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 1 of 3)

problem #51

Jun 292011


  • miles


Vehicle stability control (vsc), traction control (trac), and antilock brake system (ABS) dash lights continuously illuminated indicating that all systems are off or malfunctioning. Can confirm that the trac, vsc, and ABS are inactive all or most of the time. The ABS intervenes at random under normal braking conditions without cause at low speed (less than 20mph) and makes braking difficult and inconsistent in conditions where ABS is not normally needed. In that situation the brake pedal becomes hard to depress and braking force is inconsistently applied with little control given to the operator in turn extending the braking distance without due cause or warning. After much research online I have found numerous reports stating identical and/or similar observations and experiences. It is my opinion that the problem lies in the vsc control module, a known problematic component on this generation of Sequoia and more specifically model year 2003 vehicles. A recall for the vsc system was issued in April/May 2010 upgrading the control logic of the vsc system in certain model year 2003 vehicles. Let it be known that the vehicle in question had the recall work done in June of 2011 which did not remedy the issue as it has been either intermittent or constant since then.

- Apple Valley, CA, USA

problem #50

May 302014


  • 147,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Sequoia. While driving at 35 mph, the alarm horn failed to activate when depressed. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where it was diagnosed, but the failure was not determined. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 147,000.

- Audubon, PA, USA

problem #49

Nov 152014


  • 110,000 miles
While driving at about 55 mph, the ABS, track control sensor lights came on and suddenly the acceleration stops I press the pedal to accelerate and there was no response I could not accelerate so I turn my emergency lights on, and accelerate again and this time it worked. But it's been doing that on everyday basis the mechanic said is the vehicles computer, is there a recall for this problem" can someone help"

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #48

Oct 162014

Sequoia 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles


I am experiencing the same vsc problems as I read in the other complaints, along with other electrical issues. Randomly (or so it seems) the vsc, brake lights, drive light and others will go on and off. It has been doing this for about a month now and every time I go to take it in for service, they aren't on and they "can't find anything wrong."

- Forest Ranch, CA, USA

problem #47

Jan 012014

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 58,600 miles
Upon normal driving the vehicle would not accelerate accurately and quickly enough after making a left turn. The vehicle would also randomly illuminate 3 indicator lights when the brake pedal is depressed. The 3 indicators are brake, trac off, vsc off. Before these lights illuminate the vehicle's brake pedal would become very hard to press causing the brake pedal to require much more force applied to it thus causing a decrease in stopping distance which is a very serious safety issue.

- South Ozone Park, NY, USA

problem #46

Jun 012013


  • 80,000 miles
The rear window motor and window tracks have rusted completely. The motor has failed and the window tracks are completly rusted away. The window is not unoperable. There is a short in the O2 sensor wiring underneath the vehicle. There is currently a recall on the above vehicle regarding frame rust. I believe that the above complaints are directly related to the rust issues that this vehicle has.

- West Seneca, NY, USA

problem #45

Aug 202013

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 245,000 miles


Wire that goes into wiring connection to A/C fan motor is on side near bottom of motor and is exposed to excess wear when feet are placed in foot well as toe-end of shoes can contact/wear against the wires. The wiring also has to go through a sharp 180 degree turn to enter connection. Insulation on wiring failed and conductors shorted, partially melting the connector and produce an acrid smell. Fuse did not open. Wiring and/or connector must be replaced.

- Studio City, CA, USA

problem #44

Feb 052013


  • 190,000 miles
Hi I have a 2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5, and the vsc trac, vsc off and check engine came on all at once, took it to auto parts store and they ran the scanner it said to change the O2 sensor, which I did and nothing changed, I have read about this problem that has been coming up quiet a lot in this model, can you tell me if there is a recall for this problem, I went to the dealer and they told me that there was not any recall related to this issue.

- Lake In The Hill, IL, USA

problem #43

Aug 312012

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 119,000 miles
The vsc trac light has been on (showing it is off), along with the check engine light. Occasionally the brake light comes on too while driving. Today the ABS light came on. The only code that is coming up is for a weak O2 sensor.

- Oil City, PA, USA

problem #42

Oct 112011

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
One day the vsc trac, vsc off, brake, ABS lights all came on the dash, shortly after this happened we received a recall notice in the mail stating this exact problem. So I made an appointment at our local Toyota dealership for them to look at it and fix. The first time I dropped it off for the day they called after and said the machine to test the vehicle was down, and that it would be a day or two before it was repaired, well I needed my vehicle so I went a picked it up. About a month later I made another appointment and returned to the dealership where they finally tested my vehicle and proceeded to tell me that my vehicle did not fit the criteria for VIN identification. I really do not know how this is possible considering all the information stated on the recall is exactly what is wrong with my vehicle. After days of research I have learned that multiple sensors and ECU needs to be replaced costing in the range of $2000 plus dollars. Also I have read multiple consumer complaints just like this one. These lights are on the vehicle for a reason and Toyota put the recall out for a reason so fix the problems!!!!

- Charodn, OH, USA

problem #41

Aug 172012

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 54,000 miles


Vsc trac, vsc off, brake, ABS lights... all on, all at once. There is obviously a quality control issue with these that Toyota does not want to be on the hook for. Many others went to the national highway safety program and filed a complaint. If they get enough of these they will go to the manufacturer and issue a recall.

- Vancouver , WA, USA

problem #40

Jun 152012

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
We had intermittent off/on of interior lights while driving, but only during left turns. There was no (important) "door ajar" alert which normally would present as a red icon warning on the dash, there was no warning light. I worked as a mech. Engineer and tested all doors for "play", how tight the door closed. The right front passenger door was loose. I opened the door, checked if the seatbelt was shut-in with the door but all was normal. I wiggled the latch which is screwed in by 2 large star/allen screws. That was it, it was very loose, it took 5 turns to tighten each one. I checked the other doors, all were just fine. The door would have opened if this latch came all the way out, even belted in, a person could be injured.

