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Toyota Highlander Hybrid - Hybrid System Problems

pratprat Posts: 1
I was on highway and suddenly my 06 highlander hybride stalled and i saw the msg as "Hybride failed"and "VCF failed, I towed my car to dealer and staying in Motel, and I need help, why this happen and how should I deal with Toyota, Help me.. , I am stuck on the road 400 miles away from home.


  • I hope you were able to get rescued! This exact same thing happened to us with our 2006 Hybrid Highlander. We were on the way to the airport, so that was a problem. We only bought the car last April, and it came with a warranty, so everything was paid for, including the towing, the rental car, etc. It's my understanding that the Hybrid battery is warrantied for the first 150,000 to 200,000 miles, so yours should all be covered, too. Hope things have gotten better for you!
  • About two months ago, my failure was not so dramatic.

    I had driven to work early in the cool AM and had parked at work in open air, Summer LV Sun and temperatures, and on going home up untilI the instant I accelerated to get on freeway, all had been fine. Just as I accelerated without the car feeling weird at all, warning of "Hybrid Failure go to service" popped up on display. Thankfully, just in time for me to avoid the freeway.

    All this happened earily enough in day for me to get to Toyota Dealer and spend 2 1/2 hr as they trouble shot and enabled the car to be driven. Cause was confirmed as Hybrid ECU failure. Was assurred I could drive with no problem while the Hybrid ECU was ordered. Truth was mileage sucked, but they were right -- I could drive.

    Bit of fiasco as Toyota couldn't decide where ECU was in supply chain, but after two-1/2 weeks I was given repair appointment. All parts and labor covered under warranty (me with 60,400 miles on 2006 HH) and now my car drives better than ever before. All the ECU reprogramming needs have gone away. No surging, smooth running at 40mph and 70mph, excellent engineering upgrade by Toyota.

    I had heard 206 HH Hybrid System warranty was only 100K Miles, I would be interested to know if it is confirmed to be ractually longer than that (outside CA.)

  • Regarding the batery pack Toyota has told me in no uncertain terms they will only warranty to 100,000 miles.
    I had a similar warning lite come on while traveling and after renting a car found it was a malfunction of some kind.
  • monte8monte8 Posts: 75
    The minimum warranty on the hybrid components is required by Federal regulations (8 years/100,000 miles). But a car company will not sell a car with this warranty (unless they really want to go broke) if they do not think the 100K mark is well under the "mean time between failure" (mbtf). Mbtf is the point when half of the units would be expected to stop working as required. It is hard to know what the mbtf for the batter pack is, but it is probably more like 200K.

    In other words, the life of the car.
  • danm65danm65 Posts: 1
    My 2006 Toyota Highlander shut off, with the message CHECK HYBRID SYSTEM on the way north on Interstate 95 between Richmond and Wash DC. Luckily or unluckily I coasted to a stop on the side of this busy highway. I had always bragged about my Highlander it was one of my favorite cars that I ever owned. I had to get it towed to the local dealer and after three days and $365 they diagnosed that they hybrid computer was dead. The service guy then told me it would cost $11,000 dollars to repair this issue. I am a road salesperson I bought the Toyota because the Ford Escape Hybrid was too noisy. It had 150K miles on it but i serviced the car regularly. I paid $40,000 dollars for the car, now they were telling me I had to spend $11,000 to repair a part that can not be maintained by servicing the car on a scheduled bases. I had not even paid off the loan for the car. I had just put struts, tires and a new timing belt on the car and now it wouldn't move. I called Toyota Customer Care and after several conversations
    they offered me $1000 toward the repair or a new Toyota. The dealership offered me 10% off the repair bill also. Thanks Toyota. NOT. I am selling it as scrap right now. Toyota's final say was that I had driven the car longer than the life of the part. If I would of known that I would have never bought a $40000 car with a life expectancy of only 4 years. I talk to thousands of people each year and everyone of them are going to know how bad Toyota treats their customers. I will never own another Toyota!
  • Similar story. 2006 Highlander V6 4x4 Ltd. Complete power failure while driving. Thank god it wasn't my 16 year old daughter on the freeway! Internal failure of the hybrid inverter. 9K+ to fix. I feel duped. Toyota will not tell me how many fail. Dealer plays the game that everything is out of their control. Toyota just launched a television campaign bragging about spending $1 million/hour on safety. Yet apparently 2006 Highlander owners are rolling down the road in potential death traps, which if you survive, will cost you a quarter of the purchase price to fix. Anyone have time to picket dealers. I'll be back with the nastiest politician that is after Toyota already so we can get some satisfaction.
  • do you still have the Highlander and is it for sale?
    my email is [email protected] (Anthony)
  • Please report your invert failure to the NHTSA (888)327-4236. Only takes a few minutes and multiple complaints hopefully will lead to an investigation. Please file a complaint even if your inverter is replaced under warranty.

