hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
98,783 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.

2003 Toyota Highlander brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #3

Sep 012010

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 93,500 miles


This car has been dealer maintained from day one. Last year, we began noticing an odd, loud drumming sound occurring along with resistance to acceleration in slow speed situations. This included parking lots, stopping for a left turn within an intersection, and every other situation where we needed to maneuver at low speed. The vehicle would vibrate, the engine would not accelerate, and sometimes the car would lurch within a turn. It became alarmingly severe and the periods between incidents began to shorten. While still intermittent, we began to be concerned and took it to the NY dealer who had been servicing the car since it was new. We reported exactly what I have written above, including the comment that the anti-skid light would come on the dash when this happened. After charging us over $900 for fluid replacement and reattaching a vacuum hose, we were told we had no problem, that the noise was normal. It occurred again when we left the dealers lot. The pavement was dry. After a few weeks of increasing difficulty we took it to a different dealer, to be told that our tires were worn. We replaced the tires, and the problem persisted on either wet or dry pavement. With a cross-country trip coming up, we took the car to an aamco, who test drove it and said we had an ABS brake problem. They kept it for three days, and charged us $400 having found a piece of rusted metal they believed was preventing one of the wheel sensors from making constant contact. It felt better, but the problem began to show up again in a couple of days. We could not put the trip off, and drove the car cross country, having the problem re-occur in almost every low speed situation, when we got to New Mexico we made an appointment with the dealer who sold us the car. They said it was unsafe to drive and after four days, told us the ABS ECU was malfunctioning. It cost $2178 to replace. The replaced component is a sealed electronic module with no moving parts. It should have lasted.

- Placitas, NM, USA

problem #2

May 262010

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
Vsc (vehicle stability control, including ABS) & check engine lights have been turning on intermittently almost from the start of our ownership of this 2003 Toyota Highlander V6 AWD limited and after costly repairs at the dealer they are still on continuously. Last time (may-June 2010) dealer replaced front brake pads & rotors; rear axles and speed sensors and now wants to replace additional components that do not appear connected. First time car was serviced under warranty at dealer and that too did not last for long. Toyota car satisfaction center has not been helpfull. Case # [xxx]. Ford has issued a recall for similar issue recently: 10S13 for rear axle breakage in the snow belt! Toyota refuses to acknowledge issue and internet has many discussions on topic. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- West Bloomfield, MI, USA

problem #1

Feb 092010

Highlander 4WD

  • 105,850 miles
Vsc skid control/ECU failure in 2003 Highlander. This has happened to me on three separate occasions: My car lightly skidded on ice or water and the check engine/vsc and traction control lights came on. Every time the car skids, the lights come on and the skid control appears to be disabled.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

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