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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,779 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2010 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #19

Jul 182016


  • 54,800 miles


While in motion the heads up display indicates that the rear door is open. This comes on periodically when windows are down or when making turns or acceleration. The dome lights come on and the door open chime dings. The computer thinks the rear door is open. I have found this to be an issue while researching on the internet. This is one source with multiple people with the same issue

- Centreville, VA, USA

problem #18

May 152015


  • 66,000 miles
Back door "open" lights flash non stop in warm weather. It's so annoying. Why is their no recall on this? I bought the car used without knowing this annoying issue

- Middletown, CT, USA

problem #17

May 022014


  • 50,000 miles
Safety hazard - beginning in mid 2014, my driver side door lock started to give me problems not locking with the remote. I changed the battery several times to no avail. Soon, the other door locks stopped working one by one. Eventually, none of the locks worked with the remote or by pressing the power lock buttons on the doors. When this problem initially started, I noticed my radio station information would also disappear or be illegible. When I took the vehicle to the dealer, it was over $1,000 to have the actuators repaired, since they had "gone bad". after researching a bit, I noticed several makes, models and years of Toyota vehicles are also having these problems. My vehicle only had $50,000 miles at most when all this started, and I maintain the suggested maintenance. I think Toyota is well aware of the faulty parts they have installed but don't want to make the necessary repairs due to the cost. This is a major safety issue if someone thinks they have locked their vehicle and could be a victim of a serious crime or other safety hazard.

- Metairie, LA, USA

problem #16

May 042015


  • 54,000 miles


When stationary or driving, dashboard door-open light stays on. All dome lights stay on when driving unless turned completely off on dashboard but they will still flicker and warning sound will go on and off when driving, turning a corner, or going over a bump on any road. When locking the car with the door-remote, the warning sound goes on and stays on until car is unlocked. Car must be locked by hand to stop warning sound. Car was sent to Toyota repair center for electrical repairs, but this warning light issue was not repaired. There is a bump in the rear hatch from backing up in a garage. Service dept. Said rear door needed to be repaired because rear hatch would not close correctly. However, rear hatch has always closed and still closed. Toyota could not guarantee a new hatch or repaired body work would fix the problem. Warning lights problem started months before rear door issue. Toyota offered to turn warning sound off, but I feel it is a safety issue. I routinely checked if any door is open.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #15

Sep 012015


  • 53,000 miles
Door sensors show door open, door chimes, and interior lights flash when in motion driving over light bump on all roads, highway or city streets. And/or when driving from the street into driveway at 1mph at all times as up over slight curb. Happens when I shift the gears into motion. Started in Sept. 2015 to current date.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #14

Sep 012015


  • 36,500 miles
Open-door warning keeps popping in the dash when driving, as well as the light inside inside the car (consistent with an open door). The problem started at first as the car would be turning at very low speed. It has gotten worse over the next 2 weeks and now happens almost anytime there is a bump in the road, or when cornering, as well as when hitting the brakes, even gently. I changed all the door sensors but it did not make any difference.

- Hampstead, NH, USA

problem #13

Jan 102014


  • 54,000 miles


Driver door lock quick working. Could only unlock with key or by crawling over passenger seat. Took to dealer and was told it was actuator. They fixed for almost $600. Less than month later passenger door lock did same thing. Called dealer and was told I would have to pay to get it fixed. Let it stay that way until May 2015. Local mechanic fixed for little over $300. About 2 weeks later, driver door lock will not unlock at times when it will not, the key now won't work. Have to crawl across passenger seat to unlock I have numerous complaints on internet about this issue. Actuators need recalling

- Beaver Dam, KY, USA

problem #12

Mar 012015


  • 74,000 miles
Information center is flashing overheadlights, audible warning bell, visual warning lights flash on drivers display, unable to lock vehicle. This is alll due to the tailgate registering as open when in fact it is closed. If you unplug the sensor, it will not allow access into or out of the rear door. It has now started to not allow the vehicle to be locked - saying there is a door open (rear). If you go around and independently slam doors one at a time and then try to lock with the remote after each, it will eventually allow U to lock after slamming pass ft. Door. The is a notable problem for this series and is becoming quite prevalent. Dealer says don't know what is causing it. Independant mechanic say it is door actuator - which is extremely expensive.

