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Toyota Highlander Tires and Wheels

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  • kziggykziggy Posts: 3
    hlander - I've begun the research on the Class Action and anything else I can do to alert the public. My wife and I are retired Fed. employees so we know our way around the burocratic crap pretty good. DOT, both at state and federal levels, will certainly get an ear full regarding the potential hazards these tires could cause, but that's just for starters. Regrettably, I will need new tires before anything even gets started, but that won't discourage us. Let me know if you or others on line hear of any other tire company producing a 19" that can be used without causing a problem with the warrantee. Goodyear has an Eagle F1 All Season 245/45ZR19 that obviously has a lower profile (45ZR v. 55R) and I'm looking into the warrantee issue about changing recommended tire size. If anyone has already looked into that, please let me know. Thanks.
  • ronedroned Posts: 9
    I have 20 000 miles on my Open Country tires for my Highlander Limited. I first complained about the tires at 15000 as they were useless in snow and dangerous. I complained to Toyota Customer service and they just replied that there is no warranty but they expect about 30000 miles wear as they were built to Toyota standards. However they do not warrant them for that. The Customer Service rep refused to give me any other names I could write to in regard to this problem saying that Upper Management does not deal with these issues as they empower their customer reps to do that. She suggested I take my case to the BBB or another outside issue as Toyota would do nothing for me.
  • howards1howards1 Posts: 2
    I am another unhappy customer with 19" tires. I think it is criminal for an automobile
    company such as Toyota to put tires on a vehicle that are in such limited supply and from only two manufacturers. The amazing thing is that they are still producing vehicles with this size tire. Do I hear the words restraint of trade and kick backs?
    I have been in contact with Toyota and they do not recommend changing to 18" rims because this would change the dynamics of the vehicle, however the base Highlander comes with 17" wheels. Who are they fooling? I guess time will tell as to what the eventual outcome may be. I believe that Toyota should do something for people that paid good money for crappy tires.
  • Yeah, I'm pretty disgusted, too. Here's a thought, though: As most of you know, the only thing that makes these tires unique is the width (245 mm). After all, 19-inch radius tires are available everywhere - just not with that unique width. The reason we're locked into that tire size is because of the rims. Does anyone know of an alternate _rim_ for our Highlanders?
  • I bought a 2008 Highlander Hybrid in November, 2007. Love the vehicle, getting decent mileage (avg about 28-30 mpg in the summer, a bit less in the winter). After noticing the poor tread remaining on my Toyo A20s after about 9,500 miles and sliding into a car going about 3 mph (no damage, fortunately) on a VERY lightly snow-covered roadway, I starting doing some research on the web.

    Having read this thread, I was motivated to call Toyota. To make a month-long story short, I am very disappointed. The local dealer's parts manager lead me to believe that Toyota would "buy two tires if I bought two tires," but then they backed out when it came down to it. So, when a planned trip came due, I pulled the trigger and bought some 17" wheels with some Michelin LTX M/S from Discount Tire. I LOVE these tires, and they were put to the test during our weeklong trip. We had some snow and they performed beautifully on some dirt roads with moderate slopes. The seven-spoke wheels match the bolt pattern exactly, and the difference in circumference from the Toyo's is negligible. I did my research beforehand, and the Michelin LTX is a VERY highly rated tire. I'm very glad to have made the switch. Going forward, I now have dozens of tires to choose from in the 17" size rather than the handful in the 19" size.

    The new tire size: P245/65R17
    Bolt pattern: 5-114.3

    By the way, Discount Tire's "tire calculator" web page is GREAT for calculating the difference between your current tire size and proposed tire sizes. It shows how the different size affects your speedometer, and actual dimensional differences in circumference, width, etc. The page is located at http://www.discounttire.com/dtcs/infoTireMath.dos. I used it extensively as I researched various options in going wider, taller, etc.

    The wheels I chose were $89 each and the tires were $194 each. After the road hazard, replacement and other stuff that you pay with Discount, the grand total was around $1,440. I will get $120 back from two rebates, so, a total of $1,320. I will be putting the Toyos and 19" rims on Craigslist to try and recoup some of the cost. The rims cost $579 each from Toyota...over $2,300! I'll settle for less than half that if I can find someone interested. The salesman at Discount Tire said I would would probably be able to sell them. We'll see. The Toyo's have about 7/32nds left. The rims are in great shape, and may appeal to another Highlander owner who has already put some Blizzaks on their original rims and are about to swap their Toyo's back on for the summer. (If anyone HERE is interested, let me know!)

