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Toyota Highlander Hybrid - Hybrid System Problems



  • schnabeljsschnabeljs Posts: 3
    edited December 2011
    As it turns out, my circumstances ended up with the exact same result. They said the the ignition coil on one cylinder needed to be replaced, but they didn't have any in stock. Had to order and wait a day. When they replaced the ignition coil and told me the car was fixed and ready for pickup, it then ran like the engine was miss firing. Took it back and they told me that coincidentally, on a different cylinder, a fuel injector had debris in it and that I must have gotten bad gas. Curious huh? After everything was working totally fine before the incident, now all of a sudden after replacing a coil, a fuel injector starts acting up. Total bill was just under $600 including a $140 towing charge, and $90 for a rental car.

    They admitted that they have started to see coils go bad around 90K miles, but not this early (around 75K miles). So are the coils all going to go bad at 90K miles?
    Fingers crossed this doesn't happen again!!!!
  • My car as 56K, not near 90K yet. At this rate, it'll never make 90! It is still at the dealer so I have no resolution yet. I would be happy if changing one coil fixes the problem, but I'm certainly not confident that it will. I'm still wondering the explanation for ALL coils failing at the same time if it's NOT the inverter???
  • Hi All,

    I just registered on this site and am trying to catch up on this thread.

    I bought a '06 Toyota HH a couple months ago with 113k on it. The inverter had been replaced under warranty in 08/10 (83k). Everything was well until the "Check VSC System" and "Check Hybrid System" popped up last w/e. The dealer said that there is no remaining warranty and wanted $550 to diagnose the HV battery. It appears that hybrid system is covered under a 8/100 but the battery is 10/150, maybe. It is a CA car. I spoke to Toyota directly and was told the battery was 10/150 and they were going to FAX me the documentation. She then called me back and said that she had made a mistake and it is not covered (Prius and Camry are, but not the HH). She apologized and said that she would open a case, esculate it, and assist however possible. I am awaiting a call from the case manager.

    Anyone have any suggestions?

    Thank in advance.

    Henry in Santa Barbara
  • Paid over $500 last year to have one ignition coil replaced - just had another go out while driving. Have now paid over $1000 to replace all coils since both went out while driving and could cause a fatal crash. GM of dealership told me I should have bought an extended warranty - what a crock - split the cost of replacing all coils with me. I am reporting this to Nat. Trans. Safety Board as this is a dangerous defect. Of course, my car was just out of warranty when the first coil went out-go figure.
  • I have a 2006 model. We received the recall notice in June stating that the inverter would need replaced once they had enough parts to do a full recall. Sure enough the car died last night. The dealer says that although the VIN matches the recall, the serial number on the inverter is not within the recall. Was advised to call Toyota and was referred to case management team. Waiting for a call back. Dealer said replacement cost is $9,000! Toyota needs to replace this for us! This is my first toyota and may be my last.
  • Would love to know what happened!?
  • Our 2012 HiHy has stalled 3 times at stop lights. Brought it in today, awaiting diagnostics; anyone else have this happen recently? We only have 16k miles on it, and otherwise has been a fantastic vehicle... :confuse:
  • Of course, our car didn't stall out at the dealership, so they wanted us to take it home. I asked for the manager, who then got involved, but all the data had been lost from the stall on Sunday, so they are keeping for one more day, then want me to bring it in asap when it stalls again - aarghhh!! Go news is that they started a case with Toyota. They said I am the only one to report a newer model with the same problem that has been reported here, so would love to hear from anyone else who might have had this. BTW, I meant 2011, not 12; just seems way too new to have a problem like this!! Thanks for any info...
  • Thursday, on my way back to the office, I had to swerve to avoid someone coming into my road thinking he really didn't have to stop at the stop sign. I slammed on the brake. My car's dash lit up and I couldn't move the car at all. There I was in the middle of a two lane road. Once I was towed to the dealership, they said the brake accuator was stuck open, continuously sending brake fluid into the wheels. Thursday night I did some research online and found on the NTSB website that the inverter had been recalled and that the customer letters were supposed to be sent out beginning 1/5/12. I hadn't gotten a letter. I mentioned this to the asst. service manager assisting me and she said that she was going to mention this. Well, the accuator costs over $1700 and with labor the cost will be just over $2000. The inverter is being replaced at Toyot's cost because of the recall. I asked if the inverter problem was related to the accuator because there was a note on my estimate saying the problem was also electrical, and they said no, that the two were unrelated. Anyone know about this? I was given the regional rep. number for my area (NC). Thanks!
  • I've been considering buying a used Highlander Hybrid with the intention of getting a low mileage unit, save a few bucks off new, and keeping it for the long haul. I have a young son, and another one on the way. Wife will stop working for Maternity leave, and with a single income, I can't afford to have something like what's been described in these posts happen to me. I live in Calgary, Alberta, so it gets cold here, which probably makes it even harder on Hybrids. (I'm guessing)

