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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
10,275 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2008 Toyota Highlander:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2008 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #4

Aug 172010


  • 23,000 miles


I was involved in a car accident on 08/17/2010 while driving my 2008 Toyota Highlander that has 23000 miles on it. The accident caused me total damage to my car and put my life in danger due to failure in the break/acceleration system on the car. The car did not stop but accelerated even though when I was pressing the break which caused me to hit a truck that was passing in front of me. I explained to the emergency crew that the accident was because of failure of the break/and acceleration system on the Toyota car and I explained the same thing to the police officer who was presented on the scene. I like to mention here that the Toyota dealer sent me a note of defection about my car prior to the accident and I took the car to the dealer shop and spent 2 hours there to have it fixed. The car now is at the state farm insurance and I can email/send you the car pictures after the accident.

- Munster, IN, USA

problem #3

Oct 162010

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
Leased the car new. On the odometer it had over 60 miles registered. From the first day, the valves were sounding loudly. The valves are still sounding loudly, at 15, 000 miles. I informed the service dept, but really nothing was done. When warming up the car, when I first had it, the car was running very rough. The service dept. Corrected this. At 15,000 miles a fuel injector had to be replaced. Service consultant states he will check this in one year. I wanted to know how come the fuel injector had to be replace and was this normal in other car. New fuel injector was inserted. Old part is not available.

- Bronx, New York, NY, USA

problem #2

Mar 012008


  • 100 miles
2008 Toyota Highlander fails to shift into gear. Most occurrences at low speed after slowing to 5mph vehicle does not respond to gas pedal - or will not engage into gear and move forward. This occurs or is most noticeable at slow speeds when the gas pedal is pushed after having slowed down or in the midst of a slow down (not a complete stop) usually to wait for traffic to clear. Occurred with every driver of the vehicle (4). Most notable (scary) while my daughter was turning and trying to get out of the way of traffic. Car would not engage in gear, RPM increase, car reves up, but will not move forward out of the way of traffic. My daughter screamed. Taken to dealer at least twice. And continue to call and complain. Dealer states they had experts look at car, rebooted computer (because car responds to driver that drives the most!). said nothing is wrong or can be done. Dealer has admitted that engaging is slow, noticeable. Failure to engage occurs daily. Consequence - in danger of not being able to move car out of the way of oncoming traffic. Nothing was done to repair. Computer re-set. (this is what I was told) vehicle also has experienced trouble while driving up hill. RPM went to 4000 + and would not change gears. On freeway and slowing down. Had 6 high school girls in car. Also has "dropped" into gear heavily.

- Livermore, CA, USA

problem #1

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

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

Not what you are looking for?