definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,530 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2013 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #12

Jun 202014


  • 10,000 miles


The complaint has to do with computer systems on this vehicle. Some of the complaint is convenience, but worrisome because other systems seem to be involved as well. The computer screen has always been slow/hesitent, with various "glitches". vehicle has gps mapping screen which occassionally "disconnects" and resets to blank screen. The bluetooth and other systems have also "disconnected" and couldn't be reset until the vehicle was stopped and turned off. The headlights sometimes do not shut off, day/night doesn't work properly. Have had occassional problems with door locks not working as they should. Never know when and which systems will be affected. I have also filed a complaint about intermitent non-acceleration issues, which maybe related.

- Spanaway, WA, USA

problem #11

Sep 012015


  • 48,500 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Toyota Highlander. While driving at approximately 45 mph, the power steering failed and the instrument panel displayed that the power steering needed assistance. The vehicle was driven to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated that the electronic computer that managed the steering needed to be replaced. The manufacture was notified of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 48,500.....updated 10-27-15

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #10

Aug 102015


  • 59,500 miles
About a week ago my right rear passenger door lock started to fail. The door would not unlock. This is the door my 5 year old daughter uses. I took it too a dealer and was charged $638 total to replace the actuator. The service tech actually misquoted me, I would never pay this much to fix this part. Upon reading now I see that many, many people have this problem. My car is still under 3 years old. The actuators should not fail. I have never had this problem in any other car. This is a severe safety issue if the car is in an accident. These cars need to be recalled. I will be contacting Toyota too.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #9

Apr 252014


  • 7,600 miles


I purchased the 2013 Highlander new from a dealer in vienna, va in July 2013. The auto started a string of engine hesitancy to accelerate problems at around 5,000 miles which was reported to the dealer at the 5,000 mile check-up and again at the 7,500 mile checkup. The service department could not duplicate the problem and gave the engine a clean bill of health. We moved to mn in May 2014 and the hesitancy of the car to move (accelerate) from a stopped position for several seconds after engaging the gas petal continues and is increasing in frequency. The car has been taken in to the local Toyota dealer on three occasions with the same answer that there is no problem with the car. I have been in two near accidents while pulling out in traffic on to a high speed divided highway and consider this a very serious safety issue. It happens randomly, (three times this past week), but a pattern has developed - most incidents occur while idling at intersections for some time waiting for traffic to clear, traffic lights, etc, and then making a left hand turn onto the roadway. The car has exhibited this behavior only a couple times while making a right hand turn from a idling start. The sensation is that the engine stalled and no matter what is done with the gas petal nothing happens for anywhere up to 4-5 seconds. With traffic moving at 60 miles an hour and one is attempting to merge into traffic, a five second delay brings the on-coming traffic almost 450 feet closer to one before the car starts to move requiring more distance in traffic gaps to overcome a potential stall in the roadway. I have come across another local owner with the same problem and note at least 15 other complaints on the web of almost the exact circumstances. What does it take for Toyota to recognize this as a safety issue?

- Nisswa, MN, USA

problem #8

Jun 162015


  • 24,626 miles
Black shredded material blew out of the air vents upon starting the car. If I had not had the A/C on and, rather, chose to turn it on while driving, I might have been blinded by the large amount of shredded material that flew into my face and eyes. - that is a liability as far as I am concerned. Had I been driving, I can see that I would have had a very difficult time being able control something I could not see. I was told by the dealership that I may have a rodent issue - I have done some research on line and have learned that Toyota, among other car manufacturers, is constructing vehicle parts out of biodegradable products, including soy, cane husks, etc., making my car a tasty treat for nasty animals. Furthermore, there is nothing that prevents something from crawling from the outside into the cabin through the engine and I believe that to be a manufacturing defect. I am looking for Toyota to cover the cost of fixing this issue.

- Leesburg, VA, USA

problem #7

Apr 082015

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 26,500 miles
Water is leaking into the vehicle soaking carpet and electronics. Can be a damaged windshield. Worried about safety on roads.