- Cornell, WI, USA

problem #11

Jan 052013

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
In January of 2013, I took my Highlander into a dealer's service department to diagnose a problem with my driver's side front automatic lock, which had completely stopped working at around 46,000 miles. This means I had to physically press the lock as not even the key would work. I had to open the passenger side door, crawl across the seat, & unlock the driver's side door in order to get in my car. I was told by the dealer that the problem was the door lock actuator, which went out, & it was no longer under warranty. Rather than paying $575 at the dealer, I found a mechanic that ordered the part & replaced the actuator for less than $400. Less than three months later, at just over 50,000 miles & only 2.5 years of owning the car, the front passenger side actuator went out. Needless to say, I had some words with the dealer, & they agreed to do a one-time "courtesy" fix, replacing it at no cost. Over the next few months, both of the rear door actuators went out. Not wanting to spend $800+ to replace the actuators, I decided to live with risk & annoyance this caused, hoping there'd soon be a recall. Well, here we are in March 2015, & at 87,000 miles, guess what? the front driver's side actuator is going out again. Searching the web for this issue, I found hundreds of similar complaints from other Toyota owners, over a variety of models & years. This is a huge safety issue & Toyota needs to recall all affected vehicles. I can come up with at least a dozen scenarios where this issue could cause serious harm to the car's occupants. If I can't get to my child in the back seat because I've been in a wreck & door is locked; if I am car-jacked B/C the door wouldn't lock; if I have to enter through the passenger's side to unlock my door and X/Y/Z happens... I've already locked myself out due to this issue (car thinks doors are unlocked & won't warn me my keys are inside)! help!

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #10

Oct 112010


  • 3,000 miles
Several times since we purchased the vehicle, the front driver's window will come off track and not allow to roll up the window. This really is not a safety issue however one time the window did not come off track however the door would not open from the inside. We had to roll down the window to open from the outside. This was very scary since my wife drives the vehicle and Transport our children and grandson. I was afraid if she were in an accident and the power window did not work she would have to find another way to exit the vehicle. Since the vehicle has been out of warranty, we found another place to fix the issue. We still have issues at times with the window. Another issue is that the rear door sensor constantly indicates the door is open when it is not. When this happens, the rear display stops working and says rear door open, the overhead lights flash, and the door chime sounds. I consider this a safety issue since it causes a distraction while driving. With the door chiming, lights flashing, and the rear display showing a message, it takes our attention away from driving.

- Jeffersonville, IN, USA

problem #9

May 302014

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 39,000 miles


We have a 2010 Toyota Highlander and the dome lights turn on & the door ajar alarm sounds while turning left & sometimes while turning right. This has also happened when rolling up or down the passengers side window. Took it to dealer & they could not diagnosed or repair it.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #8

Sep 012012

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
2010 Highlander 4WD: System check panel indicates rear window is open when it's not. This happens when I take a left turn or hit a dip in the road. Also if the moon roof is open and closed and when the drivers or passenger window is open and closed the panel will light up, chime and interior lights will all come on. The only time the windows and moon roof seem to effect it is when I am driving on the highway. Otherwise the smaller side roads effect if with no rhyme or reason. Problem has become increasingly worse over time. Mechanic could not find the problem since this does not happen every time the car is running.

- Berkley, MA, USA

problem #7

May 082013


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that the door ajar alarm would sound while turning left. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 45,000.

- Santa Clarita, CA, USA

problem #6

Jun 032013


  • 25,000 miles
Door ajar chime goes off and sometimes dome lights flash on when making a turn, stopping, or accelerating from a stop. This primarily happens when the outside temperature is hot (95+). additionally, the radio display will show illegible information occasionally. I've had the radio replaced, but the issue remains. This will go away when the car is turned off and back on and only happens when the external temperature is hot (95+).

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #5

Feb 032014


  • 50,000 miles
Received a phone call from street Toyota concerning a recall for my 2010 Highlander. They said that they needed 5 minutes to do a recall on the computer. I checked the recalls and didn't find anything. I think that they are up to something. I refused the appointment. Thanks

- Gloversville, NY, USA

problem #4

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

problem #3

Jun 152011

Highlander 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that the battery died prematurely. The dealer made two attempts to duplicate the failure by changing the battery. On the third occasion, the contact notified the manufacturer who advise that the vehicle needed to be driven at least 15 miles per day to prevent the battery from going dead because of the dessert-like climate in which the contact resided. The vehicle was not further repaired. The current mileage was 11,200 and the approximate failure mileage was 8,000. Updated 01/05/12 the consumer stated Toyota finally inspected the vehicle and determined the battery needed to be recharged.

- Palm Desert, CA, USA

problem #2

Aug 222010


  • 8,500 miles
I was driving my vehicle and it caught fire and completely burned was a total loss.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #1

Dec 242010

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
2010 Highlander 4WD: System check panel I indicating the rear door is open, when it's not. Been to dealer 3 times. Car has 6000 miles on it. The rear door open indicator effects door locking ability with key fob as well as continual chime indicating rear door is open in conjunction with turning dome light off and on. Dealer thought it was rear door strike plate. Adjusted accordingly. This was not the problem. 3rd visit to dealer still trying to pinpoint why this is happening so far no luck. Electrical bad door sensor faulty electrical door switch this problem is very annoying and now times consuming 3 visits to the dealer and still no solution. Rear door open indicator initially made to stop by rolling down driver side window at highway speed. Indicator also made to go off when road turns to the left only. <- " moisture causing short in rear door electrical switch" maybe.

- St. Louis , MO, USA

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