really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
99,340 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.

2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid electrical problems

electrical problem

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2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #58

Jul 032016

Highlander Hybrid

  • 135,000 miles


While driving on a major highway and in the fast lane going approximately 75/80 mph my 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid died and failed to drive. The panel on the dash had a red ! exclamation point, and said check hybrid system and check vsc system. I was able to navigate my vehicle to the right breakdown shoulder to call for a tow. Tried to start my vehicle several times and it would not start, but the hazard lights and instrument panel continued to light giving evidence my new 12V battery was functioning properly. Called Toyota motor usa and asked what recalls they have listed for my vehicle and they asked for my VIN. They told me the electrical inverter assembly was covered for my VIN. They gave me the number of a tow company to call and told me it was covered by Toyota and I'd have a rental waiting for me. I had it towed to my local dealership as directed, they fixed several other recall issues but not this one, so when I drove off the lot the car died again. I managed to start the vehicle and drive it back across the highway into the dealership. After speaking with Toyota corporation usa again, they apologized and said they misinformed me and that my vehicle was not part of that recall. However, they paid for my tow and for my rental for 5 days (thus far). My case number given from Toyota Corp is 1607053248. I read online there is a class action suit regarding this issue. Karl and irina gaal vs. Toyota motor sales, U.S.a., Inc., a California corporation. Via atty mike arias. Toyota's customer experience has put in a request for me to speak with a supervisor and the Toyota dealership's GM in my area is also working on this issue as it's still pending.

- Lynn, MA, USA

problem #57

Jun 192016

Highlander Hybrid

  • 175,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid. The contact stated that the vehicle experienced a total loss of power while driving 35 mph. As a result, the vehicle was no longer operable. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 175,000. The VIN was not provided.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #56

May 252015

Highlander Hybrid

  • 195,450 miles
On 12/02/13 the brake light and vcs system light came on. The warning light also went on and a beep noise inside the cabin, brakes does not function (breaks not responding). I took the car to an authorized Toyota dealership. According to the dealer codes (C1241 low or high power supply voltage, C1256 accumulator low pressure, and C1391 abnormal leak in accumulator) must be replaced the actuator assy, B part no. 4405048190. Actuator was replaced on 12/28/13 at $1,495 with tax for $ 1,600 and labor cost of $333.84. Ust be replaced. On 05/25/15 again the brake light and vcs system light came on. The warning light also went on and a beep noise inside the cabin, brakes does not function (no break). I took the car to an authorized Toyota dealership for a diagnostic and I pay $64.20. Again they mentioned that for a second time the actuator assy, B part no. 4405048190 needs a replacement. I ask for the guarantee and only was valid for 1 year. Diagnostic trouble codes report (ABS/vsc/trac), codes (C1252 break booster pump motor on time abnormally long, C1256, accumulator low pressure, C1391, abnormal leak in accumulator). I think that there is an electronic problem with the 2006 Highlander hybrid and they do not know what the cause since is in a 6 years period the actuator assy was replaced and less than 1.5 year again the same part (actuator assy) needs replacement, current price is $2,000. I cannot use the car the brakes are not responding and I can have an accident.

- Ponce, PR, USA

problem #55

Aug 032015

Highlander Hybrid

  • 162,000 miles


While driving home from work in normal free-flowing traffic conditions on the freeway, several lights came on the dash indicating brake issues including vsc, ABS, skid, parking brake light. Continued to cautiously drive home, brakes seemed ok. Had our non-dealer mechanic look at the brakes all were fine and had recently been replaced. He could not find a brake issue. Took to the local Toyota dealer and one code came up C1391 "abnormal leak in accumulator" and was told I needed a new brake actuator at the cost of $3273. Diagnostic cost $138. Additional information on diagnostic paperwork from dealer says, "check for dtc's found C1391, check for fluid leaks, could not find leaks, check accumulator pressure voltage (3.5 V), depressed pedal 4-5 times accumulator pressure drops below 3.0 V, recommend replace brake/ABS actuator". other notes, some part of hybrid system seems to be cycling every few minutes. Over the years, when braking, there have been times where they "jump" or don't grab during brake pressure and after reading have found this complaint with other owners. I see that the Camry and the Lexus have both had this part recalled/replaced by Toyota and wondering why, when this is likely the same hybrid system and component, that Toyota will not step up to the plate and offer this replacement part for owners for free or at a discount? the other vehicles have had accidents as a result of this part and Toyota should step up to the plate on the Highlander hybrid.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #54

