph the vehicle accelerated up to 100 mph without intention. After repeated brake application he was able to decelerate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but they could not duplicate the failure. The Toyota manufacturer was notified, and he was advised that a remedy would not be available until April 2010. The failure mileage was 7,380.

- Mannington, WV, USA

problem #1

Aug 062009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that the vehicle accelerated unintentionally while driving 50 mph. She had to depress the brake pedal with such force that she destroyed the entire braking system. The dealer had to replace the entire braking system because the brakes were so hot that they destroyed the rotors and the pads. The vehicle is still at the dealer and the contact does not want to pick it up. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 16,000.

- Medford, NY, USA

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