really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
11,688 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.

2013 Toyota Highlander drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2013 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #8

Jul 122016


  • 39,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Toyota Highlander. While the vehicle was being reversed, the hatchback open warning light illuminated. The contact stated that the gear shift lever was placed in park before exiting the vehicle. While attempting to close the hatch, the vehicle started to roll backwards and knocked the contact to the ground. The vehicle rolled down an embankment and crashed into a tree. The contact sustained injuries to the hip and arms, which did not require medical attention. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was not towed from the crash site. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 39,000. Updated 09/01/16

- Kernersville, NC, USA

problem #7

Nov 162015


  • 200 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 75 mph, there was an abnormal noise coming from the transmission. In addition, the failure occurred when driving 40 mph or higher. The contact mentioned that the vehicle was serviced under a manufacturer warranty for the transmission in November of 2015. The contact stated that the transmission utilized was rebuilt. The dealer diagnosed that the transmission utilized for the repair met the manufacturer standards. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 200.

- St Michaels, MN, USA

problem #6

Jun 262015


  • 16,000 miles
From stop (at traffic light, merging, etc), press on gas pedal for acceleration and vehicle does not go, hesitates, then does accelerate. This has happened multiple times, intermittently, and has been reported to titus will Toyota dealership. Since they have not duplicated it, problem continues intermittently. Never know when this will occur. It is very disconcerting and dangerous. This vehicle has a lot of "computer" glitches with gps mapping, bluetooth, auto lights, etc. Maybe related?

- Spanaway, WA, USA

problem #5

Oct 062015


  • 17,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that the vehicle hesitated when accelerating from a stop or a break without warning. The failure recurred several times and, each time, the contact had to pump the accelerator pedal up to three times in order to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to a local dealer who diagnosed that one of the computer modules that regulated acceleration was faulty. The dealer could not determine which of the modules was faulty; therefore, the vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and issued a case number to take to the dealer. The failure mileage was 17,000.

- Kankakee, IL, USA

problem #4

Oct 012014


  • 16,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Toyota Highlander. While attempting to accelerate from a stop, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle hesitated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who was unable to diagnose or repair the vehicle. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 16,000. MA 10/25/15

- Hartland , WI, USA

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problem #3

Jan 242013

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 3,500 miles
Purchased 2013 Toyota Highlander 11/24/12; transmission has malfunctioned approximately 16 times since date of purchase. When reducing speed to approximately 30 TO10 M.P.H. and then try to accelerate, the transmission appears to go into neutral; the drive stick remains in drive! when this happens, I shift drive stick to neutral and then back to drive and then transmission continues to work fine. I don't think you have to extend your imagination too far to realize the possibility of serious injury or death when making a turn or trying to pass someone! dealer will not acknowledge there is a problem with transmission. The initial response from dealer was the transmission has to adjust to my driving habits? if you check carcomplaints.com or edmonds.com, you will see I am not the only one with this problem. It appears this problem has existed since 2004. It would be interesting to review past head on collisions and turn accidents to consider if it was "driver error" vs "transmission failure" I would like to be contacted to have further discussion on this problem. Thank you updated 02/20/2015

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #2

Nov 122013

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 300 miles
I purchased a new 2013 Toyota Highlander limited in November 2013. A few days later, upon accelerating from a stop into a left turn, the engine cut off for a few seconds while entering traffic. This happened a couple more times before the first checkup, at which time I informed the service technician, problem was noted on service sheet, but when service was completed, they said they could find no problem. The hesitation continued, quite randomly, and seemed to happen in left turn, accelerating situations. At next service and checkup (different dealer) I told them about the problem and it was written up again with same result, no problem could be found. This has been reported to dealer at least three times, no results, no action taken, no problem found. I consider this a dangerous situation, especially when merging into traffic. Based on information I have seen, it appears that Toyota should address this problem asap.

- Vicksburg, MS, USA

problem #1

Jan 202014


  • 1,500 miles
I bought a 2013 Toyota Highlander in October 2012 and never noticed any problem until early in 2014. When I try to accelerate on a small incline, the accelerator would not respond. It acted as if I am not pressing the gas pedal. I am not talking about going to the mountains but just a small incline when I drive home from work everyday. I took it into the dealer in March 2014 and they responded same as other people on this website, no errors on the diagnostic machine and no posting from Toyota. They advised me to put in premium fuel and I did but that did not make a difference. Very disappointing from a Toyota with a V6 engine. The dealer also tries to say it is due to cvt transmission. However, I have a Subaru with cvt as well and that car can accelerate uphill when needed. I have had a Toyota Celica, tercel, and a Toyota truck in my life and none had this type of problems.

- Parker, CO, USA

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