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:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
14,314 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2010 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #16

Jan 192015


  • 59,100 miles


I was backing out of a parking space at a taco bell when I noticed a car coming so I decided to stop and pull back into my parking space to let it pass. When I stepped on the brake my car suddenly accelerated in reverse and I stepped on the brake again, but my car continued to accelerate. I turned my car to avoid hitting the car and any other cars that may have been behind me. My car continued to accelerate and jumped a curb, crossed over a sidewalk and onto a lawn area behind taco bell. I stepped on the brake again trying to get my car to stop. I turned my wheels to keep from going into the drive up lane and finally got my car to stop.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #15

Jun 102011

Highlander 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
Vehicle accelerated of its own Accord. On several succeeding occasions this Toyota Highlander has accelerated of its own Accord. Vehicle has never crashed and after pulling over and placing vehicle in park, vehicle did not continue to accelerate. This Toyota has been serviced 3-4 times for this problem, including a specialist from another state who traveled to baton rouge to make a thorough inspection involving 2-3 hours. Verdict was no visible or other problem detected. Two months ago there was another recall on this vehicle and Toyota made the repair in the computer. Last week on May 20, 2014 I received another recall regarding this vehicle. This vehicle involves a steering column assembly containing a spiral cable with electrical connections involving the air bag. Should the driver air bag become deactivated, it could cause it not to deploy in the event of a crash which could increase the risk of injury to the driver in certain types of crashes. The remedy is currently unavailable and Toyota will send a second owner notification letter when the remedy is available. Despite numerous letters and repeated telephone calls to Toyota, I have not received any assistance to purchase a new Toyota Highlander that does not encompass these types of safety recalls. I chose not to join a group lawsuit because I knew this would be futile. Nonetheless, I am considering looking into hiring an attorney to pursue the replacement of this vehicle. Thank you for your attention.

- Baker, LA, USA

problem #14

May 252014


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that while in reverse the vehicle suddendly accelerated and the brakes failed to stop the vehicle. The contact mentioned that in order to stop the vehicle, the engine had to be turned off. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 73,000.

- Galt, CA, USA

problem #13

Mar 202013

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 52,000 miles


I'd stopped on the residential street to let a car pass. After the car passed, I attempted to pull up along the curb to park, but the car accelerated and crashed into a tree. The brakes did not respond and the steering did not seem to respond. The space between acceleration and impact was 10-15 feet. It's like the car had a mind of its own, and I had no control. No warning lights came on and the airbags did not deploy. The passenger side headlight was smashed, the hood was smashed, front bumper and passenger side fender were also smashed. The only thing that stopped the car was the tree. Once it stopped, I simply turned the ignition off. I immediately called my insurance company and they told me to tow it to san francisco Toyota for mechanical inspection. I called san francisco Toyota and said that I was towing my car down and was told they'd be waiting for it. Later that day I received a call from don's autobody telling me they had my car. I confirmed with sf Toyota and they said they sent the car there and the auto body work had to be done prior to a mechanical inspection. On 4/15/13, I was informed the car had been repaired and was sent to sf Toyota. I repeatedly called sf Toyota to see if they had found any mechanical defects. On 4/16/13, I was contacted by don's autobody and told that Toyota refused to inspect the car. Since we don't know if the car is safe to drive, the person from the autobody shop suggested we call Toyota usa. Toyota usa opened a case and has enlisted bill from engineering analytics to inspect the car. Bill plans to inspect the car on 4/30/13. He will collect data and send it to Toyota. Toyota said they'll review the data and will mail us the results within 30 business days. When we expressed concern that Toyota waited 6 weeks to look at our car (which the autobody said they've driven), Toyota had no comment.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #12

Nov 082010


  • 14,800 miles
Driver backed out of an end parking space (nose in, curb in front and on right). Driver felt wheel (right side) go over curb (turned too quickly). Driver stopped, shifted to drive (forward) to get off the curb. When driver touched accelerator, the vehicle shot forward (seemed like 50 mph). Left front of the Highlander creased the two side doors of the minivan parked adjacent on the left. The left front of the Highlander sustained grille damage, left fender, headlight and running light, driver door and left mirror. Fender pushed back prevented driver door from being opened. Air bags did not deploy. The Highlander was purchased 1/4/2010. The accelerator recall was performed by the dealer in March 2010.

- Swan Point, MD, USA

problem #11

Jul 082010

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 6,600 miles
On July 8 2010, my 2010 Toyota Highlander had sudden acceleration problem when I stopped and braked for the traffic light. This Highlander has only about 6,600 miles on it and it never had the sudden acceleration problem before. The dealer had installed the recall fixes. Updated 07/19/10 updated IVOQ 07/21/10.

