really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,992 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.

2006 Toyota Highlander engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #14

Sep 112014


  • 130,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander. While driving approximately 15 mph, the temperature gauge increased. In addition, the traction, check engine, and vhc warning indicators illuminated. An independent mechanic stated that coolant fluid was leaking and an engine kit needed to be installed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was aware of the issue. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 130,000.

- Ayer, MA, USA

problem #13

Feb 032012

Highlander 4-cyl

  • 59,871 miles
Coolant leaked from engine onto floor in large amounts. Our mechanic said threads were stripped and head gasket bolts had pulled out. Only solution, new engine or possible rebuild by Toyota dealership. We were under 60,000 mile warranty but over 60 months. Toyota refused to help us. Sadly I've been changing my own oil and didn't keep all receipts for a maintenance record. Lesson learned. Toyota dealership offered new engine for $7,300 or rebuild for $4,600. We had non-Toyota mechanic rebuild threads for $2,300. Car works fine now. Way more money than we expected to spend on a Toyota with under 60,000 miles.

- Laguna Hills, CA, USA

problem #12

Nov 232011

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 67,996 miles
I purchased a used 2006 Toyota Highlander from a fernelius dealership in Michigan in April 2011 - it was in mint condition with 56210 miles on it - thought I had made the best deal ever - then the day before thanksgiving while driving it overheated. Thought I had blown a head gasket only to find out that the thread bolts on the short block had stripped out and leaked radiator fluid everywhere causing it to overheat. At that time the mechanic told me that I needed a new engine. Contacted the dealership and they told me too bad I bought a used vehicle if I wanted to tow it to them they would look at it. I than contacted Toyota corporation only to be told pretty much the same thing, since I wasn't the original owner they weren't going to help me either. So now I'm stuck trying to find an engine because the dealership can only offer me one with 58000 miles on it installed for about $7,000, and from what I'm reading on the internet they have this problem when the engine reaches right out of the warranty at 60,000 miles. I can't believe that both the dealership and corporation won't stand behind their product and fix the engine or at least offer some assistance. Why should their faulty engine part be my problem? now of course being just a working stiff and retired military money doesn't grow on trees and I don't have another vehicle, so I have to get it fixed. I won't buy another Toyota again since they don't stand behind their own product, but I'm stuck with this one for now.

- Saginaw, MI, USA

problem #11

Mar 252011


  • 70,000 miles


My son was driving our 2006 Toyota Highlander. He drove approx 2 miles from our house at an average speed of 35 mph when the temperature gauge suddenly went past the red line. He drove our car approx 2 miles back to our house. We then had it towed to savannah Toyota where they checked the engine and found the head warped and the bolts stripped. I went to savannah Toyota and told them that I had just had the car there for an oil change a month prior. At the time of oil change, service writer noted under the hood that he thought that maybe the water pump may be leaking as there was fluid on the upper part of hood. There was no notification of any problem with the water pump. A month later, the above overheat condition occurred. When we were informed that the engine was burned up and the engine needed to be replaced at a cost of $5000. We had the vehicle towed to our regular mechanic and was told that there was nothing wrong with the engine block, just the head needs to be replaced at a cost of approx. 2200.00.savannah Toyota did charge us $600 to check what caused the problem and if the engine could be saved. We were told that the engine block bolts were stripped and could not be re-installed. After dis-assembling the engine to evaluate the problem they did not even reassemble our engine. The car was no longer under warranty at 70,000 miles. We have not yet repaired the problem car has been parked since 3-20-11 to date 11-22-2011.

- Savannah, GA, USA

problem #10

Jul 092011

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
I was driving in my Highlander with my daughters in the back seat when suddenly out of no where all the alert lights came on and there was no power at all - the gas pedal was non functional - I was in the far left lane of a an interstate and fortunately I was able to get off the road and pull the car out of traffic as it rolled to a stop. I waited on the crowded interstate for two hours for a tow. I was told that the Highlander hybrid inverter had failed - the dealer replaced the part that week and the car drives normally now. I was advised that in fact this is a known problem. One month later ironically I received in the mail notice from Toyota that my model of Highlander is being recalled for the inverter replacement that had just caused this extremely unsafe vehicle failure just one month prior.

