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Toyota Highlander Hybrid - Hybrid System Problems



  • irina2irina2 Posts: 23
    Still no change for our situation with Toyota. Contacted our local dealer (unfortunately our car had to be towed to a different dealer than the one which sold our car) to ask him to 'go to bat for us' but got a lukewarm reception from the general manager (can't talk to owner). Car still in the shop--now I've committed to start the repair, my share being $6700. I'm going to keep fighting to have Toyota corporate give me a 'good will' deal for the part, like they've done for some of you out there...but time is running out and my car will be ready by the end of the week. I don't understand why there's a discriminatory business practice going on here--some folks are helped with the total cost of the expensive part, but not us. We're all over 100,000. We were equally traumatized by having my husband's car die in the middle of a busy LA freeway. I don't know how to contact anyone in a position of power. I've combed the website. I've now submitted letters to NBC and NPR. Any other ideas for me from anyone? Help!
  • tx78746tx78746 Posts: 3
    edited December 2010
    It has now happened to me. I pulled out in traffic on a major roadway and it all shut down. Had it towed to a dealership in Austin and got the word it is going to cost $14,000 to fix. I have talk to Toyota but so far they are saying there is nothing they will do since it is out of warranty. I have seen in other post Toyota gave some relief, but they are adament to me. Is anyone recently got a more favorable response with this issue.
  • myrafmyraf Posts: 32
    we are all in the same boat,whether toyota fixes our cars or not we must hold toyota responsible for all repairs,parts and labor,let them fix what they want and we can sue for the rest and if they fix one persons car they set a presidence and must fix all,they can't pick and choose who' car they want to fix,we have a great lawsuit ,count me in,and if we get a lawyer it is much less expensive and it will hit the news.we all must get in touch with the president and chief operating officer i have the address and name,let me know and i will post it,,i also wrote my state rep and congressmen and put them on notice i was informing them of the safety issue concerning these defective hybrids she forwarded my letter to the FTC along with her own letter of concern,just keep the pressure on our elected officials,they are suppose to protect us the consumer
  • I'll email you directly. I have only spoken to a couple of levels at the 800 331 4331 number for Toyota. I have ask the dealership for the name of Toyota's regional rep. but was told they could not give it to me. The dealer did said they would contact Toyota and let me know. That was yesterday. No response back so far. What did you do with the vehicle? That is an interesting quote from Toyota. I don't know when the production break was but I bought it very early on. My milage is about 144,000.
  • myrafmyraf Posts: 32
    my car is sitting in my driveway because i 'm waiting to talk to the toyota case manager on monday,if toyota won't fix my car ,i will talk to an attorney
  • myrafmyraf Posts: 32
    Hi everyone,just spoke to an attorney who has a class action against toyota,they are in san diego,i gave her a little insight of what has been happening with our cars and i also gave her this web-site,she said she will get back to me and that if she can't help,she will help me find an attorney,i really feel toyota is discriminating against some of us because they have done good will for some owners and donated the parts with the same problem and have denied others,whats that all about,she agreeded with me that's discrimination and when they did that that is against the law,I'am also getting in touch with the aclu we other denied owners may have a discrimination legal action.
  • All,
    I posted back in July that I'd gotten a 'heads up' on the 06 HH from a friend who'd been stranded on I-55. With mine at 93,000 miles, I thought I was driving a freakin' time bomb! The blue book on it was $18k (it had all the bells & whistles and was in excellent condition for the mileage). However, in pedaling it from dealer to dealer the best I could get was $13,000, and even Toyota would only give $12,000. I am fortunate enough to be rid of it now and WILL NEVER BUY A TOYOTA AGAIN! I'd like to be included in a lawsuit that exposes their unlawful practices -- I paid the extra money to get a 'hybrid' instead of a regular gas engine and when it came time to trade in, the 'hybrid' was a pariah.
    Unfortunately, with more and more problems surfacing here, I would think it is going to be VERY DIFFICULT for someone to get any decent value on the trade-in.
  • irina2irina2 Posts: 23
    Can you please explain your post? Did you have an Inverter failure after warranty? Are you contacting the media--in which case what is the status? I am keeping a list of owners with this situation, so I'd like to add your case to my file if your case is similar....
  • myrafmyraf Posts: 32
    GO on to search toyota and you will find a news article toyota to fix 650,000 prius hybrids for heat risk causing inverta failure,model years 2004 to 2007 we highlander have the same issues and i know we have the same componets,my salesmen told me when i bought the car it was the same hybrid units as the prius,not only that we could have a discrimination suit why does toyota give parts out of good will to some and not to others,we need to check with the aclu. also someone told me about abc's world news tonight video about the electronic coponets in toyota
  • myrafmyraf Posts: 32
    hi it's myra,call me and update me on the news station and your car
  • Sorry but I had some of my post deleted. So I will keep it short, I also had an inverter failure on 7/23/2010. I have written and filed complaints with everyone I could think of. Channel 4 Jacksonville Fl has responed to my e-mail asking the status of my Suv and said they would like to do a story, I responded and still waiting for them to respond again. My Highlander has been at my Toyota dealership since 7/23/2010 with a repair coast of 7,086.00.
  • Dear Woodfamily 20:

