The Toyota Highlander scores high for its refinement, quiet interior, ride comfort, power, fuel economy, and flexible and roomy second-row seat. It's one of our top-scoring three-row SUVs, but it is not without its drawbacks. The third-row seat is tight. And while the handling is secure, it's not very agile.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A 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.
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A 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.
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard from 2007. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking available from 2014, standard from 2017.
Road Test

The Toyota Highlander scores high for its refinement, quiet interior, ride comfort, power, fuel economy, and flexible and roomy second-row seat. It's one of our top-scoring three-row SUVs, but it is not without its drawbacks. The third-row seat is tight. And while the handling is secure, it's not very agile.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear, 2 third
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 5-speed Automatic
  • CVT
Engines Available
  • 2.7-liter 4 (187 hp)
  • 3.5-liter V6 hybrid (280 hp)
  • 3.5-liter V6 (270 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

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

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"water leak due to seal shrinking"

Shelia H., FL (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Twice in eight years. Totally soaked carpets and seats"

Anonymous, (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited Unsure)

"Water leaks in to passenger front compartment and wets floor. This happens only in very hard rains. Have not been able to find the source. Toyota dealer service dept tells me there has never been a problem with Hylander leaks. Since it seems to occur only when sitting out in heavy rains, I keep it under covet. Driving in rain seems to be ok. This problem did not happen until about 130000 miles?"

Anonymous, (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Sun roof seal began leaking. Caused water to pool on driver's side floor and mildew."

Anonymous, VA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Radiator leaked at the seam and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, CO (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Significant water appeared in the front floor areas and back seat (right) floor area. Carpets were soaked through and due to car being parked for a month with the windows closed, mold grew over the seats, seatbelts and carpet. This has happened a couple of times and carpet now needs to be replaced and the leak found and fixed"

Anonymous, CT (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Rear liftgate was replaced due to recall and water leaked into the cabin after its replacement"

Anonymous, WA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"drain tube in moonroof replaced by dealership"

Anonymous, VA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"SEAL LEAKING"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Ever since we bought the Highlander the rear passenger window leaks making a constant wind noise. Also we cannot drive with the air set on recirculate or the car fills with exhaust fumes."

John P., NC (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Seal on roof has shrunk allowing water to come in."

Shelia H., FL (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Second time in 8 years had to have the drains cleared.leakejed into driver's and passenger side.also had bearing problems"

Anonymous, (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited Unsure)

"Door Seals don't seal every time after opening the window, especially in colder weather. In really cold temps - below 0 the front windshield whistles"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Windshield seal came loose"

Shawn P., CO (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Window on driver side had bolt back out and drop window. Had to take it to a shop to dismantle door and fix window"

Anonymous, WA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The driver's door has a bit of air noise"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"seemed to have problems with air vents and seals in the airvents"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"Door needs to close about another 1/8. sounds like the door wiggles in the frame"

Anonymous, MO (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"Something in dash rattles, cannot figure out"

Ryan P., NV (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"the plastic on the dash has begun to rattle when driving over uneven roads. Not significant enough to cause raise alarms but definitely I need to keep an eye on it."

Anonymous, WA (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"This is a very minor problem. The sounds occur when car is in motion, but I cannot trace the exact source. It appears to be in front inside the passenger cabin."

Chas L., CA (2012 Toyota Highlander 3.5-L V6)

"normal wear"

Anonymous, LA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Wheel Bearing issues - had to replace on both front wheels"

Anonymous, GA (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"door handles sometimes vibrate and make noise..as well as the glove compartment area."

Anonymous, OR (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"ceiling handle and headliner above drivers side"

Brad W., WI (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"SQUEAK IN HYDRAULIC OPERATION OF 5TH DOOR"

D C., BC (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"the driver door squeaks a lot when opening and the lift of the rear tailgate is making some funny squeaking sounds, like it is starting to have problems opening"

Anonymous, GA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The center front dash including radio and vents is very noisy with squeaks"

Anonymous, CO (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"The trim surrounding the stereo makes a lot of noise"

Richard N., OR (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Sunglass holder won't stay up. Sunvisor vibrates. Rear auto hatch opener failed"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"Dash and door trim squeak over bumps"

Anonymous, MN (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Power lift gate produces loud squeak on opening and closing. Responds briefly to lubing the strut plunger, but just for a day or so"

Anonymous, TN (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Air vent louvers rattle"

Ira P., TX (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"There is an annoying rattle present in the dash during cold weather"

Alex S., GA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"steering wheel squeaks periodically"

George J., OR (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Dashboard has a small intermittent rattle"

Charles G., MI (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"Interior plastics regularly loosen, causing noise, rattling, not awful but annoying for a car that's not that old"

Anonymous, TN (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Seat belt connection clicks frequently. Has been replaced, but still clicks"

Anonymous, IA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Two times where rattling / squeaking occurred at highway speeds"

Doyle L., PA (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"There is a constant noise when coming to a stop in the drivers side rear tire area. We have brought it to the dealer on multiple occasions with no resolution"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Loud rattle behind dash board on passenger side when the outside temp is below 45F"

Anonymous, VA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"This is a very nice car and a pleasure to drive except that it has multiple dash and interior rattles"

