really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
110,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (1 reports)
2002 Toyota Highlander engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #1

Apr 182010

Highlander Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


On April 18th of this year my 5 year old daughter and I were driving home in the morning on the highway. My car started to make this knocking noise, all the panel lights came on and suddenly the engine stopped. I managed to safely pull over to the side of the road. I had the car towed to Fred Anderson Toyota here in Raleigh.

On the following Monday the dealership called me and said that my engine had oil sludge and unfortunately I would have to have it replaced for $6000. I was shocked. I had always followed the car manuals guide of getting the oil changed before 7500 miles had passed. So I did some research online and discovered that many other people had my issue as well.

I learned about the class action. I was overjoyed to realize that Toyota was taking responsible measures to fix this error. So I called the number and they gave me a case manager and a case number. (case # 1004192514) I worked with a very nice lady whom confirmed with the dealership that it was indeed oil (gel) as she said. I guess oil gel sounds much nicer than sludge.

She said she needed a detailed report of my oil changes. I informed her that I haven't keep my records because I have had this car for over 5 years and we have lived in 2 states. I always got my oil changed at different places because I'm a Mom on the go. She asked me to gather what I could so I had one garage print out my oil changes for me.

A few days later, the nice lady called me back to let me know that they had to reject my claim because I was beyond the 8 years of the class action suit. I was at 8 years and 57 days.

I argued that I never received a letter to inform me that Toyota had these problems so I was left in the dark. She apologized very sweetly and said there was not much she could do.

I was shocked, what Toyota was saying to me was that "Yes this was the oil gel issue. Our fault entirely but since you are beyond the 8 years and lawyers aren't forcing us to do the right thing tough luck"

I learned a couple things from this experience.

1. Toyota in not reaching out to their customers about this issue proved that they were more concerned with preserving their reputation over preserving the safety of their customer.

2. If Toyota is in the wrong they will only do the right thing for their customers if they are compelled (subtext: forced) to do so.

This was my third Toyota. I have been a loyal Toyota customer since I first got my license. I will never purchase another one again

- averysmom2004, Raleigh, NC, US

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