    Regretfully my 2006 HH just pulled the same stunt that you describe. They are offering half assistance with the part. Any possibility that I can get your info so I can say that they already have helped one party all the way and they should help me the same way?

    Thanks in advance John!
  • My 06 HH with less than 40K miles on it died while reversing out of a parking stall. The car started fine, but 10 seconds later, the car just died. The check engine light and check vsc light came on. Couldn't move the car at all, so I got it towed to the nearest Toyota Service. That was on 1/8/11. My car is still at the service center, and they have no idea what is wrong with it, except for the fact that my car is not communicating with them at all. They are unable to give me a time-frame or estimate to repair until they find out the problem. I am not sure if it's the inverter as most of you here have posted. Did the failed inverter cause the car computer to malfunction as well?
  • irina2irina2 Posts: 23
    our mechanic did say that when the inverter failed all sorts of other codes popped up on the computer...that went away when the inverter got replaced. but I haven't heard from anyone that the whole computer malfunctions and gives them no codes at all. but cheer up, your car is under should just demand they give you a loaner and have them fix/change out everything they think might be contributing...
  • irina2irina2 Posts: 23
    I don't know if you still monitor this forum...i was re-reading your post, and I just want to clarify a few things...did you say you only paid $720 and the dealer paid the rest of the cost $7200? or was it Toyota Corporate? if that was the case (that someone paid $7200 on your behalf) do you have any idea what contributed to your success, why the rest of us are all striking out?
  • myrafmyraf Posts: 32
    california civil code 1793.1 consumer warranty protection,states if a car sold in the state of california and a part is defective it extends the life of the warranty,check out your state's consumer protection warranty civil code and the epa just told me the hybrid battery is warranty for 10 years unlimited miles,check your states epa warranty just in case anyone of you ever have problems with your hh battery,also i found out warranty's are covered by your state insurance commissioner and you can file a insurance complaint
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,403
    As it says above the posting box, your personal security is important to us, so please do not post your email address in a message. If you would like other members to be able to contact you via email, just click on the Forum Preferences link on the right side of the page and set your email to Public. That way others can click on your username and be able to find your email.
  • I had 131,000 miles on my Highlander when the inverter failed.
  • irina2irina2 Posts: 23
    any updates? did you end up paying to fix it? how much? any help from Toyota?
  • Just got a call from the Dealer, my inverter did indeed fail. They will replace under warranty. It's just kind of mind-boggling that it would fail with less than 40K miles on it. Have any of you experience any other problems after the inverter was changed out? Thinking of maybe trading this in after it's fixed.
  • I was parked in a steep hill when I started my 2006 HH. I heard a pop when I put it into drive and I began rolling backward down the hill as my entire dashboard lit up with error lights. The brakes still worked, and I was able to put it into park and called for the tow truck. The dealership said that the inverter failed and that it would cost $8K to replace, the steering rack was also under a recall and that was $2k. My air box was cracked =$780, new brakes/rotor resurfacing and fuel induction cleaning= $1k. All in all, $12k in repairs were needed. I was told my car was still under warranty for the inverter and the steering rack.
    I appreciate the advice this blog provided me in handling the situation. I will definitely contact NHTSA and my states attorney general.
    Thank you bloggers!!!
  • myrafmyraf Posts: 32
  • ntvtxnntvtxn Posts: 4
