really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
60,643 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.

2003 Toyota Sequoia electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Toyota Sequoia Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #31

Jul 162003


  • 10,300 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Sequoia. While driving at 10 mph, the vehicle began to shake and the vsc and trac lights illuminated. The shaking stopped after five second but the lights stayed on. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealership twice; on the first visit, the dealer turned off the lights and on the second visit, the dealer stated that the translate computer assembly needed to be replaced. The failure mileage was approximately 10,300. The current mileage was approximately 98,000.

- Tujunga, CA, USA

problem #30

Dec 242009


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Sequoia. While driving at approximate speeds of 65-75 mph, the trac off and brake warning lights were illuminated on the dashboard. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. The manufacturer advised there were no recalls for her vehicle. The failure persisted intermittently. The approximate failure mileage was 15,000 and the current mileage was 20,000.

- Clarksdale, MS, USA

problem #29

Dec 232008


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Sequoia. The contact stated that while driving in snowy weather at 28 mph, the vehicle suddenly accelerated, skidded to the left and crashed into a field. There were no injuries but a police report was filed. The vehicle was taken to an independent repair shop where the body was repaired. The acceleration problem had not been addressed at the time of the complaint. The contact believed the failure occurred because of the electrical system. The failure mileage was approximately 95,000. The current mileage was approximately 139,000.

- Sand Point, ID, USA

problem #28

Feb 132005


  • 65,000 miles


We own a toyata Sequoia ltd 2003 model year. We took the vehicle several times to the dealer regarding braking issue. If we ever used the emergency brake, for some reason the right side front and rear brakes will start to lock up, that would shake the SUV and we had to pull over. The dealer never determined what the problem was even though we ended up paying for repairs that never made a difference. Eventually we stopped using the emergency brake on our vehicle, that also stopped the right side wheels from locking up. During this period the car parked in our driveway also crashed into our garage and broke the garage doors. With emergency brakes on and in park, middle of the night we there was a loud bang, the SUV had crashed into the garage; even though the SUV was in park position gear and with emergency brakes on.

- Lexington, MA, USA

problem #27

Apr 222009


  • 56,000 miles
The car was being driven when all of a sudden the engine light came on, ABS light came on, the vsc lights came on, all on my 2003 Toyota Sequoia limited. After parking the car for work, when I left work, the car stalled like it did not want to start. When I got to a stop light the car hesitated to move while I was in the middle of the road. After researching the issue online it turns out that there are numerous complaints on the ECU of the year, make and model of car. I also read that an ECU unit caused a fire, and has caused numerous accidents and safety issues. The unit controls the ABS, throttle, and other important features of the car where the unit takes control of the brake and engine, disabling the driver to be in control of the vehicle. The care was taken to the dealership for diagnostic testing and the ECU information was given to the dealership. The dealership kept the car 2 days trying to avoid changing the unit because the cost was $1800 at the dealers cost. So they finally said that T was not the ECU but a part that is related and this is not covered under warranty, and issued costs in excess of $2500. The dealership refuses to cover the parts and labor under the 8 year 80,000 mile warranty. The car only has 56,000 miles on it and it is driven for less than a mile a day. This is too much to pay for a part that Toyota knows was faulty and several complaints have been made. It will cause a major safety issue and someone needs to intervene to prevent a death to a family, especially since the car is marketed for families with children.

- Melrose Park, IL, USA

problem #26

Aug 202003


  • 13,000 miles
Vehicle skid control (vsc)continues to fail, taken the Sequoia to Toyota several time and the reset or change the vsc module. Toyota knows this is a problem on all Sequoias but don't appear to interested in fixing it.

- Assonet, MA, USA

problem #25

Dec 162008


  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Sequoia. While driving between 5-10 mph on normal road conditions, the contact heard a noise and felt excessive vibration when the brake pedal was depressed. The failure occurs whenever the vehicle is in operation. The traction control and vsc warning indicators illuminated on the instrument panel and remained lit until the engine was turned off. The vehicle was taken to the authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated that the failure was related to the anti-skid computer system and recommended that it be replaced. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure mileage was 60,000 and current mileage was 63,000.

