20th May 2007, 19:21

I think the last comment is bogus and obviously came from an auto worker from Detroit who sits around with members of Exon Mobil and chat on how to use more fuel. I has witnessed Highlanders selling well and I cannot believe someone who have never driven one before can shout foul play. The first commenter needs to get a life and a new job... how about Toyota or Honda or Hyundai? they are hiring.

22nd May 2007, 19:53

I am the person who posted the review. I added the detail about the Japan thing b/c it's an ATTRIBUTE of the car, thus part of the review. Not all Toyotas are built in Japan. All Highlanders are (although I hear that the next-gen might change that). Sorry you don't approve of my opinion.

7th Oct 2007, 15:38

I drive a 2002 Highlander with the V6. 106.000km still on the original brake pads front and rear. The front rotors were replaced at 60.000 km by my dealers as they had a slight warp and still under warranty.

I maintain my Toyota more than most people would, and nothing has gone wrong to date. This is why I won't go back to GM.

18th May 2011, 14:11

Trust me, it is very nice to hear you had a good experience. The fact is I, along with hundreds of thousands of others got a raw deal:

My wife and I bought a "Certified" used Toyota from a Toyota dealer. Sadly, I find this purchase was well after Toyota announced a special program to "take care" of these engines, since they had an unusual propensity to develop oil-gelling (sludge). In spite of the Toyota dealer and Toyota Motor Sales knowing this, it was passed off to us as "certified". To most reasonable people, buying a "certified" auto from a brand dealer assures one that FULL and extraordinary care was taken to assure and portray the vehicle in an honest fashion, and it's believed to be in a condition superior to that one would find in the "classifieds". In addition to that, we purchased an additional extended "Platinum" warranty, and financed these through Toyota.

Well, last June my wife called me in a panic as the red oil "panic" light lit up as she was taking our kids on a vacation a hundred miles away. Thankfully, a relative traveling in the caravan with them topped off the oil -- 4 quarts.

After that call, I "binged" 'oil consumption problems of 2002 Highlander'. From the million of hits, I easily discovered our engine was prone to oil gelling. THIS was the first we were aware that this "certified" vehicle was prone to sludge!!! Well, since we discovered this hidden oil-gelling problem and hidden warranty just less than one month beyond the settlement-agreed date, we are out of luck as concerns any help from Toyota. More research details how they first blamed all owners with poor maintenance, then admitted they goofed, then said all just need to change oil 2-1/2 times more than the owners manual states! THEN they said the engine design wasn't defective, but were found out when it was revealed they changed the engine design in mid-production!!!

Now, my local dealer (not selling dealer) says they will "pay for parts" if we "pay for labor", and they won't put in writing if this "good will" offer is for ACTUAL labor and not blue book, and what the steps/decision points would be.

It would just be nice if they could assure us the engine is in "normal" operating parameters, and that the suggested change of valve covers with expanded breather passages would cure it. Trust me, the way we've been treated, it would be nice to get a whole new motor, O2 sensors and catalytic converter as they have failed or are likely to fail.

Note: the service manager feigned ignorance of the fact that oil turns acidic as it breaks down in use!!! Again, remember, THEY sold a KNOWN defective product and they sold it as "Certified" at a hefty profit by labeling it that. What did WE get? A car we will likely get the pleasure of "buying again" -- since we'll likely have to replace the engine.

Oh, yea, THEY wanted ALL my (I and a mechanic relative) receipts showing I did all the required oil changes. THIS is what they demanded of me, although according to their own official records, show NO evidence of even ONE oil/filter change in the first 34,000 miles of service!!!

We are now at 96,000 and are not sure what to do as WE couldn't sell the car as being "in good condition" knowing what we know! Maybe the original dealer can buy it back from us at a good price and sell it like they sold it to us -- not disclosing KNOWN defects!?!?!?

Documentation available on request.

18th May 2011, 16:32

You are not alone, this problem has affected many others including my sister in law's Toyota at 48000 miles. Even though it was maintained on time every time. She did save a lot of money, because I put the new motor in it myself. I will hand it to Toyota that doing engine swaps in their vehicles is easy. In the past decade I have done at least 25 sledge filled engines for other costumers. The sad thing is all the Toyota buffs in denial claim this is caused by low maintenance, when in reality it's caused by a faulty PCV system were the engine can't breathe right.