    Karen, I would also advise you to look into a trade-in on the 06 HH. Cut your losses (as you may only get out of the car what you've just put into it) and get something else. For piece of mind, if anything. If you go that route, please post what you are looking at in trade-in values. Mine was in the $12k range. That could be helpful for others reading our blogs. Good luck!
  • Today I have the same situation with my 128k miles 2006 HH, like Angela. Dealer said is the hybrid computer but need to verify more. Any Recomendation??? Thanks
  • Sorry to hear about your issue! My email address is available in my profile - we're not allowed to post it here. If you can, send me an email and I will email you back with a copy of my invoices showing that we only paid $990 for labor and inverter was given as Goodwill.
  • Do not by this vehicle and if you do than this vehicle is like disposable rasier onse the hybrid system gose bad it cost about $8000 to repair it. this is what hapan to me if anybody know of a way to after toyota for repair piease let me know
  • I just recently purchased a 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid and was doing some research after the fact. I wish I had done this before my purchase. Anyway I noticed the post on the VIN break and wondered, since my VIN begin 6002**** does that mean I have the new inverter? If so does that mean maybe this won't happen to me? Luckily a retired person previously owned my Highlander so I was able to purchase it with only 21,000 miles so hopefully the inverter is covered for at least the next 3 years or 79,000 miles.
  • Decided to turn in the car after I got the inverter fixed. To my surprise, Lexus offered me $18,000 on my trade-in. I only had 40,000 miles to date. I suspect that because I live in Hawaii, the inverter issue hasn't come up a lot here. Happy with my decision. I didn't want to take a chance and keep it for another couple of years and have the value tank when the hybrid warranty runs out.
  • myrafmyraf Posts: 32
    coverage on your hybrid is in your manual,it's covered by the federal govt( 8 yrs or 100,000,)please if you have the slightest problems demand your dealer does a systems diagnostic check,these toyota dealers do a deny and delay tactic,just keep on insisting,and about your vin break,not necessary,that vin break was in 2006,march third,but in2008,dec 16( and i have a copy of the toyota tech service bulletin(i can fax you both copies if you like,there was another vinn break,that production break is jteew4#a#82015709,good luck,now some in came up with a great idea,he said since these hybrid inverter parts arewarrantied for 100,000 miles,he said to drain the hybrid transmission fluid out ,leave it empty,drive the car around till the inverter burns out,then fill the fluid back up ,then go to your dealer and get a new inverter under warranty,now i 'am ashamed of myself that i didn't think of that,hey i know it's dishonest but so is toyota with there customer service and repairs,and always ask for the old parts back to make sure your's is replaced with a new part and not a used one they get out of a salvage car,i don't trust anyone that's with toyota,and make sure you get the new inverta,not the defective one.good luck,i wouldn't have bought a hybrid if i would have known they only lasted just over 100,000miles and then needed ten's of thousands of dollars of parts.
  • myrafmyraf Posts: 32
    good decision ,you'll be way a head of the game later on,smart smart
  • myrafmyraf Posts: 32
    did you get my fax's,if you post your private email we can converse privately,mine is posted so if you want to email me without going thru edmunds ,you can they restrict what you can say.i also secured on go daddy the site i would love to do a web site with all of our stories on these toy hi hyb ,and do a youtube,video exposing these defects on inverter's so unsuspecting consumers like yourself will be aware of the problems,what do you think,i'am just not that computer savy
  • I got your fax just before they deleted my message with my phone number.
    Give me a day or so to locate the original TSB and I'll post it on this site.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,403
    If you want to communicate directly with another member, all you have to do is click on the Forum Preferences link on the right side of the page and set your email address to Public.

