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Toyota Hybrid Highlander Interior & Passenger Comfort Concerns



  • It's frustrating isn't it!?!

    I've come to terms that this is just a poor design. This time of year, I keep them on all the time and every 20 minutes or so--if my trip is that long--I get some toasty seats.

    Luckily, I live in the relatively mild Puget Sound Area. I feel for you in Calgary!

    Toyota Corporate was MISERABLE with this case and finally just dropped it. I don't know if its an open or closed case. This summer they never called me back (didn't need the seats this summer).

    The guy at my new dealership said that they do suck and this is just how they work. Terrible, I know. But, since I don't expect them to work, when they come on, it's a nice surprise.

    Isn't that terrible?
  • Frustrating - no kidding!

    Really appreciate your response post, sincerely.

    While I would agree its a poor design (or poor choice of parts, some heating pads are identical to that [useless], There appear to be owners of Highlanders whose seats work as you would expect. (and our Sienna they were fine).

    I'm not sure I am prepared to leave this as is.
    I am absolutley shocked at Toyota corp. terrible response.

    If by some miracle you find out something, please post it.
    I certainly will.

    can anyone out there reading this pass along a solution?
    Are you reading this: someone at Toyota Corp?

    Thanks again to susannamp
  • Well, post here if you ever resolve it--I'll follow up!
    It just caused me SOOO much stress for months, I wasn't able to enjoy my new totally cool hybrid SUV!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You don't suppose they went to a lower wattage seat heater, along with LED bulbs and HID headlights, in order to conserve hybrid FUEL...

    And they may have licensed Ford's patented technique that results in less regenerative braking capability duirng the winter months, as a SAFETY matter, thereby requiring them to make extra/additional fuel conservation measures.

    Now I understand why our Prius has cloth seats.
  • Just bought a 07 HH, does anyone know if there are inserts available for the ashtray to convert it to a coin holder?

    Thanks in advance.
  • monte8monte8 Posts: 75

    What ashtray?
  • Any issues or recommendation on resolution on having the windows down & severe reverberation while driving above 35 mph ?
  • I've had this happen on most cars.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,854
    Most every car seems to do this now. The last one of mine that I can recall not doing it was my 1966 Chrysler Newport.

    Perhaps it's because that car wasn't as aerodynamic as newer cars and the airflow across the rear windows not as smooth.

    The entire effect is much like blowing across the top of a sode bottle and creating a tone. only in this case teh "bottle" is the interior of the car and the opening is the window. The frequency of the vibration is so low you feel it more than hear it.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "Most every car seems to do this now....."

    How so very correct....

    Manufacturers have been addressing the issue of ventilation loss for about 15 years now. The idea is that once the cabin air is "conditioned" don't let it flow "out". Bottom line is most new cars are so well insulated and sealed that the only air outflow path is the smallish exhauster port provided, usually in the bottom of one of the rear quarter panels.
  • tkozytkozy Posts: 3
    I just bought a 2008 Hybrid Camry, all the the car EXCEPT the heated seated. I have had alot of cars with heated seats and these are worthless. I have called the dealer today to get them to look at them, they said they have had no other complaints. I can't beleive that they won't get any hotter, I can't even tell that I have heated seats at all!!!
  • Hi, i have an 07 highlander with heated seats, i have been to the dealer twice because they don't heat.The dealer and toyota corp.say that they do heat to 80 degrees and that is factory spec's. I spoke to a lawyer that deals only with vehicle lemon laws, he took on my case and says that he has won many/every case(s) against toyota for this type of problem. I would go for it. If toyota is required to buy back my suv, then i have to pay 5% to the lawyer, 0% if nothing happened.
    Stand up for your rights!!!
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    The heated seats in or 07 HH get really hot. There is not doubt that they're on.
    I wish they had a high/Low switch.
  • note:The 08 hh has low/high switch and heats well. Our 07 camry seats heat well. The luther dealership tech says that at least 15- 07 hh he has seen have had poor heaters, he says he is not authorized to replace them.
    Thanks for the info.,
  • Hi there: I have an 07 HH with the nav system where heat, a/c, radio, etc are controlled through the screen. I don't understand why when you are trying to get heat, and put the temperature on some high number like 80, why the A/C comes on. It requires me going into the Climate panel and un-clicking A/C so that only heat is coming out.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    For several reasons, too many to bring up here, most asian manufactured vehicles, or any vehicle using the NipponDenso/Denso US (two layer flow) climate control design, have a higher than normal propensity to build up the moisture level, RH, within the cabin.

    You may have already noted this as it sometimes results in sudden and unexpected fogging of the interior windshield surface.

    The ONLY reason for having the A/C operational when the OAT is significantly below your comfort setpoint is to (hopefully) dehumidify the incoming FRESH airflow.

    There is a group of C-best options available for the Lexus series that may also be available for you that can be of great help.

    a) The A/C can be disabled indefinitely (multiple restarts, etc.) by turning it off just once.
    b) The A/C can be "unlinked" from operating automatically in defrost/defog/demist mode.
    c) The climate control can be prevented from automatically switching from "heating" into "cooling" mode. Absent this setting the climate control will automatically switch from footwell outlet into footwell/dash and then dash only as the cabin temperature rises closer and closer to your comfort setpoint.

    In footwell mode some slight level of "warm" airflow is intentionally routed to the interior surface of windshield to keep it (hopefully) above dewpoint.

    The most recent "lot" of Toyota/Lexus products will now automatically switch back into heating mode if the OAT declines below ~34F where the A/C is disabled and thereby cannot be used for dehumidification.

    Prior to (back to ~1968) these C-best options becoming available I simply disconnected the A/C clutch electrical connector throughout the winter months.

    Google for:

    wwest denso demist


    Denso "two layer airflow"


    Denso "ventilation loss"
  • Has anyone purchased seat covers for the 2008 Highlander Hybrid Limited, and if so, if you liked them, where did you buy them? Are they easy to put on and take off, and are they washable?

  • monte8monte8 Posts: 75
    "Has anyone purchased seat covers for the 2008 Highlander Hybrid Limited, and if so, if you liked them, where did you buy them? Are they easy to put on and take off, and are they washable? "

    Remember that the 2008 HH has side airbags built into the front seats. Seat covers would have to be designed to allow them to deploy.
  • bradleytbradleyt Posts: 4
    Yes, from the web site listed below
    I bought a back seat cover from these folks , for the dog,
    They have a good web site, I'd recommend calling them for verification once
    you locate what you're looking for.
    They send you 20% off coupons after you buy something from them.
    You may be able to negotiate up front with them .
This discussion has been closed.