    The NHSTA rep that took my compliant suggested filing complaints with both the FTC (877)382-4357 and your state's Attorney General.
  • Hey Dan,

    Can you email me so I can discuss your situation with you?



    [email protected]
  • toddwinestoddwines Posts: 3
    edited June 2010
    Similar story here. I was driving down the interstate. My 06 Toyota Highlander Highbred died. I had it towed to the dealer. They said the power inverter needs to be replaced. The part alone costs $9,000.00. I have 144,000 miles on it. So, now I have a piece of scrap, that I still owe 8 payments on. I put $15,000 dollars down on it when I bought it. Toyota was of no help at all. I'm so disappointed. If anybody has a similar experience or recommendations please e-mail me. Thank You so much.

    [email protected]
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,081
    we really prefer that information and similar stories be posted here - that's why we host the forums. It allows ALL of our members to benefit from the information posted, whereas exchanging the info privately by email results in other members being deprived of potential solutions, or info on resolution from Toyota. Thanks!


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

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  • toddwinestoddwines Posts: 3
    Sorry Kirstie, I didn't mean to break protocal. This was my first post to this blog...(actually my first post to any blog).
  • ntvtxnntvtxn Posts: 4
    edited June 2010
    A friend had same issue on highway last weekend. At 111,000 miles, his '06 highlander hybrid completely shut down and had to be towed to Toyota. The cost was $10k, just as you say. My '06 highlander hybrid is at 93,000 miles and has had all its scheduled maintenances, but I'm seriously considering a trade-in and a 'swap my ride' for something other than Toyota. I'll keep checking this forum, as I feel like my time is running out on the '06 HH.
  • My purchasing dealer stepped up to help in my situation, bringing my $9,000 repair down to $1200, partially because they aim to please and partially because I've been up and down the food chain for the dealership and Mid-Atlantic Toyota based out of Glen Burnie, MD. Kirstie, I understand the point of wanting the information posted here, but we need to contact each other to organize. These cars are death traps with another example surfacing in some forum every few days. I would suggest people create an alternate email (yahoo, gmail, etc) that would be safe to have public here. The plan for Toyota is obviously to keep these problems isolated and to have each owner eat whatever they dish up. I say no to that. Their arrogance of advertising expenditures of $1 million per hour on safety makes me sick.

    FYI, the inverter replacement has a new part number and actually says New and Improved in the Toyota service system. I was concerned about driving my family in this car even if I had received the repair free if it was the identical defective part.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,081
    The prohibition against organizing lawsuits within the Forums is non-negotiable. It's not a matter of what I want - it's a matter of adhering to our Terms. The need to do so does not negate those terms.
    Thank you for your cooperation.