    That's the way to trade phone numbers and other info that generally is not a good idea to post on a public message board
  • myrafmyraf Posts: 32
    hi steve,did you recieve the tsb i faxed you,i have not seen it posted on edmunds,what happened
  • I scanned the pages but couldn't figure out how to post them.
    I can email the images to you if you know how?
    Sorry for the delay.
  • myrafmyraf Posts: 32
  • If someone gives me instructions on how to post .jpg files, I will post the four page TSB-0386-08 here.
  • tomas10tomas10 Posts: 2
    Our 2006 Highlander hybrid failed in the same manner described in many of these messages. Sudden power failure, many error messages, including engine light, check VSC, and check AWB. The car became totally inoperable and unstartable, in a dangerous traffic situation. The first feedback from the dealer is that one or more ignition coils have failed. This might be true, as the engine was running very roughly on one of our restart attempts. The question is, could the sudden failure of the inverter lead to associated failure or damage of the ignition coils? It is not hard to imagine that a voltage surge could do this. Our VIN in 60019910.
  • tomas10tomas10 Posts: 2
    the previous message contains an error. The VIN of our 2006 Highlander is 60001122. The VIN number listed is the previous message, 60019910, has been reported in this forum (and others) as the "break" when Toyota began using a new inverter assembly. I have read another forum which reports that no power loss incidents have been reported after the "break"
  • I it looks like I was bit by the inverter problem. I lost power on a busy street in Houston. Luckily no one was hurt but it was a little scary. I reported the incident on the NHTSA website and referenced PS 11-005, which appears to be the open incident on the issue.

    I also Emailed Frank Borris and gave the reference number to the incident.

    Frank S. Borris
    Office of Defects Investigation
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    1200 New Jersey Ave SE, W45-302
    Washington, DC 20590
    (202) 366-8089
  • my 2006 died out sun march 6 2010 while on i55 near pontiac,il 121 miles from home in chicago had car tow to a local tow shop overnight the closest dearler is in boomington 20 miles to the south. waiting on what cause it to died out had the same warning about check hybrid vsc code interested in the vin break after i get everthing ill post more only has 57000 miles on it but it was scary as hell trying to get to the shoulder. please email me for my fax number thanks
  • irina2irina2 Posts: 23
    Can you please email me a the TSB-0386008 info (the .jpg file)? My email is set to public.
  • I only have about 57K. I Just spoke with toyota and they confirmed it was the inverter and covered under warranty.

    It looks like a bunch of people that were not as lucky. This set of posts was very helpful.

  • I had the same nightmare... Could not believe a car could be running so smooth and then totally die. I had just gotten off the interstate on a very rainy night... So glad I read all your posts as well as the Lexus 400 h
    There is an inquiry..thanks to all of you who took the time to write up about the problem - html
    same inverter?
    I called Lexus..waiting..I am over the warranty, wanted my car to last a long time...I
    Have defended the hybrid to sooo many people.
    Yikes..still cannot believe this.
  • ablevyablevy Posts: 1
    Ok...I'm been reading this blog and I am really scared! Today, my 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid, with approximately 145000 miles, suddenly shut down...just minutes after someone commented to me about how they could not hear it running. It was running really well with no indication of problems to come.

    The engine shut down with warning lights of Check Hybrid System and Check CVS! I attempted to restart it but it was obvious from the way it sounded and steered that something was drastically wrong. I had the car towed to my home and have not yet contacted a dealer about repair.

    My husband has just gone back to work after over a year of being unemployed due to his plant closing....I cannot BEGIN to come up with the kind of money being discussed on this blog to repair my car....and I really need my vehicle!

    I will have it towed to the dealership tomorrow! I had planned to have another mechanic look at it, but that doesn't appear to be the wise thing to do, with the information I have now! I will keep you all posted about my outcome and welcome any advice that you could provide to me so that I can get off on the right foot tomorrow. Anything in particular I must know, say, or do on that first visit with the dealership?

    Please help!
  • In my profile, you can find my email address. We're not allowed to post it here. If you email me, I can send you a copy of the invoice. They donated the part as goodwill for me and then I only paid labor of $1,000. Maybe my invoice will help you negotiate. My car had 115,000 miles on it.
  • I just got a call tonight from Precision Response on behalf of Toyota. They asked a bunch of questions and said they are investigating what happened. They wanted to know the weather conditions, how fast I was going, what happened when the car shut down, if it made a warning noise, where we had it towed, etc. Thought that was very interesting. Did any else get a call from them?
  • irina2irina2 Posts: 23
    No. But I think this is because of the class action suit that was just filed against Toyota regarding this Inverter failure issue.
  • nylove64nylove64 Posts: 8
    Yes I got a call too...Maybe this is the begining to some help
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