Notes: 2008 is the first year of the 2nd generation Highlander, & it may be a model year to avoid as Toyota most likely worked out some production quality issues with the new model.

The 2009 Highlander is the has far fewer complaints.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
10,500 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.

2008 Toyota Highlander drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #2

Nov 142010

Highlander 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Highlander. While stopped a stop sign and the rpms begin to increase excessively. When the contact attempted to pull off she was unable to drive forward or in reverse. A mechanic came and was able to drive the vehicle to the contact's residence. The vehicle was then towed to the dealer who stated that the transmission dropped out of the vehicle because the front axle had broken. The vehicle was being repaired when the complaint was filed. The failure and current mileages were 12000. Updated 01/24/11 the dealer stated the driver side axle broke in half and half of the axle became stuck in the transmission. Also the camshaft position needed to be replaced. Updated 03/16/11

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #1

Feb 102010


  • 9,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Highlander. While driving at speeds of 5 mph in snowy weather, the vehicle began to loose traction, causing the vehicle to spin. The contact stated that he engaged the brakes and was able to stop the vehicle with the suspension traction control. The traction control had to be shut off before he was able to accelerate. The contact stated that he believed that the failure was contributed to the weight distribution axle. There were no repairs made to the vehicle and the manufacturer had not been contacted. The failure mileage was 9,000 and the current mileage was 12,000.

- Sloatsburg, NY, USA

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