Robert C., OK (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Seal around drivers sound door flutters/squeaks when driving. Driver and passenger windows rattle when partially lowered"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"the air vents seemed to have problems"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"Vibration from areas of sun roof and a rear side air vent"

Anonymous, MS (2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid)

"Dash squeaks/ rattles, pillars squeak/rattle, center stack squeak/rattle"

Anonymous, MO (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"plastic parts of dash, doors, center console...always seems to be some level of rattling, squeaking driving down the road. Just turn up the radio, don't hear it as much"

Anonymous, WA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6 hybrid)

"Front windshield squeaks during cold weather at moderate to highway speeds"

Shawn P., VA (2012 Toyota Highlander 3.5-L V6)

"Drivers side grab handle can't be tightened anymore. Rear passenger seat rattles periodically weather stripping on drivers door and passenger door wrinkle when operating windows"

Brad W., WI (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Air conditioning squeaks every time I would adjust temperature. They fixed the problem under my full coverage warranty."

Anonymous, WI (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Wind noise

"Wind noise is heard from the front passenger window which slips down slightly and which cannot be moved by the front passenger door controller."

Anonymous, GA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The wind noise in the rear right seat is loud enough it is hard to hear conversations in the car"

John P., NC (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Noise from the exterior seems excessive for this expensive of a car"

Anonymous, TN (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Loud wind noise when driving above 50 mph"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The seal on the driver's side door does not seal tight at the top, thus allows wind noise. If I pull the door towards me while driving it quiets the noise. Dealer tried to fix once, and didn't help much"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"SEALS"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-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

Alignment

"Does not seem to hold alignment well. Purchased a Firestone lifetime alignment policy. Have had to use it many times."

Richard S., NY (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Alignment doesn't seem to hold well. Back many times for re-do. Fortunately I purchased a Lifetime Alignment from Firestone."

Richard S., NY (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)
Ball joints

"the car had a loud grinding/rubbing sensation when the car turned to the left and the weight was on the right side of the car. was under warranty and repaired"

David B., TX (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Bushings

"Noise started and then we could feel it in the steering wheel 400.00 parts and labor to repair"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"WORN FRONT END BUSHINGS. DEALER ID'D AN FIXED UNDER WARRANTY"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.5-L V6 hybrid)
Power steering leaks

"Noticed small oil drops in driveway. Took it in to dealership, And they discovered the power steering and water pump were both leaking. They replaced both and recharged the air conditioner. Everything seems to be ok now"

Anonymous, NV (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Shocks or struts

"I am not replacing the struts at this time."

Robert M., CA (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Front strut(s) leaking. After considerable complaining Toyota replaced one leaking strut"

Anonymous, IA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"See comments about springs"

Dennis W., FL (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"banging noise over bumps"

Michael W., ON (2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.5-L V6 hybrid)

"Noise coming from front passenger side indication. replacement necessary. Cost $500"

Anonymous, LA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Springs or torsion bars

"Rear struts and springs do not properly support the tongue weight of a 5000lb. Trailer, even though the vehicle has the heavy duty towing pkg. Toyota has no fix for this. No air shocks in after market. A rubber bumper exists to place in the coil sp"

Dennis W., FL (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"The steering made a click noise when I turned the wheel. Was occasionally in the beginning, but increased so I took it to the shop. Removed and replaced engine torque rod and intermediate shaft. Total cost - $959.00. All is good now"

Robert M., CA (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"There was a clicking sound in the steering linkage. This is a known and on going problems with Highlander's and Toyota's in general. It is an expensive repair approximately $700, this should not happen with a car with only 92000 miles. It is a design or manufacturing defect. It may be a safety issue."

Charles K., WA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Seems to be a known defect causing the intermediate steering shaft to clunk when turning"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"vibration in the steering shaft"

Anonymous, SC (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Intermediate steering linkage noise when turning at low speed is a problem with 2008 to 2013 Toyota Highlanders they did not issue recall changes part in future years seems dealer new of problem when I had them check it but said they couldn't recreate noise after warranty was over and I asked again they didn't have to check it just said what the problem may be as all Toyotas have that problem"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"steering linkage shaft makes noise Toyota will not repair or have a recall class action suit ongoing"

Anonymous, (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"Making clicking noise when turning steering wheel. It started around 115000 miles and was beyond Toyota recall milage."

Anonymous, (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6 hybrid)

"Steering shaft"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Excessive play in the steering wheel. Can't remember the part that was replaced. Believe it was the shaft"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Steering shaft assembly makes clunking sound when turning at low speed. Dealer states the steering shaft is failing, but it's out of warranty. They state it is not a safety hazard to drive"

David K., IN (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"In the steering column"

Anonymous, OK (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Intermediate steering shaft wore out prematurely. $700 repair. Toyota advisor knew what was wrong right away as this is apparently a common failure"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"Steering column had to be replaced"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Steering intermediate shaft failed at 37,000 miles resulting in a clunking noise heard and felt when turning the steering wheel"

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Toyota replaced the steering shaft and extended warrenty coverage to reimverse for the cost. Only had 46000 miles when it went out"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Middle steering shaft section needed replacement"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Noticeable feeling and clicking sound when turning."

