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Toyota Highlander Hybrid - Hybrid System Problems



  • ruth72ruth72 Posts: 3
    edited December 2012
    I took my car in last week to have the windshield washer receptacle flushed out because something else had been inadvertently put inside it, so they had to disconnect the 12volt battery to get to it..when I drove away from the auto shop my display started to flash "check hybrid system, check vsc, check AWD" alternately. I called the shop the next morning, brought it in, and they said they reset the codes, but next day 10 miles later the same info starts flashing again.
    So I begin my research online and see mention of inverters going bad, I wonder if this is what's happening to me, and did removing the 12volt battery trigger it somehow? I replaced the 12volt battery last summer with no issue.

    I live on an island in the middle of the gulf of Alaska and there is no dealer here...does this car problem sound familiar to anybody else's?
  • Anyone still check this board? My 2006 HH died this Monday 1/21/13. Getting minor avoidance so far from dealership. So far they have asked me to approve $285 in diagnostics and given no diagnosis. Three full business days and they let me know tonight they have contacted 'technical assistance' for my 'unusual' problem and still can't figure it out. I looked on the Internet for ten minutes and feel confident it is probably the inverter. Same exact symptoms and error messages. (Do they really not know or do they plan to jerk me around?) The car stalled in traffic, luckily I was pulling into a parking garage and not on the interstate.
    Feeling thankful to have read this thread before beginning any type of discussion with Toyota. :confuse: :sick:
  • Would let them know that there is a problem with inverter on 2006 and also electrical system (my problem with coils on 2008). You could contact Toyota and start a case file asking for Toyota to fix problem since this is a known defect. I negotiated fix price with the local dealer after research. I have a problem with paying a diagnostic fee for a known problem.
  • kenduffkenduff Posts: 19
    If it is the inverter, 06's are covered on the recall, they should fix it for free, dispute the charge they gave you.. Good luck
  • Yes, be sure to use this info! Our dealer really didn't know what to do so it was best to contact Toyota and get a case manager. Request that they send a tech that knows hybrids. Be persistent, patient, and good luck
  • I took my Highlander hybrid in to the deal, and it turns out that a small drip needs a new radiator. Since I have the Hybrid they tell me I have to go with a new Toyota Radiator. I have dealt with the inverter when my car died on me while I was driving, so scary. I just feel like Toyota has control over my car since it is a Hybrid. The quote was $1200 but they seems so high for the radiator, anyone have any input.
    Thanks in advance. :confuse:
  • Hi - I've been thinking of buying a HH but after reading these forums I'm not so sure. I see many of the HHs were fixed via recalls, are these now safe?
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    edited March 2013
    Don't even consider a HH. They stink even when they are working. You can buy mine.
  • heh - why do they stink?
  • ytallentytallent Posts: 11
    Think again. I have a 2008 and am waiting for the next electrical breakdown and it is not even close to the mileage on an even more troubled 2006 you are considering. If you want to be stuck in an unsafe vehicle whose battery may be the next thing to go . . .
  • famwaldfamwald Posts: 114
    I'm looking at the HH because of the gas mileage, and am alarmed to read here about the inverter failures.

    Would anyone know if the current models have a different and more reliable inverter system?

  • ytallentytallent Posts: 11
    Really don't know-Consumer Reports doesn't have the newer ones rated as troubled but don't know if this is a viable rating.
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    I have a 2004 Prius that is great and a 2007 HH that sucks even without the inverter problem. The mileage is not good and the car is not nice. The newer models might be better but not 2006, 2007, 2008 or whenever they changed.
    It's not a comfortable car and not worth the HH premium and if you get the inverter problem, you're totally screwed. Why look for trouble?
  • famwaldfamwald Posts: 114
    Thank you for the replies, ytallent and stevegold. I appreciate the comments. I may scratch this one off the list of contenders. Replacing any hybrid inverter, even if it is eight years old and out of warranty, would kill our budget as we would be fully retired by then and on fixed income.
  • segnovasegnova Posts: 1
    Last night I was driving my 2011 Highlander Hybrid and suddenly the power steering and brakes stopped working while I was driving. A loud warning sensor went off and several messages crossed the screen, including "Hybrid System Failure. Pull the vehicle to a safe spot and call the dealer immediately." Thank God I was able to roll off to the side of the road without hitting anyone or getting hit. I called Toyota Roadside Assistance, who told me not to even try to drive the car anymore, and they came and towed the car to the dealer.

    Today, the dealer called and told me there is nothing wrong with the car. Apparently the messages I saw are not showing up on the computer, and the messages are gone now. They suggested I come and pick it up. They dismissed my idea that the computer chip had also failed. I called Customer Service at 1-800-331-4331 and they took my complaint and indicated that it is up to the Customer Service person at the dealership how to handle it. (According to the Service person, the Customer Service rep told him to tell me there was nothing they could do for me.) I'm to expect a call from him in 3 days or less. I'm leaving the car at the dealership until this is worked out because I'm afraid to drive it. Does anyone have advice for moving forward?
  • ruth72ruth72 Posts: 3
    hi, i read your post and am interested in what you do next. i have a 2007 hh and am concerned as i will be giving it to my college student son soon and worry about whether or not he will be safe in it. we've never had a problem except for the time a repairman took the battery out to repair something else and forgot to leave a charge going to the engine so the codes were all messed up and then it did what you just described your car doing the day after i left the shop. they were able to come out and reset the codes however and i haven't had a problem since.
  • ytallentytallent Posts: 11
    Personally, I would not give a car to my child even if it has not quit in traffic yet. I would trade it in on a another used car with a better record. There is very little, if any warning that it is about to die. I would not risk my child's life.
  • samrulsamrul Posts: 1
    I bought my 2006 HH several years ago with 90k. It now has 192k. No problems but am concerned about the cost of the replacement battery and when will that be.
  • johcojohco Posts: 1
    I have the exact same problem with my 2008 HH. Dealer says power inverter needs replacement cost= $9,140.
    How do you get a case manager?
  • coffeymomcoffeymom Posts: 2
    When this happened recently to my 06, the dealership took a long time with the diagnostics, but in the end I didn't need a case manager. This is a known problem and they should fix it. If your dealership isn't cooperating, ask the service manager to get you in contact with a Toyota case manager. Go as far up the chain of command as it takes. No excuse for the inverter not to be covered by Toyota. At all.
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