really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
21,757 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 engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Toyota Highlander:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #4

Oct 272010

Highlander 6-cyl

  • miles


2003 Toyota Highlander. Consumer submits documentation related to unintended acceleration issues with vehicle the consumer stated the vehicle accelerated out of control and subsequently, crashed into a concrete divider, struck a palm tree and then a metal light pole. Even after the vehicle came to rest, the engine continued to rev very fast. It finally stopped a few seconds after the impact.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #3

Dec 052009

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 76,500 miles
)N the morning of 12-05-09, as I'm pulling into my garage, the car suddenly lurched forward with an unexpected increase in speed. Before I could brake, the car slammed into a steel shelving unit on the back wall which resulted in extensive damage to the wall ( both interior & exterior) and what appeared to be minimal damage to the auto. I took the vehicle to my Toyota service on that same day because I/we felt that this could constitute an unsafe driving condition. Total costs from this incident were as follows: Covered by insurance- $3607.81 (plus $703.31 pd. Directly to the dealer?) and $916.27 ( $500 insurance deductible and an additional mechanical charge for a fuel/air sensor that failed on 12-26-09). I have not previously experienced "sudden acceleration" with this vehicle. I have notified both my local dealer, southeast Toyota distributors and Toyota customer relations regarding the problem stating that there may be other vehicles beyond the scope of their current recall that should also be considered as potentially dangerous. Updated 05/03.10 Toyota denied the consumer claim, stating the vehicle examination revealed no apparent reason for the acceleration. However, the dealer that performed the inspection stated the throttle was became stuck due to gummy deposits cased by ethanol in the gasoline. Updated 08/210/10

- Summerfield, FL, USA

problem #2

Jul 162003

(reported on)

Highlander 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles
Backing out of garage in a Highlander and the engine suddenly raced w/O foot on gas pedal, causing consumer to react by applying the brakes. Consumer's foot slipped off brake pedal and landed on the accelerator resulting in the vehicle hitting the neighbor's house. A 2003 Camry was supplied as a rental vehicle when the Highlander wastaken for repair. While using the Camry, the consumer went to apply the brake for a stop sign and inadvertently applied both the brake and accelerator pedal. Consumer raised his foot then reapplied the brake pedal (only) and was able to stop before entering the intersection.

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #1

Jul 062003


  • 4,529 miles
Consumer feels that the location of the brake/gas pedal are too close. This resulted in accidental acceleration while reversing.

- Frisco, TX, USA

Not what you are looking for?