    Anyway, I thought I'd share my story. I firmly believe that I made a good choice in buying the Highlander. I believe it's a superior vehicle, and for some reason I thought that the company behind it was also superior to the "traditional" car companies I have dealt with in the past, like Ford, Chevrolet, etc. Clearly, I was mistaken.

    If I encounter any other experiences with the wheels or tires, I'll post an update.

    Thanks for reading.
  • Excellent! You've inspired me. My "team leader" at the local Toyota dealer still hasn't returned my call from last week, so I'm having my favorite car repair guy in town check out your solution. He's more than happy to do this. Sounds like a great approach to solving the problem - thank you!
  • bob259bob259 Posts: 280
    Blaming Toyota for the tire manufactures not having tires in this size is like blaming Microsoft for HP not having Printers,scanners, other hardware etc. that worked with the new Vista when it came out.

    Unfortunately like everything when you have a new size / product it takes time to get everyone on board. Like everyone I hope it's soon too, but I can't blame Toyota for the tire manufactures not providing thir product in the size I need.

    When I need tires if it's still this bad I'll get the 18" rims and be done with it, but I'll be willing to bet by the fall there will be more the 2 tire manufactures making this size.
  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Posts: 470
    I think it's legitimate to blame Toyota for putting inferior tires on new vehicles. If they were putting a high-quality 19" tire on the vehicles in the factory, you wouldn't hear people complaining.

    Anyone else in the Boston area hear the radio ad from the tire company that wants to give away Toyos? Buy 3 and get the 4th absolutely free. It's a great tire, too, and comes with the best manufacturer warranty in the business....
  • I'm not sure I'd use the word "blame", either - but I did just take action today: I bought 4 new 17" wheels... wrapped in some Michelins (Latitude Tour). It set me back $1,600, but I refuse to be held hostage. Blame Toyota? Nah - it's more "shame on me" for not protecting myself from this bad decision on the part of Toyota. Whatever the case, I feel better taking control of an important part of the car. PLUS, the next time I get tires, the new wheels will nearly pay for them, since I can get high-quality tires at a lower price, now that I'm into standard-size tires.
  • kziggykziggy Posts: 3
    Before you change out for a new tire size and/or new rims with new tires, you better check your car warrantee in general to see if you are letting toyota get away with even more irresponsible actions. When you change either the rim or tire size, you are messing with both the speedometer and milage calculations. That could in fact void some aspect of the warrantee. As for those of you that obviously "feel" it is actually our fault that we let Toyota, not even an American car company, screw the American public AGAIN, well...there's no hope there. You could always apologize to Toyota on our behalf for making such a fuss and ask them to continue to treat us like crap, sort of like the Pres. did this week to all of Europe, on "behalf of the American people," of course, when he put all Americans down...again!. Opps, just slipped out folks....couldn't help myself. I apologize.
  • Apology accepted - especially since I haven't been this happy with our leadership in 8 years.
  • I just purchased the same rims and tires as you but they don't seem to fit properly. Did you have to use different bolt or make modifications? I really need some help..The Lexus rims seem just a hair off on the bolt holes.
  • nowlennowlen Posts: 35
    One thing I'm unclear about - there seem to be various opinions. Will the factory 17" Highlander wheels fit on a Sport that had 19" wheels from the factory?
  • other1other1 Posts: 7
    Yes they will. They are both OEM. Both have the same bolt pattern. However, you'd better check with Toyota to see if it's OK to go from 19">>17"
  • Kziggy,

    I bought 4 Hankook 235/55R19 H725 Optimo Mileage Plus II tires off E-bay, brand new delivered to my house for $600. Got 'em at East Coast Tires in Asheboro, NC. I now have 3000 miles on them, no problems so far. However, I live in TX, so there isn't the snow/ice issue to deal with......
  • cap2008cap2008 Posts: 11
    To: Tekin Family

    I have an 08 Sport and NO, the 17" factory wheels will not fit. It is due to the caliper on the Sport model. If you read back you can find my messages about everything I went through to get decent tires. I ended up getting 18" rims at Sears for about $118 each. They also price matched some fabulous Michelin MTX M/S tires from Tirerack for $129 each.
  • sox0407sox0407 Posts: 2
    Hi John,

