really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
83,042 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Toyota Sequoia Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #22

Nov 202009


  • 73,100 miles


ABS, vsc/trac lights are "on" all came up at the same time. It was a rainy day in houston, tx. Had to run 55mph at 65mph speed limit due to rain for safety pre-caution. At the time I reached my work place (approx 10miles from my residence), all 3-lights (ABS, vsc, trac) turned on. I am the 2nd owner of this vehicle, acquired it from Toyota dealer 15 October 2009. With this incident, got curious of any recalls, complaints or issues with 2003 Sequoia. Unfortunately, I just realized that I am among owners having the same issues.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #21

Oct 232009


  • 82,450 miles
Vech. Skid control alarm and reaction takes place without warning or justification. Vehicle brakes come on with warning and car shakes because the brakes which are automatically being applied and brake anti skid system is activated. This happened when traveling approx 45 mph. Thought I was going to die because of the violent reaction of the vech. This has happen more than five times and Toyota wants me to pay $2,100 to correct their engineering error. Should I submit a bill for mental anguish?

- Warsaw, IN, USA

problem #20

Jun 152009


  • 95,000 miles
I own a 2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 with 95000 miles. Vsc, trac, and ABS lights came on. Dealership said that the codes are faulty ECU. Cost of repair was $1700. The following week lights came back on. This time they tell me it is a faulty speed sensor on the front right. They recalibrated the vehicle and said if it comes back the cost of the repair is $400. Following week, the lights come on, same code for the speed sensor, so I have it replaced. Two days later, the lights are back on. Not certain what will code this time. After reading several posts online, it looks like this is a recurring issue with this vehicle. So, I'm filing a complaint sense there hasn't been a recall.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #19

May 242009


  • 60,000 miles


Driving home and all of the sudden the vsc/trac/ and ABS light go on. Toyota says it is not dangerous but the manual says to take it in asap. Spent ~$1000 to replace the control unit.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #18

Apr 022009

Sequoia 4WD

  • 68,000 miles
A vsc/ ABS/ skid lights starts to trigger on my 2003 Toyota Sequoia limited 4WD which will create unnecessary grinding sound...

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #17

May 122007


  • 88,275 miles
The vcs and traction control light came on and the vehicle started to brake by itself. This was a sudden deceleration without warning.

- Trabuco Canyon, CA, USA

problem #16

Jan 302009


  • 60,000 miles


I have a 2003 Toyota Sequoia 4X4. I had the 60,000 mile service done at piercey Toyota milpitas, ca. I received a call from the service department advising me that the vehicle battery needed replacement, which I authorized. When I picked up my vehicle, I noticed that the vsc/vsc traction light was on and would remain on. I brought the vehicle back to piercey Toyota, and they advised me that the vsc computer needed to be replaced. The cost for replacement was $2,000. I declined repair until I could do some research. I have checked the web, and apparently there are numerous complaints regarding the premature failure of the vsc computer. Your NHTSA action number is PE08072. I have no way of proving it, but I think when the new battery was installed, the vsc computer was damaged, since it had worked fine until the 60,000 mile service/vehicle battery replacement.

- Reno, NV, USA

problem #15

Feb 042009


  • 60,000 miles
While driving along at city street speeds, during dry weather, on paved roads, my vsc trac and trac off lights come on. No other warning lights come on. Then a buzzer sounds for about 3 seconds. Then at the same time, a strange grinding sound comes from underneath the car, and the brakes seem to start working for no reason. I quickly pull over, turn off the car. I check the outside of the car and see no indication of running over anything. I then start the car and all the lights are back to normal (off). This happens about 2-3 times a month, for about a month or 2 now. I have not been able to determine any problems.

- Novato, CA, USA

problem #14

Jan 052009


  • 60,000 miles
I have had the same problem as detailed in NHTSA action no. PE08072. Several times, my vehicle stability control system has activated unexpectedly. Every time, it happened when I was at a stop sign. When I accelerated to turn right, the vsc system activated and I lost power to the vehicle, half-way pulled out in a turn. After several seconds, power returned.

- Medford, OR, USA

problem #13

Oct 012008


  • 82,000 miles
Vehicle stalls occasionally when making a right turn. This happened to me while pulling into traffic which made for an extremely dangerous situation as I have to quickly steer the car over to the side of the road. After starting the engine, vsc off light is illuminated and stays on. When putting vehicle in gear and driving for a few seconds, a grinding noise with a warning signal occurs.