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  • I've have found the VIN break for the change from the defective inverter to the new part. Before the break you may experience total power failure, engine, steering and brakes. After the break the new part does not have any failures I can find.
    Toyota 06 Highlander Hybrid 2wd - Ending in 60009725
    Toyota 06 Highlander Hybrid 4wd - Ending in 60019910
    Lexus 06 Rx 400h 2wd - Ending in 60002207
    Lexus 06 Rx 400h 4wd - Ending in 60036526
  • ntvtxnntvtxn Posts: 4
    I'm curious as to how you you go that info on the VIN break. At any rate, mine falls BEFORE the break so trade-in is looking better & better. I'm going to check w/my friend that had the failure (and he now owns a new car) & see what his VIN was. Thanks.
  •, a fee based "ask the expert" site. My expert was a active Toyota service technician that was able to get the information from I believe a mid 2007 service bulletin in their system. My dealer didn't seemed surprised when I brought it up. I'm still trying to gather owners to force compensation from Toyota. If you are interested let me know.
  • Considering buying a 07 HH. Rethinking the idea after reading all these posts about inverters. It looks like the part was corrected in 07. Are there other replacement parts that are this expensive to replace? Or is eveything else in line with average repair costs? I cannot believe a part could cost that much to replace. Also guessing resale of the car as it approaches 100k will be difficult. Are there any other issues you have experienced or heard of regarding the hybrid system? Every dealer I call keeps saying these are better running than the gas engines. Very trouble free and they havent replaced a battery yet.
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    Skip the HH.. We have a 2004 Prius which I love and a 2007 HH which I would not recommend. There is no reason to spend the extra money over a regular Highlander. The mileage is just fair. Later models may be better.
  • Ok thanks. Was considering it because there are some really great deals on used HH. Way below book. But your correct, it only saves a few mpg vs 4 cyl or 6 cyl non hybrid. I averaged 25 mpg overall on my 02 Highlander 4x2 4cyl. That is not bad at all. Thanks
  • I had complete loss of power as I was making a left hand turn into two lanes of traffic; I had plenty of time to clear the two lanes , at least with power. The car just died and I coasted to the other side. Luckily the sports car coming toward me swerved out of the way to avoid me. I saw my children's (age 4 and 2) lives flash in front of my eyes as we were almost t-boned by the sports car going 45 miles an hour or more. My HH has 79000 miles. What to do? Luckily it restarted and I pulledi nto a parking lot and said my prayers and kissed my children. I plan on taking it to the dealer tomorrow and demanding a trade-in.... I will file a report with the NTSB to.
  • I'm wondering if this might be a different problem. All the other power inverter problems I've found resulted in a dead car, unable to restart?? Please post back what they find. If it is the hybrid system you should be covered under 100,000 miles, but I'm with you about not keeping an unsafe car regardless of cost. My 06 HH was repaired with the updated part, so I'm hoping for the best. Good luck.
  • I was doing 65 mph on the turnpike in rush hour in the passing lane when my '06 HH began to decelerate and the dashboard lit up with VSC, check engine, hybrid, and ABS. Somehow I managed to coast into the shoulder, and feel lucky to be alive. It's been in the shop for a week and we just heard back from Toyota that the Inverter failed. They said they filed it with Toyota HQ and are going to go to bat for us. We'll see. The Service manager wouldn't even quote us the repairs because they are so costly (more than the car is worth). It has 115,000 miles on it, so warranty has run out. Still have 8 more lease payments to make and then the buyout. We heard the '06 have the Prius inverter, but they realized it couldn't carry the weight, so in '07 they switched them out. I will be calling the NHTSA as suggested on this forum. This is a very dangerous issue and Toyota should do the responsible thing and address it. If you are having the same issue, please feel free to send me an email [email protected]
    Angela :sick:
  • Finally we have some resolution! My husband got in touch with the dealership owner and told him he wants the regional rep name/number/address, and his boss' name/number/address so he can send legal correspondence. That definitely got their attention because he was on the phone for over an hour with Toyota trying to get it resolved. We now only have to pay $965 for labor and the part is being given by Toyota as "goodwill". Now the inverter part is on backorder (go figure!) I am so glad this got resolved, but still won't buy another hybrid!
  • Has anyone had the "Check Hybrid System" message come on the display of a 2008 Highlander Hybrid Limited when driving at high altitudes (mountains)? We've had it twice while driving in Colorado in high elevations (near the summit of Pike's Peak and another mountain). Is this normal for a hybrid? It doesn't seem to do this in Denver metro area when driving around.
  • myrafmyraf Posts: 32
    I have been reading your hh complaints,i just had my 2006 towed home unfixed,my hh has been in and out of my dealership since i had 6000 miles on it for not starting and having the hybrid system failure lights come on after i tried starting it thru out my ownership,bought it new and now have 108,000 miles and it died on the freeway in so cali doing 70 miles an hour i 'm lucky to be alive,had the car towed to toyota dealership and almost fainted when i got a bill for ,r u ready for this 14,000 smackaroos,the f--fing thing is only worth 9000.i 'm contacting a lawyer because i have had inverter problems and hybrid system problems since i bought the car new,I am going to look up my vin any way ,the inverter was cahanged at 86,000 by the dealer but i don't know if i recieved a new verison of inverter,now the say my coolant hose leaked and damaged the inverter,i was wondering if the hybrid system can be disconnected and just have the car run on the gasoline engine onyl,anyone out there know something about disconnecting the hybrid electrical system and convert the car to total gasoline
  • myrafmyraf Posts: 32
    Hi Everyone with highlander hybrid problems,I have the name of the presendent and ceo of toyota motor sales usa,If you would like to get in touch with me we can all write him letters about our auto problems,that may get his attention,my personal e mail is [email protected],no pranks please
  • myrafmyraf Posts: 32
    Hi Maryland john,can you e mail me the new and improved paper work on the inverter,my dealer just quoted me 14,000 dollars to fix my hh,only have 108,000 miles on it,just past the warrenty,my e mail is [email protected] thanks
  • myrafmyraf Posts: 32
    Hi ,i am having the same problem with toyota,all of us are trying to get together to hold toyota responsible,my email is [email protected] please get in touch with me,i have the pres and ceo of toyota motors usa name and address
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