Jun 202015

Highlander Hybrid

  • 180,000 miles
My wife and I were travelling on I-95 (southbound) towards richmond, va. My wife was the driver. We were steadily travelling at a speed... between 65 and 70 in the left lane (required speed limit). All of a sudden, with no warning, the panel lights started blinking and the power to the car was shut off. My wife was screaming because she was not able to control or effectively apply brakes. She tried and pulled car off the road barely and we pushed it off to a safe side. This could have resulted in a serious accident if we were travelling in the middle lane. The car was left overnight and towed to Toyota dealer. The dealer called back and gave a quote of $10000 because the hybrid inverter have to replaced. I mentioned the recall on the inverter. The dealer said the recall does not cover my issue. There is a recall on your website -what action or recourse do I have. The original owner of the car replaced the inverter at 16200 miles. Evidently all the 2006 inverters are defective. My question is this ---why your department is Toyota to get away with such a serious defect?

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #53

May 092015

Highlander Hybrid

  • 161,359 miles
Engine mechanical ~|~check and report...check engine light and vsc light on dash, .found inverter pump not working properly ~|~replaced inverter water pump

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #52

Jul 252010

Highlander Hybrid

  • 71,893 miles


Engine mechanical ~|~check and report...check engine light and vsc light on dash, ,,car lost power while driving, had to pull over and get the vehicle towed in to the dealership... ~|~tech pulled code P0A05, P0A08, P0A93, ...found inverter pump not working properly ~|~replaced inverter water pump

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #51

Jun 152014

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 119,167 miles
While decelerating to turn into our drive way the vehicle rapidly accelerated. We were able to get it stopped by using the brakes, ending up in the yard/sidewalk. There were approximately 10 feet of skid marks. The engine was racing while the brakes were being applied. The floor mat was not involved. The increased engine RPM was not initiated nor controllable by the operator. This was truly an uncontrolled run away that could have been life threatening.

- Centennial, CO, USA

problem #50

May 142014

Highlander Hybrid

  • 107,500 miles
There was fire in the inverter assembly. The wiring harness for the inverter and the transmission were completely cooked and melted. The professional opinion of a Toyota national engineer is that the generator in the trans axle surged and caused a fire melting the components. How can this go un-investigated with so many of these vehicles on the road. My family and I could have been burned alive or in a fatal crash due to this completely unsafe system. How can Toyota continue to say they are all about safety when they will not do anything about issues like this. They have sent me a $16,000 bill for this issue that is completely a product of their poor and unsafe vehicle.

- Oilivia, NC, USA

problem #49

May 152014

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 107,500 miles
I was driving the vehicle and heard a loud popping noise on the way to the dealership for recall work. Once the technician opened the inverter case we found the wiring harness for both the inverter and transmission were completely melted and cooked due to a fire inside the inverter. I am now looking at a $15000 repair bill with Toyota and luckily my family and I were not burned alive or in an accident resulting in fatalities.

- Sanford, NC, USA

problem #48

Sep 202013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 140,250 miles


As I pulled out of the parking lot of a hotel the check vcs system, check hybrid system, check AWD system warnings began to illuminate and alternate. The master warning light, slip indicator light, check engine warning light and the electronically controlled brake system warning light were all illuminated as well. The car would drive, however, the power steering and ABS were not working. I was able to drive the car to the closest Toyota dealership. I was originally told that the car simply needed a new battery. Once the battery was replaced, I was told that the ECU for the ABS system had died and would need to be replaced at the cost of $2000. When I mentioned the recall and the fact that the symptoms were directly in line with the recall notice for the imp I was told that while my VIN fell under the boj recall, the specific serial # of my imp did not. I was also told that this was not the problem my car was having. When I asked whether the serial numbers of the D1M recall were checked I was told this was an "interim recall" and that they were not authorized to do repairs on this one yet so they couldn't check. Research has indicated that an imp failure can cause and ECU failure. Furthermore, an ECU failure would not have caused the system to go into fail safe mode as it did. I have a Toyota case #, but they have told me there is nothing they can do.

- Allen, TX, USA

problem #47

Aug 262013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
My wife was backing out of our driveway when the car suddenly lost power to the wheels and all of the warning lights came on. She was unable to move the car forward or backward to get the car out of the lane of traffic. We got the car towed to the local Toyota dealership. They informed us that the inverter was bad and we needed a new one. We had received a recall notice about replacing an "intelligent power module" and had the repairs done Jan 9th 2013. The repair shop has said that the replaced part is working and that it is the inverter itself that has gone bad. I have seen many other complaints about this problem online. I am just thankful that she wasn't going highway speed with our child in the car when she lost power. That could have been very dangerous.

- Centennial, CO, USA

problem #46

May 032013

Highlander Hybrid

  • miles
Vehicle died while going down street. Had to be pushed out of roadway.

