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Toyota Highlander Hybrid - Hybrid System Problems

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  • karen80karen80 Posts: 5
    Toyota has an active recall on the inverter so you should not be charged a DIME!!! I live in Arlington, VA, and I use the Toyota dealership in the Cherrydale neighborhood. They told me I had a "crack in my air box" that needed to be replaced at the same time my inverter failed. It seems like most people are getting told that it is their inverter and "something else" just to run up the cost. You should have gotten the recall notice in the mail at the end of July, maybe it is sitting around in a stack of junk mail. Either way, your dealer is well aware of it and should have told you up front.
  • irina2irina2 Posts: 23
    I just want to clarify something about the reacall notice... the one I got said "We will send you another notification when the replacement parts are ready and preparations are complete"...all in red. (There was a CODE 104 in the bottom left hand corner). Are you all talking about this initial notice, or did you get some 2nd notice sent already?
  • socallrsocallr Posts: 2
    I spoke with an agent at the Nat'l Customer Care center when I was dealing with my '06 HH a few weeks ago. What she told my (summarized) is this: Toyota has identified the IPM--the part identified in the recall notice--as the reason for the inverter assemblies to fail. To replace that IPM, Toyota must finish designing the new piece, manufacturing it in bulk and distributing it to dealers. Toyota expects the FIRST of these newly-designed parts to hit the dealerships in JANUARY, 2012. Until then, the recall serves only as a mechanism for individuals who experience an inverter assembly failure to have the inverter replaced for free, even if the car is out of warranty.

    Until these new IPMs come out, everyone driving a HH subject to recall is at risk for experiencing the failure. When I pressed the woman at CustCare for a better response from Toyota, she was very understanding, but Toyota is not going to take any further action. That is why I, within 24 hours of receiving my "repaired" HH, traded it in on a new Subaru Outback. DON'T DRIVE BEHIND HHs.
  • Brought our '06 HH into the dealership this week for an oil change & tire rotation. I asked about the recall, and the service manager said they are still waiting on Toyota for the replacement/repair.

    So far our HH has been running great. Haven't had any problems yet. (knock on wood). 65K miles to date.
  • same thing happened to me 3 days ago, Toyota will not help, you are on your own, it will cost about $10,000 to replace the inverter. let the NHTSA know this happened to you as I did...good luck...Ken
  • Gosh seems this is a common problem, my HH cut out on me on the freeway this week, i was going 70 mph, got a warning Check Hybrid System and lost all power in the car. i was able to coast to the exit but was nearly run over by a semi truck, scared the crap out of me, kid was with me and was screaming with fear. Had it towed to the dealer who said inverter was out, car had over 100,000 miles so was out of warranty...cost to fix $10,000. ..called Toyota and have a case set up, lets see what happens...I'm just glad my daughter and myself are still alive. Be careful all HH owners, someone is going to die as more HH run up the miles....
  • This happened to me a well, last night at about midnight, doing about 65 on the interstate 95, in the left lane. All of a sudden it stopped dead. I had my daughter in the car as well. I managed to coast to the shoulder, remarkably, where we waited 45 mintues for a tow, with my daughter crying and squeezing my hand every time the rush of wind from an 18 wheeler rocked our car; she was terified of it falling over the guardrail. I researched this online, and found that in very late June, Toyota recalled this part. (Well, the IPM within the inerter - I am expecting them to find that my inverter failed because of some other part to avoid replacing it fo free. I am waiting to hear from the shop. In reading post 181 by kenduf, I am taking your comment that "You are on your own, Toyota won't help" as to mean that they won't help with replacement of the inverter as a precautionary step? A few others have posted that Toyota did replace the part when it failed. If this is gets fixed, I, too, will dump this car (which I otherwise just love) and replace it with something else, and I will avoid Toyota's on the road, too. I can only imagine the horrible accident that can occur when one of them makes a sudden stop on the highway. I was very lucky to be able to coast to shoulder.
  • Good luck to you rescue 131. I had a "battery failure" awhile back in my 2006 HH and the battery was replaced for $239. (?) I had made the effort to trade the HH it in but as we all know, trading and buying a car take time and after two attempts, I put it off even longer. This week when my wife heard about the recall, she insisted on my getting rid of the HH. She stated she would not let me drive my 3 children in my car until the car was gone. So luckily, the dealership had a Honda Odyssey with similar mileage, 90,000 and the trade was fair. I got $13200 for the HH 2006 (I owed $11000) from my dealer for an Odyssey that cost $12000. I took the deal and ran...I was in the dealer for less than 1 1/2 hours and feel relieved. Now I can with peace of mind drive my 3 children, age 10 and under, in my van. I am a 40 something father, so the van is not what I had in mind but I love the sound system, the smooth ride, and my children love the DVD. It is much more kid friendly than the HH. Get out of the HH while you can!
  • bad luck, sorry this also happened to you, Toyota case manager "Robert" called me today and said they are not helping with repairs. He said because it was a later model, mid to late 07 it is not being recalled. I said it was the same problem as the early model, he said the NHTSA has not made them recall the late 07's, only the early model. seems to me that as the later models rack up the miles problems will happen. BE WARNED do not drive behind Toyota Highlanders if you value your life. Getting it towed to the wreckers this week...funny thing he also said was that if I had got my oil changes at their dealer they would have fixed the problem, I had my oil changes done at a Jiffy Lube.......Toyoto sucks big time...good luck to all other Toyota owners out there...your going to need it..I filed a case with NHTSA you should do the same, phone them do not Email them... :lemon:
  • My car died at a highnspeed on the internet, with my child in the car. I just hear from the Toyota service center. While my car happens to be one of the recalled Vin numbers, Toyota themselves informed me that even were it not, Toyota would have to pick up the inverter, because The Federal Gov't makes them warranty this part for ten years or 150k miles...it was unclear to me whether this only applies to hybrids, or all highlanders. But as this came right out of the Toyota Service Center's mouth, anyone who is stuck with a bad inverter should look into this! This warranty is above anything Toyota has sold with the car. You don't have to have it written in your warranty, or to have purchased it separately. It's federal gov't mandated. My car will be ready tomorrow! It was a ten grand bill, including a replacement battery. I'm walking away out only $150. I hope this helps some of you.
  • I'm very interested in your post. I also looked into the 10 years/150K miles issue, but multiple sources (including Toyota headquarters) said this didn't apply to the inverter. Can you tell me, what state are you in...and what was the mileage on your car?
  • From: http://www.toyota.com/owners/warranty/