Anonymous, IN (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Clunking noise"

Pierre F., FL (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Defective intermediate steering shaft, which caused a clunking type sound when tuning the steering wheel either left or right."

David K., IN (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Steering wheel vibration

"At 70+ mph the steering wheel would almost shake out of control. So bought a set of new tires and 4 wheel alignment and in a very short time it started shaking again. Then traded it in for the Lexus. Lexus IS a really nice car but dealer didn't tell me that I would have to replace the locks on all 4 doors at a cost $550 per door. An extra and unexpected expense of over $2000 caused my temper to rise. If you know what I mean. I thought buying from a dealer would be safer than buying from a used car lot or individual. I was wrong."

Anonymous, MS (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"A portion of the steering gear box had to be replaced"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)
Tie rods

"Needed to be replaced."

Richard S., NY (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)
Tire wear is uneven

"notified at 5000 mile tire rotation uneven tire wear on 1 front tire had alignment done"

Anonymous, (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"Uneven tire wear on vehicle was a sign that part of steering and suspension needed to be replaced. Other sections had been replaced last year. Total costs were well over $7000CDN"

Stephan P., ON (2012 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)
Wheel bearings

"Bearings have gone now on two wheels...creates deafening hum at higher speeds"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"Excessive road noise I had was caused by the front wheel bearings being very worn"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"2 separate wheel bearings have gone over the life of the vehicle (only 5 yrs). One in the last 12 months"

Stephan P., ON (2012 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"Recognized sound because other side rear wheel bearings were replaced within first 3 months of ownership"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"noisy bearing. Replaced under warranty"

Maksim E., MA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Left front wheel bearing went out at 30,000 miles"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Wheel bearings are very close to seizure, have not driven in a few weeks until I can replace."

Anonymous, MI (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 2.7-L 4 Cyl)

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

"The info screen is way too small, the guidelines in backup camera mode are difficult to see and if there is bright sunlight it is very difficult to see what is happening on the screen"

Anonymous, ID (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 2.7-L 4 Cyl)
CD player

"radio/CD works when cold car, but cuts out when cabin warms up"

C M., ID (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"ACV got stuck in the unit. My dealer was not able to extract the CD, so the entire unit had to be replaced by Toyota"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"cd got stuck and the WHOLE system had to be replaced. It took several weeks to resolve the problem"

John K., IL (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Display screen difficult to see

"The screen is impossible to read in daylight, it is fine at night,when lit. I have literally almost had accidents trying to figure out what radio station I am on, It has always been this way. Dealer says there is nothing they can do"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)
Display screen freezes up

"This past March we drove from NYC to Ft Lauderdale. I noticed that occasionally the display would not respond to changing screens, changing radio stations and sometimes would spontaneously change stations. We also could not manually tune to stations. The phone Bluetooth continued to work but you could not switch phones. Brought car to auto electrical specialist who analyzed the problem which turned out to be a voltage regulator that fed power to the main circuit board of the radio. I was expecting to spend 1500-1600 on the repair because this kind of intermittent problem is challenging to diagnose. Final cost was $1300."

Anonymous, NY (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The screen froze on my navigation"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited)

"Unable to adjust temp settings - HVAC screen disappears without notice"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Display screen goes blank

"Radio/GPS unit froze. Needed update and restart. Didn't end up costing too much more just a nuisance"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 2.7-L 4 Cyl)

"display completely unpredictable - will not hold preset temp and goes blank if fan speed changed"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Seems to be moisture related. The radio controls stop working on the radio but the steering wheel controls still work. The display is blank. Dealer said would most likely require changing the radio out."

Anonymous, MO (2012 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"Frequently, USB connection to iPhone fails requiring unplugging/re-plugging in. If software updates exist, they are $100 each to get installed by the local dealership. At that price, one should replace the defective car stereo."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"auxilary port broke after only a couple years"

Anonymous, WA (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Doesn't sync often. Can't control music from dash, only from iphone. This may be an iphone problem"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.5-L V6 hybrid)

"Pairing of music system with smartphone via bluetooth is non-intuitive and unreliable"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.5-L V6 hybrid)
Hardware replacement

"The head unit for the entertainment system failed repeatedly for years, but would start working by the time I could get to the dealership. The dealership would not examine it under warranty until finally they saw it happen for a minute. But they didn't want to cover it under warranty. After much arguing and showing them the service requests I had made the extended warranty company did cover the issue."

Anonymous, WA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Entire system became inoperable."

Anonymous, DE (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"It is an incredibly poorly designed and unfriendly system to operate. Not worth replacing."

Anonymous, WA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 2.7-L 4 Cyl)

"Navigation system started by not recognizing new data dvd. Now seems to never recognize the old unless I eject and reinstall. When it sometimes recognizes the DVD's it works fine."

Anonymous, SC (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Hard to see in daylight, too low on the dash, not an intuitive interface"

Doug B., BC (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"System sends us in the wrong direction and when we change destination it often will not update. I have had it back to the dealer and even sent a letter to Toyota. They have not been able to correct this problem"

Bernard S., CA (2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.5-L V6 hybrid)

"The computer chip failed for the on-screen navigation system, and was replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"GPS system is very difficult to use, not a friendly item. Had I know about this it would not have been installed at the time of purchase"

George W., WA (2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.5-L V6 hybrid)

"It stopped working"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited)

"Multiple issues over the past 2 years with the clock not being able to be set and the navigation system not working at all"

James H., CA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Display indicates there is no GPS CD installed. That is false. This message is displayed now and then, randomly, and then dissappears for a time. But it does occur every time the vehicle is operated."