    After reading what many of you people have gone through, (and I feel very bad for many of you) I'm definitely going to have to stay away from these Highlander Hybrids. I usually do all my own tooling, but if I have to replace a $10,000 part, it won't matter how much of the labor I do on my own. I won't be able to afford the parts. BTW, I have an 07 Tundra, and an 09 Matrix, and both have been very reliable. Tundra is awful on gas even with the 4.7, but their reliability has been great. Its a shame the Highlander Hybrids have these problems. I appreciate people taking the time to post about their problems. Thank you all for probably saving me some money and time!
  • monte8monte8 Posts: 75
    Consumer Reports reliability ratings find that the Highlander Hybrid is also very reliable. There are going to be some failures on any car. Some of the whining on this site is from people who have run their cars very hard (exceeding 100k miles in less than 3 years), and find a large repair after the warranty has run out.

    I live in North Dakota, very cold winters. My 2008 HiHy has been very reliable in the cold. :shades:
  • eh2k6eh2k6 Posts: 6
    We have a 2006 Highlander Hybrid Limited since new and it has been nothing but reliable and fantastic in the Canadian winter. There have been a couple of recalls but to address potential problems, which have not surfaced with our car. We calculated that the premium we paid in 2006 for the hybrid system vs the V6 4WD model has been paid off by the gas we saved. From this point on, any savings in gas will be a gain. The cost of the replacement HV battery is also coming down so it is looking very good. Having said all these things, we are still waiting for Toyota to call us in for the inverter replacement, they are probably dealing with the dead inverters first then the "recalled" customers like us.
  • The 2006 recall is to replace an inexpensive, faulty circuit board before some poorly soldered components come loose and cause very expensive inverter damage and possibly create a dangerous failure while driving. The recall information is available by VIN number for 2006 and 2007 HH's.
    My HH is not on the list which I guess is good. We have not had the problem.
    This is something you should check. The people who had the problem had to pay $10,000-15,000 to have it towed and repaired. They eventually got a full or partial refund if they had not sold or junked the car.
  • eh2k6eh2k6 Posts: 6
    Just to clarify, we have not had the problem either but our HiHy is within the VIN recall. We received the pre-notice and waiting for the main notice to bring in the car for them to address the recall (i.e. replace the faulty circuit board?) Has anyone actually had the circuit board replaced under the recall (i.e. there is nothing wrong with the car but the 2006 VIN is within the recall)?
  • Car is part of VIN recall. Inverter failed once already, but was replaced with old style inverter, not one of the re-engineered ones. Dealership says mine doesn't need replacing, but won't prove to me that this is a re-engineered inverter. What serial numbers were recalled, and which are the new ones? I opened a case with Toyota corp., and the case manager said that she believed that they were supposed to replace mine. Will call back tomorrow following more research. Initial contact with Toyota was customer service rep who repeatedly asked if I am having problems, and if not, then why am I concerned? Elevated this, and explained that my dealership managed to screw up all the items I needed doing yesterday, and that I had no faith in their decision that my inverter didn't need replacing. Will insist that they show me or photograph the serial number on the inverter that is in it. There was no inverter number listed on paperwork from last replacement, and the corp. didn't even have a record that my inverter had ever been replaced.Am totally disappointed with Toyota, and will contact the class action suit if they don't replace this one. If anyone knows more about the
    serial number/part numbers, let me know. I'll post when I have a resolution. Thanks.
  • I also have the 2006 model. The whole inverter went out and was replaced last year under extended warranty (78,000 miles), before the recall. I was told that my VIN was within the recall. Went in to have the new control panel replaced (recall) and was told my inverter serial number (TJ01WM002) does not require replacement, even though it wasn't replaced by one of the re-engineered ones. Failure of the control panel destroys the inverter. Toyota won't prove to me what my inverter model number is, and it wasn't listed on my invoice from last year. They also won't tell me what inverter numbers are the new ones, and won't give me a clear picture of the label (which they are able to see). My dealer is incompetent (whole other story). Toyota corp. said that I have to deal with this through the dealer. What is your serial number?
  • So to update: after filing a claim with Toyota and working with the case manager assigned, we requested that a Toyota field tech go to see our car. The dealer had given us the same story, that even though the vin matched, our inverter serial number was not within the recall of "bad" parts. They ended up fixing our car for free. We traded it three days later because we just do not trust this would not happen again.