- North Hills, CA, USA

problem #24

Jan 212009


  • 28,000 miles
I have a 2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4WD. It has been giving me the same problem since I bought it in 2003 brand new. The vsc off light and engine check lights are on almost all the time. I brought it to the dealer several times and they told me that it was due to the sensors on the brakes or that I needed a new brake pad and rotor. I have been doing the replacement deals for the past three times already and it is still giving me the same problem. I found out that there are many car owners who have reported the same problem and that it is due to a computer malfunction. It becomes a greater problem because the computer disables the vehicle control mechanism resulting in loss of skid control. The brakes fail to engage and there is no traction during a skid. It is a potentially hazardous situation when driving during the winter or when it is raining and the roads are wet and slippery. I was told to unplug the battery and plug it back it to restart the computer but it does not keep the vsc off and engine light from coming on. I am bringing it to the dealer again and hope to get them to really fix the problem. Since this problem has been reported by many car owners, there should be a recall and the highway safety commission should require Toyota to fix this problem for all owners for free.

- Chestnut Hill, MA, USA

problem #23

Oct 152008


  • 65,000 miles
In 2007, took my 2003 Sequoia to the dealer because the vsc lights came on. The dealer replaced the oxygen sensor. Now a year later, the vsc lights came on again. I have now have been told that the skid control computer needs to be replaced at a cost of $1650.

- Canton, MA, USA

problem #22

Jun 102007


  • 83,106 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Sequoia. The contact stated that the ABS/dsc warning light intermittently illuminated on the instrument panel. The dealer assured the contact that the issue was nothing to worry about and was not a big deal. The issue was later discovered to be a communication error between the skid control and the ECM. The service dealer stated that the ECM should be replaced; however, the steering angle on the vehicle was also off and a re-calibration was performed. Afterwards, while driving between 30-40 mph, the contact depressed the brake pedal and heard a loud thumping noise. She felt vibrations coming from the brake pedal. While slowing down and switching from braking to acceleration, the vehicle hesitated to accelerate and coasted momentarily until reaching full acceleration. The failure mileage was 83,106 and current mileage was 99,000.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #21

Jul 202008


  • 71,000 miles


I have a Toyota Sequoia 2003: The vsc/ABS/translate ECU have failed multiple times resulting in unsafe vehicle handling.

- Duluth, GA, USA

problem #20

Jul 022008


  • 66,000 miles
I purchased a 2003 Toyota Sequoia in November 2007. It has been at the dealer for the same problem 5 times. They just had a "rep" to come to this location to test the vehicle and they cannot find the problem. This problem has caused me to almost get in an accident as well as my wife. The skid control light will flash after making a turn (under normal conditions, going very slow) and the vehicle will not allow you to accelerate for 2 to 3 seconds. This problem occurs intermittently. It may go a week or 2 without occurring (depending on how much it is driven), and then the problem will surface. They replaced the main computer module, but the bottom line is that the problem still exist and this could become a serious matter for my family. It is not my fault that the problem does not occur when the dealership checks it or that an error code does not show up. The problem is there and something should be done about this.

- Hopkinsville, KY, USA

problem #19

Apr 212008

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 73,035 miles
My complaint is the ABS/trac light stays on continuously. We had no prior warning of this incident even though we had taken our vehicle to the Toyota dealership before with the trac light staying on all the time while the vehicle was still under warranty. Now our vehicle is out of warranty and this problem has occurred. Our dealership inspected our vehicle and found that the ABS skid control was malfunctioning. After doing a lot of research on this ECU and getting an unfair price from the dealership ($1,600) to correct the problem we saw there have been several issues with this same problem on the same make and model as our vehicle. Parts can only be found through the dealership thus we are at the mercy of the dealerships. Several of the issues have all happened after the warranties have expired, but within the powertrain warranty. I feel Toyota should look at this problem closely, we should not be replacing this part after 4 years of service. Thanks for you time and all your help will be greatly appreciated.

