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Toyota Highlander Hybrid - Hybrid System Problems



  • meganshaymeganshay Posts: 1
    We recently shipped a Brand new highlander hybrid from Canada to Switzerland. My husband picked it up from the dealer and drove it home without a problem. The next day we tried to drive it the battery was dead, so we jumped it figuring it was a long time in shipping and needed time to get the battery charged up. Unfortunately it has been a month and the problem is only getting worse. I have to jump the car every or every other time I drive it, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. We bought an external battery/ trickle charger and left it on the car overnight and then for 36 hours straight. Both times it didn't start on its own, it had to be plugged back in to the battery to start it. We are taking it in monday but so far not impressed. It makes me sad too because I really love everything else about this car.
  • 89fj6289fj62 Posts: 20
    The hybrid keeps the brakes charged up electrically and this occurs even when the car is off. It sounds like you may have a bad battery. Let Toyota take care of it. My hybrid goes months without being driven as I have never driven it during winter on our salt covered roads. I do keep a trickle charger on when It won't be used for a while. Good luck. Let us know if it is anything besides battery
  • Took my HH to dealer for 90,000 service; they also performed inverter recall check. Mine was not affected by the recall, but dealer did not replace timeing belt/water pump as recommended.
    Decided to use highly recommended neigborhood shop intead of dealer for 100,000 oil change, and to replace timing belt. also finally needed replacement front brake pads--first time, 100,000 miles.
    After repairs, local shop got the same error message lights---ABS failure, hybrid failure, etc, consistent with inverter failure. they called another toyota dealer who was able to "wipe clean" the ECU and reload it for $200. seems to have fixed problem.
    does this make sense to anyone?
    I think I was lucky...not stuck on the road, and it only cost $200 for that failure. Is there another failure imminent? should I be worried? this car has been absolutely trouble free until now and I don't want to trade. I have bragging on this car for six years. Comments?
  • eh2k6eh2k6 Posts: 6
    Lots of people had the Check VSC and other warning lights come on after a brake job. The ABS system is tied to the VSC system so they all light up. Your system is most likely fine.

    There was a manual procedure to reset the warning lights that would have saved you from taking your HiHy to Mr. T.

    I use the steps in the following links and it cleared the warning lights after I did my brakes. rake-pad/ heck-engine-vsc-warning-lights.html
  • Thanks, that s a relief to know. the neighborhood shop is very good, but not up to date with the latest electronical gadgets.
  • Sounds like I had the same problem as some others on here. Our 2006 HH died while my wife was driving it down the road. Thank God she wasn't on the highway, and it happened after she dropped off the kids at daycare.

    My car had 107k miles on it - out of warranty - so I towed it to a local mechanic. He read error code POA78. He also pulled up TSB 0386-08 concerning the "Power Inverter Failure." Quoted me a price of $8,500.00!

    I called the Toyota dealership, and they asked that I have it towed to them, so they could verify the problem. A few days later, he called me back with semi-good news: Toyota has recalled the "Intelligent Power Supply Module" on these vehicles, and that may fix the problem. He replaced the module free of charge, and it fixed the problem. Thank God for that.

    BUT - this recall of the "Intelligent Power Supply Module" is NOT the same issue as the "Power Inverter Failure" noted in TSB 386-08. So, while Toyota has issued a recall to fix one problem, Toyota has not issued a recall to address the issue in TSB 386-08.

    This means that while my car works, for now, it has a known defect which is both unsafe and quite costly because my car is out of warranty.

    What should I do? Sell the car? I bought the car new with the expectation that I would own it for at least 10-12 years and save a lot of money on gas. If I sell now, I've lost all that potential value - I've essentially leased this car for a huge amount of money.

    I suppose I could buy an extended warranty, but that will cost me $2-3k for an extra 24 months of coverage.