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Difficult to input data and data finally received not always reliable."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Started roughly a year ago. It would not connect to any device for about a month. Then one day it seemed to resolve itself and start working again."

Anonymous, NY (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"I had problems with the voice paring "blue tooth" when trying to make a phone call. The system was unable to recognize or understand what I was saying at times. Not user friendly and I refuse to use it"

Marvin B., MI (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Radio

"Radio screen will go out and volume will not work. There is no ability to change channels or mode to cd. Can not turn the radio off at this time. It will return to normal when it wants?"

Anonymous, (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Sometimes when you start the car the xm radio sound is distorted. To fix it I have to shut the car off and then start it again"

Doug B., BC (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Volume button doesn't work properly, cannot control"

Anonymous, WA (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Sat radio doesn't work sometimes when you start car. Turn off car and back on it is ok"

Anonymous, WA (2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.5-L V6 hybrid)

"The lights and display on the radio go dark at random times. The music will still play, but none of the controls work. After a minute or 2 it comes back on"

Todd J., NJ (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"The radio would cut out every 3 minutes. This occurred when using the radio, CD player or aux iPod player"

Anonymous, CO (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Rear entertainment system (e.g., DVD player, rear screen)

"The remote stopped working first, then the headphones, and finally the DVD player. It was part of a $1,000 package and now it's a worthless bump on the ceiling"

John P., NC (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"DVD Player started making a loud noise with disks inserted and did not play (also damaged disks). Noise disappeared after 2-3 week and has intermittently reappeared. Dealer is baffled"

George G., CA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Voice control commands

"See previous comment."

Anonymous, DE (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The voice commands are extremely hard to use -- it does not understand what is said and the menus have to be read aloud. This is effectively *unusable* and there are no software updates. We need to replace the entire unit."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Bluetooth not working for outgoing or incoming calls. Static on both ends"

Anonymous, NC (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"voice recognition is weak"

John A., NY (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-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

Doors or sliding doors

"window switch"

Anonymous, GA (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 2.7-L 4 Cyl)

"Back hatch would not close correctly. Toyota replaced motor and closing mechanism"

Mitzi B., IL (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"The back door struts and motor needed to be replaced with no help at the time from Toyota. Later it came out that they would replace the door, motor and struts, but I did not fall under that warranty."

Harry S., AZ (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"rear door extended warranty offered, the rear door will neither open or close."

Wayne B., ON (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Automatic window mechanism failed. Doors feel like made of paper (not going to protect passengers if there's a side collision)."

Anonymous, WA (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)
Heated or cooled seat controls

"The seats are made of substandard perforated leather that cannot be cleaned. The leather is thin and does not clean. Dirt just fills in the holes of the leather. The heat works fine. The leather looks like crap. My jeans have worn holes in the leathe"

Debra M., FL (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Mirrors

"seal failure on right side exterior mirror"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"It has had to be repaired twice. It frequently stops working properly (i.e., doesn't close, or closes and then re-opens)"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"the control strut disconnected needed replacement"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"It does not always close completely"

Anonymous, AR (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Rear hatch replaced two years ago for bad hinges. Has started creaking again when operated"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"1. The rear window supports in the tailgate rusted and did not allow the window to open. 2. The tailgate opening mechanisms were replaced per a Toyota recall."

Anonymous, MN (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"Back door wouldn't open- would open slightly and then close. Because the car was beyond the 8 year service bulletin for this issue, would have to spend $5,000 to get it fixed."

Anonymous, (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Electric tail gate would not operate as designed (open/close), i.e. had to use in manual mode. Required replacement of hatch motor system which included hatch door, hinges, motor, struts, and repaint. All work was covered by manufacturer with no cost to me (I did not have an extended maintenance plan and only the original factory warranty which did not apply in this case)."

Anonymous, TX (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"A few years ago the tailgate started making horrible scraping noises. Dealer would not repair under warranty because it still functioned. Wanted about $1500 to investigate. Recently all electric opening and closing of tailgate stopped working - must operate manually now."

Anonymous, SC (2012 Toyota Highlander Unsure 3.5-L V6)

"The hatch no longer closes automatically. It must be closed manually."

Anonymous, (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Beginning in late 2016 the tailgate would not close fully with the remote or the button on the tailgate. It would come down about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way and then go back up . It happened only intermittently. By the fall of 2019 it would come down an in or two and then go back up. It had to be closed 90 % of the time manually. I took the car to an auto electrical specialist who researched the problem on the Toyota service website and he found a service bulletin that addressed the problem. He recommended I go directly to Toyota because it was likely the issue would be corrected for little to no cost. He was right. Early this February I received a new drive motor, counterbalance springs, new tailgate, hinges and a paint job . I paid some money for some additional items I wanted done that were not covered by the bulletin which cost me several hundred dollars but everything was corrected and the tailgate operates and looks as if it were new."

