Toyota has been hit with a class-action lawsuit alleging the Highlander has a rear liftgate that can get stuck open. The lead plaintiff, Annita Emerson, says her 2009 Highlander liftgate got stuck after the power lift arm broke, eventually causing the hinge to bow. The repair set her back $4,700 and happened just after her warranty expired.
The lawsuit says there’s evidence Toyota knows of this defect following a technical service bulletin (TSB) they issued to dealers in 2012. The TSB says the 2008-12 Highlanders have gaps between the power lift arm bolts and the rear gates, causing the liftgates to get stuck. Dealers were told to replace the back door hinges and the panel sub-assembly, but only if the owner complained.
For more information on the lawsuit see CarComplaints.com, especially if you own or lease one of the following:
- Highlander XU20
- Highlander XU40
- Highlander XU50
- Highlander Hybrid MHU28
And, as always, consult your mechanic if your liftgate is stuck open for more than 4 hours.