- Thomaston, GA, USA

problem #18

Feb 182008

Sequoia 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,000 miles
I own a 2003 Toyota Sequoia limited with approximately 57, 000 miles. I recently took my vehicle to Toyota of huntington beach for service and to check on the vehicle skid control (vsc) light because it would not turn off. The service advisor stated that based the diagnostic repair codes and a repair bulletin, he recommended a that the skid control ECU be replaced at a cost of $1667 this repair recommendation what disappointing for a number of reasons: 1.this is a repair that should have been made while the vehicle was under warranty. I have previously complained about the vsc light to a Toyota service technician while the vehicle was under warranty. The solution by the Toyota of long beach repair facility was to simply ¿reset¿ the ECU. Attached is the invoice. 2.secondly, the ECU is not a wear and tear item and is not subject to ongoing maintenance. It is a computer chip that is designed to control the vsc, etc. If the ECU can not be reprogrammed to function as intended, then this design flaw that again should have been replaced under warranty or as recall. 3.the design flaw is serious and critically affects the safety and stability of the vehicle. 4.finally, the ECU is essentially a small computer and the $1600 price tag to replace such and inexpensive part is absurd. In the event that Toyota does not honor its commitment to quality, Toyota, should reevaluate the pricing of such a small but critical part and repair.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #17

Oct 152007

Sequoia 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,869 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Sequoia. While driving 65 mph, the vehicle skid control light and check engine light illuminated. As of November 16, 2007, the dealer had not inspected the vehicle. The contact felt that the electrical system caused the failure. The current and failure mileages were 25,869.

- Chesterfield, NJ, USA

problem #16

Oct 232007

Sequoia 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles
Toyota has a widespread problem with their vsc system. My dealer wants $1800 to fix what Toyota knows is a huge widespread problem for Toyota Tundra/Sequoia. This is ridiculous and Toyota needs to replace the vsc computer and engine control computer (ecc) for free. What a bunch of non-sense!

- Edmond, OK, USA

problem #15

Jan 012006

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Sequoia. The contact stated that the ABS light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who stated that the computer system failed. The vehicle has not been repaired. The current mileage is 65,800 and failure mileage was 40,000.

- Plantation, FL, USA

problem #14

May 042007


  • miles
'2003 Toyota Sequoia vsc/trac/ABS indicators based on edmunds.com forums an increasing number of problems may contribute to uncontrolable accidents if this electronic computer is not fixed. Toyota dealers inidicate if an issue, car will resort back to conventional brakes & steering but examples on this were showing falsely. This appeared to need a fix immediately as the item was. Ball joint) recalled about 1-2 yrs ago, and now the problem was surfacing again.

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #13

Apr 172007

Sequoia 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vsc trac off lights are on after I start the car and put into drive. Dealers service department said vsc computer is faulty and needs replacement, but they will not pay for the replacement because the warranty has expired.

- Happy Valley, OR, USA

problem #12

Apr 162007

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,700 miles
I was driving on the interstate at 75 mph and the 2003 Toyota Sequoia just cut completely off, no power at all. I was in the left hand lane, and it was with my family; wife, 5 and 7 year old child, and it was all I could do to merge to the right to get out of speeding traffic and on O the emergency lane. I took the car to the Toyota dealership, and they checked the trouble codes, and determined it was the vsc ECU computer that controlled the skid control, but could not replace it because the part was not failing at that point. Two days later I was again driving down the expressway at 70 mph, and the car cut off again, no power at all, and again I almost caused an accident, trying to get off the road. I had to tow the car to the dealership, as it would nt start this time, and I was told it was the vsc ECU, and would not be covered under the drivetrain warranty, it would cost me $1100 to replace. This seems to be a common problem with Sequoia owners and is a definite safety problem. I am very lucky I was not involved in an accident both times when the car just cut off traveling down the highway!

- Ocoee, FL, USA

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