- White Plains , NY, USA

problem #6

Dec 232014


  • 36,300 miles


The door open alert and alert beeping came on as well as all of the interior lighting as I was driving. It shows glass door on the display. I checked all doors and none of the doors are open. It was very distracting and dangerous to be driving at night on the highway with all interior lights on. They keep going on and off and the alert keeps beeping. As far as I can find out, there is no way to turn off the interior lights. My car is out of warranty by 300 miles. I just had it in for the 35,000 mile service. I find numerous accounts of this known issue on several websites/discussion forums. I called Toyota and was informed there is no recall however I found there was a tsb? sent out on the back latches. I called jim norton Toyota in tulsa, ok and was informed they want a $110 diagnostic fee to see what the issue is. Seems like with all of the same issues that Toyota would look into this issue and resolve. Toyota said they could not waive the diagnostic fee. Hoping I can find a quick fix or someone willing to resolve this issue inexpensively or better yet, Toyota could step up and resolve the issue themselves as a customer service stand.

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #5

Oct 292014

Highlander 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
The 2013 Highlander was serviced in Florida Monday 10/27 for 15000 miles service, today my sister was driving since service, the traction light came on, the engine light was flashing, the Highlander was not stable driving straight on the road and seemed like it needs a tune up.I called the dealer and it was taken their, first response was gas put in, yes. Was told possible the cap was not put on right and with newer cars it could be a malfunction the computer.. turned out that the ignition coil switch was bad on this 2013 Highlander. Which is why I'm reporting this due to recent issue with another car manufacture knowing the ignition switch was bad on their automobiles.

- Blacklick, OH, USA

problem #4

Jul 052014

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 20,437 miles
I purchased a 2013 Toyota Highlander from cabe Toyota, a Toyota dealer in long beach, California, on March, 2013. I always use cabe Toyota for the maintenance of this vehicle. I brought this vehicle to cabe Toyota on July 5th, 2014 for 20,000 miles service and replaced the cabin filter as per their recommendation. I realized the acceleration of the vehicle were slower when entering the freeways after the service. The performance was even worse when the vehicle going uphill and the top speed stays on 40 mph even when the acceleration paddle was fully engage. When I was vacuumed the vehicle yesterday, Sept 26th, 2014. I noticed some electric wires were unplugged, and one set of them was cut off completely. I am not sure this is the result of manufacture failure or maintenance problem. Therefore, I would like to obtain information for independent inspection center in my area from you, so that I can bring my car to have complete diagnoses. Thank you.

- Diamond Bar, CA, USA

problem #3

Mar 262013


  • 16,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph, the vehicle suddenly stalled. Also, the contact mentioned that the headlights and instrument panel light intermittently failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician was unable to duplicate the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 16,000.

- Soldier Grove, WI, USA

problem #2

Dec 062013


  • 5,300 miles
I bought my 2013 brand new 9/27/12. Shortly after I received it I noticed songs would skip or start over on the ipod as well as the cd. A few months later the radio station would changed channels for no reason. These things happened if I was backing out of a parking space, going over a slight bump or just driving normally on a regular road or a freeway. I've gone to two Toyota dealership who can't find any problem and because the problems are intermittent they say they can't diagnose it. I've had two caseworkers at Toyota of America and they say there is nothing they can do. In the past month when I pulled in the garage the headlight "sometimes" turn off when I turn off the ignition. Other times they stay on the normal 30 seconds. I've also had a couple of issues that other Highlander owners mentioned on your website mainly when I'm at a stop and the light turns green a couple of times when I step on the gas the car engine revs a few seconds then lurches forward. Also recently the dashboard lights dim or brighten for no reason at all. My concern is that it seems problems are increasing and I just don't know exactly what steps to take next.

- Bothell, WA, USA

problem #1

Dec 012012

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 600 miles
At totally random times, after a few miles of driving or 100 miles, vehicle hesitates when accelerating. Most annoying and dangerous is the way it doesn't respond to the accelerator for a few seconds after stopping at a stop sign or stop light. Took vehicle to Toyota dealership and of course vehicle ran fine for the 4 miles they drove it. Tech checked for any trouble codes and none were found. This seems like a rear-end accident waiting to happen. For ten days we have gotten nothing but the run-around from the national Toyota "case manager". (at first we thought this hesitation occurred because the vehicle was new, but after 8,000 miles, we are still experiencing the same issue.)

- Stillwater, OK, USA

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