    I live in N Guilford CT and purchased my Highlander Limited on Oct 2007. It came with OEM Toyo's and my first winter with them was fine. The second winter (this past winter) was not fine, at all. My wife started complaining early in the winter that "this car is no good in the snow" and I chaulked it up to her being a less than average winter weather driver....until I took the car out and slid all over the place on 2 inches of snow. I went out and bought some Blizzaks and had a very safe winter since. My point is to caution you that you will probably start having winter problems next year and please be very very careful. These tires are truly an abomination after a little treadwear.
  • We purchased a 2008 Highlander Hybrid almost one year ago, in May 2008, and I could tell immediately that the tires (the Toyos) weren't going to last. Surprising, probably because I've been driving rather gingerly for most of the year to wring the max gas mileage out of it, the tires have lasted over 26,000 miles – far more than for some people on this forum. But there's absolutely no way I'm putting Toyos on a vehicle of mine ever again (zero traction in Utah ice and snow), and the Bridgestone reviews here and on the Tire Rack site eliminated that choice. So I'll be springing for new wheels to allow me reasonable tire choices.

    I visited the closest Toyota dealer and see what options I had and what they had recommended to others in my position: Karl Malone in Salt Lake. We visited there when we first started shopping, and because of the salesman's attitude we never returned; even though I was not happy with their salesman, I figured the service org would be OK to deal with. Wrong again.

    When I first raised the issue with the parts clerk, he acknowledged that, yes, there are only the Toyo and Bridgestone tires available for that size wheel on the Highlander, but then went on to claim that no one had ever complained about this before. He then called in another guy from parts, an older gentleman, who listened to my complaint and then also stated no one had ever come in to Karl Malone about this issue. No one? EVER? I pointed out that there are many angry customers venting about this online, having learned about it (like me) only well after purchase when it came time to buy replacement tires, and going back at least two years to Nov 2006.

    His response? “I can find people complaining about anything online”, thereby dismissing my complaint. I then asked about their recommendations for swapping wheels. The first parts clerk then went on to say “you can't move to 17” wheels because they won't clear the brake calipers.” Yet people in this forum had already done this, so I returned home to call the dealer where I purchased the vehicle as these guys where going to be zero help.

    On the way home, I stopped at a Discount Tire store to ask them about this issue. Their response? “We've had a lot of Highlander and Tundra owners come in and complain about this very problem, and many have in fact switched wheels. You can switch to 17” or 18”, or even to a 20”; all will give you more and better tire choices. I just swapped out wheels, replacing the originals with 17” wheels, on a Highlander Hybrid just like yours six months ago in our Linden store.”

    I returned home and called the dealer where I purchased the Highlander to ask about the service bulletin referenced in this forum regarding the 18” Lexus Port Take Offs, but the service rep there did not know anything about said bulletin (though he stated he was aware of the issue), and could not find anything about it. Since Karl Malone wasn't even aware of the problem, there was no point in calling them.

    Then I called the 'Toyota Experience Department' at 310-468-4000 – what a waste of time that was. After collecting all my info including my phone #, and listening to my explanation of the problem, the rep asked if he could put me on hold while he looked up the service bulletin I asked about; I replied that was fine, and since he had my number how he could call me back if somehow the call were dropped, right? “Yes, I can do that if the call drops”. No problem, I'll wait. Then he comes back on the line, tells me he needs to transfer me to another department, “the Toyota Experience department, but for more technical issues” (?), and will I wait? Yes, fine, I'll wait. Then he comes back again and says “They're all in a meeting, but I've logged the details of your case so if you would just call back later you should be able to speak with them.” Uh, what? You have my phone number, you have the details, have them call me back when the meeting is over. “Well, no they can't do that.” Why not? You have all the info you need, and only YOU know when the meeting is over. “That isn't how our system works.” What? What kind of customer service is that? I asked him to log my displeasure, note that I was most certainly NOT calling back, told him this doesn't constitute 'customer service' in any form, and hung up.