- Fair Oaks, CA, USA

problem #12

Nov 042008


  • miles


I bought 2003 Toyota Sequoia. I am getting the vsc traction control and ABS light on. Checked with other Sequoia owner and they have similar problem. I went to checked the car and was told that the ECU computer is faulty. The faulty ECU needs to be replaced. Since this is wide spread problem with 03 Sequoia it should be recalled. This is a safety issue. Here are the codes: C1203, C1223, C1244.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #11

Nov 122008


  • 98,000 miles
For no reason, the traction control system lights (vsc trac) have lit up and will not turn off. After researching the matter, it appears this is a common failure of the vsc traction control ECU. The approximate cost to repair is $2000. This item is currently being considered for a recall as its a widespread problem for all Toyota Sequoias. The vehicle does in fact experience the occasional locking up of the brakes coupled with the loss of ability to accelerate. This occurs several times a week and usually occurs after coming to a stop and you begin to accelerate forward again. As you begin to accelerate, the vehicle suddenly loses power and the brakes lock up and make a loud griding noise. While this occurs, if you step on the brake pedal, its very firm and you can feel a vibration in the pedal. *smch

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #10

Feb 142008

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 51,500 miles
03 Toyota Sequoia vsc trac lights on. Safety concern.

- San Pedro, CA, USA

problem #9

Oct 052007

Sequoia 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,789 miles
Vsc lights are on. My vehicle has less than 26,000 miles on it.

- Chesterfield, NJ, USA

problem #8

Oct 132007

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,454 miles
2003 Sequoia bought in Nov 2002. Currently only have 20,474 miles. 1-1/2 yrs after buying car, brake light kept coming on. Took to 3 different dealership and no one could figure out what was wrong. Finally, on 4th attempt, they said it was skid control board. They initially tried to charge me to fix it, but ended up doing under "good will." Now, a few months later, the ABS, vsc and track lights are coming on and the dealership said I need to replace the yaw sensor. They know and I know it is all related to the skid control system, but they want to charge $423 + tax to replace it. I think it should be free, considering the common problem they have with the skid control system. My warranty has expired and I don't have an extended warranty.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #7

Aug 142007

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles
2003 Toyota Sequoia (2wd) without warning the vsc/trac system engaged while turning on dry pavement causing a loss in acceleration. This was the initial incident which was followed by multiple other incidents at random intervals. Incidents occurred while making both left and right turns from a turning or stopping position. Trac off "button" does not disengage the system as indicated in the owner's manual from a low speed. Local dealership ran diagnostic test and recommended new tires/brakes but could not identify any "problems" with the vsc system other than the vsc system had engaged. After 4 new tires and new rear brakes were installed service tech drove vehicle and experienced the issue. He recommended documenting when the incidents occurred and under what circumstances in order to determine repair options. The vsc system continues to engage randomly causing a loss in acceleration when this occurs and is dangerous if driver has need to pull into traffic in instances such as turning onto major roadways.

- Liberty, MO, USA

problem #6

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 #5

Jan 062007

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vsc and trac and ABS lights come on 2003 Sequoia with 38,000 miles for no reason. Dealer says yaw rate sensor bad but have had problem with these lights since purchase in 2003. Apparently, many Sequoias from 2001 to present have problems like this. Toyota needs to be do something.

- Hampton, SC, USA

problem #4

May 012005

Sequoia 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
On my 2003 Sequoia with 50K miles, I believe I have an extremely dangerous situation! on turns, especially right turns when trying to accelerate into fast moving traffic I experience a total loss of power with no acceleration. I can pumping the gas pedal and press it to the floor, but I just coast slowly into the oncoming traffic and wait to be possibly rear ended. This happens in dry road conditions, and seems to occur more often when the engine is cold. My skid/traction lights blink for a second or two, then I re-gain engine power another second or so after that. I have also noticed my steering has become very stiff when driving in very slow situations 2-4 mph (parking lots, driveway etc.), I don't know if this is related. Thank you, dave frazee - strongsville, Ohio.

- Strongsville, OH, USA

problem #3

Mar 202004

Sequoia 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles
Vsc llights in my 2003 Toyota Sequoia have come on multiple times, the car has already been back to the dealer for repar 4 times, it seems that they either do not understand what is causing the problem, or Toyota is unwilling to admit that there is a serious defect in the car. The vsc light seems to now come on in the morning when the car is cold, and will then shut off if the car is restarted. Dealer has been notified and now waiting to see if any actions are taken.

- Peabody, MA, USA

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