  • Toyota corp. case number rep called, and said I had to work it out with the dealership. Was rather snippy this time, although she was really nice the day before. Called customer rep at dealer, a rep called back, listened to my story, and agreed with me (wish I had recorded that discussion) and is supposed to call back today. Curious about something called a secret warranty, whereby if you complain enough (maybe "Call Curtis" TV station complaint reporter) they will do the repair as good faith action. What dealer fixed yours? Even if it is in another state, I may be able to use it as leverage. My dealer is in CA, Maita Toyota, and I will post for others what action occurs. They are hoping that even though my control panel isn't being replaced, my current inverter will survive until past the 8/100,000 warranty, and past the extended warranty, and past the end date of the recall, and I'll be forced to pay for the replacement myself. We'll see. I plan on being a total nightmare if they don't replace this, or somehow prove conclusively that my control panel isn't one of the faulty soldered ones(in writing).Wish me luck, and thanks for the help. So glad you got yours replaced (did you get more for it because of the new parts?)
  • nylove64nylove64 Posts: 8
    edited February 2012
    I don't know what the hold up is, after my Hylander sat in Toyota's parking lot for 14 months, I finally received a recall notice and it was fixed as of Sept 2010. I don't know my vin#, and I was out of my warranty. I just wrote to every and anybody and out of the blue I got the recall notice in July of 2010 . It still don't help how I fell about that day on 95 when it stopped on me. It sits in my driveway, Don't care to drive it, and it will be a trade as soon as I find something I like.
  • 1xgijane1xgijane Posts: 8
    edited February 2012
    Update: took off front plastic cover for inverter, verified serial number and part number of the inverter they installed last year when mine went out. Oddly enough has a part number G9200-48080, inverter assembly, manufactured between 3-2005 and 7-2007, that was replaced by Toyota part number G92A0-48080, inverter assembly, manufactured between 8-2007 and 12-2008. This means that Maita Toyota installed part number G9200-48080 on 19Jan2011, but listed part number G92A0-48080 on the invoice. Ask about your part number and serial number. This seems hinky, so I will be including this in my complaint process. Why would they mislead me into thinking that the new inverter was, indeed, a new re-engineered inverter instead of the older, obsolete model? Also was told by the service manager that they were repairing the control module and not replacing it. The recall states that it will be replaced. See if you can get/see the old module.
  • Do you mean it was repaired in Sept 2011? The recall notice came out in July 2011 for the inverter. VIN# is on annual licensing or registration paperwork or on strip on dashboard near window. Inverter serial number should be on invoice, dealer can take off cover in 2 minutes(had my nephew do it in my driveway-he's a mechanic). See if it's the old model or new model. Might be important to see if they are trying to pull one over on you.
  • Ours was fixed at rancho Santa margarita, Penske Toyota. Good luck! We were still "upside down" on the highlander but glad we do not need to worry any longer.
  • You are awesome! Any ammunition I can get is sooo helpful! Glad your issue was resolved!
  • Just be careful of auto-fraud on being upside-down. Negative Equity/Over-Allowance: Arises in a transaction that includes a trade-in vehicle. Generally, the customer is led to believe that the dealership is valuing the trade-in vehicle at the same amount that’s owed (so that the customer doesn’t appear to owe anything on the trade-in). In reality, however, the actual cash value given by the dealership is less than the amount owed, and the difference is added to the cash price of the vehicle being purchased. If this is done it is illegal, even if the customer knows and agrees to it. The extra amount cannot be added to the vehicle line 1(a) 1 per precedent-setting case of Thompson v. 10,000 RV’s. Believe this covered by Lemon Law.Automobile Sales Finance Act (ASFA) (Civ.Code,1 § 2981 et seq.), the Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) (§ 1750 et seq.), California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Bus. & Prof.Code, § 17200 et seq.) I don't trust Toyota to be fair in any way.
  • eriweneriwen Posts: 15
    I just finished reading through all of the posts since I last posted. I did have the inverter replaced under the recall. My Toyota service dept is so weird: I made an appointment to get the oil changed and so forth in December and I asked about replacing the inverter at the same time. "No, of course not," they say -- the part is not yet available. When I am there for the oil change, they tell me I have to wait further because it will take half an hour to VERIFY the VIN on my car to see if my inverter is really part of the recall. That is odd, I say, since I got the letter. I complain about the length of time; miraculously, it takes less time to determine I need the replacement. They will contact me in January. The VERY NEXT DAY the service guy calls to tell me the part is in! What is up with that? Of course, he goes around in circles. I go in the next weekend and have the inverter replaced.
