really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,335 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.

2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Owner Comments

problem #9

Aug 222016

Highlander Hybrid

  • 70,000 miles


2008 Toyota highlander experienced hybrid system failure. It turns out its a inverter assembly failure. There was class law suit filed in 2006 for the same failure https://topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/1074-Toyota-highlander-hybrid-class-action-lawsuit/ my car 2008 model experienced same failure but it was never recalled. I had near death experience driving this car when it came to abrupt halt please review this and consider these model car for recall before they result in any deaths. Toyota has been very reluctantly putting it on NHTSA that they are the ones issuing the recalls and not Toyota.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #8

Nov 082015

Highlander Hybrid

  • 32,500 miles
After the vehicle is driven to a stop and turned off while still in drive, reverse or neutal, there is no audible or visual warning that the car is not in safely in park. When you take your foot off the brake pedal, the car will roll away if it's on an incline.

- Portola Valley, CA, USA

problem #7

Mar 102013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 116,992 miles
I was driving from Maryland back home to New Jersey and the vehicle could not accelerate or move at all when in gears. The engine was on, however the car stopped moving. I was on backroads with low visibility so neighbors and others came out immediately to push the car off the road so it would not create an accident. It was towed to the dealership and was told that it was a faulty inverter on the hybrid system. After researching, I found that the previous years models were recalled, however 2008 model was not. But as I do the research, it appears that numerous buyers of this model have had the same issue.

- Mendham, NJ, USA

problem #6

Jul 212013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles


I entered a gas station and my car just stopped. It would not restart and was towed to northridge Toyota (northridge, ca) where I was informed the "inverter" failed, and only replacement by a Toyota service center may be made due to internal component high voltage parts, at a cost of $8,244 + labor in the amount of $660. I investigated on-line and discovered numerous complaints of the same "inverter failure". following up with Toyota motor corporation, I was informed they knew of the "inverter failures in the 06-07 models and issued a recall for those hybrid models affected by this component however no further recall has occurred to date. I feel lucky I wasn't in an intersection or a dangerous situation where complete power train failure can occur at any time with this failed Toyota component.

- West Hills, CA, USA

problem #5

Oct 262012

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 102,056 miles
My wife went to move the car and backed it up where it died. Car started rolling back the drive and stopped half on half off the drop off of our driveway. She had no steering and no brakes. I checked out the car and it said hybrid error call dealer. The car would not run. I had it towed to dealer and he called me to tell us the power inverter needs to replaced at the cost of $8,600. I understand Toyota had a problem with their 06 - 07 highlanders for the same issue. Nothing on a car should cost $8,600 to fix without being in a major car accident. We should have been told up front how much this would cost to fix in the event of failure. Luckily she wasn't on a highway when this happened.

- Elverson, PA, USA

Search CarComplaints.com for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #4

Jan 282012

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 71,191 miles
The vehicle stalled (lost control of steering and engine ceased to operate) while driving at around 35 mph. "hybrid system warning" was displayed and it advised to pull over and contact dealership immediately.

- Millbrae, CA, USA

problem #3

Feb 182010

Highlander Hybrid

  • 21,280 miles


Accelerator pedal sticking - Toyota Highlander hybrid 2008 (not recalled!) on 2/18/10, my accelerator got stuck while driving. I have been driving for 30 years, and I know how to drive, so please spare me Toyota! also, my car is not even on the recall list yet!!!! I accelerated quickly from a stopped position. Once the accelerator was released, the vehicle continued to race. I hit the brake, put car in neutral, and the vehicle stopped moving. About 3 seconds later, and without touching the accelerator, (the accelerator was not stuck to the mat, and in its released position) I put the car back into drive. The car once again began to race forward. I put the car in neutral again (it stopped once again), waited 20 seconds, and back in drive, it was then ok. The pedal did not get stuck to the floor mat as Toyota claims could happen. The floor mat in my car was no where near the path of the pedal. I was able to drive the car home, albeit very carefully! the scary part, is that Toyota did not recall this vehicle for this problem! I bought the car to the dealer the same day, and they were a bit nonchalant about this, and also told me they did not find a problem, and there was nothing they could do about it, which really concerns me! also, my call to Toyota corporation was taken very loosely, and they did not seem to have much concern, except to tell me to remove my floor mats.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #2

Feb 152010

Highlander Hybrid

  • 40,000 miles
2008 Toyota Highlander hybrid 4WD - the antiskid mechanism for ice is very effective but creates a dangerous situation when in snow. On this model, there is no manual override. I live in rural North Dakota and blowing snow or rural roads are a part of life here. This is the second time that I got stuck in a minor drift on the road but in temperature of double digit below wind chills. When the problem occurs is when the car sense wheel slippage. This turns all power off to the wheels. 'flooring the pedal" results in no revving of the engine. (this may be a problem only on the hybrid, I am not sure.) as the power gets turned off, it becomes impossible to 'rock' the vehicle out of the drift. The first time this happened, I thought that I broke the vehicle as it was like the car was off. Nothing happens when depressing the gas pedal. I needed to shovel completely so there was no wheel slippage. Yesterday, it created a dangerous situation with the elements and the car not receiving power to the wheels. I did an internet search when this happened the first time and found others have had similar problems. One person described the vehicle when stuck in snow as "a gigantic boat anchor." I called my local Toyota dealer and then the '800 number' for Toyota customer service and did not get anywhere. I think the safety solution is a manual override switch.

- Thompson, ND, USA

problem #1

Dec 272008

Highlander Hybrid

  • 20,000 miles
I own a 2007 Toyota Highlander hybrid. During the snow days we were trying to drive it up my snow covered road but could not due to the slight incline and the compact snow. My wife was driving, I was in the passenger seat and grandpa was in the back. Once we stopped the car was put into ┐park┐, I got out and was walking around the back. By then my wife and grandpa were just outside of the vehicle with the doors still open. Then the vehicle started rolling backwards bumping into me and knocking me over almost running over me. My wife and grandpa were being pushed over by the open doors. My wife was able to climb back in and hit the brakes to stop the vehicle. Grandpa was knocked over onto the ground and broke his glasses. Other than freaking us all out we were ok. I am sure this had something to do with the high tech traction control system, but it seems to me that a car in ┐park┐ should not start rolling no matter what. My question to you is. Is this normal behavior" have other people submitted this problem"

- Snohomish, WA, USA

Not what you are looking for?