    Hybrid-Related Component Coverage: Hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for 8 years/100,000 miles. The HV battery may have longer coverage under emissions warranty. Refer to applicable Owner's Warranty Information booklet for details.
  • Who ever heard of a Toyota breaking down at 90-120K? It is rare, and for it to be the SAME part, and an EXPENSIVE part at that...

    No more hybrids for me... Not until I see a CLEAR LONG history of no problems...

    $4000 for a used inverter for me, what a waste of $$$.
  • car had 123000 miles and san diego ca. bought it new 3 1/2 years ago...it is not covered under the recall because the recall is only for 06 and early 07's...... :lemon:
  • The Toytota dealer who told me that was Town and Country Toyota in Westport, CT. Call them and ask for the service manager. (You might not want to mention that you heard this on the forum, though.) If it is a federal law, then it won't matter what state you're in. I have 75,000 miles on my car. I just now picked it up from the dealer. They told me because I got the inverter fixed before the "official" recall, I got a new one, whereas after the recall they are putting a piece of tape of some sort on it. If I were you, I would call them and inquire. This service station said that 150/10 law had nothing to with my own personal warranty on the car (which had expired, anyway). It's separate. I had no warranty, and they did it for free. It's a 2006, Hi Hy with 75k. Good luck.
  • Irina2 posted that she learned it was covered under an emissions warranty. If that is so, then it doesn't matter if the car was part of the recall or not. That emissions warranty should apply to all of them.
  • Just a quick update; I thought Toyota was going to repair the recall issue when they replaced my engine, but the part is not available yet. As with everyone else who received the first recall notification, I have to wait until the end of the year. Thus, I have to be nervous about driving my car with this pending problem. (It is definitely scary when the car just fails and coasts!)

    I am still waiting to see what NHTSA finds out since the middle part of a valve spring (looks like a slinky) just broke out and destroyed the engine. That doesn't seem like it should happen since I have had regular, consistent maintenance! I mailed NHTSA an update with the photos from Toyota of the defective part.
  • That is insane. My car was on the recall and toyota replaced the part. I was almost killed on the hwy, w my child. "drive carefully" is an unacceptable answer. If i were u, i wd raise hell. My car was fixed in a week.
  • I'm confused by your post, rescue131... I said just the opposite... when i looked into it, I was told it was NOT covered... and I was told about the 8 yrs/100K miles warranty....I think the Federal emissions standard you may be referring to (as I learned when I looked into that) applies only to zero or ultra-low emissions cars--or something like that--but the HiHy isn't considered to be in this category.
  • Irina2, sorry to have misquoted you. According the Toyota dealer who replaced my inverter, the bottom line is that whether or NOT the inverter has been recalled (and it has), the inverter is STILL covered under some other federal warranty, the name of which I never learned, that covers certain parts for 150k or 10 years. That warranty is not a part of any warranty you buy when you buy the car. I had not purchased any extended warranty, but this part was STILL covered by the federal warranty. Whether it is an emissions warranty, or whatever else it is called, I do not know. But bottom line: whether or not your vehicle is part of the recall, if the inverter goes, it's covered under the 150k/10 year federal warranty. This came from the Toyota dealer. Anyone who needs this part replaced and is told they cannot have it replaced because their car is not one of the recalled cars, can have it replaced under the federal warranty.
  • My service advisor at the local toyota dealer claims there is no warranty. Can anyone point me in the right direction to find this warranty information? I paid a TON of money to have my inverter replaced, and I kept the old one just in case anything ever came up with this whole rotten situation.

