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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,878 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #6

Jul 222010


  • 27,615 miles


Vehicle, Toyota Highlander 2008, would not start using the electronic ignition pushbutton. On 7/22/2010 vehicle was brought into the dealer and the ignition/power switch was replaced, code found B2275. Same problem occurred again and dealer replaced neutral safety switch per T-sb-0348-09. Same problem occurred again and was towed to dealer on 8/16/2010. They do not know what the problem is and I have heard nothing further from them as of 8/23/2010. I have been stranded several times with the vehicle not starting, the last time at 9:00 pm on Sunday, 8/15/2010.

- Glenwood, IL, USA

problem #5

Feb 022010


  • 20,000 miles
My 2008 Toyota Highlander has had one incident where the accelerator got stuck. I brought the vehicle to bernardi Toyota in framingham, MA on 3/2/2010 and they advised that my vehicle is not part of the recall and they also conducted diagnostics on the vehicle and reported that all systems are normal. I am concerned about all of the confusing information pertaining to this problem offered by Toyota and the fact it happened once to my vehicle, I am worried it might happen again.

- Waltham, MA, USA

problem #4

Jan 022010


  • 48,000 miles
All the sensor lights, including ABS, emergency brake, and trac, for the brake system have gone on and off intermittently on my 2008 Toyota Highlander. Sometimes the brakes engaged the skid control and one time I heard the back left brake make a clunking noise when I pressed the brake pedal. The brakes were inspected twice, once by Toyota mechanic and another time by a local sears mechanic. The Toyota mechanic re-calibrated the sensors and they stayed off for a few weeks, but they are all back on now. The Toyota mechanic stated that our vehicle was third one he saw that week for brake sensor problems. Also, both mechanics said I had plenty of brakes left. This started when there was less than 50,000 miles on my car but, with over 36,000 warranty miles. I think the sensors should last longer and it's scary driving with the sensor lights indicating a problem.

- Glendale Heights, IL, USA

problem #3

Jan 032010


  • 23,000 miles


I was driving in traffic and all of a sudden the information screen indicated there had been a brake malfunction and that I should pull over and call the dealer. I noticed the emergency brake light was lit so I thought I had somehow been driving with the emergency brake on. In kind of a panic I then pushed down the emergency brake about half way in an effort to turn it off. This caused the car to slow down precipitiously and we almost got into an accident. It turns out the problem was caused by corrosion in one of the wheel sensors that detects slippage. The emergency brake was never engaged. Toyota should not illuminate that light when this happens to prevent drivers from thinking their emergency brake is engaged when infact it is not. Toyota should recall the 2008 Highlander to make sure there is no corrosion since the message on the informational display is so distracting to the driver.

- Cottage Grove, WI, USA

problem #2

Apr 012009


  • 3,000 miles
Driving my new 2008 Toyota Highlander leased Dec. 2008. On 4-5 separate occasions while driving with the cruise control on I accelerated and the vehicle immediately went to full race. Pedal was not stuck. Could not turn off the cruise control. Shifting into neutral caused uncontrolled maximum rpms. Turning the key off and back on numerous times did not fix the problem. Eventually after about 20-30 seconds the problem resolved, engine slowed with no sign there had ever been a problem. This has not happened again since spring 2009 but that spring the 4-5 episodes happened within a few weeks.

- Westford, VT, USA

problem #1

Jul 042008


  • 8,192 miles
Using a Highlander's power-adapter to power my iphone, a significant amount of noise is added to the music output. Toyota dealer has corrected my problem by installing some filters in line before the power adapter socket.

- San Jose, CA, USA

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