hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
2,535,576 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.

2005 Toyota Highlander engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #4

Mar 312005


  • 6 miles


I'm the original owner & sole driver of the vehicle & ever since I test drove it the day I purchased it this car's had issues with "jerky/delayed" acceleration. During the test drive I was told that the car adjusts to how I drive & it'll get better. This happens pretty much every time I accelerate the vehicle after it's been stopped or the speed slowed substantially. Each & every time I try to gently accelerate the vehicle from a stop, there's a tiny delay in vehicle response from what I am inputting to the accelerator pedal. Then after the delay, it's like the vehicle tries to suddenly catch up with where it was supposed to be in the acceleration process & suddenly jerks forward with a lot of acceleration. This poses a safety problem when trying to pull out into traffic & needing the vehicle to respond to the gas pedal inputs that I'm giving it immediately as I'm giving them & not with even a small delay. That delay in response by the vehicle's acceleration has caused several near-misses with other traffic. I have tried taking it into my dealer at least a couple times to have the issue addressed but the technicians just wanted to brush it off saying they didn't notice it or blame it on the transmission & when I told them this isn't a transmission problem they just blew me off treating me like a dumb female who didn't know anything about cars, not knowing that I'm an engineer. Both of these times were within my warranty period, but it's obvious they didn't want to spend the time & effort to diagnose this issue. My safety was clearly not important to the people at my local Toyota dealership. So I continue to have this problem every single time I accelerate from a stop and most times I re-accelerate after having slowed down substantially. After having this issue for the past 9 years, the jerkiness of the acceleration probably has caused other problems with the vehicle.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #3

Sep 062007

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
I am the original owner of the vehicle and throughout my ownership since 2/2005 when it was bought this car has issues with acceleration. It usually occurs when you are sitting at a stop and try to accelerate the vehicle. The car does not recognize when you are pushing the acceleration pedal and has a delay when it finally responds. There have been numerous incidents where I have tried to cross a busy intersection or pull out into traffic and the vehicle hesitates when trying to accelerate, ending with a jerk of the vehicle. I have almost been T-boned a few times trying to cross busy intersections and the car doesn't want to move. I have brought this to the dealership numerous times and the only response they have is that the car adjusts to different drivers and it then programs itself based off your driving habits, so they reset the coding on it. Still have the issue, didn't fix anything and now I am reading where others have had issues, I just think they brushed it under the rug to not have to honor my warranty that was in place on the vehicle. I have also have had issues from day 1 on this car with the transmission pan leaking, they have had to replace the transmission pan gasket numerous times on the vehicle; claiming it just went bad. Really, that many times it just goes bad, I don't think so.

- Lakewood, CO, USA

problem #2

Dec 082013

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
My wife was driving our 2005 Toyota within the city limits at a low rate of speed and noticed smoke coming out of the front engine hood area. There were no trouble lights showing for the engine at the time, nor was the temperature gauge showing a high temperature. She pulled over and found the grill area and front engine hood were melting and scortched. She called police / fire to respond to the scene. The fire department was unable to open the front hood, since it appeared that the release cable had melted from the extreme heat. They bent the hood up to gain access to the fire, and then extinguished the fire. Vehicle was towed to a local repair facility.

- Englewood, FL, USA

problem #1

Jul 022013

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 9,972,300 miles
Engine/transmission is very jerky and on again off again with acceleration and deceleration. This has almost caused me to have several accidents, and I am considering getting rid of the car. It seems that Toyota has known about this problem with Highlander for some period of time. And I feel that they should honor the hard working citizens that buy their vehicles and provide a recall to repair the afore mentioned problems.

- Hebron, OH, USA

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