    Here is what I know about electronics and electrical parts:
    Electrical parts and electronic parts that do NOT have any moving parts do NOT fail unless there is a defect, or unless something else causes them to fail. Poor engineering of the system is considered a defect. These parts do not wear and do not have a lifetime that can be "used up." If something is VERY old, like 30-50 years or more, there may be a physical breaking down of some things like rubber or plastic, but as far as solid state devices, they do NOT wear.

    Either these inverters were engineered to fail with time, or they were not properly engineered.

    I work in an industrial environment, and we have solid state devices that pass much greater current, and we also have some that switch much higher voltages. These devices are not known to fail unless something else in the circuit causes an overcurrent or overvoltage condition.

    We need to keep pushing on this. We are right on this one!!! This should NOT be happening!
  • I found all the relevant warranty information, and include it (together with sources) in this post.

    First of all, The emission warranty on your vehicle is issued in accordance
    with the U.S. Federal Clean Air Act. The federal Clean Air Act requires vehicle makers to provide two emissions-related warranties -- a production warranty and a performance warranty. The production warranty requires the vehicle maker to warrant that the vehicle is designed, built and equipped so that it conforms with emissions requirements at the time of sale. The performance warranty requires the vehicle maker to warrant that the vehicle will
    comply with applicable emissions requirements as tested under state vehicle emissions
    inspection programs for the warranty periods specified in the law (for model year 1995
    and later vehicles, the warranty is 2 years/24,000 miles for all emissions-related parts
    and 8 years/80,000 miles for the catalytic converter, electronic emissions control unit
    and on-board diagnostic device). The performance warranty is conditioned on the
    vehicle being properly maintained and operated. Source: http://www.rosenentertainment.com/Magnuson-Moss%20and%20Clean%20Air%20Acts.pdf

    Additionally, vehicles purchased in California, or in any of the states which have adopted the legislation (Connecticut, Maryland New Jersey, Rhode Island, Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, The District of Columbia, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia
    Maine - Source: http://www.dowcorning.com/content/publishedlit/26-1321-01.pdf), are covered under the defect warranty coverage for the California.

    This warranty, part of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) Emissions Warranty Coverage Periods for New Vehicles, Engines, and Equipment Sold in California mandates that PZEV (Partial Zero Emission Vehicles) Certified Vehicles be warrantied for defects on emission-related parts for 15 years/150k miles. It further mandates that defects in energy storage devices (batteries) be warrantied for 10 years. Source: http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/warranty.pdf. Also visit http://www.driveclean.ca.gov.

    The Toyota Highlander Hybrid meets the above mandate as it is a PZEV Partial Zero Emission Vehicle. Source: http://www.jdpower.com/autos/articles/Understanding-Low-Emission-Vehicles. Further, the Inverter is part of the emissions parts.

    Therefore, anyone who has purchased a hybrid PZEV will have the benefit of the Federal warranty, and anyone who has purchased it in California or in one of the CARB states, will have the 150k/10 year warranty on the inverter.

    Look up the sources, print them out, bring them to your Toyota dealers. It's that easy.
  • I was looking at purchasing a 2007 HH with 102000 miles when I came across this thread. I have read all 20 pages of the previous posts and really appreciate all of you for your efforts and willingness to share.

    I am trying to figure out where the HH I am looking at fits into this picture. I have checked the vin# at the Toyota recall site and it states there is none for this vehicle. I believe all the HH's on this thread have been 2006 models except for Kenduff's #190.

    I read the threads that relate to vin # cutoffs and assume that this is why this particular HH is not included, however, Kenduff's seems to be past this cutoff as well.

    Rescue131's #191 gives hope to many, however, it doesn't appear like this particular HH would qualify. The HH is in Alabama and has over 100000 miles.

    I know there are a lot of emotionally based reasons not to take a chance on this vehicle, however, I would be very interested in facts related to how this vehicle fits into (or doesn't fit into) this picture. Thanks in advance.
  • Rescue131, thank you for all your hard work and willingness to share. I was interested in your take on how a currently running, non-recall list, 2007 HH, for sale in Alabama, with 102000 mi. fits into this picture? It doesn't appear to meet any of the requirements you listed above. I was looking at purchasing this vehicle when I came across this discussion thread. I would not be as concerned if not for Kenduf's posts. Thanks in advance.
  • Do NOT buy this car. We have one, it stinks.
    There is no reason to buy it even if it works perfectly. You don't save much gas.
    Get a regular Highlander for much less and no problems.
    We have a 2007. The battery often dies and now it lights
    up but won't READY, intermittantly.
    If you want to buy one, buy mine. Less than 40,000 miles.
  • this is a later model that I have put 127000 miles on in 3 1/2 years, as more later 07's put on the miles the same problem is happening...do not buy this car. Check the highway safety site people are filing complaints more and more on the later 07's.. :lemon: ...K
  • What are you asking for it and where are you located?
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,893
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  • Thank you, k :lemon:
  • Thank you, i agree k :lemon:
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