Notes: The 2010 Highlander's rear liftgate thinks it's open when it's closed and then once it's actually open, you might not be able to shut it again. Remember folks, if your liftgate is stuck open for more than 4 hours, consult your mechanic.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,904 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.

2010 Toyota Highlander body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2010 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #8

Dec 022016


  • 25 miles


Power lift hatchback door not cosed all the way. Very dangerous.

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #7

Sep 162016


  • 46,000 miles
In late 2012, Toyota issued a tsb related to the rear power lift gate. Instructions were to replace the hinges, motor unit, etc... if evidence of failure. Limitations were 3 yr 36,000 mile warranty. Explanations from the dealer were that the hinges for the back hatch were under manufactured for the weight of the door causing them to twist/warp and pull away from the door and/or frame. This also created undue stress on the motor assembly unit often times leading to failure. I had service performed in early 2013 as recommended by the tsb. I am currently experiencing the identical issues as stated above but worse. The door no longer operates by using the power lift feature on the key fob. The door is again warped causing the grinding and clicking noises when you open it manually. The motor has failed and I am afraid my actual door is warped. I have spoken to my dealer and have been told that the work was completed and that there was nothing else they could do for me. This in spite of the fact that the repairs have been proven to be less than effective. I do not feel this is a car mileage issue. It is simply a manufacturing error that has yet to be resolved. Toyota failed to issue a recall on this problem. After researching my problem I have found that there have been very large class action law suits related to this very issue. Many times these doors are not closing at all creating a potentially very dangerous safety issue.

- Appling, GA, USA

problem #6

Jul 012016


  • 85,000 miles
When the service manager from copeland Toyota in brockton, MA and I looked at the trunk hinges together it was clear that the trunk not closing was a direct result of the way that the Highlander was manufactured versus due to any fault of our own. This issue has left my children and I with a drained battery on more than one occasion, which is not only inconvenient but a safety issue given the risks involved with being stranded in unfamiliar towns. The malfunction and inoperability of our trunk door leaves my family at risk of danger. However, I was quoted $3,600 to repair this issue by a third party body shop that copeland Toyota uses. However, the repair expenses should not be paid by my family but rather Toyota since the issue is a direct result of faulty manufacturing. To this point, I recognize that I am not alone, there are several videos and endless complaints of several Toyota Highlanders with the same issue (newer models as well). Here are a few videos that you can see for yourself via youtube: Https:// I would like to recommend that owners of Toyota Highlanders be contacted to remedy this issue.

- Sharon, MA, USA

problem #5

Jun 162014


  • 53,210 miles


Accident occurred in southbound lane of I-95 at the dillon, SC exit on 6/14/14. Northbound trailer lost a tire/rim due to mechanical failure and it crossed the medium and impacted our vehicle blowing three (3) airbags. This model and year did not initially have takata airbags installed during production. It is unknown, to date, whether the replacement air bags installed by griffin Toyota at rockingham, nc where manufactured by takata and pose a danger to occupants if activated. The takata airbag problem did not get public attention until the October & November, 2014, timeframe. I contacted griffin Toyota stating my concern in January, 2015 and was told that there was a possibility the replacement were manufactured by takata and could be defective. I have subsequently contacted Toyota customer service and reported same (given case number [xxx]) and them referred me to the local Toyota dealership (charles barker Toyota in Virginia beach, va). This dealership continues to "struggle" to get the information from the Toyota headquarters in ca to determine whether the airbags should be replaced (that is, if takata replacements were installed after the wreck) to ensure the occupants safety. Please investigate to determine what potentially defective airbags (manufactured by takata) were installed in the June-July 2014 timeframe. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #4

Jul 132014

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 77,000 miles
The tailgate hatch was unable to open by electronic push bottom or manually. Seeing the Toyota dealership the cause was a faulty engineering design to the tailgate bytoyota. The hinge mechanics to open the rear hatch due to the weight of the door and use cause aligment issues and therefore, the gate or window cannot open properly. To fix properly a new door and hinge system were put on with no guarantees that it won't happen again. A very expensive fix by the owner. Looking into this problem many consumers with this Highlander have experienced the same problem. Toyota has reengineered its newer models to correct the problem. In an emergency to get people out of the 3rd row seat with the door stuck is a safety issue. Toyota should have a recall to fix the problem as well as reimburse the owners who have had to deal with these out of pocket expenses.

- Klamath Falls, OR, USA

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problem #3

May 282014


  • 60,000 miles
The drivers sun visor has 2 stop points. One is supposed to be fully upright in the recess of the head liner. The stop point has moved so that the upper most point the visor will go is about 10% below level and right in the line of sight of the driver. This causes an unsafe condition in that the driver can not see the road or stop lights. I have run a red light because I can not see it. I have looked on all the websites and this is a common problem for Toyota. Not only on the Highlander but on several other models. There needs to be a recall for what ever is causing that stop point to "droop". the visor can not be taken apart and Toyota wants $200 to replace the thing. It is a rip off as they know the part is defective.

- Orange, VA, USA

problem #2

Feb 222014


  • 70,000 miles
While driving on the interstate at 70 mph, a deer hit my car. Airbags did not deploy, damaged front end, minor damage to the bumper, major damage to engine compartment and windshield was cracked why did the airbag not deploy our major concern concern that will the airbag work after repairs??

- Spring Lake, NC, USA

problem #1

Apr 012013


  • miles
2010 Highlander 4WD: System check panel indicating the rear door is open, when it's not. Sometimes the indicator only chimes (& overhead light blinks) when we take a left or right turn. Sometimes it chimes continuously as soon as we get the car into gear. The back door is most definitely closed each time; the back door indicator is malfunctioning.

- Round Lake, IL, USA

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