    You would think that is it. A month or so later I see something on my garage floor and it is coolant. I take the car in and now they tell me the radiator has a crack in it! I leave with a new radiator at almost $600. Unbelievable. Now I just feel I am driving it into the ground and then replacing it. Another Toyota? Hard to imagine. Could they have damaged the radiator when they had my entire engine apart to fix it when the steel spring "broke" to bits and damaged all of the heads in July/August? That thought would never cross their mind.
    Now I am reading about some other item that may go bad -- extremely scary. I hope that part was replaced with the inverter. I, too, am thinking about when I will have to replace the hybrid battery.
    I love my car, but this stress and expense is not what I thought I was purchasing with a Toyota.
  • eh2k6eh2k6 Posts: 6
    I have just received the second notice to bring in the car for an inspection and if necessary replace the Intelligent Power Module (IPM). Since my HiHy is probably one of the earliest VIN sold in Canada, I am just bringing this up to let Canadians on this forum know that they have just started to get to us. Just to be clear, I have no problem so far with the inverter. The Hihy has been driving like a dream.
  • After reading many of your posts on here, i see that i am not the only one that has been driving when all of a sudden the car just doesnt go anymore. I had our 2007 HH towed to the dealership after no power and the check hybrid system and check VSC system light came on. They ran a diagnostic on it this morning and said one of the coils went bad. We do have about 98k on the car, so im not too disappointed that something went bad after so many miles, but i cant grasp the fact that the car just doesnt move. If i threw a piston or a bearing, i could understand this,but this is a major safety hazard. We live in AK and thankfully i wasnt going up or down a huge hill or out in the middle of nowhere or better yet if my wife was driving with the kids. Im guessing this wont be cheap, but what major engine repair is? If you ever feel like complaining about hourly wages from your dealer,try $99/hr in AK! I cant wait to get this thing fixed so i can trade it in
  • eh2k6eh2k6 Posts: 6
    Just to follow up on my recall notice. Toyota has just finished the service call. They replaced the "Transister power module", the service rep showed me the part cost alone was $3000. I did not noticed anything different driving the HiHy home. All is well, for now.
  • A few days ago I was backing out of my driveway and the inverter blew on my 2006 Highlander Hybrid. After reading all of these posts, I am furious that my '06 is not considered part of the "recall" - if my car had lasted only 3 more miles, I would have been in the middle of the freeway with my two little kids in the car - talk about huge safety concern...and knowing that Toyota knows about it and tried to bandaid it with this limited recall has me livid. So far Toyota won't even give me a loner car - I have been told I am out of warranty at 113k miles and that I am not part of the recall. (Doesn't a recall need to cover a known PROBLEM...not a VIN number?!? - clearly an attempt by Toyota to cover the situation and still save some dough) I always service my vehicle at the dealer and about 2 mos ago I had it serviced and they checked the inverter for recall/problems. If they had fixed it then, it would have saved them and me and whole lot of hassle.

    Right now they have said fix will be between $9500-$10500 - depending on how bad the damage is. They have offered that I pay for the inverter "at cost + 15%", plus labor ($400), plus tax ($513) - then they are offering me a $2500 rebate (I pay and they reimburse me - which I am doubtful about considering the number of complaints I have now seen online about how they don't actually reimburse) - total: $5040 - plus another $800 if the electronic control unit is broken

    My case manager contacted the district service and parts manager to come up with this "offer". I am holding out for the entire thing to be taken care of (at the advice of my attorney)...I have put in a complaint with NHTSA and if this is not taken care of by tomorrow, I will complain to BBB and the Attorney General - and if that still doesn't escalate it enough...I will pursue legal action.

    I am shocked at the number of people this has happened to (same problem, but outside the recall) and that Toyota is trying to bandaid the situation. And I just gave my endorsement for this vehicle 2 weeks ago to a poor woman about to buy one...I will never endorse Toyota again. An interesting sidenote - all Lexus owners with this problem have had it promptly taken care of - no money out of pocket.
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