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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,023 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #5

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 #4

Aug 172010


  • 69,210 miles
Went to local dealer to get oil change, 15 minutes later oil leak all out from bottom. Dealer said that it was a hose malfunction, but no recall, car is only two yrs old.

- Fond Du Lac, WI, USA

problem #3

Jun 032010

(reported on)

Highlander 6-cyl

  • miles
2008 Toyota Highlander. Consumer is not satisfied with decision on her Toyota the consumer stated the vehicle was leaking oil and the cover had to be resealed. The right front main oil seal was replaced as well.

- Robbins, TN, USA

problem #2

Apr 052010


  • 29,866 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Highlander. The contact was driving at approximately 20 mph when the vehicle turned off as she made a left turn. She attempted to restart the vehicle multiple times but it continued to stall and would not restart. The contact was finally able to start the vehicle but the vehicle would not move forward when shifted into drive. The police were at the scene and the vehicle was towed to an authorized dealership. The dealer inspected the vehicle but could not find the cause for failure. The vehicle had not been repaired and the contact had not called the manufacturer at the time of the complaint. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was approximately 29,850. The current mileage was 29,866.

- Walnut, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 312009


  • 19,039 miles
My 2008 Toyota Highlander consumes a little over half quart of oil for every 1,000 miles driven and I took it to longo Toyota for more than three times and the mechanic there told me that it's normal. This is the first brand new car that I ever had wherein I have to add oil in between oil changes (3,000 miles). Had they told me before I bought this car, maybe I will not have bought it and won't end up having this problem.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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