Toyota Highlander Hybrid Years to Avoid Buying in 2024

Toyota Highlander Hybrid, a midsize crossover SUV, was built in 2005 in Japan.

It was first introduced to the public in 2004 in Detroit and was available for purchase in 2005 as a 2006 model year.

Since then, Toyota Highlander Hybrid has been one of the best-selling cars in the world, selling more than 1.1 million Hybrids by 2023.

Every vehicle model has its pros and cons, as do Hybrids.

However, very few Toyota Hybrids have been found to have faulty parts.

Let us learn about the Toyota Hybrid model years to avoid in detail.

Toyota Highlander Hybrid Years to Avoid

According to the user complaint numbers and reviews, you must avoid the 2006 and 2008 Toyota Hybrid models. Whether the vehicle is old or new, these are the models you should avoid when buying a Hybrid. According to the users, the 2008 model is the worst hybrid model year of all.

2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Problems

2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Problems

The 2006 model is the 1st model of the Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

Unfortunately, it is the 2nd worst model of Hybrids.

Let us know about the most common problems with the models.

Faulty Parts:

  • Brakes: Spongy brakes prevent the car from stopping smoothly. It can be harmful on wet roads or in icy weather.
  • Electrical: The battery drains quickly, and electrical accessories fail to work effectively.
  • Engine: The most common problems with the engine are Oil leaks and engine noise.
  • Drivetrain: The main issues, according to owners, are with the transmission, transfer case, and differential.
  • Fuel System: The faulty parts in the fuel system are the fuel pump, fuel injectors, and fuel filter.
  • Lights: Sometimes, the headlights wear out, and the taillights fail to work correctly.
  • Steering: The steering is loose and pulls to one side while driving.
  • Transmission: The transmission is slipping and does not shift gears properly.

Other problems in the 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid include various issues such as issues with seat belts and airbags, issues with windows or windshields, issues with wheels and hubs, problems with suspension, issues with exterior accessories, issues with the exhaust system, and paint issues.

Note: The Highlander Hybrid is heavier than a non-hybrid Highlander, so it seems less responsive. As it has to work harder to propel the heavier vehicle, its engine is noisy at high speeds. Its 3rd-row seat is hard to access because of its small opening.

2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Problems

2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Problems

The 2006 model is the 3rd model of the Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

And it is undoubtedly the worst model of the hybrid.

The model has gathered the most complaints over the years.

Now let’s take a look at why the owners have complained so much about it.

Faulty Parts:

  • Brakes: Due to a defective motor, the ABS light keeps flashing, and the brakes become unresponsive.
  • Engine: When accelerating, the engine freezes or holds back and emits odd noises.
  • Electrical: The battery drains quickly, and the electric windows and locks are ineffective.
  • Lights: The headlights are dull, and the taillights are malfunctioning.
  • Wheels/Hubs: The wheels are noisy, as well as the front wheel’s hubs are malfunctioning.
  • Drivetrain: Transmission is slippy or noisy, and failures in transfer cases.
  • Fuel System: There are problems with the fuel pump and fuel injectors.
  • Steering: The steering wheel is shaking or loose, and the steering pump is faulty.
  • AC or Heater: Both the AC and Heater don’t work properly.
  • Seat belt: Seat belts don’t lock properly and are uncomfortable.
  • Paint: The body paint is peeling, fading, or bubbling.
  • Miscellaneous: The sunroof leaks and interior components are disintegrating.

Other problems in the 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid include issues with airbags, windows, windshields, suspension issues, and exterior and interior accessories.

Note: The 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid’s 3rd-row seat folds as a single piece rather than split into 2 equal segments. If you just have to put down a portion of the seat, it can be troublesome because the whole seat needs to be pulled down to get into the cargo space. The Highlander Hybrid’s 4WD system is also unprepared for hard winter service. It cannot manage extremely deep icy conditions because it is only intended for light-duty and off-road driving.

Complaint Numbers of Toyota Highlander

According to carcomplaints.com and nhtsa.gov, I have listed all the Toyota Highlander Hybrid complaint numbers.

Model Year

Complaints No. (carcomplaints.com) Complaints No. (NHTSA.gov)

2006

38

633

2007

5

227

2008

60

578

2009

5

166

2010

6

227

2011

2

181

2012

5

179

2013

5

196

2014

2

125

2015

1

164

2016

1

98

2017

5

169

2018

4

5

2019

3

5

2020

3

1 (FWD, AWD)

2021

1

1 (FWD, AWD)

2022

0

0 (FWD, AWD)

2023

0

1 (FWD, AWD)

Toyota Highlander Hybrid Recall History

Most of the Highlander Hybrid model years have been recalled for different faulty parts.

2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Recall: Recalled for power window master switch.

2007 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Recall: Recalled for brake booster.

2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Recall: Recalled for 3rd-row seat belt system.

2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Recall: Recalled for gross vehicle weight rating level.

2010 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Recall: Recalled for brake booster.

2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Recall: Recalled for airbag issues.

2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Recall: Recalled for power window master switch.

2013 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Recall: Recalled for inverter.

2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Recall: Recalled for power window master switch.

2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Recall: Recalled for power window master switch.

2016 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Recall: Recalled for rearview camera.

2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Recall: Recalled for 3rd-row seat belt system.

2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Recall: Recalled for power window master switch.

2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Recall: Recalled for fuel pump issue.

2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Recall: Recalled for brake booster.

Toyota Highlander Hybrid Best Year to Buy

Now the question may come to your mind, which model of Toyota Highlander Hybrid should be bought? Or which model is best?

According to the user reports, the best models of the Toyota Highlander Hybrid are 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.

Among them, 2018 and 2019 are the top-rated models, with fewer complaints and no recall history.

So, you can consider these models when buying an old or new Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

FAQs

Is Toyota Highlander Hybrid safe?

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is indeed regarded as a safe vehicle.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have given favorable reviews.

The Highlander Hybrid features enough airbags, as well as other safety features.

Does Highlander Hybrid have problems?

Highlander Hybrids have recall histories for a few parts.

The main faulty parts are the power window master switch, 3rd-row seat belt system, gross vehicle weight rating level, brake booster, etc.

Nevertheless, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is a dependable vehicle.

How long do Toyota Highlander hybrid batteries last? Do hybrid batteries last 20 years?

The expected lifespan of Toyota Highlander Hybrid batteries is 10 years (150,000 miles).

Some batteries, nevertheless, can have a longer life.

A hybrid battery’s lifespan depends on a number of factors, including the frequency and style of driving.

Is there a recall on the 2023 Highlander Hybrid? 

No, there is no recall on the 2023 Highlander Hybrid as of July 5, 2023.

I have discussed the previous year’s recall history above.

How long will a Toyota hybrid last?

Toyota Hybrid lasts at least 200,000 miles.

This lifespan depends on how well you maintain the vehicle.

If properly maintained, Hybrids last for a minimum of 10 years.

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