- Eureka, CA, USA

problem #39

May 252012

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 97,187 miles
I just bought this used 2003 Toyota Sequoia on May 25, 2012. I noticed the warning lights indicating a defective traction control system and ABS system on my way home from the dealership. They assured me the system works fine and that it has something to do with the computer module. All the following warning lights are on at the same time: Trac, vsc off, and ABS lights. I also checked the vehicle history on the Toyota website and it is recorded that the Toyota dealer worked on this problem on 07/23/2009 when the car had 97,187 miles. I have done a lot of research on this and it seems 50,000 Sequoia's were recalled for this problem, however, my Sequoia's VIN was not on the list. Please help. In addition the lighting on the dashboard does not work.

- Bowling Green , OH, USA

problem #38

Feb 062012

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 50,808 miles
During my work commute this morning the "vsc trac" and "vsc off" lights came on at the same time and stayed on.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #37

Apr 012005

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • miles
A few months after we purchased the vehicle in December 2004 we noticed that the traction lights are coming on periodically. We took the car to Toyota service to check the issue and been charged hundreds of dollars for diagnosis and sensor replacement. However the problem was not solved and even got worst: The traction and brake lights were continuously on now. In 2010 we received a notice about a recall with regard to the above issue and brought the car to Toyota dealership located at 4248 morse rd., columbus, oh 43230. The car was serviced but a few hours afterwards all the lights were on again. When we returned to the same dealership with the same complaint we were told that the recall was on the vehicle computer adjustment, which was done, and that and any additional services will be charged in full. We looked up the recall document and realized that it is clearly specified under remedy that: If the reflash cannot be completed on a particular vehicle, the ECU will be replaced with a new one. This service will be performed free of charge. Since the manufacturer dealership is refusing to comply with the recall requirements we would like to bring the issue to your attention and seek your intervention.

- New Albany, OH, USA

problem #36

Dec 072007


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Sequoia. The contact stated that 3 years ago the vsc tracking and the check engine light would illuminate on the instrumental panel prior to the vehicle accelerating and causing the vehicle to spin out of control. The vehicle was inspected by the dealer who informed the contact that she needed to replace the oxygen sensor, gasket, and the entire instrument panel. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was unknown. The VIN was unavailable.

- Arcadia, CA, USA

problem #35

Aug 172010


  • 76,000 miles
I purchased this vehicle in 2007 with 43,000 miles. Since then I have driven 30,000 miles in 4 years. When I first pick this car it looked great. The day I picked it up it had a dent in the back, and the dvd player didn't work and was replaced. There was a water leak that Toyota had to repair and remove an odor associated with it. Later, I brought it in to have my gas tank level indicator repaired but was told that it was time consuming and basically was advised that the dashboard had to be taken out so, I didn't get it done. I replaced my battery, constantly had my oil changed, as the paint started to peel on my left front fender. Tie rods were replaced that had broken, which was covered by the platinum coverage that I purchased for $1000. I've had a vsc logic relay replaced and trim repaired that was lifting off. Now my coverage on the platinum plan was over 4-10-2010 on the 17th of August my rear window would not go down, about three days later the brake light came on. On the 19th the 4 wheel drive control initiated and when it's initiated to go off the center will continue to be engaged, blinking. Even till today when the vehicle is started up you have to dis-engage the 4 wheel drive. So I took it to Toyota. That's when this final horror began. I had my oil changed (Sunday), and the next day (Monday) I took it back for service. After they ran a diagnostic trend here's what I was told: The rear window motor was bad and needed replacing even though they know of the problems associated with the rear windows. $690 master cylinder assembly………………………….1165.00 ccnter differential………………………………….2134.00 serpentine belt and tensioner……………………….492.00

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #34

Oct 252010


  • 40,000 miles
2003 Toyota Sequoia - vsc trac, vsc off, and ABS dash lights turned on and stay illuminated. Taken to dealer multiple times to diagnose. They have finally admitted the vsc computer chip is faulty. This causes the anti-skid brakes to malfunction. After doing further research, I have found that this is a common problem in many Toyota Sequoias. Toyota will not issue a recall, even though the problem is due to a faulty design.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #33

Jun 182010


  • 80,000 miles
2003 Toyota Sequoia, vsc and ABS lights came on and off several times @ 20K miles and now @ 80K miles. First time @ 20 K miles, dealer didn't find any problem so they said I might forget to tighten the gas cap...but now after 5 years, the vsc and ABS light started popping up again when I was driving 60 mile/hour, I have brought the ca to dealer and this time they have charged me almost $ 500 to get these lights came off including a series of unnecessary parts replacing and tune up. Less than one month, these lights - vsc and ABS came on again, brought back to dealer, they said it failed for another code which require another $ 500 to get it fixed. I was frustrated so I took the car back home, but I still feel unsafe when driving it. I think Toyota should consider this issue and recall since so many customers have reported a similar issue - vsc and ABS light intermittent issue.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #32

Jun 182010


  • 155,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Sequoia. The contact was driving at 45 mph, the vehicle stability control warning light, anti lock brake warning light, and the traction control warning light illuminated simultaneously. In addition, there was an unusual noise coming from the brakes. The contact had not spoken with the dealer or the manufacturer regarding repairs or a diagnostic of the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The current and failure mileages were 155,000.

- Valdosta, GA, USA

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