    My e-mail is b . mira kian @ (without any spaces)
  • Here in Canada, my Toyota dealer replaced the IPS module to address the Power Inverter Failure recall. I think you are good to go. Wouldn't worry about it.
  • xpatt9xpatt9 Posts: 2
    edited September 2012
    Well add one more to the list. My 2007 HH limited failed on the highway at 55mph while my wife was driving with my daughter. Scary stuff. It only has 40k miles and under warranty so Toyota fixed it without charge. But claimed it was the #6 coil pack. I don't believe it. I'm an engineer. I know auto design and engines. on a non-hybrid, if one cylinder goes out the car continues to run, rough but runs. In this case, like all of you, without warning the car went dead. Toyota swears it was a coil, but I don't believe it. I have owned Toyota cars for 25 years and until now swore by them, indeed sold hundred over the years to friends, relatives and business associates. NOW, because of how toyota is handling this problem, I want nothing to do with toyota products, hybid or non-hybrids. This is a design flaw that toyota needs to live up to. even if the coil on my car was the problem, the car has 2 drive systems, electric motors, one on each rear wheel, and a gas engine driving the front wheels. If the electric system on the electric side has a failure, the gas engine should still work. If the gas engine has a failure the electric motors should still work to bring the car to a safe place. If an engine coil pack causes the entire system, or systems to fail, Toyota should fire all the design engineers who worked on this, number one, and number two, redesign so one system failure does not kill the other. Right now these cars are a death trap and the NHTSA should compell toyota to recall ALL HH from 2006 to 2012 and fix this flaw. If I had known about this I would never had bought the car in the first place, who in their right mind buys a death trap. I searched when I bought the car and never found any of this on the internet. I think the word has to get out so others don't by these cars, soon or later when this happens, someone is going to get hurt or be killed. TOYOTA IS GUILTY OF FRAUD AND SHOULD BE HELD CRIMINALLY LIABLE IF SOMEONE IS HURT. They know and have known for a few years now and choose to do nothing. I just can't believe the dollar is their God. I was so foolish to think they actually cared about people. My other toyotas have gone 200k without any major problems, thats why I continued to buy the cars. With this, I'm done with toyota.
  • Thanks for your info. I paid to have all coils replaced after I had two fail- one at a time on a 2008 HH which had 55,000 miles on it-a negotiated price $1000. I agree, Toyota is notorious for failure to act or acknowledge serious problems. I am ditching this car before another failure kills me. I have been a loyal Toyota owner for 30 years-too bad the one time I buy a lemon from Toyota, they fail to care about my safety and step up. It is when you have a life threatening problem that you find out what kind of company you are dealing with!
  • I am curious, did the car shut down completely when the coil failed. Any warning, lights, etc. You said you had 2 failed coils, at different times? Did the car act the same each time.

  • Two different times- car started running rough, lights came on, car quit. Paid to have all 6 replaced- no problem since-keeping my fingers crossed.
  • I am currently having this car died and they dealer is saying its the inverter and they want $10k to fix my car. Oh and I have a trans axle leak and they want $7 k to fix. Anyway, my car has 120K miles on it and they refuse to fix it...I have to fit the bill...and to make matters worse I still owe $10k on it. Is there any recourse you can recommend? I call the law office that had a class action suit against toyota selling highlanders knowing there is a problem with the 2006/07s and they informed me the case was dropped and that they cant help me...I'm at a loss of what I can do...What is left for me to do. Meanwhile I sitting by the phone waiting for some A-hole from toyota to call me and tell me what financal arrangements we can come up with for me to pay to get the work done...HELP!!!!!
  • Same problem, inverter, 10k to fix. I settled with Toyota - they agreed to buy my car for 11k so I would drop my case.
  • Has anyone had any luck pursuing complaints with recall on inverters with this mileage?
  • Well guys... this will be my final post. I was one of the earlier posts, when my inverter died Jan 2011. They replaced it under the warranty, as I only had 68K miles on the car. I struggled with the decision to keep it or sell it, but with the additional repairs required (cracked air box, induction flush, power steering link and brakes and rotors) at the time, I thought I was over the hump.