Anonymous, NY (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"the lift mechanism for the tailgate broke. separated from the liftgate. it does operate manually"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"Tailgate hydraulic arms and motor had to be replaced. Cost was over $1000.00"

Harry S., AZ (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"Remote control and push button control no longer work on the rear hatch door. Hinge and rear air strut are torqued a bit. Door will not open all the way up in cold weather. Only solution according to the dealer is to replace the door. Bad design"

Stephen L., TN (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The strut used to open the tailgate became detached and the entire tailgate had to be replace. It was a design flaw. Toyota charged me $500 and they paid $1400"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Both hydraulic lifts failed so rear liftgate would not stay up. Replaced under warranty"

Todd T., FL (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Automatic closer broke; trim around closing mechanism broke"

Anonymous, OR (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Tailgate would not close properly. A design defect that Toyota did not disclose until confronted by me. They agreed to fix it .Cost about 5,000 at no cost to me .My problem is that they did not tell about this defect"

Richard D., OR (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"rear tailgate stop working and had to be replaced with new sensors"

Anonymous, WA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Hatch broke upon automated closing"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Struts for glass hatch were seized, probably due to non use by previous owner...replace struts and everything is fine now"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The upper glass hatch did not open. Dealership said the rods on the side were rusty and replaced them. They said it's a known issue... Fortunately, replacement came under warranty/courtesy"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The hatch on the back wouldn't completely close. Had to pay about $350 to fix it, and lately it is STILL not completely closing!"

Anonymous, UT (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"We had to have the struts and motor replaced TWICE! The first time, at 50,000 miles, we filed a claim with Toyota and they payed, but only because “we were such good customers” (4 Toyota purchases). Two years later, complete restoration at $2500 cost."

Libby T., TX (2012 Toyota Highlander)

"Tailgate was under recall. Toyota paid for rental car while fixing the problem. Fantastic."

Thomas B., TN (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"recall because the hatch would not automatically close all the time"

Lawrence T., VA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Recall for bent hinges and failure of power hatch to engage and latch. Dealer repaired."

Anonymous, PA (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)
Windows

"tailgate window hinge broke would not open window properly"

Robert M., MA (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"Driver side window don't open completely anymore. It seems something is broken in the mechanism"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Toyota Highlander)

"driver side window came loose and could not be closed."

Ted K., OR (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"Driver side window got off-track and had to be repaired for several hundred dollars."

Stevie D., VA (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"The forward trim piece on the right roof rack blew off in a carwash."

Anonymous, MN (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"All of the trim pieces on the roof have come off continually and every time I go through a car wash"

Ronald O., MO (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"rubber on roof keeps coming off; poor design"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 2.7-L 4 Cyl)

"Rubber roof rack runner came loose and flew off while driving. Other trim is loose and vibrates causing extra drive noise"

Todd T., FL (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"roof rack failed to hold rubber strips"

Richard H., CT (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"defective rain drip trim molding on roof came loose had to be replaced"

Robert M., MA (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"Pass. side roof rail molding repeatedly comes off. Started when car was still under warranty. Toyota failed to fix it"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"The mud guards are not very well secured to the body. Cannot easliy remove snow/ice from them"

R C., ME (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"do not have racks on roof. the filler for the channels was losse ,dealer had to cement them down"

Anonymous, NE (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"The rubber trim on the roof under the roof rack continues to come loose"

Anonymous, NM (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The plastic molding above the passenger door trim was loose soon after we bought vehicle. it came completely off this year."

Anonymous, WI (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 2.7-L 4 Cyl)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"After loading the back are with clothes to donate, the body inside trim around the back door has dislocated"

Debra M., FL (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Just started to peel paint off of the roof. No rust , just paint peel"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The paint seems to come off too easily, especially since had to pay extra for this color when I bought the car. This refers to time cleaning bugs off front of car and off mirrors."

Anonymous, AR (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"fake chrome weathering and pitting"

Anonymous, CO (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Paint pits on the front of car from road debris too easliy"

Bob B., AZ (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Totally poor paint/finish on the vehicle. Scratches most easily. Has faded paint look prematurely. Really makes the veihicle chinsy looking"

R C., ME (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Bad spotting/discoloration on all silver-plastic body trim pieces. Has been happening for years due to chemicals used in snowmelt in Denver"

Mike F., CO (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The paint is chipping off around the doors and under the lift back door by the license plate"

Roberta M., NY (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 2.7-L 4 Cyl)

"Rear body spoiler off the roof had faded paint. Dealer repaired at no cost. Great job."

Stevie D., VA (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)
Rust

"The bottom rim of the back hatch is already quite rusted."

