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While almost every other midsized SUV had moved to car-based construction, the 4Runner remained an old-school, body-on-frame SUV, which was great for off-roading but not much else. The ride is unsettled and handling is mediocre at best. Limited trim versions have a sport suspension package with somewhat better control, but a stiffer ride. Off-road is where the 4Runner excels.
Alerts
There are 7 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2012 Toyota 4Runner has been recalled 7 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years *Redesign year
Worse Better
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03*
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05
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Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
NA
Engine Minor
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
Transmission Major
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
Drive System
NA
Fuel System
NA
Electric System
NA
Climate System
NA
Suspension
NA
Brakes
NA
Exhaust
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
Body Integrity
NA
Body Hardware
NA
Power Equipment
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 500,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2018 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 Toyota 4Runner owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

“Works intermitantly. Dealer said they did not know how to repair the current system and a new one will cost close to $1,000!”

Charles K., TX (2012 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Display screen difficult to see

“DISPLAY SCREEN IS NOT CLEAR AT ALL. VERY DIFFICULT FOR OLDER DRIVER TO SEE ITEMS ON THE DISPLAY SCREEN! IMAGES ARE NOT CLEAR! TEXT TOO SMALL AND TOO DIM”

Charles K., TX (2012 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Calipers

“Replaced brake calipers due to internal corrosion under warranty”

Graham A., MD (2012 Toyota 4Runner Trail 4.0-L V6)
Premature brake wear

“Had to have front and rear rotors resurfaced, and brake pads replaced, after 3-3.5 yrs. never had to do that on any prior vehicle. Could be nature of vehicle (truck), and that we moved to Pocono mtns for a couple of yrs”

Henry G., DE (2012 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Shocks or struts

“XREAS shocks leaking. Have to replace entire system”

Anonymous, CA (2012 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“My 4Runner has the X-REAS shock system on it. At 40k miles one of the modules went bad and the dealership had to replace the entire system, front and rear. I have an extended warrantee fortunately. If not it would have cost $3500 they said”

Anonymous, TX (2012 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

“lots of cracking around rear wheel covers”

Anonymous, ID (2012 Toyota 4Runner)
Rust

“Rust has appeared on the back tailgate. The tailgate was repainted and then the rust has returned. Toyota is unwilling to fix the issue further claiming it is rail dust, but we don't live near any rail yards”

Christopher C., ID (2012 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Body control module

“Running boards are not working properly”

Anonymous, PA (2012 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Keyless entry

“Door lock actuators broke on both the front driver's side and front passenger side”

William R., FL (2012 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Tailgate, hatch or trunk

“Hatch lift bar failed. Hatch would not stay open. $600 repair”

Anonymous, IN (2012 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“The tailgate has a persistent rust issue that Toyota will not fix”

Christopher C., ID (2012 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Seals and/or weather-stripping

“In rain , snow ,and slushy weather windows did not clear when windows were put down”

Anonymous, NY (2012 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Wind noise

“Coming from the front window, right side”

Anonymous, AB (2012 Toyota 4Runner Trail 4.0-L V6)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

CV joint

“1 CV boot leaked”

Evan C., MD (2012 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Compare 2012 Models