    Not so. That same year Dec 2011 the wheel bearing and hub broke and the front stabilizer links needed to be replace. Finally, just last month, Oct 2012, my inverter died again! I had it towed in and they were VERY VAGUE on what the problem was especially when I insisted that I already had the inverter replaced at the very same dealership prior to the recall. The only thing they said is that they replaced the inverter, but NOT THE COMPUTER CHIP!?!? This time the computer chip was bad but I also needed to replace my regular battery as it was dead. 2 days later, I paid the $225 for the new battery and took my car home. The very next guessed it... my inverter is dead AGAIN! Another tow ride into the dealership, where they do not call me for 2 more weekdays. Finally, they call very excited to tell me that there is nothing wrong with the car, just a wire was not tight enough during the last repair. When I picked up the car, I had to ASK that they pay for the second tow. I left the dealership, determined I would never see my service crew again, and drove straight to another dealership and traded in that "DAMN CAR"!
    So, my friends, thank you Edmunds for the blog and to all those that contributed to it, it has made a huge difference in handling this situation. And to Toyota... well let's keep this a family show and just say you will never get my business again!
  • Our highlander had 117k and we were able to get the inverter replaced. Originally, when it went out, the dealership told us that the serial numbers did not match the recall. We kept pushing Toyota to investigate and replace the part. We worked with the case manager from Toyota and the dealership and requested that a Toyota field tech come and look at our car. They tested the inverter and later replaced it for free. It took a couple of weeks to get the person out to look at the car, but obviously worth it. We traded the car in two days later because we didn't want this to happen again, as we doubt they would fix it twice!
  • I am hoping they will buy mine too. May I ask, how many miles were on your car. I have 120,000 and I pray I get at least 11K for it...and help with a new loan.
  • 105000 miles...Toyota was going to fix it for free but we did not want the car back, it is a death trap and only a matter of time before this problem kills people...I wish you luck, the people at Toyota are complete [non-permissible content removed].
  • We ended up trading it in. We got $9500 for it. We owed considerably more but need a reliable car.
  • Is this the season for the 2006 hybrids to break down?. I had the same inverter problem last week. The cost: $9300 only because they assured me that this was the 3rd generation inverter and it was going to work fine. I wanted to extend the life of the vehicle instead of buying a new one and because the dealer was offering only $1000 for the car "as is". Got the car back yesterday at 7:30 am. Rode 25 miles...lights on again: check hybrid system/check VSC. Now I don't feel safe driving it at all! The service guys were oh, so amazed when they saw me this morning. Now is a waiting game...Keep you posted.
    BTW I did receive a call from Toyota Headquarters yesterday but only after I sent an email.
  • ruth72ruth72 Posts: 3
    edited December 2012
    I took my car in last week to have the windshield washer receptacle flushed out because something else had been inadvertently put inside it, so they had to disconnect the 12volt battery to get to it..when I drove away from the auto shop my display started to flash "check hybrid system, check vsc, check AWD" alternately. I called the shop the next morning, brought it in, and they said they reset the codes, but next day 10 miles later the same info starts flashing again.
    So I begin my research online and see mention of inverters going bad, I wonder if this is what's happening to me, and did removing the 12volt battery trigger it somehow? I replaced the 12volt battery last summer with no issue.

    I live on an island in the middle of the gulf of Alaska and there is no dealer here...does this car problem sound familiar to anybody else's?
  • Anyone still check this board? My 2006 HH died this Monday 1/21/13. Getting minor avoidance so far from dealership. So far they have asked me to approve $285 in diagnostics and given no diagnosis. Three full business days and they let me know tonight they have contacted 'technical assistance' for my 'unusual' problem and still can't figure it out. I looked on the Internet for ten minutes and feel confident it is probably the inverter. Same exact symptoms and error messages. (Do they really not know or do they plan to jerk me around?) The car stalled in traffic, luckily I was pulling into a parking garage and not on the interstate.
    Feeling thankful to have read this thread before beginning any type of discussion with Toyota. :confuse: :sick:
  • Would let them know that there is a problem with inverter on 2006 and also electrical system (my problem with coils on 2008). You could contact Toyota and start a case file asking for Toyota to fix problem since this is a known defect. I negotiated fix price with the local dealer after research. I have a problem with paying a diagnostic fee for a known problem.
  • kenduffkenduff Posts: 19
    If it is the inverter, 06's are covered on the recall, they should fix it for free, dispute the charge they gave you.. Good luck
  • Yes, be sure to use this info! Our dealer really didn't know what to do so it was best to contact Toyota and get a case manager. Request that they send a tech that knows hybrids. Be persistent, patient, and good luck
  • I took my Highlander hybrid in to the deal, and it turns out that a small drip needs a new radiator. Since I have the Hybrid they tell me I have to go with a new Toyota Radiator. I have dealt with the inverter when my car died on me while I was driving, so scary. I just feel like Toyota has control over my car since it is a Hybrid. The quote was $1200 but they seems so high for the radiator, anyone have any input.
    Thanks in advance. :confuse:
  • Hi - I've been thinking of buying a HH but after reading these forums I'm not so sure. I see many of the HHs were fixed via recalls, are these now safe?
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    edited March 2013
    Don't even consider a HH. They stink even when they are working. You can buy mine.
  • heh - why do they stink?
  • ytallentytallent Posts: 11
    Think again. I have a 2008 and am waiting for the next electrical breakdown and it is not even close to the mileage on an even more troubled 2006 you are considering. If you want to be stuck in an unsafe vehicle whose battery may be the next thing to go . . .
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