hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
107,871 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Owner Comments

problem #8

Oct 282016

Highlander Hybrid

  • 120,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Highlander hybrid. While driving approximately 40 mph, the engine stalled and the instrument panel warning indicators flashed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that there was water in the hybrid battery compartment and the compartment needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- Healdsburg, CA, USA

problem #7

Sep 062015

Highlander Hybrid

  • 108,000 miles
I purchased a new 2008 Highlander hybrid. Though I had no problems, in November 2013, the inverter was recalled at 79,000 miles, and replaced. We had no problems with the car for the next 22 months. On September 6, 2015, the car stalled and could not be restarted. We had the car towed 55 miles to the dealership. Investigation of the car over 2 days was unsuccessful in discovering the cause. On September 9, I asked if it was the inverter. I was told it was not. The service manager had contacted Toyota, who recommended taking apart the hybrid system to look for "a shorted wire". on Thursday, September 10, I was told that they found a wire, would but the system back together, and would take it for a test drive. On Friday, September 11, the car stalled and died on the third test drive. At this time, I was informed it was the inverter. The service manager agreed with me in feeling that since Toyota had taken out an inverter that was seemingly working fine, and replaced with one that failed in less than 2 years, that Toyota would "take care of me". on Tuesday, September 15, I was informed that the cost for the part was $8800, and that the "regional service/parts manager, " offered to pay half of the cost for replacement. I was not happy with this offer, as it still left me with a bill of several thousand dollars for a part that failed in less than 2 years after the recall. At this time, I have not accepted the offer. I was told to call customer service. I was informed that because the regional manager had made me an offer, there was nothing else she could do. My frustration is that Toyota recalled my vehicle for the inverter. And I believe a bad inverter was put it the car instead. This current inverter, that Toyota told me to put in the car, lasted approximately 29,000 miles and 22 months. This seems like a far cry from the expected life of an inverter.

- Englewood, CO, USA

problem #6

May 082014

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
While driving along at about 50 - 55 mph all the dashboard lights came on and the motor stopped abruptly. The result was a complete loss of power and a bit dangerous I might add. We were able to push the vehicle to the side of the road but were not able to restart. After towing it to a dealership we were informed there was no doubt a lower end motor failure. After researching this online I can see that there are many people who are experiencing this same failure in the same way. There is something that happens with an engine inverter item that causes a very expensive failure with no warning. In fact there was even a recall on the 2007 models but the recall unfortunately didn't extend into the 2008 year.

- Telluride, CO, USA

problem #5

Nov 142013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 56,968 miles


While driving my vehicle, multiple warning lights illuminated, and the vehicle lost power. I had to pull off of the road quickly to avoid being hit in rush hour traffic. I had it towed to the Toyota dealership and they diagnosed it as a bad coil pack. If a bad coil pack disables your vehicle, this is extremely dangerous because coil packs can go bad any time. If I had been on the highway instead, I could have been in a seriously accident or even killed.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #4

Jun 272013

Highlander Hybrid

  • 125,200 miles
My wife and daughter were driving on a busy highway when they heard a "pop" noise from the engine. The car stalled on the road. By the grace of god, they were able to drift to the side and did not have an accident. Next day, the dealer informed that the issue was with the hybrid system - the inversion part. The cost for repair would be $11,000! we live about an hour from our workplaces and thus put a good many miles on our car - the 125,000 miles on the car put the drivetrain out of warranty. We have had all recall services performed at the dealer, and kept regular maintenance. Not once were we advised by Toyota that the hybrid system was showing wear and may be in need of service. There was no indication (warning lights, etc.,) that the hybrid system needed attention - no fore warning at all prior to the incident. In doing research, we really got upset to find Toyota had recalled 06 and 07 models for the very same hybrid issue. We also noticed there are many people with complaints on the same issue in various online forums. To cap it off -- after the dealer told us the repair bill is $11,000, we were advised to discuss with a Toyota case manager. We did and their offer? $1,500 toward a new Toyota purchase. We were highly frustrated by this response. We feel they are well aware of the problem and should provide better warnings to users and better resolutions to the problem - and recall all effected hybrids!

- Belle Vernon, PA, USA

problem #3

Apr 012013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 170,000 miles
Highlander hybrid lost complete power while traveling on highway at 65mph. Vehicle was towed to dealer and diagnosed as failure of the power inverter. Estimated cost to repair quoted as $9,140.

- East Orange, NJ, USA

problem #2

Oct 012012

Highlander Hybrid

  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Highlander hybrid. The contact stated the vehicle stalled without any warnings. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnose that the ignition coil needed to be replaced. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 59,000.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #1

May 302012

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 93,800 miles
While driving vehicle had a loud pop sound occurred while driving 40/mph. Within 2 seconds vehicle slowed to about 5/mph allowing just enough time to get to the bike lane before coming to a complete stop. No vehicles were on same side of road allowed to jump to bike lane. Toyota of kearny mesa (san diego, ca) ran diagnostic on vehicle to determine that the hybrid inverter deadĚ. at this time they are still attempting to fix the vehicle.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

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