Anonymous, MD (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Spots of rust on back gate appear. No damage or scratches seemed to have caused that"

Kevin L., IL (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"The hatchback door started to rust and is not covered by warranty. We had a hatchback door rust problem with our 2003 Highlander in a different spot"

Anonymous, MN (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Car experiences rail dust from semi metallic brakes. The rail dust becomes imbedded in the paint causing the car to rust. Toyota will not warranty this problem! I had to pay to have this repaired"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The aluminum wheels are becoming corroded and the clear coat is coming off"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"Rust has appeared near the license plate"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Toyota Highlander)

"The tailgate had a small spot of rust. Toyota repainted the entire tailgate saying they experienced the same problem on other Highlanders. I am completely satisfied"

Anonymous, MN (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"There has been a corrosion problem with this car since the first 7000 miles! In addition to the wheels which have replaced (at 7000 mi) and failed a second time (at 14000 mi), the rear badge on the tailgate corroded where it made contact with the pa"

John M., NY (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"There is rust forming on the tail gate just above the symbol"

Anonymous, AB (2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.5-L V6 hybrid)

"Many spots of surface rust on the hatch - was replaced under warranty"

Richard D., MB (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"For a fairly new car the paint has chipped in unusual places and rusted in places like under the window in the back that flips up. Not on the cars exterior under the window where the hinge is"

Roberta M., NY (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 2.7-L 4 Cyl)

"Spot of rust on the hatch door close to the latching/locking mechanism. Dealer touched up with paint"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Rust appeared on the tail gate within the first 2 years of ownership. It was repaired (presumably) under warranty and is now reappearing in the same tail gate area. No warranty of course."

Roger M., AB (2012 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-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

12V power plug

"Only some of the 12 volt power plugs have ever worked."

John P., NC (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Body control module

"the rear power door would not operate on the power mode"

Henry H., FL (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"car would not start, dealer could not find problem, changed battery, had us buy new fob, changed starter, changed several other parts, found out new battery was bad, replaced it. finally found control module bad."

Carl R., AZ (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Just taillights needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, MN (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Fog light on driver's side blew twice within a couple of months"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"This is limited edition which has lights on the bottom of the side mirrors. Passenger side went out and although the bulb cost .98 cents, the repair manual says you have to take the mirror off to replace. Way too much to replace a dollar part."

Brad W., WI (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Headlights

"DAYTIME DRIVING LIGHTS DIDNT WORK PROPERLY"

Woody T., NC (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"One headlight was burnt out."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Heated or cooled seats

"The passenger heated seat won't turn off. It is hot all the time when driving. The dealer said the entire control module would need to be replaced at almost $400."

Anonymous, VA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Horn

"The connection failed, we add a new button on the dash board to replace the steering wheel connection."

C O., QC (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Interior lights

"The cargo light does not come on when the tailgate glass is opened. This also stops the sensor from detecting that the glass is open during driving"

Anonymous, QC (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Keyless entry

"Both front door locks quit functioning. have to manually lock and unlock"

Kim K., GA (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"lock fob failure not just due to battery. Exorbitant dealer cost to replace. Also expensive replacement diode key."

Anonymous, ID (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"I have had the door actuator go out twice on the drivers door and once on both of the passenger doors. $500 per door to repair and twice on one door. Toyota refused to help"

Ronald O., MO (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"All four power locks had to be replaced within the last year. They would not work with the keyless entry or with the switch on the door. Each one cost about $500 to replace at a local mechanic's shop. They would have been more expensive if I had gone to the dealer"

Anonymous, AL (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 2.7-L 4 Cyl)

"Car door would not lock or unlock, consistently. I had to remove the key hidden in my key pad and unlock/lock manually"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The doors all locked without me locking them. Then I couldn't get in except on drivers side. Sometimes I go to lock door with button on door and it won't lock"

Royce R., CA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Keyless quit working part time. Installed new battery, Did not help. Made an appointment with service dept. All the serviceman did was take the battery out, rubbed it on both sides and reinstalled the battery. So far it's working, after one week"

Anonymous, GA (2012 Toyota Highlander 3.5-L V6)

"The tiny locking motor was replaced on all four door locks"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Keyless entry doesn't work on either front door. I have to unlock a back door and climb over the seat to manually unlock the front door. When locking the car I have to manually lock all four doors."

Woody B., FL (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Remote engine starter

"This is the key that is carried in the pocket and allows the car to start when you enter it. The battery, which is supposed to last a life time, died earlier this year and had to be replaced"

James M., KY (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 2.7-L 4 Cyl)
Tire pressure monitor

"total failure at 130000 miles required replacement of all wheel sensors"

Anonymous, ID (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"checked air pressure but light stays on"

Anonymous, WV (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)
Warning lights

"the "snow" traction control became stuck in the "on" position after our dog stepped on it. was unable to fix myself so pulled the cover off and now the control is workable"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Wiper motor or washer

"In temperatures below 20 degrees the windshield washer freezes up and does not dispense windshield washer solvent. I have had to pull off the road several times because the windshield was so dirty from road spray that I could not see, presenting a significant safety hazard. After sitting for 10 to 15 minutes with the motor running, the windshield washer would again begin to function."

Anonymous, VA (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"Rear window wiper motor died and had to be replaced."

Michael K., NY (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Rear window wiper stopped working. Cost $358 to replace - OUCH!"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"Spring 2016 noticed a chatter when braking while turning a corner. This seemed to be coming from the right rear. Checked by local independent Toyota mechanic plus dealer without correct diagnosis ans advice to do new FRONT pads and rotors. Five months later seven warning lights and messages went off indicating "brake malfunction" and "ABS not working". The computer correctly diagnosed a cracked ABS ring and right rear axle was replaced under warranty (after a brisk argument). All is well now"

Anonymous, NS (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Calipers

"The calipers were sticking"

Anonymous, SC (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Caliper seized on the rear passenger side. Everything had to be replaced"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"caliper stuck and burned up brakes and rotor"

Anonymous, WV (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)
Master cylinder

"Master brake cylinder had to be replaced at a cost of $550.00 parts and labor. Mileage at that time was 63500"

Harry S., AZ (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

"brake pads and rotors replaced and calipers serviced after 125000 km"

James M., ON (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Had brake repair from normal use."

