hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
111,481 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

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 #20

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 #19

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 #18

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 #17

Apr 172015

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 49,936 miles
I was driving on a straight highway between 45 -50 mph. Sudden a bunch of lights and warnings came up in the dashboard. I lost power steering and motor propulsion too. I pressed the accelerator and nothing happened. Although I had the ability to brake, it seemed that the braking was also impaired. However because I was going up an incline I did not need strong braking. I managed to coast over to the breakdown lane. Luckily there were only a couple other cars near me so it wasn't too difficult to maneuver by them and coast to the other side of the road where the breakdown lane was. Once I was completely stopped I shut the car down completely and restarted in the normal hybrid startup manner. The car propulsion and steering came back but now the message was alternating between "maintenance needed" and "check vsc system", and the check engine light and symbol was on. I shut off everything electrical to minimize electrical drain. I was able to drive the car another 8-10 miles to get home but I was constantly looking to see where I could pull over if the car stopped again. I made it home. Tomorrow bring it to the Toyota dealer. Significantly, I recently had the brake actuator replaced at a cost of around $2700, specifically because they warned me that I could lose braking and other electronic facilities unpredictably. I thought that expensive repair would avoid this. Unfortunately it appears that what they were predicting could happen did happen, but after the repair! I was on a highway when the car died but with not much traffic and an easy access breakdown lane. Had it been 10 minutes later I might have been on a much busier highway in a place where a breakdown lane is much harder to reach. That would have been a dangerous situation. Had it been daytime and in a safer area I would have stopped and called for a tow truck.

- San Juan, PR, USA

problem #16

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 #15

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 #14

Apr 162014

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Engine shutdown at 70mph, engine/hybrid system did not respond to accelerator pedal or cruise control - no warning lights. Was able to coast to side of freeway safely. I turned off ignition and restarted the car, vehicle ran flawlessly afterwards.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #13

Oct 122013

Highlander Hybrid

  • 60,000 miles
The case was stopped and placed in parking when the vehicle started moving forward at about 3 mph. I almost hit a car 5 feet in front of me(at the time I placed the highlander in parking gear) and it ended 6 inches away from the car in the front. I had to step on the brake shift gears from parking to drive. Shift again to parking and while keeping the brakes on I pressed on the parking brake and turned the car off. There was no incline in the street or any decline observable that could have caused the original failure. My wife and my 1 year old child were inside the car when this happened.

- Ocala, FL, USA

problem #12

Sep 152013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
My wife was driving the car home after grocery shopping and the car just quit. She coasted to the side of the road and called me. I arrived and tried to start the car with no luck. Finally called a tow truck and had it towed to the Toyota dealer. They inspected the car on Tuesday (Sep 17,2013) and said the inverter was bad and that a replacement would be $8,500. I asked them to check recalls etc... with the regional rep. They are awaiting a small part to see if that will cause the inverter to work properly. My biggest concern was the car just quit without warning while driving down the road!

- Leesville, LA, USA

problem #11

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 #10

Jun 292013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
On June 29th, 2013 I was traveling South bound on interstate 95, just North richmond va, when the vehicle lost power and the and "hybrid engine fail", or something similar flashed on the display. I pulled to the left shoulder which was very narrow. Checking traffic behind me, I was able to get to the right shoulder, where it died. I had it towed to the dealer, who said the hybrid system needed to be replaced at a cost of $9,200. We opted to sell the car for scrap and received $3,600. If I hadn't been able to get to the shoulder, I would have been a sitting duck and that busy section of road.

- Olney, MD, USA

problem #9

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 #8

May 062013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the inverter/converter hybrid system shut down and all of the warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was advised that the coil pack that needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The approximate failure and current mileage was 88,000.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #7

May 042013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 178,000 miles
Driving on a major road at about 45 mph the engine suddenly made a loud noise and the car stopped. Unable to put the car in any gear- the engine was still on but would not drive or reverse. Had it towed to service station, diagnosed as an inverter failure minimum 7,000 cost to repair. Fortunately I was able to pull over to the roadside without being hurt. The car is only 6 years old and I was told it was not worth repairing.

- Calabasas, CA, USA

problem #6

Oct 312010

Highlander Hybrid

  • 72,000 miles
There's an engine surge, slight but still can be felt, when applying the brakes. The surge is intermittent but the surge is felt often. Example: After take off from a stop the next time the brakes are applied there'll be a slight bump, as if the accelerator is stepped on at the same time the brakes are applied. There's no high rev, just a bump.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #5

Feb 152013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
I was driving my 2006 Toyota higlander hybrid on I 95 in 4 lanes of dense traffic all going at least 60-70mph, when I noticed that I was losing power and my car was starting to slow down. I glanced at the dash to see multiple warning signals - check hybrid, check vsc and others. Fortunately, there was a big enough gap on the left for me to pull across the left most lane because I knew if I did not I was going to stall and likely be in a major accident. It was a very scary moment. I could not restart my car and had to wait to get towed, ( DC rush hour). The dealer said my inverter needed to be replaced. After hearing the news I remembered that I had a notice from Toyota, a recall for part of the inverter. Initially, I was told this would not cover what I needed. In the end, I was covered. I am thankful to all who reported similar issues so that this would be addressed.

- Hyattsville, MD, USA

problem #4

Nov 262012

Highlander Hybrid

  • 149,994 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid. The contact stated while stopped at a traffic light all of the lights on the instrument panel illuminated and the vehicle stalled. The contact merged to the side of the road where all attempts to restart the vehicle failed. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where the failure could not be diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted about the issue. The failure and current mileage was 149,994.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #3

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 #2

Apr 302012

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 25,259 miles
As I accelerated from a stop at a side street to enter highway traffic, I was nearly rear ended by a large truck when the hh inverter failed. The car simply suddenly failed to respond with no advance warning. Several dashboard symbols lit up, including check hybrid system, ¯and I was only able to steer to side of the road. It would not restart and was towed to the dealer. The dealer checked for recalls and said there were none. I mentioned the June 2011 notice we'd received, and that we were told that the part would not be available until Jan. 2012. We did not receive more information from Toyota and called the dealer in Jan. For an appointment. After a brief inspection, we were told the part was not defective and no replacement necessary.¯ we had been extra cautious and limited the use of our hh for months, and were disappointed that there was no effort to examine the part earlier or verify the conditions of use of the vehicle. After the car was towed in April 2012, the dealer said we needed a part, which they ordered and installed at no cost to us within a few days. The manager said that it was a very expensive part, took a long time to install, and that we were "lucky to have the warranty."¯ there was no mention of the inverter recall but the invoice indicated that there was a "boj recall." There may have been an earlier clue: On Dec. 1, 2011 the same dashboard indicators (check hybrid system and vrc) lit up in the morning when I went to start it and couldn't. we asked dealer about recalls, mentioned the upcoming scheduled notification (Jan. 2012), but were told there were none, and that problem was the battery. This may or may not have been related, but I wonder if the dealership ever considered the inverter issue in its analysis. This 2006 hh had only 25,259 miles at time of failure, only 1 owner, and rcvd regular maintenance from dealer.

- Stuart, FL, USA

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