- Covington, LA, USA

problem #45

Aug 212013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 149,405 miles
While driving the vehicle at approx. 60 miles per hour the brake light and vcs system light came on. The warning light also went on. In accordance with the owner's manual, I took the car to an authorized Toyota dealership. According to the automobile status report, the ABS-hydraulic control assembly: With ECU must be replaced. According to complaints I researched on-line, several complaints have been documented relating to this make, model and ABS system. I filed an incident with Toyota (reference number: [xxx]). the intake representative who checked with the dealership said this wasn't a recall item and no support was available to extend the warranty on the part. She confirmed that the service department stated that there was no defect in the workmanship. I asked [xxx] (the person I spoke to) if I could take the vehicle for a second opinion relating to the ABS part. I also asked for verification that the service department actually checked the part for a defect or is qualified to determine if in fact it is a manufacturers' defect. The dealership quoted that the ABS part; brake flush/fluid exchange/bf; engine air filter replacement;A/C service-acs; coolant flush (premium)-cf; and fuel injection service would cost $2,250. I also asked the Toyota customer service representative what the battery expectancy on the car is and whether the manufacturer offers any support in terms of the costs. I was told by the dealership that the battery can cost $5,000 to replace but the manufacturer may offer some support. I would appreciate your assistance, research and filling of this complaint. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Parkland, FL, USA

problem #44

Jun 092013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
We were driving on the NJ turnpike. Suddenly, the car stalled and the steering locked. Luckily, we just started the hour long drive and were on the slow lane and was able to glide the car over safely to the shoulder. The check "csv" and "check hybrid system" lights came on and the hybrid battery showed no energy. The car would not start and was towed to the closest Toyota dealership. There were no prior warnings about battery errors or problems before completely stalling. It is understandable problems will arise, but with no warning and a car stalling on a major highway, the incident could have been extremely dangerous.

- Cedar Grove, NJ, USA

problem #43

Feb 162013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
Hybrid inverter failure. Accelerating from stoplight to enter highway ramp. Loud bang and all lights on dash came on. Engine continued running but no propulsion. Had it towed to dealer and informed it was a hybrid inverter failure, and would cost $10,000 to repair. We are now looking at class action lawsuits.

- Milton, GA, USA

problem #42

Jan 262013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
My 17-year-old daughter was driving on I-5 in northern California. She had cruise control set at 70mph and was traveling up hill when cruise control suddenly popped off and car went dead. She had no power, and power steering went out. She managed to coast to the crest of the hill and down the other side to pull off the road, but was in a very dangerous situation near truck weigh station with big rigs pulling on and off highway. Car had to be towed to dealership. We were informed that hybrid inverter was dead and would cost $8,000+ to repair. Contacted corporate and was informed that since the car was out of warranty they would offer no assistance in repair costs. Have since heard other similar stories regarding 2006 Toyota hybrids.

- Red Bluff, CA, USA

problem #41

Nov 102012

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
My son was driving and the vehicle stopped on him in the middle of the road with no warning or power steering. Vehicle had to be towed to the dealership. Was informed by the dealership that the hybrid generator had shorted and needed $7,300 worth of repairs. I am very concerned that this vehicle is dangerous, if he was on a very busy road and this vehicle were to have stopped on him as suddenly as it did that day he could of possibly been rear-ended and seriously injured. This vehicle has been a part of several recalls with this same type of issue, but Toyota has refused my request for this vehicle to be repaired or issue a recall with this issue.

- Victoria, TX, USA

problem #40

Oct 192012

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
After making a left turn at a stop sign, the vehicle display started indicating error codes including check hybrid system. After driving approx 1/2 mile, the vehicle lost power and shut down/stalled in the middle of the highway in traffic. Fortunate, I received some help from an on-looker to help me manually steer the car over slightly on to the sidewalk area as traffic is congested in that area. Toyota does not consider this a safety issue even though their recall notice indicates "increasing the risk of a crash". additionally, they will not honor their recall notice for the hybrid system inverter stating the intelligent power module located on the inverter was not the cause of the failure even though the conditions were exactly what is stated on the recall notice.

- Felton , PA, USA

problem #39

Sep 252012

Highlander Hybrid

  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the check hybrid system warning light illuminated as the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was merged to the shoulders as all of the instrument panel gauges illuminated. In addition, the vehicle would not move. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who stated hat the wiring harness to the rear differential was corroded. The corrosion had to be cleaned off from the wiring harness connection and the engine restarted. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure who stated that there was no recall for the failure and offered no further assistance. The failure mileage was 90,000.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

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