Anonymous, GA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Break change"

Janet A., MD (2012 Toyota Highlander 3.5-L V6)

"front brakes wear out fast"

Steve R., NH (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Premature brake wear

"one rear pad froze in the inboard position and burned up"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Problem discovered by dealer as they were changing a tire"

Glenn T., LA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Had to replace pads and rotor on one front wheel only"

David L., NS (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Rear pads only lasted 12000 miles and rotors were replaced at 50000"

Mike B., WA (2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.5-L V6 hybrid)
Pulsation or vibration

"After the last brake change on the vehicle, the brakes have been pulsating."

Patrick H., PA (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"If hard braking had to be done, the vehicle would have both pulsation and vibration. Also a grinding type noise like metal on metal. Will be taking vehicle to garage to repair whatever is causing this braking issue next week."

Anonymous, NC (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6 hybrid)

"This was caused by alignment issue and by some wear on the brake pads that had been installed earlier in the year. Problems completely resolved after alignment and some additional brake pad lining."

Anonymous, GA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Rotors

"Worn down mid 2019. Vehicle unbalanced ride and noise. Replaced by dealer. My cost."

Anonymous, PA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Not a failure. Had brake system completely done (break pads, rotors, service calipers) for the first time at approx. 60K miles"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Rotors were turned during a brake job but had to be replaced with new rotors because of severe pulsing"

Mike C., CA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"State inspection done 08/23/17 brake lining 8mm all wheels, grinding noise 5000 miles later at 29400 miles, dealer states all four rotors and brakes needed to be changed. I did not think I bought another GMC K1500 with brake and rotor issues."

Thomas S., PA (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)
Squeaking

"rear hatch back makes noise when operating"

Anonymous, LA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-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

"the CV joint began clunking around 29000 miles. covered by warranty"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Differential

"Had a high pitch noise almost like an amplified road noise. This is the second issue with the drive train we have had. The transmission went out 4 years ago on a road trip out west."

Thomas C., MN (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Leaked oil"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"oil leak in the front of the motor"

Henry H., FL (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Whining noise"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"A gear "whine" from the front differential developed after about 10,000 miles. Toyota immediately replaced it under warranty, no hassle. All is well now"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Differential leak"

Richard M., ON (2012 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)
Driveline vibration

"The noise in the driveline was noticeable, but didn't seem significant."

Anonymous, TX (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"This is the worst vehicle I have ever owned I have purchased many new Volvo's & Ford's. I have never had to take any of them back to a dealer for a problem. This Toyota is bad. The transmission is bad & the dealer has not been able to fix it. It"

Anonymous, ME (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)
Driveshaft or axle

"rear wheel bearing failed, loud noises until replaced"

C M., ID (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Front right hand side wheel bearings failed and had to be replaced. Two years after the bearings failed on one of the rear wheels."

Anonymous, VA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Driveshaft assembly had to be replaced at 128000. Cost was $2000+."

Anonymous, TX (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"A recall of the drive system which was replaced at no charge"

George W., WA (2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.5-L V6 hybrid)

"Bearings in the rear left wheel hub failing, had to replace whole unit."

Anonymous, VA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Electrical failure

"Hybrid Inverter failed, leaving car stranded in Rochester. Would not run until replaced. Under warrantee, otherwise cost ~ $9,000"

Paul M., NJ (2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.5-L V6 hybrid)

"Battery shorted internally disabling vehicle. Tow required"

Frank M., NC (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Traction control

"would not turn off"

Anonymous, MT (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Warning light came on. Unsure if a real problem, or an electronic light problem. Haven't noticed issues except wobble down steep hills. Toyota won't diagnose without a significant fee, so we must wait."

Anonymous, WA (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)
Transfer case

"Leaking transfer case, repaired under warranty by Toyota. Vehicle NEVER goes off asphalt urban roads."

Roger M., AB (2012 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

Climate System

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

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"No cold air."

Anonymous, PA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"A control sensor inside compressor failed. Part is not spared. Had to replace compressor. (Sensor used to be external) cost $1200 to repair at Toyota dealers"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Had to replace it"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"leak in condenser compressor electronics failed"

Thomas M., TX (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Automatic climate control

"Climate control suddenly started taking a long time to come on, then when it does you have to reset everything including the "auto" button. Apparently not an unusual problem with the Highlander as I can find numerous cases of it on the internet."

Anonymous, (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Rear of vehicle heater did not work. Dealer replaced the rear heater heater core"

Bob B., AZ (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Blower (fan) motor

"The blower motor failed and needed to be replaced."

