really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,726 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.

2011 Toyota Highlander engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #9

Jan 082017


  • 100,900 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Highlander. When the brake pedal was depressed at 20 mph, the vehicle unintentionally accelerated without warning. The vehicle eventually stopped after the brake pedal was depressed with extreme force. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 100,900. The VIN was not available.

- Windsor, CT, USA

problem #8

Oct 052014

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
I had my car in for it's 60,000 mile service on Friday, Oct 3rd, 2014 at Cherokee Toyota, canton, ga. My wife drove it for only the third time since the service and encountered a dangerous situation. The Highlander started to accelerate on it's own. My wife stepped on the brakes then the engine cutoff in the middle of the road. I meet up with her and tried to start the car. The engine tachometer rapidly increased then the engine shutoff. Towed to Cherokee Toyota for evaluation.

- Woodstock, GA, USA

problem #7

Aug 102011

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 8,500 miles
At low speed, the auto has a serious delay when you press down on the gas pedal to enter a lane of traffic such as entering an interstate from an entrance ramp. After the delay the auto then surges into the traffic lane. Toyota officials claim it is caused by a communication problem between the computer and the transmission. They told me that it cannot be corrected. I feel that the delay and surge is not safe.

- Troutville, VA, USA

problem #6

May 012012

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 5,930 miles


The following email/report was sent to the Toyota dealership from whom I had purchased this new vehicle: I am writing to report an abnormal incident, which may or may not be related to the stall problem I had encountered, and which you inspected during my last visit. In this incident, I was very gently trying to move the car into my garage from a stationary position (there is a small 10 to 15 degree grade over a 3 ft distance before the garage floor became level again). As I slowly pressed down on the accelerator, the car started to move slowly in a normal fashion, but after moving half way into the garage, it suddenly accelerated, almost at full throttle... I had to slam on the brake as hard as I could react, missing a crash by only a few inches. As I tried to analyze what happened, the only thing that I can think of is that as I was moving slowly enough where most likely only the electric motor was moving the car, but then very suddenly that electric motor sourced its absolute full power to accelerate the wheels ---almost as if the sw decided to ignore my very soft pressure on the gas pedal and source maximum power. Please advise when your Toyota engineers will be visiting you again so that they may review this latest abnormality. I am also forwarding this message to the national auto safety department, since I am now quite concerned about safety.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #5

Apr 092012


  • 8,700 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that the vehicle suddenly accelerated without warning. The failure occurred while attempting to park with the brake depressed. The vehicle crashed into the cement wall of a garage. The manufacturer took a complaint. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileages were 8,700.

- Temple City , CA, USA

problem #4

Mar 252008

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 21,000 miles
Pulled into employers parking lot to park when I placed my vehicle into reverse and began backing up the vehicle gained speed, hit another vehicle with my passenger side coming against his driver side, climbed an approximate 10 foot steep embankment, hit a warehouse wall causing a large dent in wall and breaking a 6X6 support post, then sliding down the embankment into same parked vehicle I had hit before, then came to rest. Totaled the vehicle that was hit adjacent mine, $8600 damage to my Highlander, and not sure yet of cost of building damage.

- Sangerville, ME, USA

problem #3

Feb 182012


  • 8,000 miles


Occasionally, after coming to a stop and then when beginning to accelerate again while turning either right or left, the engine appears to stall for 3 or 4 seconds, then resumes normal acceleration. The engine does not quit or die, it just goes back down to a little above idle speed, then speeds back up again and resumes normal acceleration operation. This has happened to both my wife and me on more than a few occasions beginning about 8,000 miles on odometer. I erroneously posted this complaint earlier under the 2012 Highlander, however, my vehicle is a 2011.

- Spotsylvania, VA, USA

problem #2

Dec 102011


  • 9,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that the vehicle abnormally accelerated without her depressing the accelerator pedal. The vehicle crashed into a barn. There were no injuries but the vehicle had extensive damages to the front bumper and sides. The police were contacted and called to the scene to assist. The vehicle was towed to an auto center for repairs. The manufacturer was notified who filed a claim on behalf of the contact. The failure mileage was 9,000.

- New Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #1

Jul 092011


  • 1,500 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Highlander. The contact was sitting at a complete stop with the brakes depressed. Once the brakes were released, the vehicle abnormally accelerated and crashed into another vehicle, causing that vehicle to crash into a third vehicle. There were no injuries. The manufacturer was contacted they advised the contact to take the vehicle to the dealer to be diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure was being investigated by the contact's insurance Agency. The failure and current mileage was 1500. Updated 09/27/11 updated 2/9/12

- Heathsville, VA, USA

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