hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
70,583 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.

2004 Toyota Highlander lights problems

lights problem

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2004 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #8

Jul 122014

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 139,664 miles


I noticed that my original equipment/manufacturer passenger-side low-beam headlight lens had a burnt spot on the inside of the lens (clearly melted lens material). I checked the headlight bulb, which is a factory-installed kaito model HB3 low-beam bulb. The bulb was discolored black and smoky looking with an obvious bulge of melted glass in one side of the bulb. The low-beam headlights still work, but the bulb seemingly has overheated, melting both the bulb glass and the inside of the lens assembly.

- Ashburn, VA, USA

problem #7

Sep 012011


  • 150,000 miles
Late last year we noticed that the dayrunning portion of the headlamp cover had melted on the inside, next to the tip of the bulbs on each side. There is no way to turn the dayrunning feature on or off, it is always on. Not only does this wear down the battery, which we've already replaced in one year, but the headlight cover cannot handle the heat generated from constantly being "on". we would like this issue resolved and a discount given on a new set, since it isn't our fault, as it couldn't be turned off. Headlights are expensive, and at night it is a safety issue, since our visibility is drastically reduced- where we live, there are deer and winding hilly roads. If Toyota won't do anything, we will be forced to do this expensive repair ourselves, but will be very, very disappointed. Toyota should stand behind their product, this is a design flaw and a huge safety issue.

- Mendocino, CA, USA

problem #6

Dec 152010

Highlander 4-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
The lenses of the daytime running lamps/high beams have developed white, oval-shaped bubbling/melting marks of approximately 0.5 to 0.75 inches in diameter, in the center of the lenses, directly in front of the lamps. I first noticed this in December 2010 just prior to changing the original lamps (therefore the replacement lamps did not cause this problem). I reported this to Toyota, case number 1012071480. Toyota told me to take this up with the service department of a dealer. At the dealership, I was initially quoted a price of $988 to replace the assemblies. After discussion with the service manager and his follow-up with Toyota, the price was lowered to $396 to pay only for labor, parts to be provided at no charge. I opted to not have this done for this price. Possible safety issues: 1) damaged/melting lenses could impact the effectiveness of the high beams and/or the daytime running lamps; 2) heat that is hot enough to damage/melt the lenses could be a fire hazard; 3) damaged/melting lenses could be an indication of an electrical problem. I have digital photos taken in December 2010 showing the damaged/melting lenses that I have provided to Toyota and would be pleased to provide to NHTSA. I have also retained the original lamps, and the car still has the damaged/melted lenses.

- Lansdale, PA, USA

problem #5

Oct 032010


  • 73,000 miles


Recently discovered two white melted bumps in the exact center of the headlamp casing where the daytime running lamp beams pass through the plastic. Have only had the vehicle since July 2010 and the incident occured during a 19 hour drive, most of which took place during daylight hours. Headlights were not turned on until sunset. Concerned that factory lights are hot enough to melt the plastic that is factory installed. Obvious defect, could cause fire. Impaired vision at night also a result as plastic is now permanently damaged. Also concerned that issue could worsen and hole could appear, causing rain and elements to come in direct contact with lighting system. Another obvious danger. Disengaging daytime lights is not an option, no control over overheating other to turn on headlights 100% of time. Also concerned with this solution, as defect could potentially be similar in these as well. Attempted to have dealer look at problem, however warrantly period has expired. After researching online, found several similar instances on models ranging from 2004-2007. Feel strongly that issue should be investigated as passenger saftey is at risk.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #4

Sep 012010


  • 79,000 miles
A 2004 Toyota Highlander signal light (safety item) is malfunctioning and when I took it to Toyota dealer (darcars), I was told I have to change the navigation system (luxury item) which currently is working. I have no idea why they had to integrate these two functions when one is a safety and the other one is luxury items. Besides, it costs $6000 + labor + tax to change the navigation system. After intensive search on the internet I found out that Toyota knows about the problem except they only cover the problem under the 36,000mile/3 year warranty. If this was a mileage related problem, I can understand even if two none related functions are interlocked, but this has nothing to do with mileage and we cannot drive without a signal light but we can without a navigation system. This problem started a month ago and I have tried to get a response from Toyota and they are not giving me any response regarding this mater.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

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problem #3

Nov 162009


  • miles
Lens plate covers over fog lights are melting. This could result in a fire.

- Felton, DE, USA

problem #2

Dec 222008


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Highlander. The plastic on the headlights have peeled, subsequently causing the lights to appear very dim. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the technician concluded that buffing would remedy the failure. The failure mileage was 40000. The current mileage was 51400, updated 10/19/09 updated 10/19/09

- Quincy, WA, USA

problem #1

Dec 032007

Highlander 6-cyl

  • miles
2004 Toyota Highlander headlamp material cover failure. Consumer states that the mechanic said he had never seen anything like that. Consumer stated the mechanic did not offer a corrective action. The consumer stated the lens material had melted and a fog spot was present. When the lamp was removed from the vehicle, a bulge was on the side of the lamp in the up position.

- Sparks, MD, USA

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