Anonymous, MN (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"The blower went out and it was covered by our extended warranty"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"needed to be replaced after it started to make funny noises and not work properly"

Deborah C., WA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Noisy - foreign objects easily trapped in blower assembly"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)
Electrical failure

"Air condition turns on off by itself at random"

E E., NV (2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.5-L V6 hybrid)

"The AC turned off multiple times while driving. I took it in and they don't know why since it does not have an error code"

Royce R., CA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Evaporator

"leak"

Thomas M., TX (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Heater system

"I live in a cold climate. During the winter I can have the vehicle in "regular" (non-economy) mode, with the heater on full, and the interior gets slightly warm, but never gets so warm that I need to turn the fan/temp down"

Robert F., ND (2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid 3.5-L V6 hybrid)
Refrigerant leaks

"Took it in to Toyota. They put in two cans of refrigerant but couldn’t find any leak."

Paul J., TX (2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Unable to cool and they needed to add freon last August, but they could not find a leak. Now (following May) freon was gone again and this time they found a leak."

Anonymous, MN (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Oil leaks

"Slow oil leaks from multiple locations. Dealer recommends gaskets for multiple areas need changing."

Paul M., CA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Main seal on engine started leaking at about 88,000 miles."

Anonymous, KS (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"had a seal leak, which cost $20 for part and ended up being about $2300 in labor because they had to pull the engine, Had a similar issue with 2006 toyota tundra"

Anonymous, GA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"had a warranty repair of major leaks"

Charley M., ID (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Power steering and water pump were both leaking. We thought that was terrible for a car with such low mileage"

Anonymous, NV (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"I had an oil leak which was expensive because of the work involved in getting to the leak. It was going to cost $1800, but I called the Toyota USA headquaters in Plano, Texas and asked if I could be given a lower cost because my vehicle onlyl had 76,000 miles on it. They gave me the price as if it were still under warranty, which was $900. This is still expensive, but better than double that. I went to another shop to try to get it done, but the shop said that Toyota was the only place that had the tools necessary to do the job. That was disappointing."

Anonymous, TX (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 2.7-L 4 Cyl)

"oil seepage around oan"

Bob A., TX (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The gasket around the timing chain cover is discovered slowly leaking oil. The dealer said only way to replace the gasket is to drop the engine. Total cost will be about $3000 when complete (which includes replacing water pump since the area is already open). Dealer also said this is something that I could live with until problem became serious enough which may be one or two years from now."

Ryan O., VA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"the transmission was whining when we test drove the car and the dealer replaced it prior to us purchasing the vehicle as it was still under the powertrain warranty"

Phillip L., ME (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"Driving cross country and heard a noise--metal on metal sound. Issue was with transmission and it had to be totally replace. Car at 42000 at the time"

Thomas C., MN (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The drive shaft had to be replaced, twice"

Anonymous, AB (2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.5-L V6 hybrid)

"Whine coming from drivetrain"

Don C., TN (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"Toyota replaced it under warranty"

Anonymous, UT (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"Transmission had to be replaced at 88000 miles."

Anonymous, PA (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

Water pump

"water pump bearing noise dicovered at service check."

Anonymous, CT (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"If you have to disassemble the drivetrain and drop the engine to replace the water pump, seems poorly planned or the pump should be designed for the life of the engine....cost over $2000 to replace of which $1500 was labor."

Anonymous, MA (2012 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"Started hearing noise on drive from MA to FL last fall. Took to dealer and they said water pump was failing and I was lucky no further damage. 2 days later and $2000 later it was fixed."

Anonymous, MA (2012 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"Water pump failed with complete loss of coolant."

Anonymous, NM (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"water pump went bad just uner 100,000 miles, Toyota charged 2750 to repair"

James W., FL (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

Transmission Minor

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

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"When starting from a stop and when going up a grade, the car jolts forward."

Anonymous, GA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"First gear is very "touch" from stop"

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Transmission shifts at odd times and snaps into gear. Going from D to R or vice-versa is the worst, 1st to 2nd shift is also dicey feeling."

Anonymous, MI (2012 Toyota Highlander Base 2.7-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission leaks

"Dealer indicated that there are some slow leaks to seals."

Paul M., CA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"The O2 sensor chip light flickered, no message on the control surfaces. Needed specialty diagnosis to understand it was not O2 sensor but the whole exhaust system after the manifold."

Anonymous, AK (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)
Loose/rattling heat shield

"Came loose after mounts rotted away"

Robert D., MA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Pipes

"service center would not replace the catalytic converter without replacing the whole pipe system. not just replace the nearest parts."

Anonymous, AK (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

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.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"rodent damage to EVAP system. suspect it might be due to soy based plastics"

Anonymous, CT (2012 Toyota Highlander SE 3.5-L V6)

"Engine check light turns on and off"

E E., NV (2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.5-L V6 hybrid)
Fuel pump

"Fuel pump failed at 205000 miles"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

Engine Major

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

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

"Out of the clear blue sky, the engine started to run terribly, it went into the shop, it was determined that there was no compression in the engine. I am impatiently waiting for the company with the extended warranty to repair the car. No one at the repair facility or Toyota dealership had ever heard of a 6 cylinder Toyota engine quitting at 70,000 miles."

John M., AZ (2012 Toyota Highlander 3.5-L V6)
Head gasket

"The head gasket failed. It was replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-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

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"Replaced 3 toyota batteries in 6 years. Battery life is very short. The warranties seem non existent when the time comes to replace the battery."

Anonymous, MA (2012 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)
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