    I've got an inquiry in to 'International Wheel and Tire' on eBay, as they were the ones that posted the Lexus 18” wheel/Goodyear Forterra combo on ebay for $900 plus shipping – a total of about $1100 for four wheels and tires shipped to my home:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/18-Toyota-Highlander-wheels-Goodyear-Fortera-Tire- s_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1742Q2em153Q2el1262QQcategoryZ66484QQihZ001QQitemZ1- 10375199069QQtcZphoto

    I'm going to visit Discount Tire again now that I'm armed with the proper info, and see what combos they can offer for an 18” wheel, hopefully with a Michelin tire, for the same $275 per that I can get from the offer above; once I make a decision I'll report back along with my first impressions following the swap. And I've written up a much longer, more detailed version of this posting which I intend to send via snailmail to Toyota Customer Service at corporate, along with cc'ing any Toyota board members whose names I can turn up.

    Two final thoughts: 1) The guy from the Toyota Experience dept. noted that with regard to warranty violation, they would only look at components and systems related to the wheels and tires; for example, any problems with the engine would not be traceable back to the tire/wheel swap and therefore would not be voided.
    2) There's no point in waiting and hoping someone else will make a decent 19” tires for this vehicle later this year or next (Michelin's already said no, according to one post in this forum); sticking with the worthless Toyo tires for another 25K miles would cost me about $180/tire, or $360/tire for the next 50K miles. A good Michelin or Goodyear will last at least 50K, so spending the same $360/tire now ($180/wheel and $180/tire) gets me to better – and SAFER - tires, saves me money every on every set I purchase going forward, and pays for itself on the very next set of tires I purchase – two years from now, not one as with the Toyos.
  • nowlennowlen Posts: 35
    Have you actually tried to put factory 17's on an '08 Highlander Sport or are you retelling what others have posted? I stopped at the dealer and looked up all the braking and suspension component 'differences' between the limited, sport and base Highlander. All part numbers are identical except for the strut! The calipers, rotors and hubs are identical across the non-Hybrid line. (I didn't check the Hybrid since I don't won't own one. I am looking for someone WHO HAS ACTUALLY ATTEMPTED THIS before I order a set of Factory 17's because neither I nor the dealer see any reason why they would NOT fit. I just makes no sense that the calipers would rub if they're the same calipers! Perhaps I'm missing something here. If you have tried the swap please let me know one way or the other. (And if it doesn't fit please let me know where the problem lies.) Thanks for any help.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,174
    You shouldn't have to buy new wheels and tires on a new vehicle. Its bad enough they put junk tires on it, but coming out with a unique wheel size that doesn't have quality traction tires available on a SUV shows incredible arrogance on Toyota's part. It sounds like the old customer be damned attitude that eventually sunk GM. It appears they have repeated their behavior on the Venza. That will likely sink a lot of the car's initial enthusiasm in the marketplace in the not too distant future. People are strapped for money, yet Toyota who already gets a premium price screws them over having to spend over a grand or more for wheels and tires that will work in winter climates. Wait till the accidents start happening and it makes 60 Minutes.
  • sconcernsconcern Posts: 2
    I am close to pulling the trigger on a '09 Highlander Base with 4WD. From reading this forum I'm glad the vehicle I'm looking at buying isn't one with the 19" wheels. However I haven't seen many postings on how the 17" tires perform mileage wise. Is no news good news in this case?? I did review all the great choices of tires available when it comes time to replace (at least 3 variations of Michelin's)
  • mdhuttonmdhutton Posts: 195
    Agreed. I shouldn't have to spend $800 on new tires after only 10 months and 14,000 miles, but my life (and Chicago winters) necessitate otherwise. I believe I've found a solution:

    Hankook Ventus AS RH07.

    You'll have to go just a touch wider on the profile, as the closest size available to OE at the moment is 255/55R19, but this isn't terrible, and in fact might be preferred. The 420 treadwear rating helps give a 65,000-mile warranty, and the traction and temperature ratings (each "A") surpass the OE Bridgestone POS's that came with the vehicle. A load rating of 111 (vs 103 OE) is also nice. Not that I'm planning on pushing it, but they're also V-speed rated (149mph).

    I can't find a negative review anywhere, and I've just spent 4 hours researching this option. Discount Tire is offering them for $205 each.