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Toyota 4Runner
This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
AIR BAGS:PASSENGER SIDE FRONTAL
Jan 09 2019
An inflator explosion may result in sharp metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants resulting in serious injury or death.
Summary:
Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain 2014-2016 Toyota 4Runner, 2014-2015 Scion xB, Lexus IS350C, IS250C, 2014 Toyota Sienna, Lexus IS-F, and 2014-2017 Lexus GX460 vehicles sold, or ever registered in the states of Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), and the U.S. Virgin Islands or "Zone A." Toyota is also recalling certain 2011-2013 Toyota Corolla, Corolla Matrix, Lexus IS250, IS350, 2011-2016 4Runner, 2011-2015 Scion xB, Lexus IS350C, IS250C, 2011-2014 Toyota Sienna, Lexus IS-F, 2011-2017 Lexus GX460, and 2011-2012 Lexus ES350 vehicles ever registered in the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia or "Zone B." Toyota is also recalling certain 2010-2013 Toyota Corolla, Corolla Matrix, Lexus IS350, 2010-2016 4Runner, 2010-2013 Lexus IS250, 2010-2015 Scion xB, Lexus IS350C, IS250C, 2010-2017 Lexus GX460, 2010-2014 Lexus IS-F, and 2010-2012 Lexus ES350 vehicles ever registered in the states of Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming or "Zone C." These vehicles are equipped with air bag inflators assembled as part of the passenger frontal air bag modules, used as original equipment or replacement equipment (such as after a vehicle crash necessitating replacement of the original air bags), that may explode due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to high absolute humidity, temperature and temperature cycling.
What should you do:
Toyota will notify owners. Depending on the vehicle model, dealers will replace the front passenger air bag inflator, or replace the air bag assembly. The recall began February 15, 2019. Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota's numbers for this recall are "Zone A" Toyota: G0P, Lexus: GLG; "Zone B" Toyota: G0R, Lexus GLH; "Zone C" Toyota: H0A, and Lexus: HLA.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 19V005000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 1299448
STRUCTURE:BODY:HOOD:HINGE AND ATTACHMENTS
Jul 03 2017
If the hood scoop detaches, it may become a road hazard, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC (SET) is recalling certain 2011-2016 Toyota Tacoma and 4Runner vehicles equipped with accessory hood scoops installed by SET or SET dealers. The adhesive attaching the hood scoop may weaken, allowing the hood scoop to detach from the vehicle.
What should you do:
SET will notify owners, and dealers will mechanically fasten the scoop to the hood, free of charge. The recall began on September 1, 2017. Owners may contact SET customer service at 1-954-429-2000. SET's number for this recall is SET17B.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 17V425000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 3547
AIR BAGS:PASSENGER SIDE FRONTAL
Jan 09 2017
An inflator rupture may result in metal fragments striking the vehicle occupants resulting in serious injury or death.
Summary:
Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain 2012 Toyota 4Runner, Corolla, Corolla Matrix, Sienna, Yaris, Scion xB, Lexus ES350, GX460, IS-F, IS250, IS350, IS250C, IS350C, and Lexus LFA vehicles originally sold, or ever registered, in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), and the U.S. Virgin Islands, or "Zone A." Additionally, unless included in "Zone A" above, Toyota is recalling certain 2009 Toyota Corolla, Corolla Matrix, Yaris, Yaris HB, Scion xB, Pontiac Vibe, Lexus, ES350, IS250, IS350, and IS-F vehicles originally sold, or ever registered, in Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, or "Zone B." Additionally, unless included in "Zone A" or "Zone B" above, Toyota is recalling certain 2006-2008 Lexus IS250 and IS350, 2007-2008 Lexus ES350, Toyota Yaris, Yaris HB, and 2008 Lexus IS-F and Scion xB vehicles originally sold, or ever registered in Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. These vehicles are equipped with certain air bag inflators assembled as part of the passenger frontal air bag modules used as original equipment or replacement equipment. In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the passenger frontal air bag, these inflators may rupture due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to absolute humidity and temperature cycling.
What should you do:
Toyota will notify the Toyota, Scion and Lexus owners. General Motors will contact the Pontiac owners. Depending on the model, dealers will replace the passenger frontal air bag inflator or the air bag assembly, free of charge. The recall began on February 1, 2017. Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331, or Pontiac customer service at 1-800-762-2737. Toyota's numbers for final remedy for this campaign are G0P (Toyota Zone A), G0R (Toyota Zone B), H0A (Toyota Zone C), GLG (Lexus Zone A), GLH (Lexus Zone B) and HLA (Lexus Zone C).