- Wayne, NJ, USA

problem #10

Jun 252010

Highlander 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,200 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Highlander. While driving 15- 20 mph, the contact applied the brakes and the vehicle accelerated without warning. He removed his foot from the brake and checked to make sure he wasn't applying the accelerator, and he wasn't, so he pressed the brake pedal again and the vehicle accelerated again. In order to stop the vehicle, the contact had to apply the emergency brake. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who stated that the failure could not be determined. There were no prior warnings. The vehicle was not repaired.. the current and failure mileages were 8,200. The consumer stated once he stopped, he put the vehicle in reverse and then used the brake to stop. The brake pedal then worked effectively. Updated 09/13/10

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #9

Feb 082010


  • miles
Toyota recall on 2010 Toyota Highlander -accelerator pedal reinforcement bar installation. I had recently brought my Toyota Highlander in for the recall and servicing the accelerator pedal and found out that the installation was not corrected with the possibility of the pedal coming apart while driving and causing serious injury or harm the first time around. I now have to face the vehicle having "to have to dismantle/lift the engine and or having to modify the cross threaded studs to correct the faulty accelerator pedal." Thereby altering the vehicle by installing modified or new studs to the vehicle. I believe that this could be a safety hazard as to the new repairs being implemented to the accelerator pedals.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #8

May 112010


  • 1,700 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Highlander. While driving at 5 mph, the vehicle suddenly accelerated. To stop the vehicle, the contact shifted into neutral and turned off the ignition. The vehicle had not been inspected or repaired at the time of the complaint. The current and failure mileages were approximately 1,700.

- Cypress, CA, USA

problem #7

Apr 222010


  • miles
Bought 2010 Highlander, report said the dealer had fixed the accelerator problem. They did not fix it right and put my gas pedal upside down. Another dealer fixed it and told me.

- Chico, CA, USA

problem #6

Apr 172010


  • 3,000 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated while sitting idle in a parking space, the vehicle abnormally accelerated without driver intent. The vehicle proceeded to jump a nearby curb, crashed with another vehicle and then a tree. The contact was able to bring the vehicle to a stop by shifting into neutral. The contact did not report any injuries. The manufacturer was contacted but would not provide any assistance. The contacts insurance company was handling the investigation. The current and failure mileages were 3,000.

- West Hartford, CT, USA

problem #5

Jan 122010


  • 500 miles
I have a 2010 Toyota Highlander base model. When cruiser control is activated and when the vehicle is moving slightly uphill, the vehicle usually accelerates to a speed that is much higher (over 5 mi/hr higher) than the set speed. This situation happened several times and was worrisome, especially when my wife was driving. I purchased the vehicle on December 28th, 2009. I guess that the local dealer (heiser Toyota, milwaukee) must be aware of the problem at the time of my purchase but pretended to not know the problem, because the specific salesperson (art stamos) told me and my wife during vehicle delivery that, in case of uncontrolled acceleration, we should put gear to neutral and firmly press brake pedal. I suggest that your office request Toyota to not only recall but buy-back all Toyota vehicles that were sold during the Toyota's most recent promotion period (toyotathione) in which Toyota was aware of the problem but decided to do nothing.

- Grafton, WI, USA

problem #4

Feb 112010


  • 2,100 miles
My automobile is a 2010 Toyota Highlander le. I was driving South on I15 just South of barstow, ca., at approximately 65mph. My cruise control was on. I either pressed resume or did nothing, it happened so fast I am not sure which. My car began speeding out of control to the degree that my head snapped back to the headrest. I have never experienced that kind of acceleration before. I braked soundly, and fortunately that kicked it out of the acceleration. I have been driving Toyota and using cruise control for years. This was not normal cruise control acceleration. Neither was it a sticky pedal, as Toyota is claiming. The car just took over. I am not sure I could even duplicate that rate of acceleration if I tried. It was something internal with the engine or the computer.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #3

Feb 102010


  • 1,417 miles
Uncontrollable acceleration 2010 Toyota Highlander. 3 times on 2-10-10.

- Floral Park, NY, USA

problem #2

Jan 292010


  • miles
Gas pedal of 2010 Toyota Highlander got stuck on the weathertech driver's side floor liner while passing another vehicle. Luckily, my husband was driving and was able to put car in neutral and pull car over to side of the road and we did not get into an accident. When my husband removed the floor liner the gas pedal popped back up - so it got stuck on the liner. Also, earlier in the trip that day the weathertech cargo liner prevented the rear hatch from closing properly and our luggage fell out into the road. Order # 92137633; order date: 1/5/2010. We have advised weathertech and are returning the product for a refund. P/N:441151/00185 rev 1 (driver's side liner); part # 40328 (cargo liner) - can not find exact listing of model # on your form - so entered closest to model # since form will not let you continue without choosing a model #.

- Parker, CO, USA

problem #1

Jan 262010


  • 3,600 miles
On Jan.26,2010, I was stopped behind cars at a traffic light. My 2010 Toyota Highlander started creeping forward/I thought I'd taken my foot off the brake, and then the engine started revving to an outrageous level. The harder I braked the more the engine revvedand the car tried to jump forward. It was so loud the driver ahead of me turned around to see what was going on behind him. I thought I was going to rear-end him until I remembered to put the car in neutral. Eventually the engine returned to its normal rpms, but I was really shaken. I drove about 1 mile to my destination and called Toyota and had the car towed to their service area. They checked the car and after 24 hrs. Told me they couldn't find anything and my car was made in Japan so it wasn't under the recall. I don't feel safe in this vehicle and I don't feel Toyota really knows or is revealing all the problems they are having. My problem occurred when I was at a standstill at a traffic light, so I don't believe the stuck accelerator story. What can I do to get some satisfaction? at this point the problem has only occurred once, but I've lost all confidence in my new vehicle...less than 4000 miles on it!

- Mason, OH, USA

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