    Anyone have any experience or opinions with this tire ?
  • bob259bob259 Posts: 280
    Not sure if it's from reading all these posts on the bad Toyo's on our Highlanders or a real problem. I turned 1,700 mile on the 19" Toyo's on my 08 Highlander Hybrid Limited and have noticed some slight feathering to the outer most band on the front tires. Took it into the dealership, as it indicates to me the toe in is out a little. Well after 2 hours they told me they checked everyting and everything is fine and didn't see any feathering and the wear I saw was normal and to check my tire pressures often. Interesting seeing I've worked on cars and been in racing, including a tech inspector for NASCAR, a lot during my time and know what feathering is and looks like and weekly check my tire pressures, not to mention to onboard tire pressure monitoring system. I had them give me a copy of the spec sheet printout and am keeping it for my 5K check up. Starting to not feel as comfortable about these tires.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,413

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  • Quick update: Discount Tire couldn't come close to the Lexus/Goodyear deal from International in my original posting. They wanted $205 for the Michelin Latitude Tour HP tires, leaving me only $95 for wheel selection (keeping to the per-tire/wheel cost of $275 from International). When I asked him what my options were for a $100 wheel, he said "Nothing". When I asked what I would have to spend to get decent 18" wheels and tires that fit a Highlander Hybrid, he replied "$1500", or $375 per; an additional $400.

    So I just ordered the Lexus wheels with the Goodyear Forterra tires from International and will update the forum after I get a few miles on them.
  • talen316talen316 Posts: 32
    mdhutton -

    Nice find!

    In doing your research, did you find any reason for safety concern in going with the 255/55/19 since there is no reduction in the aspect ratio vs the 245/55/19?

    In looking at the tire measurements calculator on Discount Tire's site, the size differences are increases in sidewall height (+0.21"), diam (+0.43"), circum (+1.36"). I don't know enough to know if these differences are nominal or could have any measurable effect. The speedometer is only off by about 1mph.

    Also, did you uncover any potential concern with putting a 255/55/19 on the Toyota OEM 19" rim?

    Thanks
  • hlanderhlander Posts: 31
    Yes, mdhutton,

    I would like to know about talen316 mention.

    If there is not much different and no potential hazard, I would like to change my tire to that kind of tire too.

    Now, odometer is 16000 miles and tire ware down to 3/32. I should change my tire very soon.

    For my family safety, I have to change tire even Toyota and Toyo Tire still ignore customer bad feeling.
  • mdhuttonmdhutton Posts: 195
    No, I didn't see anything in the research about a safety concern with the wider tire and the same aspect ratio.

    The only question I still need answered is putting this tire on the OEM 19" wheel, and I suppose I'll have to visit my local Discount Tire and ask what they suggest, which I haven't had time to do yet.

    For my vehicle, I'm going to have DT sipe the tires for now, I've got OK tread left and this should improve ride and wet road handling until the snow flies again.
  • Well, I've been there. After sliding around in 2 inches of snow, hopeing to bounce of something cheap, driving with white knuckles and prayers, I finally admitted my beloved 08 Highlander Sport was a big dangerous turtle on skis. I started a quest to find a decent winter replacements for the original tires that would do better at the summer drags than on the snow and ice covered roads of upstate NY. Checking with tire shops and dalers (who never admitted they had a tire problem) I realized there was nothing available for the 19 inch wheel. After contacting Toyota numerous time, checking brake, strut, and other dimensions, I finally got one T engineer to admitt I could use a 17 inch rim as on the 08 base Highlander model. I flipped over to Tire Rack and ordered;
    4 P245/65R-17 Bridgestone Blizzak DM-Z3's at $117 each
    4 17 X 7.5 5-114 et35 elbrus i05 rims @ $105.00 each
    4 315 MHz Tire presure Sensors @ 92.00 each
    Tire rack threw in the retainers, lugnuts and needed extras...
    Was a big chunk of money from my fun fund at $ 1400.00 but, it cured the thrill in my bladder during the drive thru snow to work. Now I feel safe, the Highlander is planted as if it was on rails and it stops on snowy hills. Toyota should send a memo to all 08 highlander owners living in snow areas explaining ways to correct this bad tire experiment. Good luck to all........I do love my Toyota, I just hope there aren't any future surprises....
  • talen316talen316 Posts: 32
    Cool, thanks.

    Pls keep us posted on what DT tells you re the existing 19" rims fitting the wider tire.

    Good idea with siping the tires as well. I only have ~ 6k miles on the vehicle, but will consider doing that as well as the tires wear.
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