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 17V006000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 577875
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING:EXHAUST SYSTEM:MANIFOLD/HEADER/MUFFLER/TAIL PIPE
Aug 03 2016
Contact with an exhaust tip may result in personal injury.
Summary:
Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC (SET) is recalling certain model year 2010-2015 Toyota 4Runner vehicles manufactured September 3, 2009, to December 1, 2014. The affected vehicles may be equipped with accessory exhaust tips installed by SET or SET dealers that may contact people and possibly burn them while they are standing behind the vehicle.
What should you do:
SET will notify owners, and dealers will install a re-designed exhaust tip that is smaller in diameter and is more recessed behind the bumper, free of charge. The recall began September 15, 2016. Owners may contact SET customer service at 1-866-405-4226. SET's number for this recall is SET16D.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 16V577000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 425
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING:EXHAUST SYSTEM:MANIFOLD/HEADER/MUFFLER/TAIL PIPE
Aug 13 2015
Contact with an exhaust tip may result in personal injury.
Summary:
Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC (SET) is recalling certain model year 2010-2015 Toyota 4Runner vehicles manufactured March 29, 2010, to July 30, 2015. The affected vehicles may be equipped with accessory exhaust tips installed by SET or SET dealers that may contact people and possibly burn them while they are standing behind the vehicle.
What should you do:
SET will notify owners, and dealers will install a re-designed exhaust tip that is smaller in diameter and is more recessed behind the bumper, free of charge. The recall began on September 22, 2015. Owners may contact SET customer service at 1-866-405-4226. SET's number for the recall is SET15D.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 15V515000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 2530
AIR BAGS:FRONTAL:SENSOR/CONTROL MODULE
Jan 16 2013
If the front passenger seat occupant sensing system is out of calibration, the front passenger airbags may not deploy or they may deploy inappropriately for the passenger's size and position. This could increase the risk of personal injury during the event of a vehicle crash necessitating airbag deployment.
Summary:
Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC (SET) is recalling certain models interspersed through model years 2009 through 2013 as follows: model year 2009-2012 Tacoma, 4Runner, Camry, Camry Hybrid, Prius, and RAV4; model year 2009-2010 Avalon, FJ Cruiser, and Highlander Hybrid; model year 2010-2013 model year Corolla, Sienna and Tundra; model year 2009-2013 Highlander and Venza; model year 2012 Prius V; and model year 2010-2012 Sequoia. During modification by SET to include accessories such as leather seat covers, seat heaters or headrest DVD systems, these vehicles may not have had the passenger seat occupant sensing system calibration tested. Without passing the calibration test, the occupant sensing system may not operate as designed.
What should you do:
Southeast Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will test the sensitivity of the occupant detection sensors, and recalibrate them as necessary. The recall began on March 21, 2013. Owners may contact Southeast Toyota at 1-800-301-6859.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 13V014000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 3235
EQUIPMENT:ELECTRICAL
Mar 23 2012
IF THIS CONDITION OCCURS, ANTILOCK BRAKING AND STABILITY CONTROL MAY BE LOST, INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH. DRIVERS SHOULD RECEIVE DASHBOARD WARNING LIGHTS WARNING THEM OF A MALFUNCTION.
Summary:
GULF STATES TOYOTA IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2012 4RUNNER AND SIENNA VEHICLES, EQUIPPED WITH NON-ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT REMOTE ENGINE STARTERS. A MALFUNCTION IN THE AUDIOVOX ELECTRONICS BRAND REMOTE ENGINE STARTER MODULE CAN PREVENT NORMAL COMMUNICATION OF THE VEHICLE¿S CONTROLLER AREA NETWORK (CAN).
What should you do:
GULF STATES TOYOTA WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE REMOTE ENGINE STARTER WITH A NEW ONE FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON OR ABOUT JUNE 4, 2012. OWNERS MAY CONTACT TOYOTA AT 1-800-444-1074.
For more information:
CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 12V120000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 363
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