- Providence, RI, USA

problem #9

Jan 082011


  • 108,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid (na). The contact stated that while driving approximately 65 mph, the vehicle suddenly stalled. The vehicle was unable to restart so it was towed to a dealer. They informed the contact that she needed to replace the inverter inside the engine which was defective. The manufacturer was contacted and offered to pay a portion of the repair. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 108,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #8

Nov 292010


  • 29,500 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid. The contact stated while driving approximately 55 mph when the began vehicle loosing power. The hybrid warning light was illuminated and the vehicle then stalled. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed as a failure in the battery cell. The dealer advised the contact that the inverter would need to be replaced. The contact stated that the dealer had replaced the battery a few months prior to the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer engineer inspected the vehicle and advised that the towing company caused more damaged to the vehicle battery while attempting to get the vehicle started. The failure and the current mileage was 29,500.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #7

Oct 142010


  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid. The contact stated that since the vehicle was purchased it has stalled while driving various speeds. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times for the failure. The diagnostic test did not determine what caused the failure to occur; however, the cooling pump was replaced. The repair did not correct the failure. On October 14, 2010, while driving 65 mph the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who stated that the inverter cooling system failed. The dealer stated that the warranty had expired. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer filed report 1010191147 and advised the contact that they would call her. The failure mileage was 59,000 and the current mileage was 108,000.

- Murrieta , CA, USA

problem #6

Oct 142010


  • 102,000 miles
I went through a toll booth, car began to lurch, lights all went up, and the car stalled, highly dangerous, but managed to get to side of road, apparently the inverter in my 2006 Toyota Highlander, 102,000 miles on it, was defective, it was replaced free, but had to pay labor and for rental.. but I really could have been injured severely.

- Helleertown, PA, USA

problem #5

Sep 302010


  • 101,128 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid (na). While the contact was driving approximately 20 mph attempting to make a left turn, there was a complete loss of the engine power. The vehicle was coasted safely to the side of the road. The vehicle was towed to a dealer for diagnosis. The technician informed that the failure was attributed to the power inverter. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact expressed concern of the potential safety hazard. The failure mileage was 101,128.

- Granville , OH, USA

problem #4

Sep 162010

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 37,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid (N/a). While the vehicle was parked, the engine compartment suddenly caught fire. The contact stated that the vehicle was routinely maintenanced. The vehicle was destroyed. The contact called the manufacturer and filed a complaint. The current and failure mileages were approximately 37,000. Updated 02/17/11 updated 05/02/11

- Proctorville , OH, USA

problem #3

Jul 292010


  • 104,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the engine stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the contact was informed that the inverter was defective and would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 104,000. Updated 11/03/10.

- Edina , MN, USA

problem #2

Jun 272010


  • 67,400 miles
While attempting to pass a vehicle on interstate 85 nb, my Toyota certified pre-owned 2006 Highlander hybrid completely shutdown resulting in the loss of power steering, power braking, and all engine power. I was able to maintain control of my vehicle despite the failure and coast to the shoulder of the highway from an initial speed of approximately 70 mph. My vehicle was towed to my local Toyota dealership where I was informed that my "power inverter" had failed and would subsequently need to be replaced. I was also told that this was the second instance that day of a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid having a failure of the power inverter. Upon further research via multiple online forums such as edmunds I discovered that this problem had occurred to several others in the past year resulting in similar consequences (loss of control, power steering, power braking, etc.). my power inverter was covered under the Toyota warranty and is currently being replaced free of charge. Nonetheless, given the complete failure of the system and subsequent loss of all power braking, steering, and engine use while at speed on an interstate and multiple Toyota owners experiencing the same situation I believe the NHTSA should investigate further.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #1

Mar 152009


  • 38,000 miles
From a parked position, I started engine on 2006 Toyota Highlander. The car moved forward for a few seconds at slow speed, then very rapidly accelerated so that I could not stop the car. Serious injuries occurred. Car flew through air and onlookers heard engine rev up.we landed in a water canal.

- Depoe Bay, OR, USA

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